Malacca (Malay: Melaka; Tamil: மலாக்கா, simplified Chinese: 马六甲; traditional Chinese: 馬六甲; pinyin: Mǎliùjiǎ), dubbed "The Historic State", is a state in Malaysia located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Strait of Malacca.
Sultanate of Malacca
Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a fishing village inhabited by local inhabitants known as Orang Laut. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, also known as Iskandar Shah. He found his way to Malacca around 1402 where he found a good port—it was accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Straits. In 1403, the first official Chinese trade envoy led by Admiral Yin Qing arrived in Malacca. Later, Parameśwara was escorted by Zheng He and other envoys in his successful visits.
In April 1511, Alfonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships. They conquered the city on 24 August 1511. After seizing the city Afonso de Albuquerque spared the Hindu, Chinese and Burmese inhabitants but had the Muslim inhabitants massacred or sold into slavery.
Post colonial era
After the dissolution of this crown colony, Malacca and Penang became part of the Malayan Union on 1 April 1946, which later became the Federation of Malaya in 1 February 1948. The declaration of independence was made by the first Prime Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman, at Padang Pahlawan on 20 February 1956, which eventually led to the independence of Malaya on 31 August 1957. In 16 September 1963, Malaysia was formed with the merger of Malaya with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, and Malacca became part of it. On 15 April 1989, Malacca was declared a historical city. It was then also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.
The state of Malacca covers an area of 1,664 km2 (642 sq mi). It sits upon the southwestern coast of the Malay Peninsula opposite Sumatra, with the state of Negeri Sembilan to the north and west and Johor to the east. Malacca is situated roughly two-thirds of the way down the west coast, 148 km (92 mi) south of Kuala Lumpur and commands a central position on the Straits of Malacca. With the exception of some of its small hills, Malacca is generally a lowland area with average elevation below 50 meters above sea level.
Despite being located in a land without any significant natural resources, the economy of Malacca dates back more than 500 years, due to its strategic location. As the center of the all important spice trade, Malacca attracted many colonial powers to engage wars to control it.
Each group upholds their tradition and it is reflected in their food, religion customs, festivals, culture, design, application, jewellery and handicrafts. Among the unique Melaka culture is Dondang Sayang which is recognized by UNESCO. Dondang Sayang is a traditional Malay art still practised in Melaka by four communities: the Malay, Baba Nyonya, Chitty and Portuguese communities. The practice combines elements of music (violins, gongs and tambourines or the tambour), songs and chants, and features melodious strains of poetry. Also known as love ballads, the songs are used by communities to convey feelings of love and give advice on special topics such as love and kindness. For food, Malacca received recognition from the World Street Food Congress for Nyonya Siamese Noodles (34th) and Coolie Street Satay (43rd).
Sports-related affairs of Malacca are governed by the Malacca State Sports Council (Malay: Majlis Sukan Negeri Melaka) under the Malacca State Government. Another governing body of sports in Malacca is the Department of Youth and Sports (Malay: Jabatan Belia dan Sukan Negeri Melaka).
Malacca International Motorsport Circuit
Malacca is home to several football stadiums, such as Hang Jebat Stadium, Hang Tuah Stadium and Tun Fatimah Stadium. Built in 1954, Hang Tuah Stadium is the oldest stadium in Malacca. Established under the Malacca Stadium Corporation Enactment of 2004, the Malacca Stadium Corporation is the entity that manages stadiums in Malacca which started its operation on 16 September 2004.