Treasure said to be worth billions is believed to be buried inside a cave on Pulau Nangka, a small island located 17km off the coast of Malacca.
Items believed to be part of the ancient treasure trove are chests of gold bars, a throne and royal regalia.
According to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, the state government has given permits to two local companies to carry out excavation work under strict conditions set by Malacca Museum Corporation (Perzim).
“For now, they have only been authorised to collect pictorial evidence,” he said.
“It is not scientific, but locals believe there are mystical obstacles preventing the treasure from being taken,” said the Chief Minister.
Villagers believe that the buried cave is either protected by a curse or by spirits.
It was reported that a small group of people managed to get into the cave about 30 years ago, but not one came out with even a single piece of bounty. Instead, they reportedly came out dazed and in a trance-like state after claiming to have seen more than 80 chests of gold among other things.
Representatives of the two companies that would be carrying out the excavation works for the state government had sought “spiritual help” before commencing their task. Some of the things they agreed to was to get permission of the current administration of the state and that the wealth from the hunt will be used for the benefit and betterment of the people.
Workers involved in the treasure hunt have so far bored several 130mm diameter holes into the cave using high-tech equiptment and the latest progress report on the ongoing work has been submitted to the state government last week.
Pulau Nangka is a popular tourist attraction and a Sufi pilgrimage site with olden shrines, wells and mausoleums located about 4km from the state’s main island of Pulau Besar.