Historic Centres of Melaka and Penang Social and Cultural History

Powerful Essays
Topics: Malaysia, Malacca, Penang
Historic Centres of Melaka and Penang
Social and Cultural History

I. Introduction

Today if one were to look down from an aerial view over the cities of Melaka (used to be spelt as Malacca) and Penang on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, one would be able to discern a colourful mosaic of artifacts and people, characteristic of the living cultures of both the historic cities. Melaka which is about 600 years old from its founding and Penang or “Pearl of the Orient” which is 215 years after being taken over by the British, have a very strong semblance in their multi-cultural characteristics which developed over the years through the processes of history. For these living cultures, Melaka and Penang deserve to be considered as World Heritage Cities.

Melaka is situated 2 degrees north of the equator and very well known in the local legend as a fortunate land for, “even the pelandok (mouse deer) was full of courage.” It went through the age of glory for slightly more than 100 years under the rule of the Malay sultanate, when it became one of the greatest ports in Asia, if not the world. However, it fell into European hands for more than 400 years after that: the Portuguese ruled for 130 years, the Dutch for 160 years and the British for 133 years. In 1948 it became part of the Federation of Malaya and gained her independence with the rest of the peninsula in 1957.

The other proposed heritage city is Penang which became a British possession in 1786 when Francis Light, a British country trader, was able to conclude a treaty with the Sultan of Kedah for the East India Company. Penang became the first leg for the British to set themselves into peninsular Malaysia, and was intended to be a British naval base and a trading centre. Situated at the northern end of the Straits of Melaka, it could challenge the Dutch in the south. Light was very hopeful of Penang as he had earlier indicated in his letter to his company, Jourdain, Sulivan and De



Bibliography: Bird, Isabella, 1983 (first published in 1883). The Golden Chersonese. Introduction by Robin Hanbury Tenison. London, Century Publishing. Choong Kwee Kim, “In Good Hands” The Star, 5.2.2001 Clammer, John R., 1979 Clodd, Harold Park, 1948. Malaya’s First British Pioneer: The Life of Francis Light. London, Luzac. Fujimoto, Helen, 1988. The South Indian Community and the Evolution of the Jawi Peranakan in Penang up to 1948. Tokyo, ILCAA, Tokyo Gaokokugo Daigaku. Harrison, Brian, 1985. Holding the Fort: Melaka Under Two Flags, 1795-1845. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Monograph No.14. ___________, 1979. Waiting For China: The Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca, 1818-1843, and Early Nineteenth Century Missions. Hong Kong. Khoo Su Nin, “The Red Belted School” Pulau Pinang, Vol. 2, No.3., 1990, pp. 10-11. Leith, George, 1804. A Short Account of the Settlement, Produce and Commerce of the Prince of Wales Island in the Straits of Malacca. London, J. Booth. Malacca, 1986. The Times Travel Library, Singapore. Meerah, N., “Old Tamil Place Names” Pulau Pinang, Vol.1, No.5, 1989. Pp.13-15. ____________, “The Khoo Clan” Pulau Pinang, Vol.2, No.1, 1990, pp.4-16. Pintado, Manuel Joachim, 1980. A Stroll Through Anciet Malacca And A Glimpse At Her Historical Sites. Melaka, Loh Printing Press. Scott-Ross, Marcus, 1971. A Short History of Malacca. Singapore, Chopmen Enterprise. Tan Leh Sah, “Convent Light Stree” Pulau Pinang, Vol.1, No.6, 1989, pp. 24-26. Wurtzburg, C.E., 1984. Raffles of the Eastern Isles, Singapore, Oxford University Press. ----------------------- [1] Harold Park Clodd, 1948 [2] Marcus Scott-Ross, 1971, A Short History of Malacca. Singapore, Chopmen Enterprise, p. 94. [5] Brian Harrison, 1985. Holding the Fort: Melaka Under Two Flags, 1795-1845. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Monograph No.14, p.62. [6] Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, 1969. The Hikayat Abdullah, by Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir. Annotated and translated by A.H.Hill, Kuala Lumpur, Oxford University Press, p. 63. [7] C.E.Wurtzburg, 1984. Raffles of the Eastern Isles, Singapore, Oxford University Press, p.76 [8] Ibid [9] Brian Harrison, 1979. Waiting For China: The Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca, 1818-1843, and Early Nineteenth Century Missions. Hong Kong, pp. 40-44. [10] John R. Clammer, 1979. The Ambiguity of Identity. Ethnicity Maintenance and Change Among the Straits Chinese Community of Malaysia and Singapore. ISEAS. Occasional Paper No.54. p. 3. [12] Malacca, 1986. The Times Travel Library. Singapore, p.31. [14] New Straits Times, August 4, 1998. [15] Isabella Bird, 1983. (First Published in 1883). The Golden Chersonese. Introduction by Robin Hanbury Tenison. London, Century Publishing. pp. 254-255. [16] George Leith, 1804. A Short Account of the Settlement, Produce and Commerce of Prince of Wales Island in the Straits of Malacca. London, J. Booth, p. 14. [20] Tan Leh Sah, “Convent Light Street” in Pulau Pinang, Vol.1, No.6, 1989, pp. 24-26. [23] Khoo Su Nin, “The Red Belted School” in Pulau Pinang, Vol.2, No.3, 1990, pp.10-11. [25] R.Karthigesu, “Mariamman’s Temple” in Pulau Pinang, Vol.2, no.6, 1990, pp.42-44. [26] Khoo Su Nin, “The Chariot Procession”, in Pulau Pinang, Vol.2, no.6, 1990, pp 46-48. [28] N. Meerah, “Old Tamil Place Names”, in Pulau Pinang, Vol.1, No.5, 1989, pp.13-15. [29] Helen Fujimoto, 1988. The South Indian Community and the Evolution of the Jawi Peranakan in Penang up to 1948. Tokyo, ILCAA, Tokyo Gaokokugo Daigaku, p. 36. [30] “The Acheen Street Mosque” in Pulau Pinang, Vol.2 No.2, 1990, p. 27. [31] Khoo Su Nin, “The Acheen Street Community: A Melting Pot of the Malay World” Pulau Pinang. Vol.2, No.2, 1990, p.22. [32] Ong Seng Huat, “The Khoo Clan” in Pulau Pinang, Vol.2, No.1, 1990, pp. 4-16.

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