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Morten Village ( Kampung Morten )

Many tourists, who have visited Kampung Morten here, described this traditional village as a 'living museum'.

This is no surprise as residents at this world heritage site, located right in the middle of this historic city, have been practicing a lifestyle that does not differ much when compared to that of their forefathers apart from the unique design of the village's houses.

Kampung Morten, named after a British Land Commissioner Frederick Joseph Morten, has 85 homes including 52 Melaka traditional dwellings.

Morten was believed to have played a role in the opening of this village in the 1920s while Othman Mohd Noh was credited as the founder of Kampung Morten.

The village, that sits on land located at the edge of the Melaka river, used to be a mangrove swamp foliaged by a dense nipah jungle.


Despite the years, Kampung Morten is the only Malay village in this historic city to have maintained its customs and traditions.

The village's houses were built according to the Malay design of having long roofs and tile-covered stairs made from stone. Intricate wood carvings could also be found at the verandah of these houses. Various flowery plants usually decorate the lawn at these houses.

This has made Kampung Morten a truly unique tourist destination; hence it is no wonder that this village is famous worldwide. Visitors to Kampung Morten would be welcomed by neatly lined Malay traditional houses and a walk through this village could turn into one the 'down memory lane' sojourns.

In 1988, the state government passed a gazette that placed Kampung Morten as a traditional Malay village of heritage significance and turned it into a tourist attraction.

Now, modern multi-storey buildings and the beautiful Melaka river that has undergone an image-uplifting programme flank the village. For tourists who opt for the Melaka River Cruise, a boat ride that snakes along a four-km stretch of Sungai Melaka, they would be in awe after witnessing the charming and tranquil Malay houses at Kampung Morten.


At a glance, not many would be able to notice that among these pastoral abodes, there is a residence that stores the Melaka Malay heritage that dates back to more than half a century.

These 'treasures' are kept in a house there, named 'Villa Sentosa'. Othman built this house when he opened the village in 1920.

Nine generations of Othman's descendants have stayed in this house and the occupants have also maintained the villa's traditions. Villa Sentosa, is also dubbed "The Living Museum" by many tourists and was turned into a sort of personal museum on Dec 11, 1991.

A descendant of Othman's, 58-year-old Abdul Rahim Hashim, now runs the villa. When speaking to Bernama recently, Abdul Rahim said Villa Sentosa exhibits a unique interior design apart from having a collection of Malay traditional wear, musical instruments and antique furniture.


Visitors to the villa would come to know about the family members of Hashim Abdul Ghani, the father of Abdul Rahim, through photographs and pictures placed on the walls of the 'wedding room'.

Abdul Rahim said the room had been used for 20 weddings of Othman's descendants. Meanwhile, at the villa's sitting room, a family tree illustration provides visitors with information on 'who's who' in Othman's family.

Fourteen windows provide the villa with a profuse infusion of fresh and cool air; hence the house needs no fans and air-conditioners.

This villa also exhibits a traditional Malay wedding dais, bathed in yellow colour as well as various Malay wedding attire that aged some 20 years apart from the other traditional wedding paraphernalia.

There is also a room decorated like that of a Malay wedding room during the old days of the Melaka sultanate.

Among other exhibits are a gong believed to be two centuries old, a 100-year-old cupboard and ceramics.

Also present are a 80-year-old Quran and an English-Arab dictionary published in 1926. There is also a glass cabinet that displays antique cameras.

This villa also greets visitors with its collection of the 50s era record apartment from an assortment of time-honoured weapons like the 'tekpi' (trident) as well as ancient crockery from countries like China, England, Italy and France.


"In an effort to promote Villa Sentosa, we also stage a cultural show that incorporates the dongdang sayang and joget lambak. The show is held once a month", said Abdul Rahim.

He said there is no entrance fee for visitors to the villa and his family members would be ever willing to provide information to anybody who request it.

"We do not impose any fee, it is enough for them (tourists) to make contributions for the family which we would use to make repairs and refurbishment to the villa," he added.

Villa Sentosa is opened to visitors daily from 9am to 6pm except on Friday where it is accessible for tourists between 2pm and 6pm.


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