The state of Malacca covers an area of 1,950-km2, or 0.5 percent of the whole area of Malaysia. The state is divided into 3 districts: Central Melaka (Melaka Tengah) (314 km²), Alor Gajah (660 km²), and Jasin (676 km²).
Malacca sits upon the southwestern coast of Malay Peninsula opposite Sumatra, with the state of Negeri Sembilan to the north and Johor to the east. Malacca is also 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 Malacca Town is strategically located between the two national capitals (of Malaysia and Singapore, respectively) and connected with excellent roads and highways. Malacca still harbors no train station, though the terminal at Tampin, Negeri Sembilan is easily accessible. However, a domestic airport terminal rests in Batu Berendam.
The offshore Pulau Besar, Pulau Upeh and the exclave Tanjung Tuan are also parts of Malacca.
City of Malacca
Canals in Malacca
Malacca has a population of 759,000 as of 2007, being composed of:
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.
Also to discuss the possible property investment opportunities that may arise along the high-speed rail (HSR). Under The Economic Transformation Plan, there has been a realisation in recent years that the country is, for various reasons, caught in a “middle-income trap” and to continue at the current pace of socio-economic development, it would not be able to realise Malaysia’s Vision 2020 of ...
Major Malacca towns are Malacca Town, Alor Gajah, Masjid Tanah, Jasin, Merlimau, Batu Berendam and Ayer Keroh.
1630 map of the Portuguese fort and the city of Malacca
1854 map of the “British Territory of Malacca”
Sultanate of Malacca
Main article: Malacca Sultanate
Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a simple fishing village inhabited by local Malays. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, a Srivijayan prince of Palembang who fled Sumatra following a Majapahit attack in 1377. He found his way to Malacca c. 1400 where he found a good port 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 gray tree near a river while hunting, 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 on the spot to found an empire on the very place that he was sitting. He named it ‘Melaka’ after the tree under which he had taken shelter. Another version of the story says that Parameswara chose the name ‘Malacca’ from the Tamil word ‘mallakka’ which means upside down or on ones back. Old illustrations of the scene where the mousedeer kicks the dog shows the dog falling on its back into the river, hence the inspiration. In collaboration with allies from the sea-people (orang laut) the wandering proto-Malay privateers of the Straits, he established Malacca as major international port by compelling passing ships to call there, and establishing fair and reliable facilities for warehousing and trade. Mass settlement of Chinese, mostly from the imperial and merchant fleet occurred during the reign of Parameswara, occurred in the vicinity of the Bukit China (“Chinese Hill”) area, which was perceived as having excellent Feng Shui (geomancy) in Malacca then. Sultan Iskandar Shah died in 1424, and was succeeded by his son, Sri Maharaja also called Sultan Muhammad Shah.
Palace of Malacca’s Malay Sultanate
The prosperity of Malacca attracted the invasion of the Siamese. Attempts in 1446 and 1456, however, were warded off by Tun Perak, the then Bendahara (a position similar to Prime Minister).
The Chinese Empire was large and controlled most of Asia at one point in time. One of the dynasties that ruled the empire was the Ming Family. Ruling from 1368-1644, almost three hundred years, the Ming Dynasty impacted Chinese history very much. The purpose of this paper is to tell the history of the Ming Dynasty's impact on the Chinese Empire, and to explain why the Chinese Empire was in fact an ...
The development of relations between Malacca and China was then a strategic decision to ward off further Siamese attacks.
Because of its strategic location, Malacca was an important stopping point for Zheng He’s fleet. To enhance relations, Hang Li Po, allegedly a princess 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 the locals and settled mostly in Bukit China (Bukit Cina).(See Zheng He in Malacca).
Scholars have disputed Hang Li Po’s status in China as because she was never recorded as a princess in the Chinese court of the Ming Dynasty in the Ming Chronicles. At the time of the arrival of the Sultan’s envoy, the reigning Ming Emperor was Jingtai Emperor. Records of his reign was expunged following the ascension of Tianshun in 1457. It is likely that if she were a princess in the Ming court, records of her might not exist. In many historical text, she was said to have been a princess in the court of the Yongle Emperor(1402–1424).
A cultural result of the vibrant trade was the expansion of the Peranakan people, who spread to other major settlements in the region.
During its prime, Malacca was a powerful Sultanate which extended its rule over the southern Malay Peninsula and much of Sumatra. Its rise helped to hold off the Thai’s southwards encroachment and arguably hasten the decline of the rival Majapahit Empire of Java which was in decline as Malacca was rising. Malacca was also central in the spread of Islam in the Malay Archipelago.
Malacca Harbor in 1831
Main article: Portuguese Malacca
Main article: Dutch Malacca
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 August 24, 1511. It became a strategic base for Portuguese expansion in the East Indies. Sultan Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca took refuge in the hinterland, and made intermittent raids both by land and sea, causing considerable hardship for the Portuguese. In the meantime the Portuguese built the fort named A Famosa to defend Malacca (its gate is all that remains of the ruins at present).
Bayezid I- (r. 1389-1402) Ottoman ruler who started to besiege Constantinople in 1395. The Europeans saw him as a new threat to Christendom, and Hungary's king led English, French, German, and Balkan knights in a crusade against the Turks. He defeated them at Nicopolis, and moved their capital from Bursa to France. If Bayezid had not defeated the Christians, the Ottoman Empire might not have taken ...
“In order to appease the King of Ayudhya” (Siam, whom had always intended in invading Malacca if not due to the latter’s good relationship with the Ming Emperor, China) “the Portuguese sent up an ambassador, Duarte Fernandes, who was well received by Ramathibodi.” in 1511.Finally in 1526, a large force of Portuguese ships, under the command of Pedro Mascarenhas, was sent to destroy Bintan, where Sultan Mahmud was based. Sultan Mahmaud fled with his family across the Straits to Kampar in Sumatra, where he died five years later.
Maritime Museum, replica of the Frol de la mar ship, Malacca
It soon became clear that Portuguese control of Malacca did not mean they now controlled Asian trade that centred around it. Their Malaccan rule was severely hampered by administrative and economic difficulties. Rather than achieving their ambition of dominating Asian trade, the Portuguese had fundamentally disrupted the organisation of the network. The centralised port of exchange of Asian wealth exchange 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.
Ruins of Fort A Famosa attract millions of tourists to Malacca every year
The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier spent several months in Malacca in 1545, 1546 and 1549. In 1641 the Dutch defeated the Portuguese 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) in Indonesia 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 governed, 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 Malaysia.
Islam had been established in Malaya by the 14th century. Malacca, one of the Malay States in Malaya, emerged as a Muslim Kingdom under Sultan Iskandar Syah and his successors. By the early 15th century, it had become a power of great importance in South East Asia. This brought an end to the political control and cultural influence of the Hindu and Buddhist powers over the Malay Peninsula. This ...
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Malacca is administered by its State Assembly and Executive Committee (EXCO).
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 the administrative pillar of the State Government, and 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
These offices render various services and facilities to the people in their daily lives.
The tourism and manufacturing sectors are the two most important sectors in the state economy. Malacca has adopted as its slogan, “Visiting Malacca Means Visiting Malaysia” (“Melawat Melaka Bererti Melawati Malaysia”).
It is rich in cultural heritage and bears several places of historical interest.
Malacca is home to several modern shopping complexes to attract more visitors to the state. Examples include Mahkota Parade Shopping Centre at Plaza Mahkota (City Centre), Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall (which is situated on the historical field of Padang Pahlawan, where Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj announced the independence day of the Federation Of Malaya), Melaka Mall Shopping Complex (formerly known as Kotamas Shopping Complexe), A’Famosa Safari and Theme Park and Plaza Melaka Raya at the Taman Melaka Raya.
Malacca also has its very own hypermarket and departmental store. A few examples include Parkson Departmental Store (Mahkota Parade and Melaka Mall), Jusco Supermarket and Departmental Store (Ayer Keroh and Bandaraya Melaka), Tesco Hypermarket (Melaka Sentral) and Giant Hypermarket at Bachang Utama; also a Supermarket at (Mahkota Parade).
The Relationship Between Church and State The church had considerable material wealth, which instigated a problem: Who was superior, Pope or King? This question caused a great deal of strife during the Middle Ages, but the pope always had the advantage, until the end of the Medieval Period, when the state finally triumphed over the popes powers of interdict and excommunication. The practical ...
Apart from tourism, Malacca is also a manufacturing centre for products ranging from food and consumer products, through high-tech weaponry and automotive components to electronic and computer parts. There are at least 23 industrial estates that houses some 500 factories from the United States, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore.
Malacca has given birth to numerous successful Malaysians who have achieved immense success in Malaysia and abroad.
The state is much sought after for medical education with the establishment of the Melaka Manipal Medical College in Bukit Baru. It has produced many doctors who are serving the country or working abroad since its inception in 1997.
The state also has a twin campus of Multimedia University The university is located in Bukit Beruang. The campus currently attracts many foreign students, especially from the Middle East and Africa, through its computer and engineering programmes. The university also features degree programmes in fields like robotics, bio-instrumentation and law. Most of the student population of Multimedia University is drawn from its foundation programmes, also known as the Alpha Programmes.
Malacca also has several public universities and colleges such as Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Lendu, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, UTeM (previously known as Kolej Universiti Teknikal Kebangsaan Malaysia, KUTKM) located in Ayer Keroh, Kolej Yayasan Melaka (KYM), Bukit Baru and Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka (KUIM).
Malacca has its own boarding school called Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Selandar (SBPIS).
The intake of students to this school is based on the Ministry of Education of Malaysia which enrole students based oh their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah(PMR).
Usually students with great achievement will be chosen to enter this school. Students normally come from Malacca itself, Negeri Sembilan, Johor or from the Klang Valley.
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 to School of Henry Gurney at 15 May 1950. This center runs rehabilitation programs for male juvenile criminals in which they are exposed to living skills such as sewing, cooking and vocational skills such as learning mechanical repairing.
It is difficult to picture, whilst analyzing the political and social development of Southeast Asian countries, how this region was completely dominated by European colonialist powers, even six decades ago. Southeast Asia was among the 84 % of the surface area of the earth that stood colonized at the beginning of the Second World War, a process that began in the 16th century and carried on ...
Hospitals in Malacca state are listed below:
Melaka General Hospital
Jasin District Hospital
Currently, both these government hospitals serve as teaching hospitals for Melaka Manipal Medical College.
Putra Hospital (formerly known as Southern Hospital, owned by the state government)
Pantai Ayer Keroh
Mahkota Hospital (opposite Mahkota Parade)
Baba Nyonya house in Malacca
The historic centre of Malacca was inscribed on the World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang.
The Malays who are the original settlers of Malacca since 1400, form the largest community. The Malaccan Malays are rich in culture from their daily life to the building arts. The famous Malacca Steps or Tangga Melaka are common in front of many Malay houses in Malacca.
Two of the most important museums in Malacca are the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and the Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum.
Malacca is well-known for its food. Most notable of all is the traditional Malay dishes like ikan asam pedas, sambal belacan and cencaluk.
Belacan, a Malay variety of shrimp paste, is prepared from fresh tiny shrimp of a species known as keragu in Malay. These are mashed into a paste and dried in little mashed lumps, pounded and formed into large balls, dried again for a week or so, wrapped in plastic and stored for future use. It is in this form that most of these blachan balls are sold. Belacan is used as an ingredient in many dishes, or eaten on its own with rice. A common preparation is sambal belacan, made by mixing belacan with chili peppers, minced garlic, shallot paste and sugar and then fried. The aroma from the frying mixture can be unpalatable to Westerners who have not become accustomed to it, but is an absolute delight to the Asian connoisseur.
Malacca is also famous for satay celup. Raw fish and meat are skewered onto sticks which is then cooked in a peanut sauce. The satay celup is often self-service where you pay for individual sticks.
There is also Nyonya-Baba cuisine which is a mixture of Chinese (mostly southern Hokkien or Fujian influence), Portuguese, Dutch, Indian, British and Malay cooking with most dishes being spicy in nature. Interesting dishes of the Peranakan include Itik Tim (a soup containing duck and salted vegetables), Ayam Pong Teh (chicken casserole with salted brown-bean sauce which is usually served with potatoes) as well as the famous Nyonya Laksa. Chicken Rice Ball is another dish popular with domestic Chinese tourists.
Heavily decorated bicycle rickshaw in Malacca
Malacca’s ethnic Portuguese population are the descendants of Portuguese colonists from the 16th and 17th centuries. Even to this day, many of the ancient traditions passed down since 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 already rich cuisine. Ikan Bakar (roasted fish) restaurants in Umbai, Serkam and Alai are also popular.
There is also a sizeable amount of Sikhs residing in Malacca. Devotees of Sikhism from all over Malaysia and the world congregate each year at the well-maintained gurdwara (Sikh temple) situated in Jalan Temenggong during the last weekend of May. The occasion marks the commemoration of 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. Typical vegetarian punjabi cuisine will be served to everyone visiting the gurdwara.
Pulau Sebang at Alor Gajah district, a town 30 km north of Malacca town, is the nearest train station that serves Malacca. There were railway tracks from Pulau Sebang to Malacca before World War II but were dismantled by the Japanese during the war for the construction of the infamous 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 air-conditioned waiting areas and separate areas for buses plying the town routes and for buses plying the intertown routes with regular bus services to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, and other places in Malaysia. Batu Berendam Airport in Batu Berendam mainly serves chartered flights from around the region. It also serves as a flight school for Malaysia Flying Academy. It is now refurbished into a brand new international airport for the state of Melaka.
The Ayer Keroh exit at the North-South highway 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
St. John’s Fort in Malacca
Christ Church, Malacca
Example of a gravestone from St. Francis Xavier Church.
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 inwards towards the mainland 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 famous for its antique goods. It is also famous for its carnival-like atmosphere during weekend nights.
Portuguese Square: Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendour and colours.
Tranquerah Mosque: The oldest mosque in Malacca.
In order to attract more tourists to Malacca, the State government has built a number of museums to house its rich cultural heritage.
Key people from Malacca
The following is a list of historically significant as well as well-known contemporary personages who are either born in Malacca, or otherwise, significantly linked to the history of Malacca:
Tun Ghafar Baba, Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister (1986–1993), UMNO Vice-President (1962–1987), Malacca Chief Minister (1959–1963).
Ibu Zain, was a pioneer for Malay man (Srikandi) in education, nationalist and politics in Malaysia.
Shirley Geok-lin Lim, award winning novelist, writer and Professor of English, University of California at Santa Barbara
Maria Jane Dyer a.k.a. Maria Jane Taylor, born in Malacca in 1837, pioneer missionary to China, daughter of Samuel Dyer and Maria (Tarn) Dyer, she became the wife of James Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission.