Melaka is a UNESCO World Heritage City, namely for its old legacy as one of the early cosmopolitan trading centers in South East Asia. It was also a center for the spread of Islam in the area, which the local museums like to explicitly state was the source of much enlightenment.
Often enough that’s true, but Malaysia is prone to propaganda, too. In Melaka, traders from around the world met, and reputedly it had any of 40 different languages trading and residing there. Some kind of system to keep things peaceful in the face of such diversity must have been necessary.
Of course as well, it does reaffirm that cultures and religions by no means stay exactly the same. Today people stereotype Islam with war and fundamentalism, but not all that long ago it was the religion of progress, rationality and discussion.
First there were the local Malays. Then came the Arabs, with Islam. Then came the South Chinese. Then came the Portuguese. Then came the Dutch. And lastly came the British. Melaka saw all of these.
For a heritage city, it was also not all that developed. Most of its tourism was from backpackers. There were no large resorts, and only one tallish building. These were advantages.