Friday, May 29, 2009

Upeh Island,Melaka

The tiny island of Upeh is located near Klebang town in Malacca. During the World War II, it was used as a scouting point for invading ships in the Straits of Malacca. Also the island was often a nesting ground for pirates. Of course, the pirates have now long been cleaned out, and today, Pulau Upeh is a peaceful getaway for locals and tourists. There is even a resort and water-sport facilities are available.

Visitors can also visit an ancient well and view relics from World War Two scattered around the island. Other attractions include the British Memorial Mast, an old well and other sea and island related World War II relics. Family-run air-conditioned chalets are available for overnight accommodations.

Water sports facilities like canoeing, winding-surfing, jet-skiing are provided for a fee.

To get there, catch a 45-minute boat ride from either the Shahbandar jetty or the jetty behind the State Tourist Information Centre.

Today, the island is one of the few sites in the west coast that has regular turtle sightings. Here you can observe the golden hawksbill turtles and their breeding habits on the beaches. Most attractive about Pulau Upeh is that it doubles up as a sanctuary for nesting Hawksbills, one of the rarest species of sea turtles.

During the egg-laying season between March and June, visitors can come here to catch a glimpse of Hawksbills coming on the beach to nest.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Malacca: the city that best gives a sense of Malaysia's past

Along with its sultry climate, atmospheric Malacca boasts an intriguing history, unusual food and a lively nightlife, says Rhymer Rigby.

From Telegraph,
By Rhymer Rigby
Night falls in the character Chinatown district of Malacca Photo: GETTY IMAGES

For us, Malacca was the end of a 400-mile cab ride – which is what happens when you get to a railway station and discover that the next train is due in 2010. Fortunately Malaysian taxis are cheap enough to make this an amusing mistake, rather than a costly disaster. Anyhow, it was getting dark, so we checked in and headed out for a meal. Malacca is famous for its fiery Nonya cuisine and this didn't disappoint. Even our 18-month daughter, Polly, seemed to enjoy it.

The next day I got up with Polly and took her out for breakfast. We walked into town heading for one of the stylish-looking cafés. The trouble is, nothing in Malacca seems to open before 9:30. Now, if you're on holiday as an adult, that's fine. But when you're on holiday with a toddler who needs entertaining from dawn, it's not so good.
Still, it gave us a while to soak up the town's historic atmosphere. Malacca was founded at the start of the 15th century by a Sumatran prince and, because of its strategic location on the Malacca Straits, quickly became the most important port in south-east Asia. Chinese merchants settled, and the city's wealth attracted European interest of the sort that arrives heavily armed.
In the 16th century, it was conquered first by the Portuguese, then the Dutch, who controlled it for over 300 years before ceding it to the British in 1824.
The British, however, were more interested in nearby Singapore, and Malacca soon became a sleepy backwater. The city's decline meant that the beautiful mixture of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and Islamic architecture is largely as it was 100 years ago; earlier this year it was made a Unesco World Heritage Site.
In a country where so much is new, Malacca is one of the few places where you feel as if you can get a handle on Malaysian history.
Eventually we found an all-too- authentic-looking Chinese restaurant that was open. So we sat down and ordered, using the international I'll-have-what-he's-having-gestures, in this case, a plate of noodles with pork and some kind of offal. My take on offal is that it's a little like alcohol – good stuff, but you really shouldn't before noon. My daughter had no such qualms and slurped up her noodles and organ bits to the vocal approval of our fellow diners. Breakfast over, we met my wife back in the Old Town.
Malacca is rather confusing in this respect.
Its two great attractions are the Old Town and Chinatown (which is also old). The Old Town contains more headline attractions than Chinatown, but it has a whiff of Disney about it, and Chinatown is far more interesting. Nonetheless, we did a whistle-stop tour of the Old Town's attractions, which date from colonial rule. And, after the glitzy neophilia of most Malaysian cities, forts and ruined churches make for an agreeable change.

Then we returned to our hotel. Initially I'd been a little disappointed by our standard issue high-rise. But that was until 11am. Then I realised Malacca is hot. So hot, in fact that at one point I thought I was sunburnt. But no, it was just the heat of the sun on my neck. So, if there's one thing that's essential when it comes to Malaccan accommodation, it's having a pool to lie by between 11.30am and 2pm. As our hotel (the aptly named Equatorial, for Malacca is two degrees North) had a terrific pool, its aesthetic crimes were forgiven.

After our enforced sunbreak, we walked into busy Chinatown. The streets are almost entirely lined with traditional shophouses – a sort of tropical take on the London terrace – whose charming exteriors all have that faded, distressed look western interior designers try so hard to replicate. Many have been converted into stylish boutiques and cafés, while a fair number are much as they always have been. Their deep interiors and thick walls and beautiful tiled floors are exactly what you need in the city's torrid climate. Interspersed with these were temples, mosques and the odd museum. It is, quite simply, a great place to wander – and there's not much more you can ask of a neighbourhood.

The next day, after a boat trip up the river, we discovered that Chinatown also has a pretty good nightlife, something of a rarity in Muslim Malaysia. That evening we enjoyed the atmospheric night market and bars before heading to a local restaurant for a bowl of the fiery local laksa noodle soup. This was followed by a "typical" pudding: a bowl of shaved ice with green vanilla jelly, coconut milk, toffee sauce and kidney beans (sweetcorn was also available). It was surprisingly good, although perhaps more surprising than good.

En route back to the hotel, we marvelled at the illuminated tricycle rickshaws: Malaccans like to personalise their vehicles, and these bizarre pedal-powered contraptions are like the offspring of a mobile disco and a Mardi Gras float.

On our final morning, we stocked up on cheap jeans and malodorous durian doughnuts at the Melaka Mega Mall (for that's what it's called), and Polly and I ascended the agreeably cheesy revolving viewing tower.
Then we headed into Chinatown for a little more shopping and lunch.
Oh, and one more of those extraordinary desserts – this time with kidney beans and sweetcorn !

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Safe, Secure & Savoury Melaka City

Malacca rated high
The historic city of Malacca has successfully achieved the rating as one of the country’s most sustainable cities for four consecutive years from 2004.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said that Malacca was the only city in Malaysia that maintained its position under a nationwide rating system.

In 2004, Malacca achieved a score 72.92% and this rose to 82.88% the following year and 81.08% in 2006.

“In 2007, the rating went up to 84.21% and we scored the highest last year with 85.09%,” he said in a speech while officiating at the 9th Melaka Twin Cities Convention 2009 here.
The rating is conducted by the Federal Town and Country Planning Department which assess sustainable development and quality of life in selected towns and cities.

The score of 80% and above is required for a city or town to be deemed as sustainable.
Mohd Ali, whose speech was read by state Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Datuk Latiff Tamby Chik, noted that the Malacca City Council achieved a 4-star rating by the Local Government and Housing Ministry last year.

He said this rating placed the Malacca Historic City Council among the top ten local councils of the 145 nationwide.

Some 250 people took part in the two-day convention with the theme Building a Better City, Today and Tomorrow.
Among those at the convention was Prof David Lung, of the Unesco Chair in Cultural Heritage Resources Management, who presented a paper entitled Heritage City: Preserving the Authenticity of Culture and Heritage.
Source : STAR

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Local News

An artist’s impression of the ‘ship’. It is expected to be a replica of a 15th century royal ship.

MALACCA: After the 19- year-old Flor De La Mar Ship Museum, the state government will soon build another ship at Sungai Melaka.

This time, it will be a replica of a 15th century royal ship, costing an estimated RM4.9 million.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the ship, which would be developed by the Malacca Museum Corporation, would be able to accommodate up to 150 visitors at any one time.
He said the ship would take tourists back in time to the era of the Malacca sultanate during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (1459-1477).
"Apart from depicting Malacca as a trading port then, the ship will also exhibit the maritime activity in this part of the world," Ali said.

Two historians, Tan Sri Aziz Tapa and Datuk Djohan Hanapiah, were also consulted to ensure the success of the project, expected to be completed in 18 months.
Ali said the RM20 million Ma-lacca Planetarium, the fourth in the country, will be fully operational by next month.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Asam pedasAsam Pedas memang terkenal di Melaka dan Johor. Sebut sahaja asam pedas semua orang tahu bahawa masakan itu sangat sedap dan popular di Negeri Melaka dan Johor. Resepi untuk membuatnya tidaklah terlalu rumit dan tidak pula terlalu mudah.Walau bagaimanapun terdapat juga kawasan-kawasan lain di negeri Melaka dan Johor ini mempunyai resepi asam pedas yang berlainan. Terpulang kepada citarasa masing-masing untuk menyedapkan lagi masakan mereka.Kebiasaannya bahan-bahan yang mesti ada ialah terdiri daripada ikan (kebiasaannya ikan parang,ikan tenggiri, ikan merah dan ikan terubuk), cili kering, bawang merah, bawang putih, belacan, halia, lengkuas, kunyit hidup (jika ingin menyedapkan lagi masakan), serai, daun kesum, bunga kantan, asam jawa, asam gelugur atau daun limau purut. Bahan-bahan ini hendaklah mengikut sukatan masakan.
Cara untuk membuatnya cili kering, bawang merah dan putih, halia dan belacan dikisar atau ditumbuk lumat. Serai dan lengkuas diketuk dan bunga kantan dibelah empat. Tumiskan bahan-bahan yang telah dikisar dan lengkuas tadi kedalam periuk sehingga naik baunya dan garing. Jangan pula hangus. Selepas itu masukkan air asam jawa mengikut banyak atau sedikit sukatan masakan. Ikan yang telah dibersihkan dimasukkan sehingga mendidih. Akhir sekali masukkan serai, daun kesum, bunga kantan, asam gelugur atau daun limau purut.

Kebiasaan masakan asam pedas bukan sahaja di hidangkan untuk keluarga di rumah malah masakan ini juga terdapat di kedai-kedai makan, restoran, juga di hotel-hotel yang terkemuka di negeri Melaka dan Johor.

Ia bukan saja terkenal dan di sukai oleh penduduk negeri Melaka dan Johor sahaja bahkan pelancong dari dalam dan luar negara juga meminati masakan asam pedas ini.

Cencaluk yang berkhasiat tinggi.

Cencaluk ialah sejenis lauk dalam hidangan tradisional Melaka. Oleh sebab ia dibuat daripada udang halus yang lebih dikenali sebagai udang geragau, cencaluk mengandungi kandungan protein yang tinggi.Kebiasaannya, udang geragau ini sukar didapati. Di negeri Melaka, udang ini boleh didapati pada musim tertentu di Pantai Klebang, Limbongan, Tanjung Kling dan beberapa kawasan pesisiran pantai yang lain.
Melaka bukan sahaja terkenal dengan kesan peninggalan sejarahnya yang menarik lagi unik, malah tidak ketinggalan juga dari segi makanannya yang amat lazat lagi menyelerakan. Apabila kita menyebut mengenai makanan yang terdapat di Melaka, pasti kita akan teringatkan cencaluk.

Mengikut kepercayaan lama yang telah menjadi kata-kata senda gurau pula, kononnya jika pada hari perkahwinan seseorang itu, hujan turun sepanjang hari, maka dikatakan bahawa mempelai suka makan cencaluk. Namun itu semua hanyalah cerita lama.Makanan ini yang suatu ketika dulu dipelopori oleh masyarakat Melayu di Melaka kini lebih digemari oleh semua lapisan masyarakat, bukan sahaja di tempat asalnya, malahan sudah melangkaui sempadan Malaysia. Ia juga menjadi satu keperluan atau lauk semasa menikmati hidangan nasi dan ada juga yang menjadikan petai atau jering sebagai ulam semasa memakan cencaluk.

Kini, perusahaan membuat cencaluk semakin mendapat tempat di kalangan penduduk di beberapa kawasan di negeri Melaka. Kerajaan negeri sendiri sudah menetapkan kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri Kawasan Sungai Udang sebagai kawasan mengeluarkan cencaluk di dalam rancangan 'Satu DUN Satu Produk'.

Selain itu, cencaluk juga kini mudah diperolehi menerusi penjualan yang terbuka seperti di tepi jalan raya serta di pasar-pasar sekitar negeri ini. Bagi mereka yang melalui pesisiran kawasan Tanjung Kling ke Sungai Udang, pasti akan dapat melihat deretan gerai yang menjual cencaluk dan juga belacan.

Proses membuat cencaluk

Proses pembuatan cencaluk memerlukan beberapa kaedah untuk membuatnya dan ia perlu dilakukan dengan teliti bagi memastikan mutu serta kualiti cencaluk itu sedap dirasa apabila dimakan.Udang geragau yang segar, iaitu tanpa direndam dengan air, akan dicampurkan dengan garam, dan sedikit nasi, iaitu sama seperti bahan- bahan untuk membuat belacan. Setelah ketiga-tiga bahan sudah menjadi sebati, ia seterusnya akan dimasukkan ke dalam sebuah bekas, iaitu pasu, guri atau tempayan kecil. Pasu dan tempayan kecil itu kemudiannya ditutup dengan kain bersih untuk diperam selama tiga hari. Ada juga pembuat cencaluk yang menambahkan sedikit air didih nasi bagi menambah kesedapan cencaluk.
Apabila cencaluk sudah diperam dan sesuai untuk dimakan, ia boleh disedapkan lagi sewaktu dimakan sebagai lauk dengan nasi melalui dua cara:cencaluk dicampur dengan lada basah dan bawang besar yang dihiris. Kemudian ia akan dicampur dengan perahan limau nipis atau limau kasturi; ataupuncencaluk dicampurkan dengan sedikit lada basah dan sehiris dua halia, kemudian digoreng dengan telur.

Gambar belacan yang siap dibungkus untuk dipasarkan.
Belacan merupakan sejenis bahan masakan yang diperbuat daripada udang kara yang dimampatkan dan tahan lama. Ia mempunyai bau yang kuat tetapi sedap dan berkhasiat dimakan. Terdapat sesetengah orang yang gemar membakarnya sedikit sebelum digunakan kerana ini membangkitkan baunya. Maupun begitu, sekiranya dibakar, belacan mengeluarkan bau yang sungguh kuat. Malah orang putih pernah menggelarkannya sebagai bau daging anjing panggang.
Belacan juga merupakan salah satu bahan bagi menghasilkan sambal belacan, iaitu cili dan belacan yang ditumbuk lumat dengan menggunakan lesung tangan.
Diperolehi daripada ""

Dodol adalah sejenis makanan yang boleh dikategorikan dalam kumpulan makanan yang manis (atau manisan/penganan). Dodol sangat terkenal di Melaka. Membuat dodol boleh dikatakan amat rumit. Ramai orang selalu mencuba untuk membuatnya. Tetapi tidak semua yang akan menghasilkan dodol yang bermutu tinggi. Biasanya mereka yang mahir membuat dodol ini terdiri daripada mereka yang telah berusia. Jarang sekali generasi muda mahir membuat dodol. Bahan-bahan yang diperlukan untuk membuat dodol terdiri daripada santan kelapa, tepung beras, gula pasir, gula melaka dan garam.
Bahan-bahan1.8 kg tepung pulut300 gm tepung beras3.6 kg gula melaka 12 biji kelapa parut15 helai daun pandanCara penyediaan
Bancuh tepung beras dan tepung pulut dengan santan. Setelah itu tapis ke dalam kuali besi. Masak gula melaka dengan sedikit air dan daun pandan. Bila telah larut masukkan ke dalam adunan tepung tadi. Dengan menggunakan api yang perlahan jerangkan adunan ini sambil dikacau dan apabila setengah masak, masukkan pati santan dan terus kacau sehingga masak.Untuk membuatnya, bahan-bahan tersebut hendaklah dicampurkan bersama di dalam kuali yang besar atau dikenali sebagai kawah dan dimasak dengan api yang sederhana besar. Dodol yang dimasak tidak boleh dibiarkan kerana jika dibiarkan, dodol akan hangus atau hangit di bahagian bawahnya/kerak. Oleh itu, dodol hendaklah sentiasa dikacau bergilir-gilir untuk mendapatkan hasil yang baik. Dodol yang dimasak memakan masa yang agak lama iaitu lebih kurang 4 jam kerana sekiranya kurang dari 4 jam, dodol yang dimasak tidak sedap dimakan. Setelah 2 jam dodol tadi dimasak, dodol akan bertukar kepada warna coklat yang pekat sedikit. Dodol tersebut akan mendidih dan mengeluarkan gelembung-gelembung udara yang banyak.Seterusnya, dodol hendaklah dikacau supaya gelembung dodol tersebut tidak terkeluar dari kawah sehinggalah dodol tersebut masak dan diangkat. Akhir sekali, dodol tersebut hendaklah disejukkan di dalam periuk yang besar. Untuk mendapatkan hasil yang baik dan rasa yang sedap, dodol mestilah berwarna coklat tua, berkilat dan pekat.Selepas itu, dodol tersebut bolehlah dipotong dan dimakan. Kebiasaannya dodol akan dihidang kepada tetamu pada hari-hari tertentu seperti hari-hari perayaan dan majlis kenduri.Diperolehi daripada ""

Tapai ialah sejenis penganan yang dibuat daripada pulut. Terdapat 2 jenis tapai iaitu tapai ubi dan tapai pulut. Biasanya tapai pulut lebih popular jika dibandingkan dengan tapai ubi. Tapai pulut rasanya lebih sedap kerana itulah tapai ubi tidak dapat menandingi tapai pulut.Bahan-bahan untuk membuat tapai tidaklah terlalu rumit. Tapai pulut memerlukan bahan seperti pulut, ragi dan sedikit gula. Ketiga-tiga bahan ini hendaklah dicampurkan sehingga sebati. Kemudiannya akan dibungkus sedikit-sedikit dengan menggunakan daun yang disebut sebagai daun tapai. Tetapi pada zaman ini, daun tapai semakin sukar didapati dan kebanyakan tapai dibungkus dengan menggunakan daun pisang. Terdapat sedikit perbezaan rasa antara tapai yang dibungkus dengan daun tapai dan tapai yang dibungkus dengan daun pisang. Tapai yang telah siap dibungkus dimasukkan ke dalam pasu tempayan yang besar dan ditutup dengan kain. Setelah diperam dan disimpan selama 3 hari, tapai itu akan masak dan barulah boleh dimakan. Tapai yang telah masak mengeluarkan air yang sangat manis. Air tapai ini boleh diminum dan juga boleh dijadikan sebagai ubat tradisional.Orang tua zaman dahulu juga mempunyai pantang larang apabila hendak membuat tapai. Apabila tapai sedang dibungkus, seseorang itu tidak boleh memakan sirih atau mendekatkan dengan benda-benda yang berwarna merah. Jika pantang larang ini dilanggar, tapai tersebut akan berwarna merah dan rasanya tidak sedap. Seseorang itu juga tidak boleh memakan benda yang masam ketika membungkus tapai kerana ia akan menyebabkan tapai menjadi masam.Tapai yang telah masak juga tidak boleh disimpan lama, masanya adalah lebih kurang dalam 2 hari sahaja dan kerana rasanya yang terlalu manis biasanya sesuai dimakan pada waktu tengah hari sebagai pencuci mulut, dan sekiranya mahu menambahkan lagi kesedapan tapai, tapai itu boleh dicampurkan dengan santan kelapa dan dimasukkan sedikit ais

Diperolehi daripada ""

Hatten plans Ginza-like district in Malacca
Hatten Group, a local property developer, plans to turn the Bandar Hilir area in Malacca into a commercial district the likes of Ginza, Tokyo's classiest commercial centre.
It is developing "Hatten Square", an upmarket commercial project located in the vicinity of Melaka Tengah and Melaka Raya. It features a four-star hotel with 260 rooms, 490 suites and 1,500 parking bays, and a mall with 200 retail units.
Construction has begun on the RM150 million project, with full completion scheduled for the third quarter of 2011. However, the 1,500 parking bays and the 200 retail units will be ready by December this year.
Hatten Group executive director Collin Tan said the successful completion of Phase 1 and 2 of Dataran Pahlawan, a new retail, entertainment and gourmet centre in Bandar Hilir, had resulted in the constitution of Hatten Group as a holding company for a group of companies with a unified vision to continue expanding in the area.
"To be located near Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall and Mahkota Parade, the proposed shopping mall will carry exclusive luxury brands targeted at the upper- and middle-income group together with sidewalk cafes and alfresco dining."We hope that this new mall would turn this area into the 'Bukit Bintang' of Malacca," he said, referring to the famous shopping and entertainment strip in Kuala Lumpur.

Occupying 6.25ha , Hatten Square Suites & Shoppes will contain the hallmark of quality and innovation that buyers whom have long been associated with Hatten Group will recognise."Apart from the retail units, the 22-storey building will comprise 270 hotel rooms and 490 premier suites with common hotel facilities such as an extensively designed swimming pool, a spa, a gym, a ballroom and 1,500 parking bays built with the intention to cater to business travellers and families on vacation," he said.Hatten Group plans to sell 40 per cent of the retail units at prices starting from RM180,000 per unit, and keep the rest as investment, implementing a similar development strategy practised in Dataran Pahlawan Megamall.

"Upon completion of the project, the value of the properties is expected to appreciate by 20 per cent per year," said Tan.He added that Hatten Square will further complement the Bandar Hilir area by being the tallest building in Malacca, with good visibility of the historical city.Other factors going for the proposed project are that the area has a ready population of 400,000 people and is easily accessible from Jalan Laksamana, Coastal Highway and Jalan Tun Razak (Lebuhraya AMJ)."To ensure that all patrons to Malacca are able to enjoy and experience a comfortable and hassle-free shopping atmosphere, we are building a 17m wide air-conditioned two-tiered link bridge to connect the Square to Dataran Pahlawan Megamall and Mahkota Parade.
"This has been designed to add vibrancy and colour to the Bandar Hilir area, commonly known for its busloads of tourist arrival to the neighbouring historical sites and shopping malls," said Tan.

By Business Times (by Gomathy Ramasamy)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Morning Meeting (11.05.2009) in Seri Bendahara.Melaka

Morning FaithFull Readers,
Attached are pictures for your viewing pleasure of MTA's meeting held with the Chief Minister Of Melaka,
Y. A. B. Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, on the morning of 11.05.2009 held in his Official Residence in Seri Bendahara, Gapam, Melaka.

The EXCO members pre3sent to this meeting of minds were remindful of the many developmental projects the current administration has brought to this Fair city of ours and expressed the gratitude and humble thanks of the business sector, in particular, those of our members to the Y.A.B. in attaining the success that is Melaka today.

The Exco also stressed the importance of working hand in hand with the State in matters related to the 12 tourism sub sectors in Melaka and in tandem with our proposal, The CM has graciously recommended the MTA into the local municipal council Transport sub division meets.

In closing, MTA will further persue for the betterment of the local business environment through mutual co-operation with the State Administration in showcasing more members facilities and products , and at the same time initiate with members the most up-to -date information the Administration has for local businesess through such mutual dialogues.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Vesak Day to all Buddhist!
On this ceremonious and faith inspiring day, Buddhists around the world will be contemplating on the Buddha, as a mark of respect and adoration.

Vesak day is celebrated by Buddhist from all over the world to commemorate the birth and enlightenment of Guatama Buddha.

It was this strong belief in peace amongst men and goodwill to all that has helped create a better world for most believers, for apart from traditions like prayers, chants - practicing compassion and goodwill (Dharma) are equally important - partly by observing individual restraint through the cotrol of desires ie having vegetarian meals and practising the act of giving to the poor / giving gifts to the needy or old folks homes are also commonly practice.

One of the finer tenets of Buddhism is learning the act of forgiving.

So simple .....yet so difficult !
This writer, for one, belief that the true potrayal of one's self (chracter) is self evident in the way we treat our enemies. Many a wandering thought creeps up and remain in our heads when we are angry and resentful of some perceived bad deeds done against us. I've noticed that though the actual incident may be fleeting / happen some time ago, but by constantly remembering and brooding over that incident we will eventually make a mountain out of a mole hill and later elongate that process longer by planning sweet revenge!

This will eventually make one self very resentful and angry all the time. But funnily , we seem to enjoy feeling Bad ! This is where the act of forgiving becomes harder than one might imagine.

Hopefully, this day of observance will help is to re ignite our way to find inner truth.
ओम। ओम। ओम.

Scribed by Gunabalan at 9:23:00 AM 0 Feed Backs

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Melaka Proposed Arab City To Cost More Than RM1 Bln

MELAKA, April 28 (Bernama) --

Arab City Melaka, the integrated commercial project in the state, will cost over RM1 billion, with construction expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, its developer announced today.Hesham Fathi Mohamed, Managing Director of Golden Corporate Heritage Sdn Bhd (GCH), the developer, said the project covering 46.9 acres (18.76ha), is located in three areas -- Pulau Melaka, Klebang and Kampung Jawa.

He was speaking to reporters after the ground-breaking of Arab City Melaka, a joint-venture between the Melaka state government and GCH, at Pulau Melaka here.

Also present were Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and GCH chairman Sheikh Saleh Mansor.Hesham said the whole Arab City project was initially estimated to cost RM400 million.He said phase one of the project, costing RM250 million, will be developed into an integrated and comprehensive development, which included shopping bazaars, Arabic-themed restaurants, cafes and Arabic health and beauty spas.At the ceremony, both the state government, represented by Ali signed an agreement with GCH to develop phase two of the project in Klebang, which is tipped to be a new landmark for tourism in Melaka.
Today marks the beginning of piling work for the first phase of the Arab City in Pulau Melaka, which, according to Hesham, is due for completion within five weeks.Hesham said the project was scheduled for completion by year-end, with the Arab City project, sited on a 4.2 acre (1.68 ha) site, in Pulau Melaka expected to open for business by 2010.
He said Klebang, the second phase of the Arab City project, will be a mixed development, comprising a five-star hotel, an aquarium, health resort and water sports club."We will provide the development plan within three months from now to the state government, with investments expected to cost more than RM1 billion," he said.

Both the state government and GCH today signed an agreement to develop the Arab City project in Klebang sited on a 36.2 acre (14.48 ha) area.At the press conference, Hesham said he had received numerous enquiries from foreign companies intending to rent or sell the facilities provided at the city.However, the company, which mooted the Arab City concept, would retain the Arab concept, with only Arab brands under its roof, with no opening for fast- food giants such as McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), he said.
The third phase of the Arab City will comprise an Arab Village on a 6.5 acre site (2.6ha) in Kampung Jawa, he added.On its proposed Arab City project in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, he said the company had to look for other alternative sites, with negotiations being held with another party to develop the city in Jalan Semarak.GCH's Shaikh Saleh, at the press conference, said Malaysia offered a conducive climate for foreign investments, especially from Gulf nations, citing the Arab City project in Melaka, as an example.
In his speech, Mohd Ali described the Arab City project as a significant and important investment, especially during the current economic slowdown.
He is confident the project would succeed and generate the expected returns and revenue, which would in turn benefit the investors, the state, tourists and the Melaka people.-- BERNAMA

Monday, May 4, 2009

May 01, 2009 12:01 PM
Sikh Musician & Former the Animals Guitarist Plan KL-Melaka WalkBy:

By Yong Soo Heong,KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 (Bernama) -

  1. Dya Singh, a Sikh musician now based in Melbourne, and Vic Briggs (now Vikram Singh), a former member of the Sixties pop band "The Animals", will walk from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka beginning May 15 to promote "the great outdoors of Malaysia".Both musicians, who are now in their sixties, hope that other people will join them in the walk instead of being cooped up in air-conditioned offices, shopping malls and vehicles most of the time."Walking is good for health, especially as one gets older. It is also a great way to get in touch with nature and one's soul," said Dya, an Old Boy of the Victoria Institution (1963-69) here.
  2. Dya, who was born in Raub, Pahang and grew up in Taiping, Perak, once worked briefly as a cadet journalist with the then Straits Times here before he went to Britain to study accountancy in the 1970s.After working as an accountant there, he migrated to Australia in 1981. It was in Down Under that his musical career blossomed and he became increasingly known for his Sikh spiritual music.Dya, which means merciful or compassionate, had walked from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur two years ago and from Penang to Kuala Lumpur last year.In an e-mail interview, he said the Penang-Ipoh walk last year represented "one of the best weeks of my life" as there were "blue skies, little traffic on the trunk road and meeting lovely kampung folks and of course, the nasi lemak, laksa, mee goring, cendol, coconut water, sugar cane juice, durians and other fruits.
  3. "Dya felt that Malaysia's natural attractions were best appreciated on foot and more Malaysians should know that they have a beautiful country."In my music career so far, I have travelled to many countries. For me, none can match Malaysia and I have not yet seen all of it. If I can spend my remaining years just seeing and enjoying Malaysia, I shall consider myself very fortunate," he added.
  4. Referring to Vikram of The Animals' fame, Dya said the British musician was actually in Kuala Lumpur for the recent Vesakhi celebrations and had even performed before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak when the latter visited the Tatt Khalsa Diwan Selangor gurdwara or temple in Jalan Chow Kit.The British musician, who had played alongside superstars like Jimi Hendrix and Dusty Springfield, became a Sikh in 1970 after he left The Animals (best known for "House of Rising Sun" hit song) in 1968. He is now based in Hawaii, producing music, including Sikh spiritual music.Dya, who said he first met Vikram in 2000 at a gurdwara in Phoenix, Arizona, said they were planning a short series of Sikh spiritual concerts for October 2001."Then 9/11 happened (and nothing came out of the proposed collaboration). A few months ago he contacted me and told me that he was passing through Malaysia. That was during the recent Vesakhi celebrations."Vikram was so taken up with the reception from the Sikh people, the hospitality and beauty of Malaysia that he asked to join me in this walk. He is a bit of a fitness and yoga buff these days."Dya said their walking "partnership" might lead them to collaborate on some music in the future which they had hoped to do in 2001.
  5. On his forthcoming walk, Dya said they hoped to end their walk to coincide with a noted Sikh festival in Melaka, the anniversary of the Sikhs' most revered saint, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji, which was always celebrated on the third weekend of May."We are taking the old route simply because it is more scenic and has less traffic. The route will take us from Cheras to Kajang, Mantin, Seremban, Rembau, Tampin and Melaka. Except for Rembau, all the other towns have gurdwaras," he said."I do not wish to 'achieve' anything, I am just grateful that my legs can still carry me and I can appreciate my country of birth. Life is a journey and therefore the passage towards an achievement is more important than the achievement. It does not matter what I achieve and there are no expectations.
  6. "But Dya said it would be a bonus for him if he could get more Malaysians to know that they have a lovely country and more of them to get into the habit of exercising and spend more time outdoors.Asked who would be helping him in organising their walk, Dya Singh said they included his childhood friend and producer of his compact discs, Menjit Singh from Kampung Pandan, and Gina Dhaliwal from SWAN or Sikh Women's Advance Network.-- BERNAMA

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