Malacca is the third smallest Malaysian state after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca City, which is 148 km south east of Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 km north west to Johor's largest city Johor Bahru, and 95 km north west to Johor's second largest city Batu Pahat.
This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008. Although it was the location of one of the earliest Malay sultanates, the monarchy was abolished when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The head of state is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan. Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a fishing village inhabited by local Malays.
The establishment of the Malacca Manipal Medical College in Bukit Baru provided quality medical education. It has produced many doctors who are serving the country or working abroad since its inception in 1997. Malacca has a boarding school, Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Selandar (SBPIS). The Ministry of Education of Malaysia enrolls students based on their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR).
A center for juvenile convicts, Henry Gurney Prisoners School, is also situated in Telok Mas, Malacca. Established in 1949 as High Moral School, it was renamed School of Henry Gurney at 15 May 1950. This center runs rehabilitation programs for male juvenile criminals. Malacca also has one international school called Melaka International School, which caters to the expatriate community in Malacca.Melaka is already a center for international education with Universiti Multimedia(MMU) at Bukit Beruang plays a major role in attracting students from all over the world.
The historic centre of Malacca was inscribed on the World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang. Two of the most important museums in Malacca are the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and the Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum. Belacan, a Malay variety of shrimp paste, is prepared from fresh shrimp of a species known as keragu in Malay.
A population of Portuguese descent, who speak a Portuguese creole, are the descendants of colonists from the 16th and 17th centuries. Even to this day, many of the traditions originating with the Portuguese occupation are still practised, i.e. "Intrudu" from Portuguese word "Entrudo" (a water festival that marks the beginning of Lent, the Catholic fasting period), "branyu" (traditional dance), "Santa Cruz" (a yearly Festival of street celebrations). The Portuguese colonists contributed dishes like Devil's Curry and Portuguese egg tarts to the town's cuisine. Ikan Bakar (roasted fish) restaurants in Umbai, Serkam and Alai are also popular.
Pulau Sebang in Alor Gajah district, 30 km north of Malacca, is the nearest train station that serves Malacca. There were railway tracks from Pulau Sebang to Malacca before World War II but these were dismantled by the Japanese for the construction of the Burmese Death Railway. It was never rebuilt after the war, though traces of the line remain.
Malacca has a bus station, Melaka Sentral which has inter and intracity bus lines. Batu Berendam Airport in Batu Berendam mainly serves Pekan Baru, Subang, Medan and chartered flights from around the region. It also serves as a flight school for Malaysia Flying Academy.The Ayer Keroh exit at the North-South Expressway is the main entry to Malacca. There are two additional exits along the North-South highway, namely the Simpang Ampat and Jasin exits.
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