June 2, 2010

Join Me For a Tour of The Malaysian State of Melaka

After our enjoyable visit with Malaysian Prime Minister’s wife, the Honorable Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, we drove, with escorts, to the old city of Melaka, about two hours from Kuala Lumpur.  Upon arrival there, we went immediately for lunch with the Chief Minister of Melaka, Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali bin Mohd. Rustam.  This incredible meal was at the Cafe Botanikal.  Within five minutes, the Chief Minister shared with us an outline of the rich history of Melacca, which is the local spelling.  Ali Rustam is credited with increasing the trade and popularity of Melacca many fold, since he took over running the state.  He told us that medical tourism - heart surgery, cosmetic surgery, etc., technology manufacturing - microchips, and the manufacture of palm oil were the three largest industries.  Ali Rustam also told us that this city of 800,000 inhabitants welcomes 8.9 million tourists per year!

After lunch, we then visited the newly created Melaka Botanical Gardens. They are still in development, but the gardens seem to have a great deal of potential.  Next, we explored the town to see historic buildings and learn more about the history of this very early settlement.  Malaysia began in 1298 as Melaka, a trade based city.  In 1511, the Portuguese conquered the territory, constructing forts like the fragments of the Porta de Santiago.  I hope you enjoy this little tour of our visit to Melaka.