Welcome to the July issue of the BBG Newsletter
Message from the Chairman
Despite the recent high-profile meeting of oil producers and consumers at Jeddah Hilton, this
month one topic seems to have dominated BBG conversation above all others: We are saying
goodbye to a very remarkable lady, Cecille El-Beleidi.
Following an earlier posting in Riyadh, Cecille has been Deputy Consul General and Head of
UKTI at the Consulate-General in Jeddah for over half a decade; an unusually long posting
for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
During her time in the Kingdom, Cecille has won the admiration of Britains and Saudis alike.
She is one of those rare people for whom no one, no matter how curmudgeonly, has anything
but praise. In particular, those of us who were here during the security crisis will remember
how, to our horror, we were suddenly left without a Consul General. Cecille took control, held
the panicking community together, kept the Consulate-General running effectively and UKTI
on an even keel. Schools and compounds stayed open and even the BBG carried on as
normal, bar a few safety-precautions. It was a very considerable achievement by Cecille and
her small team under very trying circumstances. It should be noted the FCO gave them
permission to evacuate dependents and non-essential personnel, but not a single person left.
Despite the very real danger, they all stayed here with us and our own families, supporting the
British community as never before. Let us not forget that.
Cecille has always been extremely supportive of the BBG,
indeed of all community groups. Even as she was starting to
pack, she was organizing the repainting of the British
Library! She is also a very good jazz singer. Once might
expect such a paragon of accomplishment to be a little vain.
In fact she is extremely modest, always ready to credit
others for her achievements, and will no doubt be
embarrassed by this fulsome praise. Tough. She deserves
We wish Cecille well in her next posting, wherever that may
be. The old cliché is absolutely accurate in this case: She
will, very truly, be sadly missed.
We also bid welcome this month to Greg Gibson and his
wife Janice. Greg will be taking over Cecille‟s former role
and will be guest speaker at our next BBG event. Do come
along to say „hello‟, and let‟s make Greg and Janice feel at
Finally, I will say goodbye to those of you who are off for the summer. Stay safe and we will
see you in September. Those of you who are here, don‟t forget the BBG summer quiz in
On the 15 June 59 Members and guests were enthralled by the presentation by Roger
Harrison with his Winds over Arabia presentation. It offered a most fascinating bird‟s eye
view of the topography of the Kingdom as well as telling a fascinating story of the saga of the
journey across the Kingdom by glider.
The next event will be an opportunity for the BBG to welcome the new Deputy Head of the
Consul General and Head of UKTI, Greg Gibson, otherwise known as Cecille‟s replacement.
There have been many opportunities to say “farewell” to Cecille. Now the BBG Members
have an opportunity to say “Hello” to Greg.
The meeting will be a lunch meeting on Sunday 20 July starting at 1pm. (Lunch will be
served from 1.45pm). Greg will address the meeting during the lunch. I hope those members
still in Jeddah during July will take this opportunity to provide a warm welcome to Greg at this
In August we will have the BBG Quiz night. This has become a regular event on the BBG
calendar. The Chairman of the BBG, Brian Hawley and yours truly are planning to put
together some devishly cunning questions to make for an entertaining and enjoyable evening.
This event will be held on the evening of Sunday 24 August. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A
CHANGE OF DATE FROM THAT ANNOUNCED IN THE LAST NEWSLETTER. Once again
I would like to express the gratitude of the BBG Committee to the Management of venue for
offering their facilities to host this function.
The BBG Iftar is planned for September 21 . PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A CHANGE OF
DATE FROM THAT ANNOUNCED IN THE LAST NEWSLETTER.
One date that hasn‟t changed is for the State of the Nation Annual Ball which will be held
on Thursday 5 February 2009.
I will be outside of the Kingdom by the time you are reading this. I will be back at the end of
July. Please give Greg a rousing welcome from the BBG on the 20 and I look forward to
seeing those of you still in Jeddah in August at the BBG Quiz night.
BBG – ABJ SPORTS CHALLENGE
Survivors Ball: Thursday, 15 May 2008
Guests were pleasantly surprised to find that the main seating was inside. Approximately 100
guests attended, tables were very nicely decorated and the food and beverages were
excellent, with conversation lively and flowing between all participants.
Ramzi Ali for the ABJ and Steve Taylor for the BBG handed out the trophies for each
participating sport won by the ABJ and BBG together with individual prizes for the Captains of
each winning team. Thanks must go to Ramzi and the ABJ for all the effort that was put into
organizing the venue and to Nesma for their generous sponsorship prizes. The event was
graced by the presence of Kate Rudd, Consul General and the President of the ABJ, Angelus
Christopher Van. Thanks to Brain Hawley, Chair of the BBG for giving a patriotic speech for
the British winning teams! The tournament was eventually won after a hard fought and
exhausting series of games between both sides in Volleyball, which ended in a playoff of 3
final games, of which the final score was 3.2 to the Brits. As it was so succinctly put that
evening, we won!!
Many thanks must go to the individual team Captains for all the effort and personal time given
freely to ensure that the games took place and ran as smoothly as possible, namely:
Tanya Linton Tennis Captain - Draw declared after heavy deliberations
In the absence of Tanya, the trophy was collected by the glamorous and lovely Sonia
Captain in 2007,
Henry Matthews Horseshoes Captain - BBG 0 ABJ 2 - WIN TO THE ABJ
Congratulations to Bud Kaspar for the first win of the competition. This did not last long as the
ABJ were soon to find out about the British tenacity. Chris Barsby our diamond player on the
Mark Sutcliffe Pool Captain - BBG 2 ABJ 0 - WIN TO THE BBG
Mark Sutcliffe alias ‘Sooty’ collected the pool trophy for the BBG after beating the Americans
at their own game. Commiserations to Robert Dion and the rest of the ABJ pool team.
David Wheen Darts Captain - BBG 2 ABJ 0 - WIN TO THE BBG
David collected the trophy for the BBG. Congratulation to the darts team for a tense few
moments and a well deserved win. Glory be to all those asunder. Commiserations to Jamilyn
Al Daraji and the rest of the ABJ darts team.
Anthony Richardson Golf Captain BBG 0 ABJ - WIN TO THE ABJ
Bob Bennett collected the golf trophy for the ABJ. Hard to believe that we lost but he it’s only
a game. Commiserations to Anthony Richardson and the rest of the BBG golf team who put
up a brave fight to the last.
Helen Jones Bowling Captain - BBG 1 ABJ 1 - DRAW DECLARED
After a hard challenge to keep the Americans at arm‟s length the BBG managed to hold onto
a draw thanks to the Sierra Lanes, the everlasting excuse from the opposition party.
Each team was awarded a trophy for the draw and Steve Taylor collected the trophy for the
BBG bowling team in the absence of the BBG team captain.
Mazen Bayoumi Volleyball Captain - BBG 2 ABJ 0 - WIN TO THE BBG
The origins of volleyball [Mintonette] are from as far back as1895!! From a little known area
called Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA. Well the Olympic sport has got nothing on these
youngsters, who decided to take on the best of the best of the ABJ team and beat them fair
and square after a tough 3 game play-off.
David Dunn - Table tennis Captain - BBG 1 ABJ 1 - DRAW DECLARED
After hard challenge and some awesome rallies the BBG managed to force a draw from our
colonial brothers in arms. Each team was awarded a trophy for the draw and David Dunn
collected the trophy for the BBG
Congratulations to the BBG Sports Captains and all the players who took part in the 2008
competition. May we see you all again next year with the emphasis on keeping the trophy in
its rightful place!
Note: A special thanks must go to Mazin Hawarneh for organizing and making all of the
trophies in time for the Survivors Ball presentations.
Overall, the sports competition assists in meeting the ABJ/BBG commitment to fostering
American and British unity and goodwill. The sports also act as a valuable, pleasant social
outlet and networking opportunity with positive interaction between both groups.
BBG Captains and Nominees who collected trophies on behalf of absent Captains
Commiserations to the ABJ who fought valiantly trying to keep the British at bay
Steve Taylor for the BBG & Ramzi Ali for the ABJ Kate Rudd, HM Consul General, seen here
This is really pistols at dawn – well 2009 maybe with Brian Hawley, Chairman of the BBG
NOW THAT’S A THOUGHT FOR A SPORT !!!
We hope to see all existing Captains, team players and newcomers in 2009, as we have
some exciting suggestions for new games (cricket and squash to name but 2), and possible
connection with Riyadh Group for British Business (RGBB), who have expressed an interest
initially through Owain Raw Rees, Chair, and Gary Richardson, Sports Coordinator. This
would be a very positive step in bringing the British communities even closer together socially
in what is a very fast moving, forward thinking and dynamic time in Saudi Arabia in terms of
business and commerce.
All the participants in the sports take a curtain call for a final bow before
leaving for their chariots to take them home
Award of Excellence for Omar Saeed of the British Consulate
Omar Saeed, UK Trade and Investment Officer, British Consulate General in Jeddah,
receives a UK Trade and Investment Award for Excellence for outstanding achievement
in International Trade and Investment 2008.
During the past year Omar has overseen an effort that has helped more than 60 British
companies meet some 800 representatives of Saudi companies, plus officials from the
government and regulatory sector. As the lead Trade and Investment Officer for the
environment, water and airport sectors, Omar was the catalyst for contracts in excess of £7
million in 2007/08.
Omar excels at finding innovative UK companies to tackle environmental problems. Through
one inward mission - and lots of follow-up lobbying and assistance - Omar helped the Atkins
engineering firm secure a contract in Saudi Arabia worth £5 million. He was also instrumental
in garnering Saudi support for a UK climate change conference - despite traditional Saudi
reluctance to engage in an area considered a threat to oil exports.
Working with regional development agencies with environmental interests, Omar has
implemented a new programme of seminars and roundtables in association with events. The
new set-up has strengthened the content of the programmes, and made the sessions more
attractive to UK companies.
Note: UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government organisation whose strategy and
objectives are focused on helping UK based companies succeed in international markets and
assisting overseas companies to bring high quality investment to the UK's vibrant economy.
The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Awards were introduced in 2003 to recognise outstanding
achievement in the work of staff across the network in the UK and overseas who have made
a real and positive difference to UKTI objectives. The 2008 theme for the Awards was "UKTI
Strategy into Action". Winning nominations were those that the Awards Committee felt
had demonstrated that the individual or team provided a model of good practice
and behaviours which support, directly or indirectly, delivery of the strategy.
BBG Membership is growing every month but we still need YOU, to help promote the BBG
amongst newcomers in our community.
New registrations cost SR150 plus the SR 200 annual membership subscription.
A copy of Passport details is also required with the completed Membership Application Form
(for which the new member will need to be nominated and seconded by an existing BBG
member with his/her approval). Please note that only membership applications, which are
fully paid-up and with the right paperwork attached will be submitted to the Committee for
For Membership Application Forms, or anything relating to membership of the BBG, please
contact me davidwheen[at]yahoo.co.uk or Angela at secretary[at]bbg-jed.org or visit the BBG
BBG Membership Card Privileges
Your BBG Membership Card will secure promotional discounts from the following companies:
AXA Insurance, Zedan, Barzan Publishing and Maggie Andriopoulos (Dive Courses).
We want to expand the list of benefits available for our members so if you or your company
would be keen to promote yourself in this way, please send details to the BBG Secretary
(secretary[at]bbg-jed.org) by e-mail directly or via the BBG website on www.bbg-jed.org.
BBG DIRECTORY 2008-2009
The new 2008-2009 BBG Directory is now available as the BBG Office is closed for the
Summer period 1 July through to the 25 August. If you require copies of the Directory please
send an e-mail to either secretary[at]bbg-jed.org or johnvwhite[at]naghi-group.com and
arrangements can be made for you to collect them either from Arabian Homes Reception
(Sierra Village) or from a committee member.
Notice from the British Consulate
Are you a British National?
Have you registered with the British Embassy this year?
If not, please register on-line using our new LOCATE** system:
Then follow these steps:
Online Consular Registration
LOCATE - online Consular Registration
How can we contact you if we don't know you are here?
JULY DESTINATION REPORT
MALACA – MAINLAND MALAYSIA
Malacca is the historical state of Malaysia, rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and
colonial structures. It was here that colonial forces first made contact with Malaysia, which
eventually shaped the country into its current economic and political system.
Today, in Malacca, you can still see the imprints of British, Dutch and Portuguese forces left
behind in forts, museums, churches and towers. Visit Malacca for the cultural experience of a
Malacca is a small, friendly city that with many eye-catching sights and attractive modern
establishments. It is easy to go around on foot or trishaw to explore the many places that
make Malacca unique. As you explore them, you'll learn about the rich heritage and history
that has shaped the landscape and left a mark on Malaysia's cultural lifestyle.
In fact, the city is a mix of old and new, historical establishments and old shops stand side-by-
side with shopping complexes and modern offices. There's just so many colourful sights in the
city, but beyond it, you can also explore other cultural places in the outskirts or engage in
recreational activities such as golf and jungle-trekking.
Modern-day Malacca is a sleepy city that belies its wealth of history. There are some
interesting legends surrounding the foundation and naming of Malacca. According to the 16th
century Malay Annals, the city was founded by Parameswara, a descendant of Alexander the
Great. More likely, he was a Hindu prince and political fugitive from nearby Java. The legend
goes that Parameswara was out on a hunt in the region and had stopped to refresh himself
near what is now the Malacca River. Standing near a melaka (Indian gooseberry) tree he was
surprised to witness one of his hunting dogs so startled by a mouse deer that it fell into the
river. Parameswara took this as a propitious sign of the weak overcoming the powerful and
decided to build the capital of his new kingdom where he stood, naming it for the tree under
which he had been resting. Another account says Malacca is derived from the Arabic word
Malakat, meaning market. Malacca had a navigable harbor sheltered by nearby Sumatra
across the narrow straits, ample supply of fresh water, enjoyed a prime location relative to the
shifting monsoon winds, and had a central location in regional trade patterns, all of which
soon made it a prosperous trading town. Its fortunes increased with its official adoption of
Islam in the 14th century. The Sultans of Malacca were soon attracting Arab traders from far
afield. However, Malacca continued to trade with merchants of all races and religions.
After the visit of the Chinese Muslim Admiral Cheng Ho in the mid-15th century, contact
between China and Malacca intensified. In exchange for protection against Siam, Malacca
became a vassal state to Ming China. To ensure Malacca's safety, a new powerful kingdom
was founded by the Sultan of Samudra-Pasai.
The power of the Malays began to rise through the 15th century. In the Malay Annals, the
sultan Mansur Shah was mentioned as having 6 wives and the fifth was stated to be a
daughter of the Ming Emperor. However, in the Chinese chronicles, no such event was
Things started to change with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1509. They were at first
welcomed, but Indian traders soon turned the sultan against the Portuguese and they had to
flee. In 1511 the Portuguese returned, and at their second attempt seized the city. This
marked the start of the formation of a large Eurasian community. The Portuguese turned the
city into a massive walled fortress complete with a tower bristling with cannon. It was believed
that such fortifications could withstand the encroachments of other European powers eager
for a slice of the Asian luxury goods trade.
An alliance between the Dutch and the Sultanate of Johor Bahru saw the loss much of
Malaccas power. In 1641 the Dutch navy put a blockade on Malacca and they seized the city
after six months. During the siege much of the Portuguese city was destroyed.
Only after 150 years did the Dutch lose their hold on Malacca. In 1795 The Netherlands was
conquered by the French, and the British were keen to take over the Dutch holdings in
Malacca. By that time, Malacca had lost most of its former importance although it remained
an important part of Asian trade routes.
The A Famosa gate is all that remains of the old Portuguese and Dutch forts. As the
Napoleonic Wars wound down the British knew Malacca would be returned to Dutch control.
In order to make the city indefensible the city walls were blown down. A last minute
intervention by a British officer saved the gate. Shortly after its return to Dutch rule, the Dutch
and British governments swapped colonies - British Bencoolen in Sumatra for Dutch Malacca.
Malacca is a center of Peranakan culture. When Chinese settlers originally came to Malacca
as miners, traders and coolies, they took local brides (of Javanese, Batak, Achenese, etc
descent) and adopted many local customs. The result of this is an interesting mix of local and
Chinese cultures. The men are addressed as Babas and the women Nonyas by their
servants meaning Master and Mistress.
A small group of Eurasians of Portuguese descent continue to speak their unique creole,
known as Cristão or Kristang.
Malacca River at dusk
The older part of the city proper has, in addition to the old palace and the large buildings left
by the Europeans, many private houses and shops from nearly a century or more ago, put up
by Chinese traders. Many of these have beautiful details such as moulded porcelain tiles and
painted plaster reliefs on the front. Unfortunately, they tend to be not well preserved and the
city government decided to paint all the buildings in the historical district a bright brick red
some years ago, which detracts from their aesthetic value.
Note that on Tuesdays, many museums, shops, restaurant are closed, especially in the
Jonker Street area. If you have only one day to spend in Malacca, do not go on Tuesday!
Jonker, Heeren and adjacent streets - This is the residential heart of Old Malacca just west
of the Malacca River, with its narrow winding streets, beautifully decorated houses, tiny
shops, temples and mosques. The whole area is undergoing a renaissance with new shops,
restaurants and hotels catering to tourists mushrooming everywhere. However, the area still
has a lot of atmosphere and is worth having a look around. One of the streets in this area is
Harmony Street (officially Temple street or Jalan Tokong), so called because it contains the
prayer houses of Malaysia's three main faiths - the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple, the Sri
Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Hindu Temple, and the Kampung Kling Mosque.
Landmarks & Places to Visit in Malacca
Firmly rooted as Malaysia's historical city, visiting Malacca is like a journey back in time to
witness the adventures and discoveries during Malacca's golden age.
Today, there are many historical sites to visit that give you a glimpse of Malacca's glorious
past. This is balanced with other modern attractions such as water theme parks and cultural
The Stadhuys and clock tower at the heart of the historic quarter of Malacca
The Stadhuys is one of Malacca's most recognisable landmarks – Built in 1650, it was the
Dutch administrative centre with a clock tower and painted in bright red.
A Historic and Ethnography Museum with displays of traditional bridal costumes and other
relics is located inside.
The building itself has some great architectural details including heavy wooden doors, thick
red walls and wrought-iron hinges
Here is where the descendants of the Portuguese who conquered Malacca in 1511 live today.
The settlement, located just southeast of the city centre, consists of tidy rows of mostly
wooden houses leading up to the Portuguese Square (Malay Medan Portugis) and Hotel
Lisbon (sorry, unlike its Macau namesake, there is no casino here) on the waterfront. The
people here may look Malay but peer into their houses and you'll see the characteristic altar
with status of Jesus and Mary perched high on their walls. Quite a few still speak Cristao (or
Cristang), a Portuguese patois. There are also many restaurants for you to sample
Portuguese fare. The most interesting times to visit is during Intrudu - usually in February -
when the you'll get a Songkran-like drenching with buckets of water thrown at you; Festa San
Pedro to commemorate the Feast of Saint Peter in June, where there are processions,
cultural shows and general merry-making; and Christmas when the whole settlement is
decked in decorative lights.
The Portuguese Square is the centre of the small Portuguese community in Malacca.
The Square feels like a little patch of Portugal with plenty of restaurants, food stalls, pubs and
On weekends, the square becomes a hub of activity, as the Portuguese community put on
traditional dances, to entertain tourists and celebrate in style their unique culture.
Porta de Santiago - You will find these remains of the old Portuguese fort A Famosa on
Jalan Kota, around St Paul's Hill. What you can see nowadays is a mostly Dutch
reconstruction, bearing the VOC coat of arms.
Jonker, Heeren and adjacent streets
This is the residential heart of Old Malacca just west of the Malacca River, with its narrow
winding streets, beautifully decorated houses, tiny shops, temples and mosques. The whole
area is undergoing a renaissance with new shops, restaurants and hotels catering to tourists
mushrooming everywhere. However, the area still has a lot of atmosphere and is worth
having a look around. One of the streets in this area is Harmony Street (officially Temple
street or Jalan Tokong), so called because it contains the prayer houses of Malaysia's three
main faiths - the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple, the Sri Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Hindu
Temple, and the Kampung Kling Mosque.
St John's Fort
The Fort was originally built as a chapel by the Portuguese but it was eventually renovated
into a fort by the Dutch.
Sitting on top a hill, the fort is unique in the sense that it was built to defend from inland
invaders, rather than the sea. Hence, the canons are faced rather awkwardly towards inland
as visitors shall see.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
The Cheng Hoon Teng is a historical monument that is recognised as one of the finest
Chinese temples in Malaysia – even receiving a UNESCO award for outstanding architectural
The temple itself is crafted with ornate mythological figures, carvings and paintings and was
built in the early 1600s' by „Kapitans' or chiefs of the Chinese trading community in Malacca.
The Christ Church was built in 1753 by the Dutch to commemorate a century of their rule. It
still stands today in Malacca city, a landmark of fine Dutch architecture.
The beams were constructed from cutting and carving a single tree and have no joints! The
hand-made pews, on the other hand, date back some 200 years. Mounted on its walls are
some decorative fanlights and plaques in memory of those who died of various epidemics.
Yet another plaque, a wooden one, sits at the rear of the western wall remembering local
planters who did not live through World War II. The church is indeed a sight for those who
love fine structural design
Malacca's most famous recreational rainforest is a tranquil haven for wildlife and natural
scenery. Covering an area of about 320 hectares, Ayer Keroh enables you to learn, as you
walk through the trails, the marvellous diversity of plant life and animals that inhibit this range.
Other activities you can do here include jogging, biking and hiking besides the customary
jungle treks. There are also tree houses in the area to give you a bird's eye view of the
surroundings and chalets to camp overnight.
A Famosa Water World
The A Famosa Water World is the largest water theme park in Malaysia located near Alor
Gajah. Among the excitements found on the park are speed slides, raft rides, tube slides and
a large wave pool.
Every weekend, it draws crowds from the Southern side of Malaysia who come to enjoy a
splashing good time while exploring Malacca's historical sights.
Bukit China is situated southeast of Bandar Malacca on a 42-acre hill and is actually carpeted
with more than 12,500 graves. What makes this place special is that it is the oldest and
largest traditional Chinese cemetery outside China.
Some graves can be traced back to more than four centuries ago to the first Chinese
immigrants in Malacca. Ironically, this was also the place where the princess, or concubine,
Hang Li Poh (a fact still disputed today) settled in, having been sent to Malacca as a mark of
friendship with the Malaccan Sultan in 1511. There are also 20 Muslim tombs in the area.
The Cultural Museum was built in 1954 by the British in a Dutch house that was in turn built
around 1660. The museum later moved to the Stadhuys in 1982 before it was finally moved
into a RM2.5 million complex in 1986 built by Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister.
The museum has a collection of 1,350 items; artefacts, prints, photographs and drawings
which represent the history and culture of the Malaccan Sultanate and migrant communities in
the early centuries.
There are also prints, photographs, decorative arts, costumes, jewelleries, brassware and
ancient weapons on display. The museum itself is housed within a replica of a Malay palace,
built based on sketches found in the Malay Annals.
Hang Tuah Mausoleum
Hang Tuah was described in legend as the admiral of Melaka's naval forces who deflected
countless attacks against Malacca from Siamese and Achenese fleets. The mausoleum was
built to commemorate and remember his story as a knight in the 15th century.
Hang Li Poh Well
Hang Li Poh was a princess who was sent from the emperor of China to marry the reigning
Malaccan Sultan Mansur Shah as a sign of good diplomatic relations, in mid-15th century.
Her entourage built the well in 1459 which became the main source of water for much of the
town. It is believed that the well has never dried up, even in the most extreme of drought.
The well was also said to have been filled with poison before by the Javanese during the
Dutch occupation and another time by the Japanese during World War Two.
Today, it is a famous wishing well and those who throw coins into it are said to come to
Malacca time and time again in the future.
True to its nature, the museum is built in a replica of a Portuguese ship, the 'Flo De La Mar'
that sank off the coast of Malacca while on the way to Portugal.
Here, visitors can view dioramas and intricately crafted models of ships on board. There are
detailed descriptions of Malacca history and a map that features actual charts used by
Portuguese sailors centuries ago.
Located near the tourist office, the Maritime Museum is a great place t visit to learn Malacca
Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum at Tan Cheng Lock Street is the ancestral home of three
generations of a Baba Nyonya family.
The building is now a beautifully-designed museum that showcases the unique culture and
legacy of Straits-born Chinese.
View costumes, jewellery and other heirlooms pertaining to Baba Nyonya culture here.
St Peter's Church
Built in 1710, the church is currently the oldest functioning Catholic Church in the country.
There is also a bell tower which dates all the way back to 1608 and was made in Goa, India.
The church itself was built through the donations of a Dutchman who presented it to the
Portuguese builders. Every year, the church becomes alive with activity during Catholic
Taman Mini ASEAN
Located in Ayer Keroh, the Taman Mini ASEAN is a theme park dedicated to showcasing the
culture of Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia.
Visitors can view replicas of traditional Malaysian houses and other Southeast countries as
well as handicrafts, costumes and models of world-famous monuments and scenery.
St Paul's Church
Take a path up the hill and it will lead you to this church. It was originally built in 1521, by the
Portuguese. It became a fortress in 1567, until 1596. After the Dutch siege it became St
Paul's, before it was known as Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of Annunciation). It
has been used as a burial ground for the Dutch. You can still see the tombstones, along the
walls of ruins of the church.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple.
25, Jalan Tokong. Tel: +60-6-2829343. Opening hours: Morning to 7pm - Oldest Chinese
temple in Malaysia and has an inscription dating 1685 commemorating the deeds of by
Kapitan China Li Wei King.
Taming Sari Revolving Tower.
Jalan Merdeka, 75000 Melaka. The latest addition to Malaysia's stable of skyscrapers. The
110m-tower seats 66 people at a time, taking them on a 7-minute ride offering breathtaking
360-degree views of the historic city and the coastline. Admission Fees for MyKad Holders:
RM10 for adults, RM5 for children below 12 years old, and RM7 for senior citizens above 55
years old. Admission Fees for Visitors without MyKad: RM20 for adults, RM10 for children
below 12 years old, and RM17 for senior citizens above 55 years old. Operating hours: 10am
to 10pm daily
Hang Li Po's Well
Legends have it that Hang Li Po was a Chinese princess from the Ming dynasty who was sent
to Malacca to wed Sultan Mansor Shah in the 15th century when the Malacca Sultanate was
at its zenith. She had 100 followers who were all settled on Bukit China, which means
Chinese Hill, and this well, at the foot of the hill, was where they got their water.
Poh San Teng Temple
This temple is located at the foot of Bukit China and next to Hang Li Po's Well, was founded
in 1795 by Kapitan China Chua Su Cheong as a graveyard temple. The main deity is Fu-te
Zhen Shen. the temple was built to allow the descendants of those buried on Bukit China to
conduct prayers to their ancestors away from the heavy rain and strong winds.
Geok Hu Keng Temple - Located at the junction of Klebang and Jalan Pokok Mangga, This
temple has a history of 130 years. Managed by local communities, the temple was
incorporated under the management of Cheng Hoon Teng in 2000.
Kampung Morten - a village of traditional houses, it is located on the west bank of the
Recreational Forest Ayer Keroh - The 359 ha (887 acre) Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest
was opened on April 17, 1984 and offers visitors peace and tranquillity within its cool green
Melaka Zoo - Located in Ayer Keroh, along the main road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to
Melaka town. One of the best, if not the best, zoo in Malaysia. Even better than the National
Zoo. The zoo is located in a reserved forest where the animal enclosures more resemble the
animals' natural habitat. The trees within the zoo compound provide ample shades for visitors
during hot and sunny days.
Go fly a kite, literally - Go to Klebang Beach and buy a cheap kite (fighter-style, but nowhere
near that well-constructed) with Japanese cartoon characters on it for RM 1.50, or a
styrofoam airplane for RM 5 if you don't have the necessary kite-flying mad skills.
Jonker Walk - Jonker Walk is an open air night market held every weekend (and recently
extended to eve of public holidays) evening to late night. Have a leisure stroll along the street,
observing the locals' life, catching a free performance and shop for some local souvenirs can
be a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Night Market / Pasar Malam - Night Market or more known as Pasar Malam is a market that
is held from evening to around 9pm at night everyday(though at different locations, eg.
Tuesday in Kampung Lapan and Friday in Malim). This is a good way to observe the life of
locals. Pasar Malam sells basically almost anything, from food to clothing, small electronics to
Jonkers Walk (6PM -12AM every weekend).
The Orangutan House (59 Lorong Hang Jebat, +606 282 6872, has cool T-shirts as well as
paintings for sale.
JUSCO store in Ayer Keroh Very popular during the weekend where even the Singaporeans
come to shop.
Mahkota Parade in Bandar Hilir opposite the Padang Pahlawan, where the proclamation of
Merdeka was made by the late Tunku. Has an exchange office which is open 7 days a week.
Tan Kim Hock Product Centre (85, 87, 89 Jalan Bendahara) sells famous food specialties
from Melaka, like Dodol, Cincalok, Belacan, dried fruits, durian cake, etc. Might be a good
idea as souvenirs for friends back home. Mr Tan Kim Hock, the founder of the company,
occasionally still walks around with his famous white suit giving out free stuffs.
Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall, is the latest landmarks in Melaka. It is also the largest mall in
Southern Malaysia. Located in the heart of the historic centre and opposite Mahkota Parade.
No.4 Jalan Tokong, just off the jonkers walk this is a lovely art gallery of contemporary art
work by Titi Kwok, the work is beautiful and the prices even better.
Besides the usual Malaysian fare, you'll be able to sample some rather peculiar Malaccan
food. On top of the list is of course Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya food, which until recently was
totally uncommercialised and confined to the kitchens of old grandmothers. Now, there are a
string of restaurants claiming to serve Peranakan food, most unfortunately seem to be on the
tour bus circuit. The dishes are slightly different from that of the Penang Peranakan. Usual
ones include ayam pongteh (chicken in bean sauce, originally cooked with pork) and ayam
buah keluak (chicken cooked with a bitter fruit) and a whole array of desserts. Another
famous Malacca dish is what is commonly called "chicken rice ball". Although it is called
Hainanese chicken rice, it is not from Hainan, China, but invented by the Hainanese
immigrants to Malaysia a long time ago. The chicken for this dish is very much the same as
the boiled chicken offered throughout Malaysia; what is unique is the rice - it comes in ping-
pong sized balls. Yet another Malaccan speciality is satay celup. It is like lok-lok found in
other parts of the country but instead of dipping your skewered foodstuff (fishballs, crabsticks,
meat, prawns and etc) into boiling water, you dip them into a boiling vat of satay sauce. The
sight of boiling satay sauce may not appeal to you but the crowds at the satay celup outlets
seem to suggest that many have overcome their phobias.
Of course, Malacca is where you'll find Portuguese-Eurasian food. The greatest concentration
of outlets will be at the Portuguese Settlement. Seafood is popular, as is the fiery "devil
The recent tourism boom has seen many new food and beverage outlets open in Malacca,
and especially in the heritage area of Jonker and Heeren Street. However, competition is
great and some outlets fail to survive. Places you discover on your first visit may not be
around anymore on your second.
Restoran Peranakan. 107, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street). Enjoy the experience
of eating good Peranakan food in the airy courtyard of a huge Peranakan house. Standard
dishes available. Count on about RM10-15 per person.
Restoran Ole Sayang. 198, Jalan Melaka Raya. One of the original Peranakan restaurants in
Restoran Makko. 123, Jalan Melaka Raya. A few doors down from Ole Sayang.
Jonker Walk has many food and drinks outlets which serve Nyonya laksa (laksa with coconut
milk) and desserts like cendol, including the sinful durian cendol.
Famosa Chicken Rice Ball 28 and 30, Jalan Hang Kasturi, corner of Jln Hang Kasturi and
Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk). A huge restaurant serving the dish in an alluringly bright red
building. It also has branches in Jalan Bendahara, Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall, Tesco
Malacca and Jaya Jusco Malacca in Ayer Keroh. Very efficient service even when overflowing
with people. However, some hardcore connoisseur of the dish regard this as a tourist trap and
its quality not up to mark.
Hoe Kee 4, Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk). A few steps nearer to Malacca River from
Famosa is this chicken rice ball outlet. You should get here early or you'll end up in a queue
to get a table.
Capitol Satay Celup, 41, Lorong Bukit Cina. Located a little distance away from the hustle
and bustle of the historic centre of town. This is one of Malacca's most popular satay celup
outlets and the crowds tend to confirm this. You pay for what you eat and at the end of the
meal, the skewers are counted. The price per skewer is between RM0.50 and RM1.
Hing Loong Taiwanese Noodle, 11-J, Jalan Bachang. Located out of the town centre but
have been discovered by many non-Malaccans. Tasty beef,
Coconut House Studio, 128, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street). Popular for its
wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas, which you can eat in a renovated Peranakan house complete
with a courtyard. Service may be a bit slow when there are crowds. The same people run a
similar outlet in Kuala Lumpur.
Wok and Pan:East Meets West Cuisine , 22G PM4, Plaza Makhota, 75000 Malacca.
Popular for its Pork Ribs and Pork Chop. It also serve Chinese and Local Cuisines. The boss
is the former head chef for Renaissance Hotel
Geographér Cafe 63 Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk). Tel: +60-6-2816813. The
restaurant/bar occupied a renovated old Malacca shophouse. Comfortable and lively/noisy
restaurant/bar serving Malaccan standards. Occasional live music.
Jalan Kee Ann Night Open Air Eating Stalls, Jalan Kee Ann. Hours 18:00 to 23:00 every
day. Open air eating stalls for locals and visitors. It is a good place to eat and see the world
go by while eating in the open air. Local cuisines include won ton mee, popiah, yew keow,
sugar cane water, sup kambing, satay,etc.
Tengkera Mee Soup, Located along Jalan Tengkera near the famous Tengkera Mosque.
Noodles (many varieties) served Chinese style but by a Malay/Muslim vendor and are
therefore Halal. Open from mid-afternoon until when the noodles are sold out.
When in Malacca, don't miss the cendol ("chen-dul"), a sweet dessert of coconut milk, lurid
green noodles and gula Melaka (Malacca sugar), made from palm sap.
Clocktower cendol,Jalan Laksamana. Located by the Malacca River opposite the Red
Square clock tower. Another Malacca legend, the cendol served by this Indian-Muslim hawker
is superb. You can have it plain or with red bean and is a wonderful thirst-quencher when
doing the historical sights circuit. There is also Indian rojak. It used to operate out of a
mangosteen-shaped stall (hence he's also known as "Mangosteen cendol") but now has a
more conventional-looking stall.
Limau Limau Cafe, 49 Jonker Street. Wide selections of fresh juices, milkshakes and lassi,
with no water or sugar added. They sell Lavazza Coffee too.
Libra Restaurant and Cocktail House, Jonker St, Wide selection of beers and cocktails.
Melaka Raya is the nightlife area of Melaka. Countless Pubs, Discos, Cafes and Restaurants
are located in this area. If you want to enjoy some Clubbing experience in Melaka, this is the
place to go.
Honky Tonk Haven Cafe - Nice little pub at Jalan Lorong Hang Jebat (1st cross street, i.e.
turn left off Jonker Walk) also with a view onto the Melaka river, run by a musician New
Zealander and his wife. Live music (specialising in jazz and also other type of music on
request). As of 9 pm every night, good pub food.
Malacca city offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Most
backpackers/budget accommodation are found in two areas, namely in the old heritage heart
where you will find atmospheric hotels and guesthouses in old typical Malacca terraces, and
in Taman Melaka Raya, the new business centre built on reclaimed land only several minutes
walking distance to the east of the old heart of town. Hotels are found throughout the city.
Malacca can be accessed from the North South Expressway. Leave the expressway at the
Ayer Keroh exit. Alternatively, one can leave the highway at the Simpang Empat exit and
proceed through normal road to Melaka. This route will pass through the town of Alor Gajah
and now with the new highway (ring road) completed, the trip from Simpang Empat to Melaka
will take approximately 20 - 30 minutes by car.
Malacca is 150 km (93 mi) from Kuala Lumpur, 216 km (134 mi) from Johor Bahru, and 90 km
(56 mi) from Port Dickson.
Many long-distance express buses connect Malacca with both Kuala Lumpur, Seremban,
Johor Bahru, Singapore and other parts of Peninsular Malaysia.
Malacca-Singapore Express: Hourly buses between Malacca City and Johor Bahru and
Singapore from 0800 to 1900. Tickets cost RM14.60 to/from Johor Baru, and RM17 to
There are also chartered taxi services available at end of Jalan Kee Ann. These chartered
taxis travel within Melaka state and outside Melaka such as to KLIA International Airport,
Kuala Lumpur and even Singapore. Malacca has real lousy public transportation system, so,
be ready to get your money ripped off by taxi drivers, even for a 5 minute's drive, they
sometimes charge you RM15.Most of the taxis in Malacca don't have a metered system, and
they often charge according to their likes.
Malacca is by no means a small city, but exploring on foot is a good idea. You could rent a
bike. Don't be ignorant and stand in the middle of the road holding up traffic in order to take
pictures of buildings, for heaven's sake. (This happens!)
Streets in the older/historical part of the city are very narrow, so they quickly become clogged
during rush hours.
Metered Taxis are just about everywhere. Chartered taxis on Jalan Kee Ann also travel within
the city and should not cost more than RM10 per ride.
Trishaws are available as well for short trips between tourist spots.
On the Lighter Side
Definition on Laws
& Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch or you'll have to
& Law of Gravity
Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
& Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
& Law of Random Numbers
If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal.
& Law of the Alibi
If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning
you will have a flat tire.
& Variation Law
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will start to move faster than the one
you are in now (works every time).
& Law of the Bath
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
& Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with
someone you don't want to be seen with.
& Law of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.
& Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
& Law of the Theater
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.
& The Starbucks Law
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which
will last until the coffee is cold.
& Murphy's Law of Lockers
If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.
& Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are
directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.
& Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
& Brown's Law of Physical Appearance
If the shoe fits, it's ugly.
& Oliver's Law of Public Speaking
A closed mouth gathers no feet.
&Wilson 's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.
If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll
feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.
Romanian village re-elects dead mayor
Maybe we should re-elect Churchill
BUCHAREST (Reuters) - The residents of a Romanian village knowingly voted in a dead man
as their mayor in Sunday's municipal election, preferring him to his living opponent.
Neculai Ivascu, 57, who ran the village for almost two decades, died from liver disease just
after voting began -- but still won the election by a margin of 23 votes.
A local official said the authorities decided to keep the poll open in case Ivascu's opponent,
Gheorghe Dobrescu, won, avoiding the need for a re-run.
"I know he died, but I don't want change," a pro-Ivascu villager told Romanian television.
In the end, election authorities gave the post to the runner-up, but some villagers and Ivascu's
party, the powerful opposition Social Democrat Party (PSD), have called for a new vote.
Topics for the Newsletter
If there is any topic you wish to raise, or you have an article that may be of interest to
other BBG members then please send it in to us and we will endeavour to include it in
the next issue of the Newsletter. e-mail any material to John V.White at
BBG OFFICE – SUMMER CLOSING
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Saturday 12 July – Sunday 31 August.
Opening again on Monday 1 September
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If there is any issue you wish to raise with the BBG Committee or suggestions wish to
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then please e-mail the BBG secretary/office at secretary[at]bbg-jed.org. or contact any
of the BBG committee members listed below:
Brian Hawley brianhawIey[at]zedansolutions.com
Edward Ogilvie edward[at]imc.com.sa
Chris Barsby chrisbarsby[at]hotmail.com
John Lockhart john.lockhart[at]synovate.com
Stephen Thomas steve[at]fadlallah.com
Stephen Taylor staylor[at]zahid.com
David Wheen dwheen[at]arabian-homes.com
John V.White johnvwhite[at]naghi-group.com
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subjects you consider relevant… if you don’t contact us then we can’t re-dress the
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