Johor Bahru

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Johor Bahru
جوهر بهرو
ஜொகூர் பாரு
Bandaraya Johor Bahru
Clockwise from top: Night view of Johor Bahru, Sultan Ibrahim Building, Tebrau Highway & Johor–Singapore Causeway
Clockwise from top:
Night view of Johor Bahru, Sultan Ibrahim Building, Tebrau Highway & Johor–Singapore Causeway
Flag of Johor Bahru
Official logo of Johor Bahru
Nickname(s): JB,
Bandaraya Selatan (Southern City)
Motto: Berkhidmat, Berbudaya, Berwawasan
(English: "Servicing, Cultured, Visionary")
Johor Bahru is located in Peninsular Malaysia
Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru
Location of Johor Bahru in Peninsular Malaysia
Johor Bahru is located in Malaysia
Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru
Location of Johor Bahru in Malaysia
Coordinates: 1°29′N 103°44′E / 1.483°N 103.733°E / 1.483; 103.733Coordinates: 1°29′N 103°44′E / 1.483°N 103.733°E / 1.483; 103.733
Country  Malaysia
State  Johor
Administrative Areas
Establishment 10 March 1855
(as Tanjung Puteri)
Granted city status 1 January 1994
Founded by Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim
 • Mayor Haji Ismail Karim
 • Council Johor Bahru City Council
 • Council Members
 • City 647.63 km2 (250.05 sq mi)
Elevation 36.88 m (121.00 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Density 735/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,591,912
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Area code(s) 07

Johor Bahru[nb 1] (also spelled Johor Baharu, Johor Baru,[nb 2] or Johore Bahru; abbreviated as JB) is the capital city of Johor in southern Malaysia, located north of Singapore.

In 2010 the city (Areas administrated by Johor Bahru City Council) had a population of 497,097,[2] while the second largest metropolitan area in Malaysia, Johor Bahru, also known as Iskandar Malaysia, had a population of 1,591,912.[1]


Founding years (1855-1866)[edit]

Sultan Abu Bakar mosque at night

Johor Bahru was founded in 1855 when the sovereign ruler of Johor, Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim, established his administrative headquarters there. That time Johor Bahru was known as Tanjung Puteri تنجوڠ ڤوتري, a small Malay fishing village. Temenggong Ibrahim renamed Tanjung Puteri as Iskandar Puteri إسكندر ڤوتري in 1858;[3] His son and successor, yr Puteri during the grand opening of Istana Besar Johor on 1 January 1866.[4][5]

Redevelopment of modern Johor Bahru[edit]

Further information: Abu Bakar of Johor, Tan Hiok Nee and Wong Ah Fook

Johor Bahru quickly expanded into a town under Abu Bakar's direction. Many of the town's buildings were constructed during Abu Bakar's reign, notably the State Mosque, Istana Besar, and the Menteri Besar's residence—many of which were built by Wong Ah Fook, a Toisanese-Chinese contractor who became a close patron of Abu Bakar.[6] The town also saw an influx of Chinese immigrants.[7]

Under Sultan Ibrahim's reign, Johor Bahru continued to develop; the Malay Peninsula railway extension was completed in 1909,[8] and the completion of the Causeway in 1923 linked the railway and road systems between Singapore and Malay Peninsula.[9] Johor Bahru developed at a modest rate between the First and Second World Wars. The state secretariat building—Sultan Ibrahim Building—was completed in 1940 as the British colonial government attempted to streamline the state's administration.[10]

World War II[edit]

The Japanese army invaded Johor Bahru on 31 January 1942, during the Battle of Malaya; the Sultan's residence at Istana Bukit Serene became the Japanese military's preparatory base for their conquest of Singapore.[11]

After World War II[edit]

Shortly after the war ended in 1946, Johor Bahru became a hotspot for Malay nationalism in the state. Onn Jaafar, a local politician who later became the Menteri Besar of Johor, formed the United Malay National Organisation in May 1946 after the Malays expressed widespread disenchantment with the British government for granting lax citizenship laws to non-Malays.[12]

Johor Bahru expanded in size from the 1960s onwards. During the 1970s and 1980s, new townships and industrial estates were built in villages and hamlets north and east of Johor Bahru, such as Tebrau and Plentong.[13] By the early 1990s, Johor Bahru had considerably expanded in size, and was officially granted recognition as a city on 1 January 1994. Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru, the city council, was formed and the city's current main square, Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru, was constructed to commemorate this event.[14]

A central business district was developed in the centre of the city from the mid-1990s in the area around Jalan Wong Ah Fook and the Johor-Singapore Causeway. The state and federal government channelled considerable funds for the development of the city—particularly more so after 2006, when the Iskandar Malaysia development region blueprint was formalised.[15] Johor government decided to moved their administrative headquarters since 1859 from Bukit Timbalan to Nusajaya, Gelang Patah, and renames it as Kota Iskandar.[3]

The Sultan Ibrahim Building, the state secretariat's office in Johor Bahru


Demographics of Johor Bahru[16]
Ethnic Groups Percentage
Malays & Bumiputera

The population is 47.5 percent Malay, 34.2 percent Chinese, 9.0 percent Indian, 0.6 percent other minorities and 8.7 percent non-citizens.[17] The Malays are chiefly descended from Riau Malay and Javanese stock.[18]

The Chinese community is represented by several dialect groups: Teochew, Hakka, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hainanese, Hokchew (Foochow) and Hokchia (Fuqing) are the various dialect groups represented in Johor Bahru. Teochew was the lingua franca of the Chinese community until the 1970s, and a large proportion of the Chinese trace their ancestry to the Chaoshan region.[19] Economic development from the 1970s brought many people of Chinese ancestry, generally from other dialect groups, from other parts of the state to resettle in Johor.[20]

The Indian community consists of Tamils, Malayalees, Telugus, Punjabis,[citation needed] and other smaller groups, and includes a large number of migrants from states like Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, and Kedah, lured by the availability of jobs in manufacturing and services in Johor Bahru and Singapore.[citation needed]


The presence of Singapore-owned companies and tourists is significant. Johor Bahru's many shopping complexes cater to tourists from Singapore who visit the city for shopping and entertainment, taking advantage of the stronger Singapore dollar. As such, Johor Bahru's retail scene is highly developed for a city of its size. The main shopping districts are located within the city, with a number of large shopping malls located in the suburbs.[21][not in citation given]

Johor Bahru enjoys a close economic relationship with Singapore. A large number of residents in Johor Bahru work in Singapore, where salaries for equivalent jobs are higher than in Malaysia. This is partially because of the strong Singapore dollar, which was worth about 2.69 Malaysian Ringgit as of 25 January 2015. For the same reason, many Singaporeans live in Johor Bahru or visit the city for shopping, entertainment, and dining.

The Sultan of Johor changed the Johor's rest days to Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday starting from 1 Jan 2014. Prior to 1994, Johor also had Fridays and Saturdays as non-working days.[22]


Climate data for Johor Bahru (1974–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.0
Average low °C (°F) 21.9
Average rainfall mm (inches) 162.6
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 11 9 13 15 15 12 13 13 13 16 17 15 162
Source: World Meteorological Organisation[23]


Tourism is one of the most important factors for Johor Bahru's economic growth. Johor Bahru is easily reached from Singapore, and receives 49.9 percent of the country's annual 22.5 million foreign tourists via its bridges and road links to Singapore.[citation needed]

Further information: Johor Bahru landmarks
The Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple was built by the first Chinese pioneers.

Theme Park[edit]

  • Legoland Malaysia is a theme park that has opened in Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia on 15 September 2012 with over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions. It is the first Legoland theme park in Asia upon its establishment.
  • Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park [24] is a 4-level family theme park with mixed of hotel, retail and entertainment complex. Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park is opening mid-November 2012.[25]


Internal network[edit]

Tebrau Highway, Johor Bahru

The Johor Bahru Central Business District (Daerah Sentral Johor Bahru) is located at the southern tip of the metropolitan area. Two major highways link the district to outlying suburbs: Tebrau Highway to the northeast, and Skudai Highway to the northwest. Pasir Gudang Highway and the connecting Johor Bahru Parkway cross Tebrau Highway and Skudai Highway, and serve as the middle ring road of the metropolitan area.[26][not in citation given]

The Johor Bahru Inner Ring Road, which connects with the Sultan Iskandar customs complex, aids in controlling the traffic in and around the central business district.[27]

Intercity network[edit]

The Johor-Singapore Causeway connects Johor Baru (pictured) to Woodlands, Singapore.

Access to the national expressway system is possible via the North-South Expressway.

The Johor-Singapore Causeway links the city to Singapore with a six-lane road and a railway line terminating at the Southern Integrated Gateway, constructed in 2008. The Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, located west of the metropolitan area, was constructed in 1997 to alleviate congestion on the Causeway. It is linked directly to the Second Link Expressway, Johor Bahru Parkway, Johor Bahru railway station, and the North-South Expressway.

Airport, seaports, train and bus stations[edit]

Johor Bahru is served by Senai International Airport, located 35 km north-west of the city center. Currently, there are five airlines - Air Asia, Firefly, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air and Xpress Air - provide scheduled, passenger flights, internationally and domestically.

To the west of the metropolitan area, in Nusajaya, is the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, which currently ranks as Malaysia’s largest container port since 2004, and ranked as 16th busiest container ports in the world in 2010.

Johor Port is located on the eastern side of the metropolitan area in the industrial area of Pasir Gudang. It is the country's most important commodity and mineral resources seaport, as Johor is home to a large number of major commercial plantations, and Pasir Gudang is home to a majority of Malaysia's resources refineries.[28]

Larkin Bus & Taxi Terminal, 5 km northwest of the city center, has direct bus services to and from many destinations in West Malaysia, Hat Yai in Thailand and Singapore. The Johor Bahru Sentral railway station has direct train services to various destinations in West Malaysia and Singapore.

In addition, Singapore's seaports and airport also serve Johor Bahru's transportation or logistics needs, as they are less than an hour's drive from the city.


University / College[edit]

High School[edit]



The mainstream newspapers in Johor include English dailies: The Star, New Straits Times, The Sun, The Edge, The Malaysian Reserve and The Malay Mail; Malay dailies: Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, Harian Metro and Kosmo!; Chinese dailies: Kwong Wah Yit Poh, Sin Chew Daily, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau and Oriental Daily News; and Tamil dailies such: Tamil Nesan, Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai. All of them are in national circulation.[citation needed]

Singaporean newspapers are restricted in Malaysia for censorship purposes. Newspapers affected include English dailies: The Straits Times, Today, The New Paper, Business Times, Good Paper and Tabla!; Malay dailies: Berita Harian and Berita Minggu; Chinese dailies: zbCOMMA, Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao, My Paper, Shin Min Daily News and Thumbs Up; and Tamil dailies: Tamil Murasu.[citation needed]


Johor Bahru hosts two football clubs that plays in M-League. Football is the most popular sport in Johor Bahru. Johor Darul Takzim and Johor FA are well-known football clubs in Malaysia. They are major competitors in both the M-League.

There are several public football stadiums in Johor Bahru:


Johor Bahru has a private radio station; (Best.FM), and government radio RTM; (Johor.FM).

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Johor Bahru is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bahr means "Sea" and Johor means "Jewel"/"The Essence" in Arabic language.
  2. ^ Baru means "new" and Johor means "Jewel" in Malay language.


  1. ^ a b "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010" (PDF). Department of Statistics Malaysia. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Key Summary Statistics For Local Authority Areas, Malaysia 2010" (PDF). Department of Statistics, Malaysia. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b 文史杂话:谈新山名称的由来--(上), Teo Li Meng, 15 August 2010, 东南亚华文资料中心, retrieved 11 December 2012[dead link]
  4. ^ Lim (2002), p. 61
  5. ^ Ismail, Fauziah (8 February 2009). "A Physical Symbol of Loyalty and Posterity". Johor Streets: Reaching Out. New Straits Times Press. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Lim (2002), p. 99
  7. ^ Lim (2002), p. 46.
  8. ^ Winstedt (1992), p. 141
  9. ^ Winstedt, A History of Johore, p. 143.
  10. ^ Oakley (2009), p. 181
  11. ^ Reid, Richard. "War for the Empire: Malaya and Singapore, Dec 1941 to Feb 1942". Australia-Japan Research Project. Australian War Memorial. 
  12. ^ Bakar, Aznan (10 May 2008). "Kembali Kepada Rakyat" [Back To The People]. Utusan Melayu (in Standard Malay). 
  13. ^ Guinness (1992), p. 177
  14. ^ "Johor Bahru–Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru". Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Johor Darul Ta'zim. Retrieved 28 February 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan" [The Ninth Malaysia Plan]. Pusat Maklumat Rakyat (in Standard Maylay). 14 November 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  16. ^ "Taburan Penduduk dan Ciri-ciri Asas Demografi" (PDF). Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. 11. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  17. ^ Taburan dan Ciri-ciri Asas Demografi 2010 (PDF) (Report). Department of Statistics, Malaysia. 
  18. ^ Guinness (1992), "In 1931 the 'Malayan' (Malay) population of Johor Bahru District, into which Mukim Plentong had been absorbed, comprised 10,990 (55 per cent) Malays and 6,641 (33 per cent) Javanese in a total of 19,822." p. 30
  19. ^ Tan, Ben (28 February 2010). "Keep Dialects And Culture Alive". New Straits Times (Malaysia: New Straits Times Press). p. 22. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  20. ^ Lee, Yongqiu. 汕头大学图书馆潮汕特藏网 [Chaozhou cultural heritage of a temple]. Shantou University Library—Chaoshan special collection (in Chinese). Shantou University. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  21. ^ Ibrahim, Rohani (7 September 2007). "Kuan Yew didesak tarik balik kenyataan" [Kuan Yew urged to retract statement]. Utusan Malaysia (in Standard Maylay). Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  22. ^ Tan, Christina (23 Nov 2013). "Johor to have Friday, Saturday weekend rest days from Jan 1". The Star Online. The Star. Retrieved 3 Mar 2015. 
  23. ^ "World Weather Information Service — Johor Bahru". World Meteorological Organisation. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  24. ^ [1][dead link]
  25. ^ Projects : Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park. Retrieved on 27 September 2013.
  26. ^ "IRDA pohon peruntukan RMK10" [IRDA trees provisions Tenth Malaysia Plan]. Utusan Malaysia (in Standard Maylay). 21 February 2009. 
  27. ^ "Bangunan CIQ mula beroperasi Selasa". Utusan Malaysia (in Standard Maylay). 14 December 2008. [dead link]
  28. ^ 2005 Annual Report (PDF) (Report). Johor Port Berhad. 253394-D. Retrieved 3 March 2009. [dead link]
  29. ^ 友好城市 (Friendly cities), 市外办 (Foreign Affairs Office), 22 March 2008. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  30. ^ 国际友好城市一览表 (International Friendship Cities List), 20 January 2011. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  31. ^ 友好交流 (Friendly exchanges), 13 September 2011. (Translation by Google Translate.)
  32. ^ "Kuching bags one of only two coveted ‘Tourist City Award’ in Asia". The Star. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 


  • Guinness, Patrick (1992). On the Margin of Capitalism: People and development in Mukim Plentong, Johor, Malaysia. South-East Asian social monographs. Singapore: Oxford University Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-19-588556-9. OCLC 231412873. 
  • Lim, Patricia Pui Huen (2002). Wong Ah Fook: Immigrant, Builder and Entrepreneur. Singapore: Times Editions. ISBN 978-981-232-369-9. OCLC 52054305. 
  • Oakley, Mat; Brown, Joshua Samuel (2009). Singapore: city guide. Footscray, Victoria, Australia: Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74104-664-9. OCLC 440970648. 
  • Winstedt, Richard Olof; Kim, Khoo Kay (1992). A History of Johore, 1365–1941. M. B. R. A. S. Reprints (6) (Reprint ed.). Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. ISBN 978-983-99614-6-1. OCLC 255968795. 

External links[edit]