Kota Bharu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kota Baru redirects here. It was also briefly the name of Jayapura.

Coordinates: 6°8′N 102°15′E / 6.133°N 102.250°E / 6.133; 102.250

Kota Bharu
كوت بهارو
State Capital
Sultan Ismail Petra Arch, Kota Bharu
Sultan Ismail Petra Arch, Kota Bharu
Flag of Kota Bharu
Nickname(s): Bandaraya Islam
The Islamic City
Kota Bharu is located in Malaysia
Kota Bharu
Kota Bharu
Coordinates: 6°8′0″N 102°15′0″E / 6.13333°N 102.25000°E / 6.13333; 102.25000
Country  Malaysia
State  Kelantan
First settled 1844
 • Total 394 km2 (152 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 491,237[1]
 • Density 1,247/km2 (3,230/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Postcode 15xxx
Area code(s) 09
Website mpkb.gov.my

Kota Bharu (Jawi: كوت بهارو; Chinese: 哥打巴鲁; occasionally referred to as Kota Baharu) is a city in Malaysia that serves as the state capital and royal seat of Kelantan. It is also the name of the territory (jajahan) or district in which Kota Bharu City is situated. The name means 'new city' or 'new castle/fort' in Malay. Kota Bharu is situated in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia, and lies near the mouth of the Kelantan River at 6°8′N 102°15′E / 6.133°N 102.250°E / 6.133; 102.250. The northeastern Malaysian city is close to the Thailand border.

Kota Bharu is home to many mosques, various museums, the unique architecture of the old royal palaces (still occupied by the sultan and sultanah and off-limits to visitors but viewable from outside) and former royal buildings (which can be visited) in the centre of town.

The City is served by Keretapi Tanah Melayu's East Coast Line at the nearby Wakaf Bharu Terminal Station, in the town of Wakaf Bharu across the Kelantan River and Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, located in Pengkalan Chepa.


Kota Bharu was founded during the late 19th century. Before the establishment, Kota Bharu was a home to Kelantan's Royal Palace then was established by Sultan Muhammad II of Kelantan in 1844 as Kelantan's state capital who wanted the new state capital built in his honour.[2] Prior to this, Kota Bharu was known as Kuala Kelantan. Before Kota Bharu assumed the role, the Kelantanese capital was divided into two which were Kota Kubang Labu and Kota Pengkalan Datu.[3] During the 19th century, Kelantan was a prosperous and populous state which holds a population of around 30,000 to 50,000 people including a thousands of Chinese. One of the production from the state are gold, tin ore, black pepper, areca nut, rice, rattan, bamboo, agarwood and songket. Kota Bharu act as entepot for goods due to its strategic location on the beside the Kelantan River.[4]

Pantai Sabak, about 10 km from Kota Bharu, was the initial landing point of the Japanese invasion forces on 8 December 1941 in their Malayan campaign, when they successfully engaged the British in jungle warfare[5] and ultimately captured Singapore.


The vast majority of Kota Bharu's population is ethnically Kelantanese Malay which have distinct language and culture compared to other parts of Malaysia.There is also a big Chinese population in Kota Bharu. Besides that, there are also minority Tamil,Siamese and Orang Asli that resides in the city. The total population of Kota Bharu as at 2010 is 491,237.[1]

Ranking Population Kota Bharu District (Jajahan)

Rank Sub-districts (Daerah) Population 2010
1 Panji 73,315
2 Kubang Kerian 57,259
3 Ketereh 41,835
4 Bandar Kota Bharu 44,757
5 Kemumin 41,392
6 Badang 35,957
7 Kota 24,364
8 Sering 24,309
9 Peringat 24,137
10 Banggu 23,049
11 Kadok 19,554
12 Limbat 18,796
13 Pendek 17,254
14 Salor 11,255
15 Dewan Beta 11,205


The following is based on Department of Statistics Malaysia 2010 census.[6]

Ethnic groups in Kota Bharu, 2010


Ethnicity Population Percentage
Bumiputera 358,603 73.0%
Chinese 115,441 23.5%
Indian 9,825 2%
Siamese 6,386 1.3%
Non-Malaysian 982 0.2%


Kota Bharu's population is 75% Muslim with the remainder consisting mainly of Buddhists and Christians. The indigenous peoples that reside in the city's outskirts are generally practicing Christians. The predominantly urban local Chinese community mainly practices Buddhism. The local state government is helmed by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and thus has pursued a stricter form of Islam in the city and state; Kota Bharu was declared an Islamic City vis-à-vis Kota Bharu Bandaraya Islam. Morality police are common and apprehend people who engaged in acts perceived as immoral. The Jawi script is used in street names and restaurants.

Social activities that do not contradict Islamic norms are allowed. Government offices and many stores are closed on Fridays and Saturdays, but the vibrant markets remain open except for Islamic prayer times. The conservative Kelantanese state government under PAS has implemented some Islamic laws. These include switching on lights in cinemas during screening time until cinemas were closed down, separate check-out counters in supermarkets for males and females, and khalwat, the Islamic rule on proximity between males and females. However, these regulations apply only to Muslims.

The Kota Bharu Municipal Council, the local government authority, discourages the use of "indecent attire" by female employees in retail outlets and restaurants.[7] Those who are caught for "dressing indecently" may be fined up to RM 500. The definition of "indecent dressing" includes "body hugging outfits which show off the body, blouses which show the navel, see through blouses, mini-skirts and tight pants."[7]


The Kelantanese culture is highly influenced by Thai culture because of its geographical proximity to Thailand. The Chinese are much more assimilated to local culture than those in other parts of Malaysia. Much of the food is sweet, with rice as the primary staple. Traditional dances like Mak Yong and Wayang Kulit were once widely practised, but are actively suppressed by local authorities because of perceived Hindu influences thought to contradict Islam.


Nasi berlauk, nasi dagang, nasi lemak and nasi kerabu are popular elements of the local cuisine. Sweet cakes, or kuih, are also popular amongst the Kelantanese. Other popular foods include nasi tumpang, etok, apom, akok, lompat tikam, netbak, pisang goreng, and curry puffs.


Kota Bharu features a tropical monsoon climate bordering on a tropical rainforest climate. Kota Bharu does not have a true dry season although the city experiences noticeably heavier rainfall from August through January. Also, Kota Bharu experiences slightly cooler temperatures between December and February than during the rest of the year, making it one of the most "seasonal" cities in Malaysia. The city sees on average about 2,600 millimetres (100 in) of precipitation annually.

Climate data for Kota Bharu (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.6
Average low °C (°F) 22.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 126.6
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8 5 6 5 9 9 11 12 14 14.6 20 17 130.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 212.4 227.4 259.2 266.2 240.8 210.5 223.1 214.1 201.4 184.9 141.9 148.3 2,530.2
Source: NOAA[8]


Main articles: Politics of Kota Bharu

Kota Bharu is represented in the Parliament of Malaysia. For electoral purposes, the city is divided into four constituencies in the Kota Bharu electoral region. Each constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post system of election.

Federal Parliament and State Assembly Seats[edit]

List of Kota Bharu district representatives in the Federal Parliament (Dewan Rakyat)



Member of Parliament



Pengkalan Chepa Dr Izani bin Husin PAS
(Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party)


Kota Bharu Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan PAS


Kubang Kerian Ahmad Baihaki bin Atiqullah PAS


Ketereh Tan Sri Annuar Musa BN
(National Front)

List of Kota Bharu district representatives in the State Legislative Assembly (Dewan Undangan Negeri)




State Assemblyman



N5 Kijang Wan Ubaidah Omar PAS
(Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party)


N6 Chempaka Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat PAS


N7 Panchor Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah PAS


N8 Tanjong Mas Rohaini Ibrahim PAS


N9 Kota Lama Tan Teng Loon @ Anuar Tan Abdullah, Datuk PAS


N10 Bunut Payong Dr Ramli bin Mamat PAS


N17 Salor Datuk Haji Husam Musa Amanah


N18 Pasir Tumboh Abd Rahman bin Yunus PAS


N19 Demit Mumtaz binti Md Nawi PAS


N23 Melor Dr Md. Yusnan bin Yusof PAS


N24 Kadok Azami bin Haji Mohd Nor PAS


N25 Kok Lanas Datuk Md. Alwi bin Che Ahmad BN
(National Front)



Travel in Kota Bharu is predominantly by bus. The state-run bus company SKMK (748 3807) operates city and regional buses (and some long-distance buses) from the central bus station (off Jln Padang Garong), and most long-distance buses from Langgar bus station (Jln Pasir Puteh) in the south of the city. All other long-distance bus companies run from the Jln Hamzah external bus station.

Kota Bharu is serviced by Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (IATA: KBR).

In terms of rail transport, the closest station to Kota Bharu will be the Wakaf Bharu station.

Highway 8 is the main highway leading Kota Bharu to the federal capital Kuala Lumpur. Highway 3 connects Kota Bharu to Pasir Mas and the Thailand border in the west, or Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan or even Johor Bahru due south. Connection to Penang is possible via highway 4. The Lebuhraya Rakyat, or People's Expressway, is a planned expressway that is to connect Kota Bharu to Kuala Krai in southern Kelantan. The project has been integrated into the Central Spine Road project (assigned as highway 34), scheduled to be complete by 2020.


The most famous shopping destination in Kota Bharu is Pasar Siti Khadijah (Kota Bharu Central Market). Most of its sellers are women. Next to Central Market is the Kota Bharu Trade Centre (KBTC) which was opened in August 2009, with Parkson and Giant Hypermarket as the anchor tenants for the mall.

Other shopping centres in Kota Bharu are the KB Mall, Kota Seri Mutiara, Pantai Timur, The Store and the Nirwana Maju (in Bandar Baru Kubang Kerian). A new Tesco hypermarket opened in 2008. In March 2010, the Mydin Mall in Bandar Baru Kubang Kerian opened. AEON Mall in Lembah Sireh opened in April 2016. A new Giant Hypermarket hypermarket located in Bandar Baru Tunjong will be opened by mid-2016, [9]as well as a Mydin store at Al-Waqf Mall in Bandar Baru Tunjong by 2017.



Strong surf threatens all major beaches in the vicinity of Kota Bharu with substantial erosion. The community has been implementing wave breakers by piling up massive amounts of boulders in an effort to protect the coastline. Regular beach activity has become impossible as visitors frequent beaches further south. In terms of tourism, the most famous beach in Kota Bharu is Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

Wreck diving[edit]

Diving in Kota Bharu is a relatively new activity. At present, only one dive shop operates in the area. Trips out to the wreck of the IJN Awazisan Maru (known locally as the "Japanese Invasion Wreck") are among the sites offered. This Japanese transport ship was the very first vessel to sink in the Pacific War. The wreck is a 30-minute boat journey from a jetty which is 10 minutes outside of Kota Bharu.

Notable people from Kota Bharu[edit]

Academician & Corporate Figure
  • Aeddy Ashraf
  • Amir Raja Lawak
  • Fizo Omar
  • Izzue Islam
  • Julia Rais
  • Nelydia Senrose
  • Sabri Yunus
  • Uqasha Senrose
Government & Politics


International relations[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Kota Bharu currently has one sister city:


External links[edit]