Thursday, December 14, 2006

Malacca's Sparkling Wonder at Night

M ALACCA, the historical city, is glowing at night with a myriad of lights that not only brighten up the streets but also exude a carnival-like atmosphere.

Bernama reports that the allure of neon lights were quickly capitalised on by the Malacca Historical City Council (MBMB) to make the city more people-friendly during the night.

Now anyone using the road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to Bandar Hilir will pass through the ‘neon route’, lighted throughout with neon flood lights, neon street lights and coloured bulbs.

As one of the key entry points to the state, the 10km four-lane road heading to Malacca town from Ayer Keroh is also embellished with red, yellow, green and blue bulbs festooned along the road and also onto trees along the road.

The lights provide a warm ambience and a clear welcome message to visitors.

Tourist sites along the way such as the Taman Budaya, Mini Malaysia and Asean Park, Malacca Zoo, Dataran Sejarah, Malacca International Trade Centre, Dataran Bandaraya, Bukit Sebukor Waterfalls, Sungai Melaka and the historical site in Bandar Hilir are also brightly lit at night.

Government buildings, business premises, factories, mosques and homes facing the road are also decorated with coloured bulbs.

Digital screens at several locations along the road displaying information on the state also add to the historical city’s gaiety. This neon light ‘show’ takes place from 7pm to 7am daily.

As the local authority in charge of maintaining the city, MBMB has installed 65,000 street lights and 35,000 coloured bulbs along roads all over the city.

Datuk Bandar Datuk Zaini Md Nor said MBMB spent RM450,000 monthly on the electricity bill for the lights including the traffic lights.

Recreational zones like Dataran Bandaraya, Dataran Sejarah, Bukit Serindit and Dataran Pahlawan are illuminated with flood lights that, according to Zaini, served those keen to unwind at these places during the night.

Visitors who miss the opportunity to witness the beauty of the Straits of Malacca from Pantai Klebang and Pantai Puteri can now do so in the ‘brightness of the night’, thanks to the lights.

Melaka Raya, the new business centre here, is where much of the night life is with many entertainment outlets, shopping centres and restaurants and along with Dataran Pahlawan, the new commercial centre in Bandar Hilir, are also lighted up for the night.

Lines of trishaws embellished with lights ferrying tourists for sightseeing along Melaka Raya, Jalan Laksamana, Jalan Hang Jebat, Jonker Walk and Jalan Hang Tuah add to the colours of the night.

Also, with lights, now anyone can stroll along the 4.5km Sungai Melaka banks at night.
Dataran Bandaraya designed after the Taj Mahal in India, with fountains and a giant television screen, is now seeing more visitors at night.

The whole idea of illuminating the city is to ensure visitors to the state can continue with their sightseeing until late in the night.

So, let’s enjoy the town that sparkles like a jewel in the night.

Meanwhile, LEE YUK PENG reports that the Christmas atmosphere is on in the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir.

With lights glittering and various decorations to greet Christmas displayed by various houses the settlement has virtually been transformed into a fairyland at night.

Children have joined in the celebration by playing with fireworks.

As resident, Thaddaeus Pio Vellu, 21, who works as a kitchen artist in a hotel, carved out the shape of deer using polystyrene to be placed beneath a giant Christmas tree with lights at Portuguese Square, children threw shredded polystyrene into the air, imagining they were snowflakes.

Christina Constance, 10, had collected boxes of the “snowflakes” to scatter in the wind to create a white Christmas without the chill.

Patrick De Costa, 53, one of the committee members of the security and development committee of the settlement, said about 10 youths in the settlement were involved in decorating the area.

Regedor (headman) of the Portuguese Settlement Peter Gomes said residents were silently competing against each other to come out with the best-decorated house.
There 118 houses in the settlement with a population of 1,200, the majority of whom are Portuguese descendents.

As Christmas draws near, traffic will come to a standstill at the settlement as locals and tourists stroll in to view the lights and take photographs.

Residents have become used to having visitors posing in front of their decorated houses for photo shoots.

Source : STAR

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