The history of Kampung Jawa (formerly a much bigger area than now) goes back over centuries. In the early 1920s, to make way for the huge project that was Malacca’s new Municipal Market, (largely Malay) residents of Kampung Johol and Kampung Jawa had to move out, to Kampung Morten among other places. Built by the Singapore-based firm of United Engineers, the market transformed the area. Tongkangs and boats delivered goods on the river, and surrounding areas including Bunga Raya expanded rapidly.
Now the market is no longer there, and the area is witness to the State’s haphazard lack of planning. Kampung Jawa continues its descent into a slum, and despite its central location, is generally avoided. So much so, that partitions have been erected along the river to protect outsiders from the view. Nonetheless, the “Pasar Besar” which served Melakans for over 60 years shaped lives and livelihoods, and is remembered by many.
Pasar Besar in Maps
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