Saturday, August 28, 2010
Resourceless Malacca with a Iand area of only 1,638 sq. metres practises a two-pronged development via industrialisation and tourism.
The state started inviting over foreign investors in the early 7Os and since then has met with commendable success. By end of 1997, the state had registered a total investment of over RM16 bil., leading to over 80,000 job opportunities.
There are now 23 industrial estates with nearly 500 factories coming from the United States, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and also Singapore.
Their products range from rubber gloves to sophisticated weaponry components and from footwear to computer parts.
|The state is also keen on the development of small-scale industries and to accommodate these, a number of estates have been earmarked for them. The Tanjung Kling and Batu Berendam areas are Free Trade Zones where imported materials used in manufacture are tax-free.|
Current projections include developing Malacca into a manufacturing haven to help achieve developed country status by 2020.
Malacca was founded by a fleeing prince from Sumatra in 14th century, it developed into a major trading port for ships from India and China. As the Melaka Sultanate flourished, the Portuguese conquered Malacca in 1511. Later the Dutch took over in 1641 until much later the British empire ruled Malacca. The state finally obtained independence with the then "Malaya states" in 1957. Today, one will find many remnants of the glorious past dated back more than 500 years ago.
THE PLACES YOU MUST VISIT!
A replica of the Melaka Sultanate palace was reconstructed at the foot of St. Paul's Hill. The design is based on the description of the palace from the sixteenth-century 'Malay Annals,' or 'Sejarah Melayu.' It is the only building of its kind in Malaysia, and it provides a rare glimpse of the ancient Malay kingdom that once flourished here. The palace houses the Malacca Cultural Museum, which includes many artifacts of that kingdom. .
During the peak of the Malacca Sultanate, the Sultan was gifted the Princess Hang Li Poh by the China Emperor. Her entourage settled in Bukit China (Chinese Hill). Today, Bukit China is believed to be the largest Chinese cemetery outside China, with many tombs dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Hang Li Poh's followers built a well in 1459 that is said to have never dried up. Today, the well is turned into a wishing well and many believe those who toss coins into the well will return again to Malacca.
There are many other places of historical value well worth a visit. What is mentioned above are just some of the "Not to be miss" sites. If you have more than a day's stay in Malacca, these places are worth visiting too.
OTHER HISTORICAL AND INTERESTING SITES
Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum. 'Straits Chinese' or the Baba and Nyonya , are Chinese of noble descendants that have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. The public can now review the heirloom unique to this heritage at private museum run by the Babas and Nyonyas of Malacca. Floral and pictorial motifs grace parts of the front of the house whilst the interior is adorned with intricately carved fittings finished in gold leaf.
Hang Jebat and Hang Kasturi's mausoleum. Two of the Malacca Sultanate's well-known warriors and champion of justice. Hang Jebat was unceremoniously killed by Hang Tuah in a duel of honour that lasted 3 days and 3 nights. He was killed in the name of justice to avenge the sultan's hasty punishment against Hang Tuah for a crime he didn't commit.
Hang Tuah's well is located in Kampung Duyong where Hang Tuah was born and spent his childhood among four of his good friends who would later become the famous warriors of Malacca Sultanate. The well is said to be the abode of his soul which takes the apparition of a white crocodile. For a commoner to catch the glimpse of Hang Tuah is hardly likely. It is said that the holy among us can ever hope to see the apparition.
Jonker's Street, once the richman's street is now a living proof of Malacca's rich baba-nyonya heritage. The buildings are immaculately constructed with elaborate carvings on its pillars and walls. The street is also famous for its antique shops.
Maritime Museum is constructed after 'Flora De La Mar', the Portuguese ship that sank off the Coast of Malacca on its way to Portugal. With its hull laden with invaluable treasures seized from Malacca, the ship was doomed from existence had it not for the efforts to Malacca's heritage. At the museum, visitor can get a closer look at Malacca from the famed Malay Sultanate of the 14th century to the Portuguese era, the Dutch era and the British era. There are exhibits of foreign ships that had once called at the port of Malacca during the height of its maritime hegemony.
Memorial hall (1912), the landmark where the nation's first prime minister announce proclamation of independence from the British empire. It has been preserved with archive pictures of the country's struggle to attain independence.
Portuguese Square has a mild affinity to Portugal and known to be 'Mini Lisbon' in Malacca. Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendour and colours. One will also find authentic Portuguese restaurants at the square.
Sam Po Kong Temple was constructed in dedication to Admiral Cheng Ho. The temple was named after a fish that miraculously saved the admiral's ship from sinking after it had been hit by a storm enroute to Malacca from China. The fish mysteriously placed itself against a damaged hull preventing the ship from taking on water.
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is one of the first Hindu temple built in the country at the turn of the century. It was built on the plot given by the Dutch.
St. Francis Xavier's Church was built in 1849 by a frenchman, Reverend Farve. The Gothic towered church is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, well-remembered for his missionary work spreading Catholicism to South East Asia in the 16th century.
St. John's Fort was rebuilt by the Dutch during the third quarter of the 18 th century, the fort was once a private Portuguese chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The fort has an interesting feature in that its gun embrasures face inland as during that time, attacks on Malacca came mainly from the land instead of from the sea.
St. Peter's Church was built in 1710 by the Portuguese descendants and comprising an architectural mix of the Oriental and Occidental.
Over 140 acres in Pegoh, Alor Gajah, have been earmarked for the automotive industry for the production of defence trucks by DRH-Hicom.
This industry is expected to provide opportunities for supporting industries, like mould and die, metal stamping, plastic injection, alternators and many others.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Apart from the cool weather, key attractions in Cameron Highlands include a butterfly farm,strawberry farms, rose gardens and vegetable gardens. There are also the Brinchang Hindu Temples and the Sam Poh Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Temple. Other features include Cactus Point, Cactus Valley and the BOH Tea Plantation. There is Market Square, the Cameron Highlands Time Tunnel Galeria (at nearby Kea Farm) and accommodation at the Kampung Taman Sedia Homestay,Tanah Rata and The Smokehouse Hotel.
The Tanah Rata area has an extensive network of forest trails. Some are a short 15 – 20 minutes' walk starting close to the town centre. Others range across several kilometres of hills and require more skill and fitness. Several notable easy walks are to nearby Parit Falls and Robinson Falls. Trails are marked in a rudimentary way with weathered yellow signs mostly in Bahasa Malaysia (national language). The Cameron Highlands Discovery map available widely in tourist shops shows the various numbered walking trails (called Paths) and indicates the level of difficulty in certain places. It is not a detailed, to-scale map and hikers should be aware. The level of difficulty can vary. Some trails (ex. Path #9) are relatively flat or gently sloping (riverside), others are steep and challenging, especially to the hill tops of Gunung Berembun (1812m) and Gunung Brinchang (2000m). Trail floors are often criss-crossed by a dense network of tree roots. Many tourist operators in town offer guided half day and full day expeditions into the hills.
There are eight towns in the Cameron Highlands:
|Brinchang||Brinchang currently is the biggest town in Cameron Highland. It seats several hotels, night markets, military camps, public service and commercial centre. The people here are mainly Chinese.|
|Tringkap||Tringkap is well-known for its popular business centre where most people can get fresh vegetable, fruit and flowers here arrived daily and fresh from the farms.|
|Ringlet||Ringlet is the first town on the road to Cameron Highlands from Tapah. It is a hub of Malaysia's vegetable farming and international flower farming sector.|
|Tanah Rata||Tanah Rata is one of the major centres in the Cameron Highlands with several large hotels and numerous guesthouses, parks and a bustling commercial area. It provides a wide range of restaurants serving Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western food and even boasts a Starbucks outlet. Indian cuisine, particularly tandoori chicken with naan, is very popular with visitors to Tanah Rata.|
Accommodation ranges from backpacker-style guesthouses to very expensive hotels. Father's Guesthouse, a former residence for Catholic priests, is a quiet spot only 5 minutes' walk from the noisy commercial area . It offers private rooms, some overlooking a flower garden, and dorm-style accommodation. In the mid-range category are holiday apartments rented out daily or by the week. A unique hotel is the Bala's Holiday Chalet located on the road to Brinchang, about 2 km. out of Tanah Rata. Bala's was formerly a school that housed European expatriate children in the 1930s and 1940s. It is notable for the mock Tudor-style architecture of its main buildings, a quaint English garden where visitors can order tea and scones, and a restaurant that serves a mix of Western and Indian dishes. The luxury end is served by the Cameron Highlands Resort opposite the golf course. The hotel features the Jim Thompson lounge where High Tea is served at 3 pm. daily. The hotel provides free guided walking tours on the Jim Thompson Trail. It explores the flora and fauna of the Highlands and follows the trail that leads to the vicinity of Moonlight Cottage. This cottage has come down in local lore as the place from which Jim Thompson, an American entrepreneur who reinvigorated the Thai silk and textile industry after W.W.II, set out on a walk one fateful afternoon and was never seen again. Some say he was robbed and murdered, others that he was attacked by a tiger.
Another interesting type of accommodation that may appeal to some visitors is the traditional Malay Kampung Homestay located at Kampung Taman Sedia. The people here are mainly Malay.
|Bertam Valley||Bertam Valley is one of hub of Malaysia's local vegetable farm and international flower farm such as Roses & Chrysanthemums.|
|Kampung Raja||Kampung Raja is the rural area in the Cameron Highland whereas it seats only residence zone and several commercial zone.|
|Blue Valley||Blue Valley is well-known for its tea plantations that are ranked as one of the best in Malaysia. A few to be named are Blue Valley Tea Plantation and BOH Tea Plantation.|