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Initiatives and intervention in promoting pedestrianization in the historic city of Melaka, Malaysia - page 8 / 21





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Portuguese with minor adjustment particularly in the dimensions of the lots. The land seems to be deeper and narrower on the northern commercial area of the town.

Figure 3 Plan of Malaca by J.W. Heydt 1744. Source: National Museum.

Melaka enjoyed a temporary revival after the British captured it in 1795, but its revival proved to be short-lived. Penang, which had been established in 1786, and which served as the Malayan headquarters of the British East India Company, rapidly replaced Melaka as the port of call and centre of trade. The rise of Singapore after 1819 further undermined Melaka’s position and its days as an international emporium in Southeast Asia came to an abrupt end. Thereafter it occupied a more lowly position in the urban hierarchy than either Penang or Singapore and later Kuala Lumpur. Subsequently, it was also overtaken by the new interior urban centres, which grew in size and importance.

In 1807, the Commandant of Melaka, Captain William Farquhar was given the task of demolishing the walled fortress of the city. Other buildings adjoining the fortress walls were also demolished in a plan to abandon Malaka and transfer the population to Penang, but the people refused to leave the walled city. Another reason for the demolition was to avoid the considerable expense of maintaining the fortress and also to avoid the danger from falling into the hands of the Dutch and being used against British interest in the area.

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