early history of Malaysia is the history
of Melaka. Long before the emergence of
any other state in Malaysia, Melaka rose
to glory from its humble beginnings around
the 14th century.
Melaka became a leading trading centre
attracting traders not only from the region,
but also from India, China, Europe and
the Middle East. It became one of the
leading spice capitals of the world. Its
status as an international port of call
was enhanced by its location guarding
a vital waterway - 'The Straits of Melaka'
- where the trade winds met. Even today
the Straits of Melaka is one of the most
important and busiest waterways in the
State of Melaka covers an area of 1,650-sq.km.
or 1.3 percent of the whole area of Malaysia.
The state is divided into 3 districts
that is Central (314 sq. km.), Alor Gajah
(660 sq. km.) and Jasin (676 sq. km.).
On April 15th 1989 Melaka town was conferred
the status of 'Historical City' and the
town officially became the 'Historical
City of Melaka. The status of 'Historical
City' is truly deserved.
other city in the nation, or indeed the
region, played such an influential and
vital role in the political, economic,
cultural and social development of the
country and the region. Since its founding
Melaka has had many firsts. This state
was the first, truly international port
in the region; it established the Melaka
Sultanate and was directly responsible
for the establishment of the Sultanate
in most of the other states.
The state also played a major in the spread
of Islam to this part of the world. Its
commercial and strategic importance brought
the first Europeans to the region and
forever changed the course of history.
The 'Straits Born' community known as
the 'Peranakan' and the 'Chitty' community
were the direct results of Melaka's success
as an international port of call that
attracted Chinese and Indian traders.
'Straits Born' Chinese are the descendants
of these early Chinese traders, while
the "Chitties' are the descendants of
the Indian traders, many of whom married
locally and made Melaka their permanent
home. Melaka's early history has made
Melaka a truly multi-racial, multi-religious
and multi-cultural state.
It is no exaggeration to say that Melaka
is one of the finest examples in the world
of what living in racial harmony means.
Melaka's population of almost half a million
people consist of a fascinating polyglot
of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians
of Portuguese, Dutch and English ancestry
and the 'Straits Born Chinese' and the
The oldest mosque, the oldest Chinese
temple, the oldest Hindu temple are all
in Melaka, symbolically located almost
side-by-side. The oldest Christian church
in Malaysia is also in Melaka. Where else
in the world but in Melaka will you see
a whole hill, 'Bukit Cina' (literally
translated as 'Chinese Hill'), dedicated
to the close ties and friendship between
the ancient Kingdom of China and the State
hill is also home to the largest Chinese
cemetery outside Mainland China. Today,
Melaka is one of the fastest growing states
in the Federation of Malaysia. It is a
leading player in the tourist industry.
Its long and fascinating history has left
many interesting and unique historical
sites and artifacts of interest to visitors
and scholars alike.
It is fast becoming a manufacturing and
industrial sector. The location, the infra-structure,
the recreational facilities, the availability
of skilled labour and a good and efficient
government led by progressive leaders
have all made Melaka attractive to foreign
and local investors alike. Melaka has
a vision of being a fully developed state
by the year 2010.
projects and programmes being planned
and implemented are with this vision in
mind. The continued growth of tourism
has been given an important role in the
overall development plans of Melaka and
no effort is being spared to make a holiday
in Melaka a truly satisfying experience.
The Historical City of Melaka has twinned
with five cities - Lisbon, Portugal (16
January 1984), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(15 April 1989), Hoorn, Netherlands (8
November 1989), Valparaiso, The Republic
of Chile (24 June 1991) and Nanjing, China