Malaysia — Malacca — Malacca? Malaka? Malaqa?

What’s in a name?

June 2015

I spent a weekend in Malacca. Or is it Malaka? Or possibly Malaqa? I'm not sure.

I've seen Malacca spelt all three ways over the weekend. Luckily, thanks to the Internet, I may have an answer.

Malacca and Melaka are the same as Melaka is the Malay version of the English Malacca. Malacca (or Melaka) is not only the town, but it is also the state, and so we have:

  • Melaka, Melaka
  • Melaka, Malacca
  • Malacca, Melaka
  • Malacca, Malacca

And I have seen them all used.

However, Malaqa is a mystery. I can’t find any information on it. The one place I do recall seeing it was at the Malaqa House Museum. Maybe they are trying to set a new name for the place, or it has some other meaning.

Photo by Author - Malaqa House Museum, Malacca, Malaysia
Photo by Author - Malaqa House Museum, Malacca, Malaysia

If you know why Malaqa House spells Malacca Malaqa, please let me know in the comments below.