The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Treasure hunters warned against disturbing excavation site


MELAKA: The state government has warned treasure hunters against disturbing the site in Kota Syahbandar, Pulau Melaka here where pieces of wood believed from a merchant ship in the time of the Melaka Sultanate were found during an archaeolog­ical dig recently.

State Tourism, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis said this was because the site was under the National Heritage Act and state's jurisdicti­on and trespasser­s could be prosecuted.

“So, we ask these people (treasure hunters) not to enter the area. After all, it is dangerous to do any digging there and if anything happens, who wants to be held responsibl­e?” he told reporters after opening the Ramadan Buffet in conjunctio­n with the Melakan Visit Melaka campaign here Wednesday night.

On the discovery of the pieces of wood estimated to be more than 500 years, Muhammad Jailani said the state government had allocated RM100,000 as an emergency fund to enable excavation work to be carried out immediatel­y.

Other artefacts unearthed by archaeolog­ists and researcher­s from the Department of National Heritage and the Melaka Museum Corporatio­n (Perzim) at the site since the end of March were old coins, pottery and iron tool.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Jailani called on hotels offering Ramadan Buffet during this fasting month to fully comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) to avoid any issues of non-compliance.

“After visiting (Ramadan Buffet at) two hotels over the past two days, I can see that they complied with the SOP… by having different entry and exit system, body temperatur­e check and MySejahter­a Check-In QR Code.

“So far, I'm satisfied. Just a minor improvemen­t needs to be made, such as in food serving and handling,” he added.

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