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Johor - Malaysia

Johor is the third largest (19,984 sq km) and one of the most developed states in Peninsular Malaysia. It is situated at the southern tip of the peninsula, just across the Straits of Johor from Singapore (with which it is connected by a road and rail causeway). Johor's population exceeds two million people, comprising an ethnic mix of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other groups. Its capital is Johor Bahru.


The rise of Johor as a political power was precipitated by the downfall of Malacca. With the Portuguese capture of Malacca in 1511, the Malay kingdom re-established itself in Johor. For the next several centuries Johor played an important role in the regional power struggles, eventually allying itself with the Dutch in their successful capture of Malacca in 1641.

In competition with the Achehs of northern Sumatra and the port-kingdom of Malacca under Portuguese rule, Johor engaged prolonged warfare with their rivals, often striking alliances with friendly Malay states and in particular the Dutch. In 1641 Johor in cooperation with the Dutch succeeded in capturing Malacca. By 1660, Johor had become a flourishing entrepôt, although weakening and splintering of the empire in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century reduced its sovereignty. It would not be until Raffles came to Johor in 1818 that a strong sultanate under Sultan Hussein was instituted.

Johor's modern history began with Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, the son of Temenggong Abdul Rahman, who was a descendant of Sultan Abdul Jalil IV of Johor. In 1855, under the terms of a treaty between the British in Singapore and Sultan Ali of Johor, control of the state was formally ceded to Dato` Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, who began to develop Johor. Land was opened to Chinese settlers from Singapore, and the cultivation of pepper was initiated, bringing Johor its initial economic base. The Temenggong was succeeded by his son, Dato' Temenggong Abu Bakar, who was formally crowned Sultan of Johor in 1866. Sultan Abu Bakar gave Johor its constitution, developed its modern administrative system, and constructed the Istana Besar--the official residence of the Sultan. He is known today as the Father of Modern Johor.

The state continued to flourish throughout the 19th and 20th century. The increased demand for black pepper and gambier in the nineteenth century lead to the opening up of farmlands to the influx of Chinese immigrants, creating Johor's initial economic base. The Kangchu system was put in place. Under the British Residency system, Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan Abu Bakar's successor, was forced to accept a British adviser in 1914. D.G. Campbell was dispatched as the first British adviser to Johor.

British administration of Johor lasted until 1941, the year of the Japanese invasion. After the war, from 1945 to 1946, Johor was under the jurisdiction of the British Military Administration.

The British in London formed the Malayan Peninsula Planning Unit in 1943, and on 10 October 1945, the Malayan Union scheme was laid out before the British Parliament. A day later, Sir Harold MacMichael was sent to the Malayan Peninsula to obtain the agreement of the Malay Rulers. According to this agreement, Penang, Malacca and nine other Malay states were united under the Malayan Union.

Malay opposition derailed the Malayan Union plan, and the Malays under Dato' Onn Jaafar's leadership formed the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) on 11 May 1946. The Malay Federation was founded on 1 February 1948, the first step towards independence, and on 31 August 1957, independence was achieved.

Today its economy continues to exhibit strong growth, with healthy industrial development and outstanding trade and business facilities. The present ruler is His Majesty Sultan Iskandar, who served from 1984 to 1989 as Malaysia's Eighth Yang Di Pertuan Agong.



The white crescent and star of five points denote royal sovereignty. The red represents a warrior and the blue represents the universe.

The crown represents the Ruler, while the 4 stars stand for the 4 original Johor districts of the State, namely Johor Bahru, Muar, Batu Pahat and Endau. The crescent and star symbolise Islam. The two rampant tigers on either side of the shield denote a time when wild animals roamed Johor. The floral decorations below the shield symbolise the original main products of Johor, black pepper and gambier. The State motto reads "In the Hands of Allah".


Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru is the State Capital, built in 1855 by the late Sultan Abu Bakar. The city is the southern gateway to Peninsular Malaysia. It is a vibrant and exciting commercial city, offering a host of sporting events, a pulsing nightlife, outstanding shopping and accommodations, and a wide array of fine restaurants. The city also contains a number of cultural and historical attractions, including the Sultan Abu Bakar mosque, the imposing civic space of the Dataran Bandaraya, the State Secretariat Building, and most notably the Royal Abu Bakar Museum in the Grand Palace. Johor Bahru is linked to Singapore via its 1,056-meter causeway, a dramatic road, rail, and pedestrian link across the Straits of Johor via a causeway to Tanjung Pagar and a second road link to Tuas in the Republic. The Johor Causeway was built in 1924 but was destroyed during World War II. The Japanese then repaired the causeway.

Royal Abu Bakar Museum

Said to be one of the finest museums in the world in terms of its ambience and its dazzling display of cultural treasures, the Royal Abu Bakar Museum occupies the Istana Besar, or Grand Palace, built by Sultan Abu Bakar in 1866. The museum was founded in 1990 by Johor's present ruler, His Majesty Sultan Iskandar, and its collection consists of the treasures of the Royal Family. In addition to an extensive art collection, the museum displays the ceremonial regalia, personal memorabilia, furniture, objets d'arts, and cultural artifacts accumulated by the Royal Family over the course of its reign.

Johor Port

Located at Pasir Gudang, approximately 20 nautical miles east of Johor Bahru, this Port began full operation in 1997. Johor Port has undergone rapid growth and developmental changes to fulfil the vision of a modern and dynamic port. The port also has a comprehensive system of freeways and rail linkages make the port easily accessible by road and rail from other parts of West Malaysia especially Johor Bahru.


Muar is a picturesque town along the western peninsular coast. Also known as Bandar Maharani, Muar is in many ways a smaller version of Malacca, its more famous neighbor. Muar is particularly renowned for its outstanding cuisine, with many restaurants as well as food stalls serving irresistible local delicacies.


Mersing is a pleasant fishing town, known primarily as the departure point for some of the most beautiful islands in the South China Sea--including the legendary Pulau Tioman.

Mount Ophir

The legendary beauty of Mount Ophir has made it one of Johor's most popular attractions for hikers and birdwatchers. The mountain offers several nature trails to its summit, some lovely waterfalls, and modern facilities for camping and picnicking.

Pontian and Kukup

These two tiny fishing villages along Johor's southwestern coast offer some of the best fresh seafood in the region. The houses, as well as the restaurants, are built in traditional style on stilts at the water's edge.

Tanjung Piai

Tanjung Piai, situated in the midst of an extensive area of mangrove forest, provides visitors with an glimpse of the richness of Malaysia's coastal fauna as well as an experience of traditional kampung life. Multi-coloured mangrove crabs, beady-eyed mudskippers, and crab-eating macaques abound here.


Area : 19,984 square km
State Capital : Johor Bahru
Administrative Divisions : 8
Namely:- Batu Pahat, Johor Bahru, Kluang,
Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Muar, Pontian, Segamat


: 2,565,701 (2000)

Breakdown of Races (1994)

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