“History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies” said by an outstanding French historian and politician named Alexis. As a consequence of being pressed by imperialists Britain, Portuguese, Dutch and Japan for so many decades has made Malacca is one of the historical places in Malaysia that is worth to pay for a visit.
The Sultanate of Malacca was established in the early part of fiftieth century, around 1400 and it was famous as the Malay Kingdom throughout history until 1511. It was founded by Parameswara, a prince from Palembang (Indonesia). The establishment of the Malacca Sultanate was depicted in the Malay Annals, the Suma Oriental and the Chinese Sources. Malacca was prominent as a great empire in the Malay Archipelago and also as a centre for maritime trade and the spread of Islam. It was known as “Queen of the Spice Trade”. The Sultanate made a strong trade and political relations with China and India.
Malacca is situated on the west coast, three hundreds and sixty miles south of Penang and one hundred and sixty miles from our neighbour country, Singapore. As the oldest town in this multiracial motherland, Malaysia, its history is recorded in its many buildings, fortresses and other structures. One of its popular historical buildings is Francis Xavier’s Church, a gothic architecture built in 1949. Francis Xavier was a great missionary and also a teacher who lived in Malacca during the Portuguese regime. The tomb of this great missionary is at St. John’s Will.
Town Hall is the oldest hall in Malacca. This sixtieth century building is reported to be the oldest Dutch building in the Far East. At present, government offices and a museum are housed in the hall. It is reminiscent of mediaeval architecture and painting. Besides, there is also a temple named Cheng Hoon Teng which is recorded to be the oldest temple in Malaya. This place of worship for Buddhists looks very serene with ancient Chinese Gods.
Another crystal clear reason the makes Malacca is a place of national importance to Malaysia is because of its harbour. In the ancient times, the harbour was suitable for many large ships form western and eastern countries all over the world. However, today, the harbour cannot be used for large ships as it does not have proper accommodation. As an alternative, there is plenty of good fishing and what is more interesting; there is fine basket-making as one of the sources of economy for Malacca state in these recent times.
Malacca is where the largest Chinese cemetery outside of China is made. It is known as Bukit China and is located in several rolling hills on the outskirts of Malacca. Some of the graves date as far back as the Ming Dynasty. Other than above mentioned historical places in Malacca, there is also A-Famosa or The Porta de Santiago which was built by Portuguese in 1511, Stadthuys that is a Dutch wooden architecture and Christ Church which is also a Dutch architecture. The replica of The Malacca Sultanate Palace is situated at the foot of St. Paul’s Hill and this wooden building is based on the description from the Malay Annals. At these days, this gothic building houses the Malacca Cultural Museum.
In spite of its historical place, Malacca unique population features a fascinating blend of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Straits-born Chinese, Baba and Nyoya, Portuguese descendant and Eurasian has also made it as one of the place that is important to our motherland. To put it laconically, Malacca is worthwhile for preserving as it encapsulated so many historic events that are mostly portray through its buildings.