Segamat District

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For the coaster, see MV Segamat.
Segamat District
சிகாமட்
昔加末
District of Malaysia
Flag of Segamat Districtசிகாமட்昔加末
Flag
Country  Malaysia
State Flag of Johor.svg Johor Darul Takzim
Seat Segamat
Government
 • District officer Haji Mohd Haffiz bin Haji Ahmad
Area
 • Total 2,825.4 km2 (1,090.9 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 182,985
 • Density 65/km2 (170/sq mi)
Postcode 85xxx
Telephone area code +60-07
Vehicle registration J

The Segamat District is a town and district located in the north of the state of Johor in Malaysia, bordering two other states of Malaysia (Negeri Sembilan on the west and Pahang on the north). It is located roughly 172 kilometres from Johor Bahru, the capital city of Johor State. It is 95 km travel distance via North-South Expressway from Johor Bahru to Yong Peng. It is another 77 km via Federal Route 1.

The tallest building in Segamat which formerly houses banks and shopping centres, now it is abandoned and it was refurbished as a swiftlet bird nest building.

Strategically situated between Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru, Segamat is a fast-growing agricultural oil palm and rubber district, famous for its delicious durians, and the recent slogan used to attract tourists to Segamat is Selamat Datang ke Segamat - Tanah Raja Buah-buahan (Welcome to Segamat - The Land of King of Fruits). Segamat town is a typical medium size town with a blend of old and new cultures. A mere 45 minute drive from town offers a variety of hiking and swimming sites namely the famous Gunung Ledang, Air Panas Waterfall and Bekok Waterfall which make an enjoyable weekend getaway.

History[edit]

According to a local historian, Hassan bin Muhammad, the area used to be known as Rantau Panjang. In around 1511, a Bendahara (Prime Minister) of Melaka (Malacca), Bendahara Tepok and his troops were retreating to Johor after the fall of Melaka to the invading Portuguese forces led by Afonso de Albuquerque. The Bendahara and his troops stopped and rested by a river in the area and drank water from the river. After the drink, the Bendahara exclaimed, "Segar amat!", or "Very refreshing!" in Malay, and named the river Segar Amat, which over time evolved into Segamat. However, initially the name Segamat only applied to the river. The settlement which later became Segamat was originally called Rantau Panjang. The town assumed the river's name only at the turn of the 20th century.

By the end of the 19th century, the four original districts have several minor districts, for example the previous Muar District has 4 minor districts - Parit Jawa, Chohong, Lenga and Segamat. The first District Officer of Segamat Minor District was Encik Menthol bin Haji Ahmad. In 1933, the district of Segamat was formed after a major district boundary realignment was made by the government of Johor to split the original 4 districts (Muar, Batu Pahat, Johor Bahru and Sedili) into 8 districts (before the 2008 realignment which added the Kulai and Tangkak districts to form 10 districts in Johor).

After the formation of Segamat District, the government began to develop Segamat, mainly with agricultural activities to boost the economy of Segamat. This included the construction of the national railroad system passing the town of Segamat and also the construction of the main road known today as Federal Route 1.

In the 1970s, Tun Razak Highway was constructed to boost the economy of Segamat as an agricultural hub, to shorten the travelling time to Kuantan and to speed up the development progress of the poorly developed areas in southern Pahang.

The Johor branch campus of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) was constructed at Jementah in the end of the 1980s and started its operation in 1991. The construction of UiTM campus in Segamat district turned Segamat into another important educational hub in Johor besides Skudai, which houses Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

In 1996, Segamat Land Port was constructed to make Segamat an important transportational hub, like Nilai in Negeri Sembilan. By constructing the land port, manufacturers may just transport their goods to Segamat Land Port and then the goods can be transported to the nearest sea ports such as Pasir Gudang by train and this will increase the transportation efficiency. However, the plan did not materialise as planned; the space is subsequently rendered largely vacant as of latest 3 February 2012.

In 1999, the second bridge of Segamat, funded mainly by private developers, was constructed to reduce congestion at the main bridge. The second bridge was included as a part of Segamat Inner Ring Road package consisting the road upgrade to 4-lane road at Jalan Pemuda, Jalan Hassan, Jalan Pee Kang Hai and Jalan Chia Chin Koon, which was completed in August 2005. The inner ring road package is useful to divert the traffic flow when the main roads at the town center are closed for special occasions and events such as National Day.

Etymology[edit]

The name Segamat is believed to have been derived from the combination of these two Malay words - Segar-Amat which literally means Extremely (Amat) Fresh (Segar). It was uttered by Bendahara Tepok, the last Bendahara from Malacca on the year 1511.

There is no truth in it and is just a folklore. It seems ridiculous that when a Bendahara said ' Segar amat' or 'fresh, highly' after drinking it, the followers named the place as that. Segamat could also be 'se gamat' which means lone sea cucumber or any other word from the other languages used by residents at that time. There were Chinese, Indian and Javanese residents and the name could have also originated from one of those languages.

However the latter theory is debatable given the the name of "segamat" exist way before British Colonisation.

Segamat District Facts[edit]

Area:

  • 2,825.4 km²

Population:

  • 178,000 (1991 census)
  • 270,000 (2010 projected)

Administrative divisions[edit]

The map of residences in Segamat District

Segamat is divided into 11 mukims. Each mukim is administered by a headman or penghulu.[1]

  • Sungai Segamat - houses about three-quarter of Segamat town.
  • Gemereh - The smallest mukim in Segamat
  • Bekok - the largest mukim in Segamat
  • Jabi
  • Sermin
  • Buloh Kasap
  • Jementah
  • Pogoh
  • Labis
  • Chaah
  • Gemas

Mukim Sungai Segamat is the most populous residence in Segamat District since it houses the majority of Segamat town. The highest population density is in Mukim Gemereh, followed by Mukim Sungai Segamat with over 200+ residents per square km. The lowest population density is in Mukim Bekok with about 50 residents per square km.

The Segamat district is divided by two municipal administratives namely Majlis Daerah Segamat or Segamat District Council based at the town of Segamat and Majlis Daerah Labis or Labis District Council seated at the town of Labis.

Economy of Segamat[edit]

Agriculture is the main contributor of Segamat's economy, contributing about 61.8% of the total employment in 1991. The second economic contributor is manufacturing sector, with 13.1% of total work force in 1995. This is followed by the government service sector, with 12.2% of total work force in the same year.

Wisma Jakel is the most famous in Segamat

Transportation[edit]

Car[edit]

Segamat is well-linked by both federal and state road networks. Highway 1, the main north–south trunk road of Peninsular Malaysia, runs through the town centre of Segamat.

The national expressway PLUS E2 does not serve Segamat; motorists using PLUS are however able to get to Segamat by leaving the PLUS expressway at Exit 235 (Tangkak Interchange). From Exit 235, motorists can then use highway 23 and head north towards Segamat. Highway 23 joins Segamat to Tangkak and terminates at Muar.

Meanwhile, motorists from the east coast especially Pahang, can access Segamat through Tun Razak Highway (highway 12), which connects Segamat through Muadzam Shah to Gambang near Kuantan.

Besides, there are several main state roads in Segamat, namely:-

Public transportation[edit]

Rail[edit]

Segamat district is served by the state rail network KTM with Batu Anam, Bekok, Genuang, Labis, Segamat and Tenang Stations. Now the railway is connected from Segamat to Penang which located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, this service given much convenience for who need to travel from southwest to northwest in Malaysia since there are few station to stop by in between the journey.

Road[edit]

There are three main intercity bus lines that serve the Segamat District:-

  • Yow Hoe (Gemas-Ayer Hitam)
  • North-West Johor (Segamat-Muar)
  • Kenderaan Bas MARA-DARA (Segamat-Muadzam Shah) using highway 12

Segamat town center[edit]

The town of Segamat is the fifth largest town in the state of Johor with about 80,000 residents. According to local residents of Segamat, the town center of Segamat can be divided into two, where both neighbourhoods are separated by Segamat River:-

  • Bandar Atas (Uptown) - The original town center of Segamat. The official site of Segamat town center today is Dataran Segamat, or Segamat Square.
  • Bandar Seberang (Crosstown) - Located at the other side across Segamat river. This neighbourhood is known as Bandar Seberang because of its location across Segamat river. This area houses most of the supermarkets and shopping centres in Segamat.

In addition to the town center, the urban area of Segamat also covers some villages and towns namely Pekan Jabi, Bukit Siput, Segamat Baru and Bandar Putra Segamat, which makes up the overall population of Segamat urban area to 100,000 residents.

Major attractions[edit]

  • Dataran Segamat - Dataran Segamat or Segamat Square was constructed in 1996 as the main venue for Johor's state level celebration of the Malaysian National Day. In 2005, when Segamat was once again chosen as the state-level host, Dataran Segamat was renovated beautifully. It also houses the clock tower and a durian replica that makes Dataran Segamat the landmark of Segamat. Location: 2°30'40"N ; 102°48'50"E.
Dataran Segamat
  • Taman Bunga Batu Hampar (Rock Garden) - The Rock Garden is the main recreational park in Segamat. It also houses the official residence of the District Officer of Segamat and also the Istana Hinggap, Johor royal retreat. Location: 2°30'59"N ; 102°48'43"E.
  • Bendahara Tepok Tomb - The tomb of the final Bendahara of Sultanate of Malacca is located at Kampung Lubok Batu, about 2 km from Segamat town center via Federal Route 23. Location: 2°30'03"N ; 102°48'30"E.

Education[edit]

  • Universiti Teknologi Mara Kampus Johor (UiTM Johor Campus) - Located about 8 kilometres or 10 minutes drive from Bandar Segamat, UiTM Kampus Johor are major in Business and Accounting learning in Diploma and Degree level. Surrounded by a green landscape and rubber trees, this campus is a suitable place to study and enjoy a life in "kampung style".
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC Johor Campus) - TARUC Johor Branch Campus in Segamat began operations on 18 May 1998. Located at the south of Segamat, the College is approximately 10 to 15 minutes drive from the town. Centred on an impressive 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus space, and surrounded by lush greenery and landscaped gardens, the College is equipped with every facility and recreational amenity for the most conducive study environment around.
  • Kolej Komuniti Segamat - Located about 7 kilometres drive from Bandar Segamat, [1] began operation in June 2001. Located at Bandar Putra IOI Segamat.

Schools[edit]

Segamat Town has quite a number of schools, within its township. Below are the list of secondary schools in Segamat:

  1. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Segamat
  2. SMK Seri Kenangan Batu Anam
  3. SMK Bekok
  4. Sekolah Menengah Seg Hwa
  5. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bandar Putra
  6. Segamat High School
  7. Sekolah Menengah Teknik Segamat
  8. Sekolah Menengah Cannosian Convent Segamat
  9. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Chaah
  10. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Gemereh
  11. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Jementah
  12. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tenang Stesen
  13. Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaa Bandar Putra
  14. SMK Batu Anam
  15. SMK Buloh Kasap
  16. SMK Chaah
  17. SMK Dato Bentara Dalam
  18. SMK Paduka Tuan
  19. SMK Palong Timur

Below is a list of primary schools in Segamat (incomplete):

  1. SK Batu Anam
  2. SJK (C) Seg Hwa
  3. SJK (C) Li Chi
  4. SJK (C) Bukit Siput
  5. SJK (C) Kg Tengah
  6. SK Canossian Convent Segamat
  7. SK Bukit Hampar
  8. SK Dato' Wan Idris
  9. SK Temenggong Abdul Rahman
  10. SK Dato' Sri Maharajalela
  11. SJK (C) Pekan Jabi
  12. SJK (C) Buloh Kasap
  13. SK Bandar Putra
  14. SJK (C) Ai Chun
  15. SJK (C) Jementah 1
  16. SJK (C) Jementah 2
  17. SK Melayu Raya

18. SK Kampung Jawa

Cost of Living[edit]

The cost of living in Segamat is relatively affordable. Accommodation is readily available at the housing areas in Segamat town. Shophouses, supermarkets, restaurants and hawker centres in the proximity offer various and inexpensive choices for shopping, chilling out and eating out. A popular shopping market in Malaysia, Giant has also been constructed here.

Floods[edit]

Segamat experienced floods during the 1950s, 1984 and recently on 18 December 2006. The one in 2006, which was caused by Typhoon Utor in the Philippines, was generally considered to be the worst flood to have happened in Segamat and Johor. There is a conspiracy theory that the 2006 flood was caused by improper release of water from the upstream Bekok Dam. The theory is based on the fact that the water level of the Segamat River overflowed at a rate which was believed impossible to have been caused by rain alone.[citation needed]

Most recently, in January 2011, severe flooding occurred in Segamat and other parts of upstate Johor and the neighbouring state of Melaka, with about 31,000 people evacuated and several deaths.[2]

Shopping[edit]

The only shopping complex was build and started opening since year 2012 in Segamat named OneSegamat Mall. OneSegamat is located adjoining the bus & taxi terminal and adjacent to the railway station, thus enjoying great traffic flow of shoppers and commuters creating excellent business potentials and sales prospects. The only one cinema in Segamat is based in OneSegamat first floor, there is an 8-screen cinema, Lotus Five Star, inside the mall and its capacity is around 1,800 people.

In the same year, a popular shopping KIP MART was built at the Bandar Utama.

Local legends[edit]

Segamat has a collection of local legends and folk stories, where some of them describe the name origins of several places in Segamat. However, many of the residents of Segamat have forgotten most of them, even among older generations.

Some of the legends concern the region's tendency to flooding, for example:

  • A myth tells of a dragon, whose length spans the distance between Kampung Berata and Kampung Gemereh (~ 5 km). The dragon sleeps underground, and Segamat may experience very bad floods when the dragon changes its sleeping position, said to be caused by gaps made when the dragon moves. The dragon is called Ruby Dragon. This 'myth' is a modern-day myth and was not known or spoken of prior to the great flood of 2006. Old residents of Segamat never heard of Ruby Dragon, and it could just be a figment of someone's imagination. The story of a dragon sleeping under the river is a modern-day creation and has no history to it.
  • Legend of Malim Deman: Malim Deman was a king in Segamat who was in love with Princess 'Santan Bertapis'. The princess was kidnapped by a spirit and Malim Deman swore that as long as the princess is not returned, the Segamat area shall experience floods for all eternity. However, with modern town planning and irrigation, flooding is now a rare occurrence in Segamat.

Other towns in Segamat District[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 2°30′N 102°49′E / 2.500°N 102.817°E / 2.500; 102.817