Senai is a transit town situated 25 kilometres northwest of Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Apart from the Senai International Airport, it is also the base for several major multinational electronics manufacturers. This sprawl town is one of the flagship zones of the Iskandar Malaysia. The town is located along Skudai Highway, a part of Federal Route 1 which connects Johor Bahru with Kuala Lumpur.
Local banking services in Senai include Maybank, CIMB Bank, RHB Bank, EON Bank, and BSN Bank. Retail shops, many of which sell provisions, are located along the main trunk road. Public bus services that pass through Senai are TransitLink, Causeway Link, Triton, Maju and S&S. These services ply the roads between Senai and Johor Bahru.
Origin of the name Senai
The name, Senai, is derived from a local tree, Sinai, which thrived in the region in the early 20th century. Chinese, Malay and Tamil Indian are the main ethnic groups. The majority of the Chinese in Senai belong to the Hakka dialect group.
Historic Senai consists of pre-World War II shophouses along the main road, which is divided into an upper street and a lower street by the river in the middle. During the post-war Malayan Emergency in the late 1940s to early 1950s, resettlement policies propagated newer villages in Senai as well. A third phase of settlement was enacted in the 1970s when low-cost housing was introduced. Four main lorongs (lanes) of residence continue to dominate these older housing estates.
The 1980s brought about a major boost to Senai's population, which resulted from the construction of the Senai International Airport then, increasing economic interest in the region. Consequently, this called for the establishment of additional housing estates to cater to the expansion of Senai's infrastructure. These new residential areas include:
- Taman Senai
- Taman Aman
- Taman Bahagia
- Taman Senai Utama
- Taman Selesa
- Taman Sri Senai
- Taman Senai Baru
- Taman Bukit Senang
- Taman Senai Jaya
- Taman Impian Senai
The town is now expanding rapidly with several new housing estates taking shape. As such, it may well merge with the nearby Kulai district in the foreseeable future. Senai is set to become a major logistics hub in Southeast Asia over the next few years as new transportation links and logistic developments integrating the Senai International Airport and Tanjung Pelepas Port commence.
Senai has 3 Chinese public primary schools - SJK (C) Senai (士乃华文小学),SJK (C)Saleng(沙令华小) and SJK (C) Seelong (泗隆华小), two public primary Schools (SK Senai and SK Taman Senai Utama), and a public secondary school (SMK Senai).
SK Senai which is located in the middle of Senai Town consists of students from 6 (pre-school) to 12 year old pupils. In January 2008, the student count was 892 and 57 teachers. The official website is http://www.sksenai.com
A night market (locally known as pasar malam) regularly takes place in Taman Aman every Wednesday evening from 6 to 10 p.m. Vendors sell various local food and drinks, local produce such as fresh vegetables and fruits, clothes, and other grocery items at low prices. The pasar malam is usually crowded with locals and visitors. Also, a morning market selling fresh vegetables and meat opens 6 days a week in Taman Senai Utama, but closes on Monday.
- Johor Bahru Street Directory, 1st edition, by Rimman publications