Batu Pahat (town)

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Not to be confused with Batu Pahat, district area included Batu Pahat town and Yong Peng

Batu Pahat
باتو ڤاهت
峇株吧辖 (Bandar Penggaram)
Batu Pahat towns view at night.
Batu Pahat towns view at night.
Flag of Batu Pahat
Official logo of Batu Pahat
Nickname(s): BP
Batu Pahat is located in Malaysia
Batu Pahat
Batu Pahat
Coordinates: 1°51′00″N 102°56′00″E / 1.85000°N 102.93333°E / 1.85000; 102.93333
Country  Malaysia
State  Johor
Administrative Areas
Township 1894
District Council
(Majlis Daerah)
Municipality Council
(Majlis Perbandaran)
 • District Officer
.- Yang Di Pertua
En. Abdul Rashid Bin Hj. Ismail
Population (2010)
 • Total 417,458 (16th)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Postal code 83000
National calling code 07-42xxxxx to 07-45xxxxx
License plate prefix J

Batu Pahat town (Bandar Penggaram or BP;) is a town located on the northwest coast of the state of Johor, Malaysia within a district of the same name. It lies south-east of Muar a royal city, south-west of Kluang, north-west of Pontian and south of Segamat.

As of 2009, Batu Pahat is the 20th largest urban area in Malaysia in terms of population. In 2006, Batu Pahat surpassed Muar to become the second largest urban area in Johor and by 2012, Batu Pahat is the 16th largest urban area in Malaysia in terms of population.(Malaysia Population)

Batu Pahat has developed rapidly over the past few years, its growth encouraged by people from neighbouring townships who come to visit the local shopping centres.[1] Nowadays, Batu Pahat enjoy the name of "Northern Johor Shopping Paradise" due to the rapid development of those shopping malls and hypermarkets.

Chinese make up the majority of the population at 62% followed by the Malay at 36%, Indians at 2%.[2] [3]

History, etymology and legends[edit]

Batu Pahat landmarks in Dataran Penggaram at Jalan Rahmat.

The name Batu Pahat means "chiselled rock" in Malay. The origin of this name can be traced back to a legend in the 15th century; when the invading Siamese troops were chiselling rocks at a rocky spot in the coastal village of Kampung Minyak Beku, in hope of getting fresh water during their retreat. They were being chased by the Melaka troops, being led by Tun Perak, the famous Bendahara (Prime Minister) of the Malacca Empire. In fact, in around 1456, the Siamese army was led by Admiral Awi Di Chu camped in Batu Pahat before attacking Malacca.

There is also another story detailing the origin of Batu Pahat's name. After capturing Melaka, the Portuguese built the "A Famosa" fortress of granite rocks taken from the mouth of Sungei Batu Pahat. The town acquired its name, which means "chiselled stone" from the quarries near the estuary. Renowned for its salted fish in the past, Batu Pahat was formerly known as Bandar Penggaram, which means town of salt-makers. In 1893, the present township was founded by Dato Bentara Luar, Mohamed Salleh bin Perang, acting on the orders of the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Abu Bakar.

Today, the ancient well can still be found in Minyak Beku, though little was done to maintain this ancient landmark which gives its name to the town. For the town's centennial celebration in the early 1990s, a quaint monument depicting a 'floating hand chiselling a rock' was set up in the town square. It became the landmark of the town instantaneously. Currently, the newly refurbished town square is popular with locals to chill out on weekend nights and also provides a venue for many public festive celebrations.

Batu Pahat is also the home of Puteri Gunung Banang which is a family member of the traditional fable Puteri Gunung Ledang [5]. The first Malay dragon dance (Chinese culture) troop in Malaya was formed by Dato' Bentara Luar Mohd. Salleh Perang in Batu Pahat, only to have its final public performance in 1955, when cultural exchange gave way to racial politics. [6]

Recent history[edit]

The place of the Parit Sulong Massacre (The Bridge of Pekan Parit Sulong) was situated in this district. It is located in Mukim Simpang Kiri at Pekan Parit Sulong. The original bridge has now been demolished and it was replaced by a new bridge; the plaque of the massacre exists until today.

The crew of U-181, and other German U-boats, were transferred here following Germany's surrender.[4]:236

There used to be a Batu Pahat Bank. However, in 1963 Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation created Pacific Bank to acquire 97% of Batu Pahat Bank. Singaporean businessmen incorporated the OCBC bank in 1919 to serve the needs of the local Chinese community, which comprise the majority of the town's population. At the time Batu Pahat in Johore was a center for the production of rubber. OCBC bought the bank in anticipation of the union between Malaya and Singapore [7]. Until the 1980s, both OCBC and Pacific banks were still located face to face at the junction of Jalan Soga and Jalan Rahmat. On 1 January 2001, Pacific Bank Berhad merged with MayBank and PhileoAllied Bank, after a Malaysian Government directive.

On 16 October 1980, Batu Pahat police killed eight members of a sword-wielding mob led by a Cambodian refugee-cum-cult leader, Ahmad Nasir Ismail, who claimed to be Imam Mahadi, a sort of messiah. They had stormed the police headquarters in Batu Pahat, injuring 14 policemen and 9 civilians. The self-styled Mahadi was among those killed.

Batu Pahat celebrated its 100th year of foundation in 1994. The delayed celebration was held in the city area with street cultural performances at night and ended with a fireworks display near the Dataran (city square).


Batu Pahat is situated at 1°51′N, 102°56′E in the state of Johor in southern Peninsular Malaysia. It is located 239 km to the south of Kuala Lumpur. The closest town to Batu Pahat is Muar, which is located 50 km to the northwest of this town. The town of Kluang is located about 52 km to the southeast. Johor Bahru, the capital of Johor, is located about 130 km to the south east of the town. 95 km to the north west is the Malaysian historical city, Melaka.

The district itself borders the district of Segamat to the north, Kluang to the east, Muar to the west and shares a border in the southeast with the district of Pontian. The coast of the Strait of Malacca lies to the south.


The outskirts of Batu Pahat were severely affected by Typhoon Utor-associated floods not only once, but twice in a span of a month from December 2006 to January 2007 (2006-2007 Malaysian floods). Affected areas include Senggarang, Sr Gading, Parit Yaani, Sri Medan, Yong Peng, Parit Ahmad and Parit Besar.


Jalan Pejabat, which is the house of the government offices in Batu Pahat.

Batu Pahat is administered by Majlis Perbandaran Batu Pahat (MPBP) or the Batu Pahat Municipal Council which was upgraded from the previous Majlis Daerah Batu Pahat Barat (MDBPB) or the West Batu Pahat District Council.

Batu Pahat district has 525 gazetted villages (kampung-kampung) and village-clusters (kampung rangkaian) where smaller villages were annexed to their bigger immediate neighbours for the purpose of administration. The villages are represented by their village heads (ketua-ketua kampung) who answer to the subdistrict chief (Penghulu) administering the Mukim. The Mukim itself however is under the jurisdiction of the Pegawai Daerah or District Officer. The district office of Batu Pahat also has five district engineers (Jurutera Daerah) to oversee all the subdistricts.

Growth in small and medium industries such as textiles, garments and electronics helped to boost development, and Batu Pahat was upgraded to town status (Majlis Perbandaran) in 2001, alongside Muar, Kluang and Skudai.

As of 2008, the government does not have any plans to upgrade Batu Pahat to city status (Majlis Bandaraya) yet, although the development of Batu Pahat has surpassed Alor Star and Kuala Terengganu, which have both already achieved city status.



The city of Batu Pahat has a population of more than 300,000. There are more than 100,000 households with 468,058 population in this district. The most populated mukim is Simpang Kanan with more than 250,000 people and the least populated is Bagan with a population of only 4,692.

Overall district-wide population distribution based on gender are almost equal with a male population of 169,087 and female population of 166,281.

Batu Pahat city is made up of 37.08% Bumiputeras (mainly Malays), 60.29% Chinese, and 2.54% Indians and other less numerous races.


The Chinese community in Batu Pahat are mainly descendants of people from southern Fujian (Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou) and the Chaozhou region of Guangdong province. Therefore, Hokkian or minnan and Teochew are vernacular in this region, then followed by Hakka dialects and significant minority Cantonese and Hainanese dialect.

Batu Pahat Chinese people usually converse in Mandarin due to the close proximity to Singapore and its media reception in the area.

The Chinese dialect spoken by most of the citizens of Batu Pahat is Southern Malaysia Hokkien, which is distinct from Penang Hokkien.


In Batu Pahat, there are a lot of religion worships and the major are Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism and Confucianism.

There are over 400 temples in Batu Pahat district and temples are one of the tourists attractive place for tourists from other state of Malaysia (especially tourists from Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur) and even Singapore during weekends. Temples located in Segenting, Pantai Minyak Beku, Senggarang and Bukit Pasir are the hotspot places to visit by tourists.

There is a strong belief that good luck is bestowed on the prayers and they do come back very often. Some of these temples are beautifully renovated and thus have also become a tourist attraction. Every weekends, there will a lot of traveling buses from many places especially Singapore, to visit the temples in Batu Pahat.


Batu Pahat is Johor's second largest manufacturing industrial town; encompassing textiles, electronics, food-processing, timber, porcelain and plastic industry. It produces 50% of the textile exported from Malaysia and there are about 300 garment and textile factories.

There are several industrial zones including Tongkang Pecah, Parit Raja and Sri Gading. Private industrial zones include Sri Sulong, Lian Aik and Buditama, ranging from 20 acres (81,000 m2) to 200 acres (0.81 km2). Foreign investments include Sharp Roxy, Sony, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Mitsumi. There over 20 public listed companies, including Harta Packaging, PCCS, Baneng Holdings, S&P, Sharp Roxy, Ramatex, Southex, Prolexus, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Yong Tai, Hwa Tai, AE, Kia Lim, Kayu Wangi, Hup Seng, Xiang Leng, Magnum, SKP, SPI Plastics, BP Plastics, Cheng Yap Sdn. Bhd. and Fast Track Solutions Bhd.

Agriculture is another important source of income for the locals. Batu Pahat has some of the largest rubber, oil palm, coconut and cocoa plantations in Johor. Fruit produce such as watermelons, papayas, bananas, pineapples, durians and 20 varieties of vegetables are exported. There are also several fishing villages near the Strait of Malacca, providing rich sources of fisheries. Ornamental fish such as the arowana are major exports for some companies such as Xiang Leng.[5]


Educational institutions in Batu Pahat encompass primary to tertiary education.

Primary schools[edit]

There are 101 national primary schools whose medium of instruction is Malay language and 38 Chinese primary schools. Most well known is Montfort Primary School which caters to boys and Convent Girls' School which caters to girls.

Secondary schools[edit]

The most prominent secondary schools are High School Batu Pahat (高级中学), Temenggong Ibrahim Girls School, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato' Bentara Luar, SSekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato' Syed Esa (中学路国中) which formerly known as Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Jalan Kolam Air.

In addition, there is a Chinese independent high school located in the town named 华仁中学 Chinese High School (Batu Pahat).

Tertiary education[edit]

For tertiary education, there are:

Hospital/medical centres[edit]

There are government owned and private owned hospital and medicare centres:


Local attractions[edit]

Batu Pahat Mall, one of the shopping centres here
Batu Pahat McDonald's drive-through, near Carrefour Batu Pahat at night
Batu Pahat Chinese style of apam balik, in hokkien: ma jian ker (面煎糕)

Batu Pahat is famous for its local delicacies and textile industry. Once regarded as the "Little Paris" of Malaysia, Batu Pahat was famed for its "red-light town" reputation in the 1960s and the 1970s. However, the efforts of the state government in cleaning up the town in the 1980s succeeded and now there are only one or two bars of such kind left in town now, like Tiong Ah Bar, the oldest bar in town.

Notable local attraction include:

  • The Batu Pahat town square (Dataran Penggaram,大草坡) was renovated in the 1990s on the occasion of the town's centennial celebration. Sitting right in the middle of the square is the landmark, which depicts a floating hand chiselling a rock. Common activities in the square such as children playing with balloons, remote-control cars and kite-flying can be seen during weekend nights. Surrounding the square are some old government offices.
  • BP Walk (峇株星光大道), located at Jalan Rahmat (大马路), is also a famous place for townfolks and there are quite a number of stalls selling the food along the walk.
  • Tasik Y, a abandon tin mining lake in the past and now become the green lung in Batu Pahat town, near Taman Soga.
  • Lover Bridge (情人桥), famous for couples and for those who like to fishing which located in Segenting, 8 km away from town.
  • Pantai Minyak Beku, a historical site in Batu Pahat which is 10 km away from town. One of the historical site is Perigi Batu Pahat (Batu Pahat well).
  • Batu Pahat Mall (BP Mall)
  • Æon Big Batu Pahat (previously known as Carrefour Batu Pahat)
  • Square One Shopping Mall
  • The Summit Shopping Mall
  • Æon Jusco Mall (Purchased 20 acres land at Pura Kencana,Sri Gading.) [6]
  • Tesco Hypermarket (coming soon at Taman Universiti, Parit Raja)

Street murals and art[edit]

Since year 2013, the trend of street murals and art are growing rapidly by the effort of local authority (MPBP), NGO SAM BP, NGO JCI BPE and the general public. All units have the same aim, which is to make Batu Pahat as an artistic and cultural city, or in Bahasa Melayu: "Batu Pahat: Bandaraya Aneka Budaya, Lukisan Mural dan Seniman".

Those street murals and art which are available in town are:

  1. Minion Obstacle Posts (小黄人柱) [7]
  2. Sister and Brother Ride Bicycle (姐弟共騎) [8]
  3. Aunty Picks Herbal Leaves (阿姨採涼菜葉) [9]
  4. A Girl Posts A Letter (女生寄信) [10]
  5. Go Green MPBP (綠化峇株吧轄市議會) [11]
  6. Grape Aroma (葡萄扑鼻香) [12]
  7. The Journey (一路有你,守護老街) [13]
  8. Reborn (老樹翻新) [14]
  9. BP Creative Cartoon Bus Stop (峇株吧轄創意卡通候車亭) [15]
  10. Dataran Penggaram Graffiti Art Wall (大草坡塗鴉藝術牆) [16]
  11. Grandpa & Grandma (阿公阿嬤) [17]
  12. Teh Tarik (拉茶) [18]


Chinese food restaurants are also found in Jalan Pengkai (贪吃街) and Jalan Shahbandar (海墘街). Popular delicacies in Batu Pahat are fried oysters (蚝煎), fish ball noodles (鱼圆面), Bak chor mee(肉碎面), wonton noodles (云吞面), Chinese and Malay style of apam balik (面煎糕), ngo hiang (五香), Hakka mee (客家面) and pork satay (猪肉沙爹).

Batu Pahat is the paradise for Malay food as well. Such as: Nasi Beriani Gam (a special version of the dish is famous and favourite in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, especially in Muar and Batu Pahat), Asam Pedas, Mee Bandung, Mee Rebus, Mee Racun and Roti Canai.

Besides, there are quite a number of mamak stall in Batu Pahat. One of the famous mamak is Restoran Mariam located in Jalan Rahmat and Taman Bukit Pasir.

Some famous hawker centers available in town:

  • SJ Corner Kopitiam(角头咖啡店),serving a huge variety of local delights such as the famous Apollo rice, Bat Kut Teh, carrot cake, fish ball noodle, curry fish head, and fried chicken wing.It is opened day and night.
  • Glutton Square (海墘小贩中心), a famous eatery located on stilts by the river which attracts many people especially on weekends.


There are several hotels in Batu Pahat, namely Hotel Katerina, B & S Hotel, Pelican Hotel, Crystal Inn, Garden Hotel & Harmoni Inn (Budget).


Public transport[edit]

A proposed plan to set up the interchange station in Batu Pahat

Batu Pahat is served by local and intercity land transport, both locally and intercity. There are:

  • Terminal Bus (Serving express bus, local as well as intercity bus. Besides, taxi also available at the terminal)
  • Ferry Terminal (A new ferry terminal is located at Minyak Beku, servicing the Indonesia ports of Tanjung Balai, Bangkalis and Batam)
  • High-speed rail (A proposed plan to set up the interchange station in Batu Pahat)[19]


Batu Pahat town links with some major trunk roads to outlying suburbs or the other towns.

Nature and wildlife[edit]

Batu Pahat is a sanctuary for the endangered lesser adjutant stork (Leptoptilos javanicus). Known locally as burung botak or bald bird, this migratory bird belongs to the ciconidae family. The current population in Peninsular Malaysia is estimated to be less than 250. These giant birds, which can be as tall as a man, have attracted many curious residents and nature lovers to Taman Parit Labis in the evenings for bird-watching sessions. The housing estate, which is sandwiched between a rapidly developing town and the fringe of a secondary forest, has now become the best viewing spot for the bird.


Current election results[edit]

Comparison of the parliamentary seat results in Batu Pahat district with PRU-12 (year 2008) and PRU-13 (year 2013)
Comparison of the state seat results in Batu Pahat district with PRU-12 (year 2008) and PRU-13 (year 2013)

Due to electoral division by Election Commission of Malaysia, there are three parliamentary and state constituencies (DUN) dividing Batu Pahat town. There are (P147) Parit Sulong parliamentary seat, (N17) Semerah state seat; (P149) Parliament Sri Gading parliamentary seat, (N21) Parit Yanni state seat and (P150) Batu Pahat parliamentary seat, (N23) Penggaram state seat. (Election Results of the 13th Malaysian General Elections) Last election results listed as below:

'(P150)-Batu Pahat parliament seat'

Parliament of Malaysia: P150 Batu Pahat, Johor.
Year Pakatan Rakyat Votes Pct Barisan Nasional Votes Pct
2013 Mohd Idris bin Jusi (PKR) 38,667 51% Mohd Puad Zarkashi (UMNO) 36,935 49%
2008 Mohd Puad Zarkashi (UMNO) 32,593 61% Muhammad Abdullah (PKR) 19,625 37%
2004 Dr Junaidy And Wahab (UMNO) 38,982 78% Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PAS) 9,880 20%

'(N23)-Penggaram state seat'
[Cover most of the area of Batu Pahat town]

Johor State Assembly: N23-Penggaram, Batu Pahat, Johor.
Year Pakatan Rakyat Votes Pct Barisan Nasional Votes Pct
2013 Gan Peck Cheng 颜碧贞 (DAP) 24,277 62% Dr. King Ban Siang 龚万祥 (MCA) 14,226 37%
2008 Datuk Koh Chee Chai 高志财 (MCA) 12,761 47% Gan Peck Cheng 颜碧贞 (DAP) 12,186 45%
2004 Datuk Koh Chee Chai 高志财 (MCA) 16,845 69% Gan Peck Cheng 颜碧贞 (DAP) 6,247 26%
1999 Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek 蔡细历 (MCA) Gan Peck Cheng 颜碧贞 (DAP)
1995 Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek 蔡细历 (MCA) Gan Peck Cheng 颜碧贞 (DAP)

'(P149)-Sri Gading parliamentary seat'

Parliament of Malaysia: P149 Sri Gading, Batu Pahat, Johor.
Year Pakatan Rakyat Votes Pct Barisan Nasional Votes Pct
2008 Datuk Mohamad Aziz (UMNO) 19,641 68% Ali Markom (PKR) 8,767 31%
2004 Datuk Mohamad Aziz (UMNO) 21,512 80% Dr Ahmad Faidi Saidi (PKR) 5,316 20%

'(N21)-Parit Yanni state seat'
[Part of the division in Batu Pahat town e.g.: Taman Maju, Taman Flora Utama, Parit Besar, BP Mall]

Parliament of Malaysia: N21 Parit Yanni, Batu Pahat, Johor.
Year Pakatan Rakyat Votes Pct Barisan Nasional Votes Pct
2013 AMINOLHUDA BIN HASSAN (PAS) 11,278 52% TEO YEW CHUAN 张有全 (MCA) 10,090 47%
2008 Ng See Tiong 黃世忠 (MCA) 9,419 61% Hashim Jusoh (PAS) 5,562 37%
2004 Ng See Tiong 黃世忠 (MCA) 10,535 76% Muhamad Yusof Masran (PKR) 3,259 24%

(P147)-Parit Sulong parliamentary seat

Parliament of Malaysia: P147 Parit Sulong, Batu Pahat, Johor.
Year Pakatan Rakyat Votes Pct Barisan Nasional Votes Pct
2008 NORAINI BINTI AHMAD (UMNO) 26,066 66% Faisal Ali (PAS) 12,467 32%
2004 NORAINI BINTI AHMAD (UMNO) 26,974 71% Suhaizan Kaiat (PAS) 9,788 24%

(N17)-Semerah state seat
[Part of the division in Batu Pahat town e.g.: Taman Pantai, Jalan Syahbandar, Jalan Rugayah]

Parliament of Malaysia: N17 Semerah, Batu Pahat, Johor.
Year Pakatan Rakyat Votes Pct Barisan Nasional Votes Pct
2008 Datuk Ariss Samsudin (UMNO) 13,156 61% Muhamad Hasmi Hashim (PKR) 8,082 38%
2004 Datuk Ariss Samsudin (UMNO) 15,715 74% Mazlan Aliman (PAS) 5,046 24%

Related Non-Government Organisation[edit]

Suara Anak Malaysia Batu Pahat is a neutral political party alignment community driven NGO which formed locally in Batu Pahat 2 days after 13th Malaysian General Election. SAM BP aim to create political awareness and people rights (Rakyat The Boss) among Batu Pahat folks. [SAM Batu Pahat Official Facebook Page][20]

Notable residents[edit]


Barisan Nasional[edit]

Pakatan Rakyat[edit]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ 83000 Batu Pahat,Johor
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Giese, O., 1994, Shooting the War, Annapolis: United States Naval Institute, ISBN 1557503079
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Greater Kuala Lumpur - EPP 3: Connecting to Singapore via a high speed rail system". 
  20. ^ Suara Anak Malaysia Batu Pahat

External links[edit]

Neighbouring cities and towns[edit]