MELAKA2U provides latest information and statisctic update about happenings in historical city of Melaka (Malacca), Malaysia.
Malacca (Malay: Melaka, dubbed "The Historic State") is the third smallest Malaysian state after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca City, which is 148 km south east of Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 km north west to Johor's largest city Johor Bahru, and 95 km north west to Johor's second largest city, Batu Pahat. This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.
Although it was the location of one of the earliest Malay sultanates, the monarchy was abolished when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The head of state is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan.
Sultanate of Malacca
Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a fishing village inhabited by local Malays. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, also known as Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara, the last Raja of Singapura (present day Singapore) following a Majapahit attack in 1377. He found his way to Malacca around 1400 where he found a good port—it was accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Straits.
According to a popular legend, Parameswara was resting under a tree near a river during a hunt, when one of his dogs cornered a mouse deer. In self-defence, the mouse deer pushed the dog into the river. Impressed by the courage of the deer, and taking it as a propitious omen of the weak overcoming the powerful, Parameswara decided then and there to found an empire on that very spot. He named it 'Melaka' after the tree where he had just taken shelter at, the Melaka tree (Malay: Pokok Melaka).
In collaboration with allies from the sea-people (orang laut), the wandering proto-Malay privateers of the Straits, he established Malacca as an international port by compelling passing ships to call there, and establishing fair and reliable facilities for warehousing and trade.
Because of its strategic location, Malacca was an important stopping point for Zheng He's fleet. To enhance relations, Hang Li Po, according to local folklore a daughter of the Ming Emperor of China, arrived in Malacca, accompanied by 500 attendants, to marry Sultan Manshur Shah who reigned from 1456 until 1477. Her attendants married locals and settled mostly in Bukit China (Bukit Cina).
"In the 9th month of the year 1481 envoys arrived with the [......] Malacca again sent envoys to China in 1481 to inform the Chinese that, while Malaccan envoys were returning to Malacca from China in 1469, the Vietnamese attacked the Malaccans, killing some of them while castrating the young and enslaving them. The Malaccans reported that Vietnam was in control of Champa and also sought to conquer Malacca, but the Malaccans did not fight back, because they did not want to fight against another state that was a tributary to China without permission from the Chinese. They requested to confront the Vietnamese delegation to China which was in China at the time, but the Chinese informed them since the incident was years old, they could do nothing about it, and the Emperor sent a letter to the Vietnamese ruler reproaching him for the incident. The Chinese Emperor also ordered the Malaccans to raise soldiers and fight back with violent force if the Vietnamese attacked them again.
In April 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships. They conquered the city on 24 August 1511. After seizing the city Afonso de Albuquerque spared the Hindu, Chinese and Burmese inhabitants but had the Muslim inhabitants massacred or sold into slavery.
It soon became clear that Portuguese control of Malacca did not also mean they controlled Asian trade centred there. Their Malaccan rule was severely hampered by administrative and economic difficulties. Rather than achieving their ambition of dominating Asian trade, the Portuguese had disrupted the organisation of the network. The centralised port of exchange of Asian wealth had now gone, as was a Malay state to police the Straits of Malacca that made it safe for commercial traffic. Trade was now scattered over a number of ports among bitter warfare in the Straits.
The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier spent several months in Malacca in 1545, 1546, and 1549. In 1641, the Dutch defeated the Portuguese in an effort to capture Malacca, with the help of the Sultan of Johore. The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1798 but they were not interested in developing it as a trading centre, placing greater importance to Batavia (Jakarta) on Java as their administrative centre. However they still built their landmark, better known as the Stadthuys or Red Building.
Malacca was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. From 1826 to 1946 Malacca was under the rule of the British, first by the British East India Company and then as a Crown Colony. It formed part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Penang. After the dissolution of this crown colony, Malacca and Penang became part of the Malayan Union, which later became the Federation of Malaya and eventually Malaysia.
The state of Malacca covers an area of 1,664 km2 (642 sq mi). The state is divided into 3 districts: Central Malacca (Melaka Tengah) (314 km²), Alor Gajah (660 km²), and Jasin (676 km²). Malacca sits upon the southwestern coast of the Malay Peninsula opposite Sumatra, with the state of Negeri Sembilan to the north and Johor to the east. Malacca is situated roughly two-thirds of the way down the west coast, 148 km south of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and 245 km north of Singapore and commands a central position on the Straits of Malacca. The state capital is Malacca Town. The offshore Pulau Besar, Pulau Upeh and the exclave Tanjung Tuan are also parts of Malacca.
Malacca is administered by its Legislative Assembly and Executive Committee. The State Assembly represents the highest authority in the state and decides on policy matters. The EXCO is responsible to the State Assembly and comprises members who are appointed every five years by the political party in power. It is headed by the Governor (Yang Di-Pertua Negeri) who is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
The Chief Minister's Department is responsible for the overall administration of the State, as well as its political interest. The administrative complex houses the Chief Minister's office, as well as the office of the State Secretariat. For administrative purposes, Malacca is divided into three districts under separate jurisdiction:
Malacca Central District & Land Office
Alor Gajah District & Land Office
Jasin District & Land Office
District and Local Authority
Malacca is divided into 3 districts and 4 local authorities.
Malacca has adopted as its slogan, "Visiting Malacca Means Visiting Malaysia" ("Melawat Melaka Bererti Melawati Malaysia"). Industrial areas are centred along the edges of the city proper in suburbs which include Batu Berendam, Cheng, Ayer Keroh and Tasik Utama, while outside Malacca city industrial areas include Alor Gajah.
On October 21, 2010 an event was held to announce that Malacca had met the benchmark of 'Developed State' as set out by OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and a declaration of "Melaka Maju 2010" was made by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abd RazakMelaka Maju 2010.
Malacca has a population of 788,706 as of 2010. In 2007, the racial composition of the area was:
Chinese: 32%, including the Peranakan community;
Indians, including the Chitty people: a sizeable minority;
Kristang, people with partial Portuguese ancestry: a small community;
Dutch Eurasians, Eurasians with Dutch ancestry: a minority within the Malacca Eurasian community.
Besides Malacca City, other major Malacca townships include Alor Gajah, Masjid Tanah, Sungai Udang, Pulau Sebang, Tampin, Jasin, Merlimau, Batu Berendam and Ayer Keroh.
As of 2010 the population of Malacca is 66.1% Muslim, 24.2% Buddhist, 5.7% Hindu, 3.0% Christian, 0.2% Taoist or Chinese religion follower, 0.6% follower of other religions, and 0.2% non-religious.
The establishment of the Malacca Manipal Medical College in Bukit Baru provided quality medical education.
Malacca has a boarding school, Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Selandar (SBPIS). The Ministry of Education of Malaysia enrolls students based on their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR).
A center for juvenile convicts, Henry Gurney Prisoners School, is also situated in Telok Mas, Malacca. Established in 1949 as High Moral School, it was renamed School of Henry Gurney at 15 May 1950. This center runs rehabilitation programs for male juvenile criminals.
Malacca also has one international school called Melaka International School, which caters to the expatriate community in Malacca.
Melaka is already a center for international education with Universiti Multimedia(MMU) at Bukit Beruang plays a major role in attracting students from all over the world.
There are several institutions that offer nursing education namely Institut Kesihatan Sains & Kejururawatan Pantai, Institut Sains Kesihatan Dan Kejururawatan Mahkota, Kolej Kejururawatan & Kesihatan Nilam, and Kolej Perubatan Komplementari Melaka. Institut Kesihatan Sains & Kejururawatan Pantai is linked to Pantai Hospital at Ayer keroh while Institut Sains Kesihatan Dan Kejururawatan Mahkota is linked to Mahkota Medical Center at Melaka Raya.
The Institut Skill Tech in Machap provides training in agricultural skills. It also has branch in Taman Tasik Utama, Ayer Keroh. The trainees come from various state in Malaysia including Sabah.
For working adults who desire to pursue their education on part-time basis, they can study at Universiti Terbuka Malaysia (OUM) while for those who wish to obtain an academic diploma, they can enroll for University of Malaya Center for Continuing Education (UMCCed) at Kolej Sinar.
Malacca also provides opportunities to youth in training to be marine professionals via Akademi Laut Malaysia Melaka (ALAM) at Kuala Sungai Baru. Its students come from various backgrounds from all states in Malaysia.
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) which the lectures and examinations are provided at Kolej Sinar at Melaka Raya. Kolej Sinar is the only institution in the state that offers complete accounting education
Kolej Sinar is also the only approved training center for tourism courses. From Tourist Guide Course to Diploma in Tourism, it offers wide range of qualification for tourism students and professionals.
State government of Malacca provides financial assistance mainly in the form of education loan to the local citizens via Melaka Education Trust Fund (TAPEM). Among the facilities provided by TAPEM are Higher Education Loan, Minor Scholarship / Incentive Scholarship For Secondary School, and School Assistance TO Primary School Students.
The state also has 2 major libraries that are available. The official library owned by Perbadanan Perpustakaan Melaka, an agency under state government is Perpustakaan Awam Melaka at Bukit Baru. Another major library opened to public is public library in Al-Azim Mosque under Majlis Agama Islam Melaka. Despite being inside a mosque and Islamic religious center, the library is accessible to all regardless of races and religious backgrounds.
Hospitals in Malacca state are listed below:
Malacca General Hospital
Jasin District Hospital
Putra Hospital (formerly known as Southern Hospital, owned by the state government)
Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh
Mahkota Medical Centre
The historic centre of Malacca was inscribed on the World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang.
Two of the most important museums in Malacca are the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and the Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum.
Belacan, a Malay variety of shrimp paste, is prepared from fresh shrimp of a species known as keragu in Malay.
A population of Portuguese descent, who speak a Portuguese creole, are the descendants of colonists from the 16th and 17th centuries. Even to this day, many of the traditions originating with the Portuguese occupation are still practised, i.e. "Intrudu" from Portuguese word "Entrudo" (a water festival that marks the beginning of Lent, the Catholic fasting period), "branyu" (traditional dance), "Santa Cruz" (a yearly Festival of street celebrations). The Portuguese colonists contributed dishes like Devil's Curry and Portuguese egg tarts to the town's cuisine. Ikan Bakar (roasted fish) restaurants in Umbai, Serkam and Alai are also popular.
There is also a sizeable number of Sikhs residing in Malacca, and Sikhs from Malacca and abroad congregate in the gurdwara (Sikh temple) situated in Jalan Temenggong during the last weekend of May, to commemorate the death of its former priest, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji, who was elevated to a saint upon passing away. Visitors are welcome but are advised to follow rules and common practices within the premises.
Pulau Sebang in Alor Gajah district, 30 km north of Malacca, is the nearest train station that serves Malacca. There were railway tracks from Pulau Sebang to Malacca before World War II but these were dismantled by the Japanese for the construction of the Burmese Death Railway. It was never rebuilt after the war, though traces of the line remain.
Malacca has a bus station, Melaka Sentral which has inter and intracity bus lines. Batu Berendam Airport in Batu Berendam mainly serves Pekan Baru, Subang, Medan and chartered flights from around the region. It also serves as a flight school for Malaysia Flying Academy.
The Ayer Keroh exit at the North-South Expressway is the main entry to Malacca. There are two additional exits along the North-South highway, namely the Simpang Ampat and Jasin exits.
Popular historical attractions
Fort A Famosa: Constructed by the Portuguese in 1511, it suffered severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion. The plan by the British to destroy it was aborted as a result of the intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808.
St. John's Fort: Reconstructed by the Dutch in the third quarter of the 18th century, the cannons in this fort point inland because at that time, the threat to Malacca was mainly from inland rather than the sea.
St. Peter's Church: Constructed in 1710 under the Dutch administration, the church is the oldest Catholic church in Malaysia. Its facade and decorative embellishment is a mix of both eastern and western architecture. Its bell was delivered from Goa in 1608.
St. Paul's Church: Constructed by the Portuguese captain, Duarte Coelho, this church was named "Our Lady of The Hill", but was later turned into a burial ground by the Dutch for their noble dead, and renamed "St. Paul's Church". Currently the church is part of the Malaccan Museums Complex. The body of St. Francis Xavier was interred here temporarily before it was taken to Goa, India.
Christ Church: Constructed in 1753, the structure reflects original Dutch architecture. The building houses hand-crafted church benches, jointless ceiling skylights, a copper replica of the Bible, a headstone written in the Armenian language, and a replica of "The Last Supper".
Francis Xavier Church: This Gothic church was built by a French priest, Rev. Fabre, in 1849, to commemorate St. Francis Xavier who is also known as the "Apostle of the East". St. Francis Xavier is credited for his Catholic missionary work in Southeast Asia during the 16th century.
Stadthuys: Constructed in 1650 as the residence of the Dutch Governor and his deputy, the structure reflects Dutch architecture. It is today the "Museum of History and Ethnography". The museum exhibits traditional wedding clothes and artifacts of Melaka, dating back to its days of glory.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple: Located along Jalan Tokong (formerly Temple Street) in the core zone of the Malacca Unesco World Heritage Site. It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia and grandest temple in Malacca.
Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat): This street is known for its antique goods.
Portuguese Square: Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendour and colours.
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple: This is the oldest Hindu Temple in Malaysia. It was built in 1781 on land given by the Dutch to the Chitty community.
Tranquerah Mosque: The oldest mosque in Malacca.
Kampung Kling Mosque: Kampung Kling Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia. It was built around 1784 with the influence of Sumatran architecture. Firstly, there’s no Byzantium dome around. It was replaced by a tiered pyramidal roof. Secondly, just look at the minaret which is structured like a pagoda. There are even Chinese characters carved on the side roof of the mosque.