Historic State In Malaysia History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
The history of Malacca begins with the legendary tale of a Hindu prince Parameswara. He was the 14th Century Palembang prince who fled from a Javanese enemy and escaped to the island of Temasik, where he then established himself as a king. However he was than drive out of Temasik by the Siamese. With his band of followers he then continued his journey along the west coast of Malay Peninsula in search for a new refuge. He finally reached near a river called Bertam, where he witness hunting dogs being kicked by a pelanduk. Fascinated by the bravery of the pelanduk he then decided that he wants to build a city on the spot. While resting under a tree he asked his servant what was the name of the tree, after being informed that the tree was called Melaka, he finally gave that name to the city he is going to establish. All this happened in the year of 1400.
Malacca is located at a very strategic point as it is located midway along the straits of Malacca that linked China to India and Near East. It was positioned as a center for maritime trade and with that the city grew rapidly. During this period Islam was introduced by the Gujarati traders from western India. Malacca was a center trade of silk and porcelain from China; textiles from Gujarat and Coromandel in India; camphor from Borneo; sandalwood from Timor; nutmeg, mace, and cloves from Moluccas; gold and pepper from Sumatra; and tin from western Malaya
With the success and fame of Malacca it attracted a lot of covetous eyes. The first were Afonso de Albuquerque who was a Portuguese in 1511. Sultan Mahmud tried to counterattack the Portuguese repeatedly but failed without any success. Not until 1641 where Dutch took over Malacca after a fiery battle. The Dutch then used the city as a military base and to control the Straits of Malacca. However in 1795, when Netherlands was captures by French Revolutionary armies, Malacca was handed over to the British to avoid capture by French. In 1826, the English East India Company in Calcutta ruled the city. From 1942 to 1945 the city was under Japanese Occupation. However in 1957 Tunku Abdul Rahman restored Malacca from British when he announces the news of impeding independence.
At the foot of St Paul’s hill, there is a replica of the Melaka sultan’s palace during period of the Melaka sultanate ruling. Though it is only replica, some may believe it reassembles the real sultanate palace. The information that gathers and obtained from the Malay Annals is used for building such these historical structures. In addition, these historical structures had references to the construction and the architure of palaces of Melaka ruler, Sultan Mansur Syah, who ruled from 1456 to 1477.
The palace is used for various palace’s ceremonies and private chambers of sultan itself. For example are Balairong Seri, the main hall or throne room, and the Royale Bedchamber. Customs and traditions of various royal households that ruled Melaka has been demonstrate through the palace.
The replica of the palace was constructed in 1984 and was officially opened for public by the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 17th July 1986 and then it became cultural museum. A unique feature about this building is wooden pegs is used in the construction of the building, so there is no nails. It also made of hardwood while the roof is made of Belian wood.
At the south-western foot of Bukit China there is located a well that is believed to be the oldest existing well in Malacca. Under the orders of sultan Mansur Syah, the well was dug for his consort, the princess Hang Li Poh. However there is no single evidence about the existence of princess Hang Li Poh in Chinese imperial records.
This well carries few interesting stories others than for Hang Li poh itself, the well has severally poisoned. In 1551, after Malacca was defeated by the Portuguese, the sultan of Malacca who reluctant fled to Johore, launched a counterattack by poisoning the well. Through this action, 200 Portuguese soldiers were killed. And then in 1606 once more the well was poisoned by the Dutch and lastly on 1628-1629 the Acheenese repeated it by poisoned again. The well then is protected by wall with cannons and guard post by the Dutch, after recognizing the importance of the well and avoid from sabotage again.
In the heart of Malacca town there is a historical structure known as The Stadhuys, the red square. It was built by the Dutch who ruling Malacca in 1650. This big red hall was once used as an English institutional education, when Malacca was handed over to the British in the 19th century, by missionaries residing in Malacca. This is to response to a letter signed by a J.Humprey, J.W.Overee and A.W.Baumgarten.
Where were once used by the British to provide free education, now the Stadhuys is now the home of a museum of history and ethnography. Traditional costumes and artefacts through the whole era or history of Malacca are been exhibits in the museum and one of Malacca’s foremost museum.
Jonker Street is the central boulevard of Chinatown. It is once renowned for its antique shops. However over the years it has turned to clothing and crafts outlets as well as restaurants. On Friday and Saturday nights, the street is transformed into the Jonker Walk Night Market a lively bazaar with hawker food stalls and tourist-friendly stands. Alternatively, traditional trishaws (becas) can be hired to take you on a nostalgic journey through this historical site. Jonker Street has always held a special charm in terms of the diverse European-Asian culture and heritage at this city once known to the world as Malacca. The renowned street houses some of the country’s oldest heritage buildings dating back to the 17th century. Architecturally influenced by the Portuguese and Dutch, you will see an beautiful eclectic mix of cultures through this entire area. While Jonker Street is famous for its architecture and heritage, food is also one of the popular choices here. A good variety of local food can be found along Jonker Street while most tend to source for the famous Peranakan or Nyonya food here.
The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum is a living museum located in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, a street adjacent to the Jonker Walk. Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock also known as the Millionaire’s Row in Melaka. Established in 1896, the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum was once the family home of the Baba Chan family known as Rumah Abu. Having been around for more than 100 years, this heritage building was built during the Dutch occupancy and later bought over by the Baba Chan family. The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum illustrates the way of living of the Peranakans at the end of the 19th century, a unique blend of the east and the west. It also exhibits an archive of beautiful traditional Baba and Nyonya costumes and a unique bridal chamber.
St. Paul’s Church is probably the oldest church in Malacca. It is located at the St. Paul’s Hill .This church was originally a small chapel built by a Portuguese Captain called Duarto Coelho in 1521 and called “Nosa Senhora – Our Lady of the Hill”. When the Dutch took over Malacca from the Portuguese, they changed its name to St. Paul’s Church and used it for 112 years until they own church, the Christ Church was completed in 1753. Old tombstones found inside the ruins bear silent testimony to the final resting place of several Dutch and Portuguese nationals.
In conclusion, Malacca is truly one of the Malaysian’s pride and honor for its history as well as unique lifestyles. The rich histories have embraced the culture and the people that stay in it. Although there are still a lot more of well known places such as Kota A Famosa, Francis Xavier Church and Kampung Kling Mosque in Malacca that we did not mention above, no doubt this place deserves to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Through Malaysian’s heart, Malacca is always the best place to learn the history while to enjoy variety of special local foods that are only manufactured there. All in all, we must preserve and maintain the beauty of Malacca so that the generations of Malaysia can get a glimpse of what left behind by the pasts.
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