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Home // Melaka The Historical City // State Anthem
 
Melaka The Historical City
 

The 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 world.

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.

No 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.

The '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 Indian Chitties.

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 of Melaka.

The 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.

All 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 (2001).

 

 

# subject to change without prior notice

 

 
 
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