Malacca City

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Malacca City
Bandaraya Melaka
Malacca skyline
Malacca skyline
Official seal of Malacca City
Nickname(s): Historical City
Malacca City is located in Peninsular Malaysia
Malacca City
Malacca City
Location in the Peninsula Malaysia
Malacca City is located in Malaysia
Malacca City
Malacca City
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 2°12′20.49″N 102°15′22.09″E / 2.2056917°N 102.2561361°E / 2.2056917; 102.2561361Coordinates: 2°12′20.49″N 102°15′22.09″E / 2.2056917°N 102.2561361°E / 2.2056917; 102.2561361
Country Malaysia
State Malacca
Established 1396
City status 2003
 • Mayor Yusof Bin Jantan
 • City 304.29 km2 (117.49 sq mi)
 • Metro 1,664 km2 (642 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • City 503,127 (11th)
 • Density 689/km2 (1,780/sq mi)
 • Metro 771,600[2]
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)

Malacca City (Malay: Bandaraya Melaka) is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Malacca. The Seri Negeri, the State Administrative and Development Centre which houses the Chief Minister's Office, the State Secretary's Office and the Legislative Assembly Hall is located in Malacca City. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with George Town of Penang on 7 July 2008.[4]


Part of Malacca City. Malacca Island is the strip of land directly across the coast.

The city of Malacca is located on both sides of the Malacca River near its mouth into the Strait of Malacca. The historic central area of the city is located near the old coastline, includes St Paul's Hill with the ruins of the Portuguese fortress, A Famosa and the Dutch Square on the right (eastern) bank of the river, and the old Chinatown on the left (western) bank. The modern city has grown in all directions from this historic core, including to the south (because the present coastline of the Strait of Malacca is somewhat further down to the south than its original location due to land reclamation). The "Chinese Hill" (Bukit Cina), where a large old Chinese cemetery is located, was formerly located to the northeast of the town, but now is surrounded by the city on all sides. Malacca river winding its way through the old town and the city centre.


Malacca's weather is hot and humid throughout the year with rainfall, the intensity of which depends on the time of the year. It is one of the driest city in Malaysia which receives just below 2,000 mm (79 in) of rainfall annually beside Sitiawan, Perak while mostly in Peninsular of Malaysia the average rainfall is around 2,500 mm (98 in) annually. However Malacca never has a dry season as average rainfall is more than 100 mm (3.9 in) for each month. Malacca features tropical rainforest climate, under the Köppen climate classification. The relatively stable weather allows Malacca to be visited all-year-round. Temperatures generally range between 30 °C – 35 °C during the day and 27 °C – 29 °C at night. It may get cooler after periods of heavy rainfall.

Generally, Malacca annual rainfall is below average of Malaysia annual rainfall. Usually, it rains in the evening after hot and humid afternoon.

Climate data for Malacca (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.4
Average low °C (°F) 22.5
Rainfall mm (inches) 73.3
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7 7 10 13 12 10 12 12 13 14 17 11 138
Mean monthly sunshine hours 193.0 202.5 214.8 207.5 210.5 193.9 201.3 191.2 171.5 179.6 156.9 166.8 2,289.5
Source: NOAA[5]


The site where the city of Malacca stands today was the center of Malaccan history. It was the capital of the Malacca Sultanate and was the centre of the Malay world in the 15th and the 16th century after the Malays moved over from Sumatra and was the most prosperous Entrepôt and city of the Malay Archipelago before it fell to the hand of Portuguese in 1511. Centuries of colonisation by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British as well as development of Straits Chinese (Peranakan) culture have influenced the architecture of the town, notably the Portuguese A Famosa, Dutch Stadthuys, and the Dutch, Chinese and British influenced traditional town houses.

Malacca Sultanate[edit]

Main article: Sultanate of Malacca

Malacca City is well known for its historical uniqueness. The history of this city began when Parameswara, a royal prince from Palembang was involved in the struggle for the throne of Majapahit government towards the end of the 14th century.

Once he was defeated by Majapahit, he ran for protection to Temasek (now Singapore) which was then dominated by the Siamese. After being evicted out of Temasek by the colonists from Siam, in 1396, he and his followers withdraw to Muar and later to Sening Ujung before stopping by at Bertam which is close to the Melaka River estuary.[citation needed]

Upon arrival in Bertam, he witnessed his hunting dog being kicked by a white mouse deer. He was so impressed with the bravery of the white mouse deer and decided to set up a state there.[citation needed]

He asked about the name of the tree which he was leaning under and his followers had replied by stating that it was the Malacca tree. Therefore he decided to name his state after that tree.[citation needed]

Palace of Malacca's Malay Sultanate

Parameswara had made the right choice as Malacca is strategically located amid the Straits of Malacca banks which connect China to India and the East, making it a really suitable venue as a trading centre. The arrival of Arabs traders as well as traders from the East and West had developed Malacca as a bustling entrepot with hundreds of ships stopping by every year.[citation needed]

Parameswara embraced Islam through a scholar from Jeddah in 1414 and that was the starting point for the development of Malacca as the premier commercial centre and spreading of Islam in this region.[citation needed] Malacca continued to be known as the Malay trading centre in the East.

Among the commodity goods available in Malacca were silk and porcelain from China, cloths from Gujerat and Coromandel in India, camphor from Borneo, sandalwood from the East, nutmeg and cloves from Moluccas, gold and black pepper from Sumatera as well as tin from Malaya.

European colonisation[edit]

However, Malacca's fame had begun in line with the situation whereby the European nations began to expand their influence to the Eastern continent and Malacca was among the port cities which attracted their attention. In 1509, Diego Lopez De Sequeira from the Portuguese Royal Armada was the first Portuguese fleet to arrive in Malacca. After the repeated attacks in 1511, Malacca was finally captured by the Portuguese force headed by Afonso d' Albuquerque.

1630 map of the Portuguese fort and the city of Malacca

Sultan Mahmud Syah, the Malacca ruler at that time, retreated to Johore and once he stepped foot there, the Malays attempted to attack the Portuguese again but failed. One of the reasons for the Portuguese strength was the construction of the A' Famosa fort as their defensive bastion.

The A' Famosa Fort had furthermore strengthen the Portuguese grip over Malacca for the next 130 years. Until the year 1641, when Malacca fell into the hands of the Dutch through attacks and fierce battle between the two parties. Malacca City was almost destroyed and within one and a half century, the Dutch managed to rebuild and developed it as a military base due to its strategic location in controlling the Straits of Malacca.

Dutch Malacca, c. 1750

In 1795, during the Napoleonic Wars, Malacca was handed over to the British East India Company temporarily to avoid from being captured by the French. Malacca was returned to the Dutch in 1818, through the Venice Agreement. Through the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 which separated the British and Dutch colonial areas, the British regain control of Malacca and the northern area of the straits and Singapore while the Dutch at the southern part of the straits (the Indonesian Archipelago).

From 1826 onwards, Malacca was administered by the British East India Company which was based in India. In 1827, the Straits Settlements (Malacca, Penang and Singapore) had become British colonies and was placed under the administration of the central government in London. The British sustained its power in the Malay states right up until the outbreak of World War II

Japanese occupation[edit]

Road to independence[edit]

Main article: Hari Merdeka

Since the founding of Singapore in 1819, Malacca has been in decline as its port was silting up and Singapore and Kuala Lumpur have grown. Over the years, many Malaccans have moved to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

After World War II, anti-colonial sentiment developed amongst Malay nationalists which led to negotiations with the British and eventually the announcement of Independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, at the Padang Pahlawan (Warrior's Field) at Bandar Hilir, in Malacca on 20 February 1956. Then, the Federation of Malaya was finally declared an independent nation by Y.M. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaya on 31 August 1957.

Jonker Walk

The demolition of A Famosa[edit]

Further information: A Famosa

The British in Penang were temporary caretakers of the then Dutch-controlled Malacca during the Napoleonic Wars. However, they were reluctant to hand Malacca back because they feared it might jeopardise the development of their new settlement in Penang. Hence they decided to destroy the regional influence of Malacca by diverting trade away from Malacca to Penang, the British planned to destroy the Malacca Fort and its city and move the 15,000 people to Penang. It was envisaged that Malacca would not rival Penang in terms of trade when the Kew treaty of 1975 expires which orders the returning of Malacca back to Dutch hands if the city was demolished and depopulated.[citation needed]

The Governor of Penang ordered Captain William Farquhar to have the respective fort demolished in 1807. However during this time, Stamford Raffles who hails from Penang arrived in Malacca for his sick leave. He managed to rescind the demolition and depopulation process with the consent of Lord Minto, the Governor General of India. Raffles managed to save the archway of the Malacca Fort which can be seen to this day. The destruction of the Malacca Fort cost 70,000 sterling pounds and involved several hundred workers.[6]


UNESCO World Heritage Site
Malacca and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, iv
Reference 1223
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2008 (32nd Session)

Most tourist attractions are concentrated in its small city centre which encompasses Jonker Walk which houses Malacca's traditional Chinatown that exhibits Peranakan architecture. A Famosa Fort, St. Paul Hill are among the tourist attractions located in the Bandar Hilir, old city area. There are also numerous shopping centres located nearby. The Malacca Straits Mosque is located here. There are numerous islands which include Pulau Upeh near Klebang Beach (currently undergoing reclamation works) and Pulau Besar.


Malacca City is accessible via highway, railway, or Federal route/coastal road. Malacca City is approximately 130 km from Kuala Lumpur and 200 km from Singapore. People who wish to go to Malacca by train should board the Singapore-bound train in Kuala Lumpur Sentral and alight at Tampin station, where shuttle buses to and from places such as Jonker Street, Melaka Sentral and AEON Bandaraya Melaka Shopping Centre are available.

It was reported recently that under the 10th Malaysia Plan (RMK10), KTM is planning to reconnect the railway line from Tampin to Malacca City then Batang Melaka.[citation needed] The station will probably be in Batu Berendam (near the airport) or Melaka Sentral. There was a railway line from Tampin to Malacca City before World War II but was dismantled by the Japanese troops to build the infamous Death Railway in Burma.[citation needed] The railway line was never re-built after the British returned.

The Malacca Aerorail was a proposed transportation system. The project will link Ayer Keroh Interchange at Ayer Keroh to Malacca city centre.

The Malacca Aerorail is supposed to be based on Aerobus technology[7]


The mainstream newspapers in Malacca include the English dailies The Star, New Straits Times, The Sun, The Edge, The Malaysian Reserve and The Malay Mail; the Malay dailies Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, Harian Metro, and Kosmo!; the Chinese dailies Kwong Wah Yit Poh, Sin Chew Daily, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau and Oriental Daily News; and the Tamil dailies Tamil Nesan, Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai. All of them are in national circulation.


Relief in Poh San Teng

European settlement[edit]

  • A Famosa fortress (Porta de Santiago)
  • Christ Church
  • Stadthuys (Dutch administrative buildings)
  • Saint Francis Xavier Church
  • Portuguese Settlement
  • St. John's Fort (Kota Senjuang)
  • Ruins of St. Paul Church – Saint Francis Xavier was temporarily buried here; tombs of many Dutch dignitaries remain there
  • St. Peter Church
  • St. Theresa Church
  • Victoria Fountain

Chinese settlement[edit]

Indian settlement[edit]

Malay settlement[edit]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]