Finally, southern original flavor. Since we live so near to this place, we felt naturally guilty having not visited it even once. So the other day, 3 speakers went to the above mentioned center to check it out. Our initial expectations were sky high. Of course, what else would you expect from a 20 Million Ringgit project? Moreover, the design of the building is so eye-catching, having established in the center of MITC roundabout, probably the largest roundabout in Melaka.
To top that, The Star (local newspaper) reported few facts about this place, among other things:
- Seating capacity of 210, making it largest planetarium in Malaysia. KL Planetarium could only accommodate 170 people.
- Equipped with 15m wide projection dome gallery, performance space, exhibition areas, an astronomy museum and restaurants.
- screening of films on space science and documentaries
We went to the ‘2st’ floor straight away so that we would not miss the screening. There is a screening every hour. The dome is impressive for Malaysian standard. Then again, it is just a pathetic duplicated version of Singapore Science Centre’s Omnitheatre. We waited 15 minutes watching some random pattern on the dome while waiting for the screening to begin. Then another 20-30 minutes watching their trailers. By the time the screening begins, some already left the theatre due to boredom. The screening, titled Universe, displayed about some fish that wanted to get to the surface of the water.. Oh wait, that was a clip from one the trailers. I could not remember what the screening was actually about. Pathetic isn’t it?
Moving on, we disappointingly went downstairs to check the rest of the stuffs out, trying to find redemption so that we could actually suggest this place to someone. But it was even worse. All there is to see is nothing but posters and reading materials which you could easily find in the internet. It’s ridiculous to pay RM5 to read something that you wouldn’t even read it if it’s free, right? There were few objects which did not attract me, like a shiny new telescope, which might not even be functional, and some other stuffs in the glass box, which I couldn’t care less about. There were two simulator-machines. One simulates how the Earth would look like from space (like we don't already know), and another one on how to crash a plane. And of course, there were hanging objects on the ceiling like any other planetariums would have.
They even closed few paths, I guess those paths lead to more exhibition areas. There was no restaurant or no souvenir shop. You can't even go to the ground floor. I guess the glass box things are what they call as astronomy museums. Oh ya, did I mention that cameras are not allowed?
It is sad to learn that the largest planetarium in the country comes with the largest disappointment as well. Conclusively, I can think of many places where my RM5 would be better-spent.