The iconic century-old tree of Melacca in front of the Stadthuys Building at Bandar Hilir was uprooted after a heavy downpour early this morning at 6.30am (17 March).
The yellow flame tree or “Batai Laut” had been around for 127 years and was planted in 1984, during the British colonial era. It was 18 meters in height and was almost 1.5 meters in diameter before it was uprooted.
The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) were called to monitor the traffic while Landscape Department of the Melaka Historic City Council (MBMB) carry out the cleaning works. The cleaning works were expected to be completed by 2p.m.
According to Utusan, Melaka Museum Corporation (Perzim) General Manager, Dr Mohd Nasruddin Rahman believes the tree had fallen its roots have rotted after it was planted during the British era in 1894.
He does not deny that environmental factors such as busy traffic lanes could have contributed to the incident too.
Dr Mohd Nasruddin Rahman added that the trees had been gazetted under the MBMB Council so that it wouldn’t be cut down and was only conserved for landscape purposes. Most of these types of trees were planted by the British government during the colonial period as a landmark.
MBMB Mayor, Datuk Zainal Abu said that they will be planting the same kind of tree as a replacement for the fallen tree to maintain the image of of the location, which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites!