From 'Malacca' to 'Melaka': Is it worth the effort?

Kelly Koh


MELAKA: Is it worth the effort, standardising the spelling of Malacca to ‘Melaka’?

The answer appears to be yes, according to members of the public polled.

Tour guide Shaukani Abbas said the move is commendable as it can bring an end to confusion, especially among tourists.

“The state was previously spelled ‘Melaka' (even in English) and it should be maintained as such. It is good that the state government finally standardising it," he said.

Shaukani said, as a tour guide, he was often quizzed by puzzled tourists on the actual spelling of the state's name.

“It can be confusing to have two spellings. It should be spelled as 'Melaka'.

“It is high time we finally spell the state name out as 'Melaka', not 'Malacca'," he said.

Yesterday, the Malacca State Executive Council decided that the Anglicised state name spelling of ''Malacca'' will cease to be used, and that reference to the state in English shall henceforth be exclusively “Melaka”.

Melaka State Secretary Datuk Seri Naim Abu Bakar said that all newspapers and the media, whether Bahasa Malaysia, English or any other language, shall use ''Melaka'' in writing or when mentioning the state.

"This is intended to standardise the use of the name ''Melaka'', especially in English," he said.

Meanwhile, over on social media, Facebook user Abdul Rasyid Muhammad Razak, said it was a good effort.

“Don't let them change it (the name) like Singapore (from Singapura). Pulau Pinang (Penang) should also do the same,” he said.

Other netizens felt that changing the name wasn’t an issue, as it is also practised elsewhere historically.

“No issue. Indonesia, India, China, Russia and many other countries have changed the names of their cities before,” said Facebook user Tuan Zamani Amir.

Another netizen, Sureen Tan also shared a similar sentiment, saying that the word 'Malacca' is commonly used in conversation only.

“Only the Strait settlement has this spelling - Penang/Pulau Pinang, Singapore/Singapura and Malacca/Melaka... I don’t see an issue. Putting 'Melaka' (as the) name in the Unesco World Heritage is proper.

Others, however, felt that the name change was unnecessary as the state government should be focusing on more pressing matters.