Melaka’s Straits Chinese community offers to play a big role


MELAKA: The Straits Chinese community here is hoping to play a significant part when Melaka hosts the 50th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China, says Datuk Ronald Gan (pic).

The chairman of the Baba and Nyonya Association of Malaysia said the long historical link of their ancestors from China would be a great platform for stakeholders in the state to tap into various opportunities in tourism during the celebration.

“We are wrapped up in a heritage that is unique and intriguing, where it can be promoted as cultural tourism by exploring China’s past connection to Melaka.

“This will also give the new generation of the Chinese to discover and experience the cultural elements of the community,” he said in an interview.

Gan added that his team is reviving interest in the Peranakan Chinese customs and tradition among the youths in the state in order to preserve the community’s legacy.

“We are prepared to be part of this memorable celebration,” he said.

He also said that the community’s cuisine and elegant crockery can also be promoted during the celebration.

Historically, Gan said the Peranakan Chinese community, who settled in the state as early as the 14th century, was already recognised as natives since then.

He said that was the reason why some 200 plots of Malay Customary Land (MCL) in the state awarded during the British rule belonged to the Peranakan Chinese.

“Most of these properties are in Klebang, Tanjung and Bukit Rambai, where the owners are Chinese by name, but they were known as sons of soil by the British and even by the Dutch,” he added.

On March 26, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh said the historical city is set to host the anniversary celebration.

He said the state is well known among Chinese tourists, and is the most suitable venue to host the golden anniversary celebration due to the state’s long history of relations with China, which began over 600 years ago.

Ab Rauf said this after receiving a courtesy visit from Bernama chairman and Star Media Group adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai at his office in Seri Negeri at Ayer Keroh.

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