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This article is about the Malaysian town. For the Indian ward, see Kulai (Suratkal).
Skyline of Kulai
Flag of Kulai
Official seal of Kulai
Nickname(s): Kulaijaya, The Turtle Town
Motto: Cemerlang, Sejahtera sangat (English: Excellence, Peaceful)
Kulai is located in Malaysia
Coordinates: 1°40′00″N 103°36′00″E / 1.66667°N 103.60000°E / 1.66667; 103.60000Coordinates: 1°40′00″N 103°36′00″E / 1.66667°N 103.60000°E / 1.66667; 103.60000
Country Malaysia
State Johor
Local Authorities Majlis Perbandaran Kulai (MPKu, Kulai Municipal Council)
Establishment 1890
Sub-urban status 2004
 • Yang diPertua Majlis Haji Abdul Rahman Salleh
 • Public Relations Coordinator MH Ridhauddin
Population  (within MPKu Control Area)
 • Total 230,000
 • Rank 29th
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Website www.mpkulai.gov.my

Kulai (simplified Chinese: 古来; traditional Chinese: 古來; pinyin: gulái), is a town and the capital of Kulai District, Johor, Malaysia.


Kulai Municipal Council Building

Kulai is administered by the Kulai Municipal Council which was earlier known as the Kulai District Council.

Kulai sub-district was upgraded to a full-fledged district on 1 January 2008 and has been renamed Kulaijaya District. The administrative centre of Kulaijaya District was proposed to be constructed in Indahpura.


The locals are mostly involved in the agriculture sector, particularly in the oil palm and rubber estates surrounding the town. Many of the people work in small retail shops, which are located along the trunk road. Kulai has the first settlement of FELDA's (Federal Land Development Agency) oil palm plantation in the country - FELDA Taib Andak, which was launched by the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak. Kulai is still one of the main producers of palm oil in the country due to its numerous oil palm plantations. Kulai also exports fresh vegetables to Singapore on a daily basis.

The economy of Kulai has improved with numerous factories being set up in both Kulai and Senai. There are some public listed companies which have their offices and factories in Kulai, such as Yi-Lai Industry Berhad located in Batu 23 (Jalan Kulai-Air Hitam) ; SCGM Berhad which located in Batu 24 1/2 (Jalan Kulai-Air Hitam) and JCY International Berhad which located in Kelapa Sawit

Kulai is also within the Iskandar Development Region (IDR).


The town is located along the old trunk road linking Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. The main road is lined with many retail shops. There are also many housing estates within the township. The town is surrounded by rubber and oil palm estates.


The Chinese are concentrated in Kulai and Senai Town while the Malay are mostly in the Felda Scheme settlements. The Indians are mostly working in factories or running businesses.


Kulai was an important stopover on the Johor Bahru-Kuala Lumpur trunk road in the 1970s and 1980s until the North-South Expressway opened in 1994, which bypassed the town. The trunk road is now identified as Road One.

The town also has a small railway station run by the Malayan Railway and is also one of the access points to the Gunung Pulai nature reserve. Senai Airport, the international airport which serves Johor is within the municipality.

The town is accessible by road through the North-South Expressway and the old trunk road, by rail operated by the Malayan Railway (KTM) and by air through the Senai International Airport.


Kulai Old Town

The Chinese community in Kulai mainly speaek Hakka Chinese dialects. There are a few Chinese temples and churches serving the needs of the Chinese community.

Chinese Taoist temples include the "Thousand Fairies" Temple along the old trunk road, the "Seven Sisters" temple and other smaller temples.

Churches in Kulai include the Presbyterian Church(SYNOD), Christ the King Catholic Church, Baptist Church, Methodist Church and churches of other denominations.

The Masjid Jamek is located within Kulai town and serve the needs of the Muslim townfolks..

Notable residents[edit]

  • Mawi - the winner of the 2005 Akademi Fantasia singing competition and now becomes among the most popular Malaysian singer, from FELDA Taib Andak.
  • Penny Tai - popular female singer and the winner of Best Composer (爱疯了) at Taiwanese Golden Melody Awards 2006 (金曲奖).