Melaka River Walk at Night

Melaka River Walk at Night
Melaka River Walk at Night

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


16 June 2013| last updated at 04:37PM

Malacca River development, beautification behind schedule: CM

By Hanis Maketab

Recent Melaka Dragon boat race held at Melaka River 2013

MALACCA: The contractor for the second phase of the Malacca River development and beautification project, here, has been urged to stick to the dates set for the project's completion.

Chief Minister Datuk Wira Idris Haron said after carrying out checks on the progress of the project, it appeared to be behind schedule.

"The project is expected to be completed by 2015, but judging by what has been completed so far, the project may not be completed on time, which is disappointing.

"I have asked the contractor to increase productivity while adhering to proper health and safety protocols," he said. Idris said he had observed that waste materials from the project had not been disposed of correctly, while the sewage flow was haphazard and not managed properly, which he expected the contractor to rectify as soon as possible.

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15 June 2013| last updated at 11:40PM

The good times flow on Melaka River


CURRENT ATTRACTION: A flotilla of gaily-decorated boats and their strange and wonderful passengers make waves in the historical city

MALACCA: A MYRIAD of neon lights on its banks enhanced the beauty of the Melaka River, on which floated 24 gaily-decorated boats, recently.

The boat parade had the theme "The Colours of the Melaka River".

The vessels' 4.5km journey from the Spice Garden in Pengkalan Rama to Sungai Melaka Square, behind the Flor de Lar Mar replica in Banda Hilir, had captured the attention of many, locals and tourists alike.

The boats of all shapes and sizes had been decorated by the respective staff of the various government and private departments and agencies they represented.

The staff, clad in bright, dazzling attire, had also boarded the boats for the ride that took them past rustic scenes left over from the past.

The merry passengers waved at the many spectators drawn by the spectacle.

Among those participating in the parade were the Public Works Department, Melaka Historical City Council, Chief Minister's Department, Alor Gajah Municipal Council, State Islamic Religious Department, State Education Department, Syarikat Air Melaka Bhd, Malacca Museums Corporation, Perbadanan Melaka Holding Sdn Bhd and State River and Coastal Development Corporation.

The Melaka River, which flows through the middle of the historical city, was an important trade route during the heyday of Malacca Sultanate in the 15th century, and dubbed the "Venice of the East".

The boat parade, which offered prizes of RM7,000, RM5,000, RM3,000, RM2,000 and RM1,000 to the five best decorated boats, was part of the Melaka River Festival 2013 from May 25 to June 23.

The festival, now in its seventh year, attracts some 500,000 visitors annually.

About 100 events will be staged during the month. These include cultural, educational and recreational activities including remote-control boat race, singing and live band competitions, a drawing and colouring competition, an iron man competition, a dragon boat race, reptile and exotic animal exhibit, fashion show, and rickshaw and bullock cart parade.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013


14 June 2013| last updated at 11:38PM

Sungai Melaka project a model for others

By Jason Gerald |

REHABILITATION: The once lifeless waterway has been turned into Malacca’s most lucrative tourism product

THE phrase "Everything began in Malacca" is not something which was just coined to attract tourism, but is in actual fact what this state has to offer to other states in Malaysia.

The birth of the nation is attributed to the glory of the Malacca sultanate in the 15th century, and Malacca is where the independence of Malaysia was first announced by the country's founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj at the Dataran Pahlawan in Banda Hilir.

Malacca has been a benchmark for many developments in the country after the state was steered into becoming a developed state -- recognised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- and is now spearheading the nation's green technology initiatives.

And now, what was once famed as one of the busiest ports in the world, the Melaka River, is becoming a benchmark for the rehabilitation and beautification of rivers throughout the country.

Known as the Venice of the East in the 15th century, the waterway had slowly deteriorated and became one of the dirtiest rivers in the country till some 12 years ago.

In 2001, the state government, with assistance from the Federal Government, had embarked on the first phase of the Melaka River beautification project costing some RM200 million.

The first phase of the Melaka River rehabilitation project started at the tip of the river mouth to the Hang Tuah bridge which included the construction of two new jetties and an archway across the river.

The restoration and beautification project paid off handsomely, as now the once lifeless river has not only been revived but it has been turned into the most lucrative tourism product that Malacca has to offer.

The recent Sungai Melaka International River Festival created history when the Drainage and Irrigation Department director-general, Datuk Ahmad Husaini Sulaiman, said the State administration's success in turning the river into one of the finest in the country, region and also the world would be the main point of reference for the revival and beautification of all rivers in the country.

The effort taken by the Malacca government in beautifying the Melaka River has not only managed to turn the river into a commodity for tourism but also helped in mitigating floods.

Under the 10th Malaysia Plan all rivers in the country were allocated RM3.47 billion for flood mitigation works, rehabilitation and beautification exercise. Melaka alone was allocated RM285 million.

In Malacca's case, this money was not only used for flood mitigation works but also for the cleaning, beautification, and upgrading of the river system from the Sungai Melaka estuary right up to Malim.

This success of making Sungai Melaka into a living river is proposed to be replicated across the country.

Sungai Melaka is flanked by several delightful structures such as the Dutch or Red Square, traditional villages and other tourist attractions. In the second phase of its rehabilitation would start at the Hang Jebat bridge up to Batu Hampar, covering 5.2km.

The second phase would be divided into three main work packages; first would cover a 2.4km waterway from the Hang Jebat bridge to the Tun Razak bridge, followed by 1.2km from the Tun Razak bridge to the Melaka Sentral bridge, and the final package from the Melaka Sentral bridge to the Tidal Control Gate that stretches for 1.6km.

This would also include deepening the depth of the river, constructing walls and walkways along the river, landscapes, three water taxi stations at Taman Rempah and Jusco AEON, building unique bridges and beautifying the banks of the river.

Once the project is completed, the water quality of Sungai Melaka is expected to improve from class 111 barometer to class 11B by the year 2015.

The current success of the Melaka River rehabilitation and beautification project could also be seen through the Melaka River Cruise.

When the cruise started in 2006 there were only 56 visitors, but last year alone it attracted some 1.1 million passengers, and this year it is targeted that the Melaka River Cruise would attract some 1.4 million visitors.

Besides being a benchmark for rivers in Malaysia, the Malacca government is also aiming to work towards getting this event listed on the World Tourism Calendar of Events, similar to the San Antonio River festival in Texas, United States.

Read more: Sungai Melaka project a model for others - Columnist - New Straits Times

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


YACHTING HUB: State plans to build marinas to attract 20pc of seafarers who pass by straits every year

MALACCA: THE Malacca government is hoping to attract 20 per cent of more than 3,000 yachts passing through the Straits of Malacca each year with the construction of marinas along the coasts of Klebang and Tanjung Kling.

The building of the marinas would be a private sector initiative with the support of the state government in terms of land, basic infrastructure and policies.

Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said the state, once a famed port of call for sailors from all corners of the world, had the potential to see its glorious past resurrected.

"I was told that at least 3,000 yachts pass through the Straits of Malacca annually and if we can get 500 of them to stop here, it would not only boost tourism but also create an economic spin off for the local economy.

"The sailors travelling in their own yachts are in a league of their own and they will definitely contribute to our economy.

"With the marinas, we would also provide services such as maintenance for their vessels, medical attention, food and beverages and also other facilities to attract them," he said after launching two new Catamarans, a 50-footer and a 33-footer, built by local boat manufacturer, Boat Explorer Sdn Bhd, at the Seafarer Restaurant in Klebang here yesterday.

Idris said Klebang and Tanjung Kling could be the next "Gold Coast" in southeast Asia.

"In Malacca, there are many areas which could be turned into marinas but we have to be selective and make it happen. Just look at Sungai Melaka, once an eyesore, it is now the most visited tourist attraction in the state.

"However, before implementing the marina projects, we have to conduct a proper study."

Asked if the new state administration had any plans to salvage sunken treasures believed to lie off the coast of Malacca, Idris said no proper and credible research had been done on the possible locations.

"If there are pictures of these treasures and proper research done on the vessels, then we do not mind embarking on an exploration to look for them."

Idris also thanked Boat Explorer, a branded recreational boat builder, for helping to promote the state among its customers.

Read more: CM: Malacca can be the next Gold Coast - General - New Straits Times