Batu Pahat (Town)

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

Batu Pahat
峇株吧辖(Bandar Penggaram)
City

Seal
Nickname(s): BP
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
Township 1894
District Council
(Majlis Daerah)
1976
Municipality Council
(Majlis Perbandaran)
2001
Government
 • District Officer
.- Yang Di Pertua
En. Abdul Rashid Bin Hj. Ismail
Population (2010)
 • Total 417,458 (16th)
 • Demonym BPian
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
Website www.mpbp.gov.my

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, 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.

History, etymology and legends

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

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.

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).

Geography

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 Straits of Melaka lies to the south.

Climate

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.

Administration

Main article: Mukim-mukim 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.

Demographics

Population

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.

Languages

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.

Religion

Main article: List of Religion Worship in Batu Pahat

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.

Economy

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.[2]

Education

Educational institutions in Batu Pahat encompass primary to tertiary education.

Primary schools

Main article: List of Primary School in Batu Pahat

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

Main article: List of Secondary School in Batu Pahat

The most prominent secondary schools are High School Batu Pahat (高级中学), Temenggong Ibrahim Girls School, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato' Bentara Luar, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaaan 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

For tertiary education, there are:

Hospital/medical centres

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

  • Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail, Batu Pahat (located at Jalan Korma, Taman Soga)
  • Putra Specialist Hospital 布特拉专科私人医院 (at Jalan Peserai)
  • Pantai Specialist Hospital 班台专科私人医院 (located at Taman Koperasi Bahagia)
  • Klinik Kesihatan Batu Pahat (located at Jalan Kluang)

Tourism

Local attractions


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)
  • Aeon Big Batu Pahat (previously known as Carrefour Batu Pahat)
  • Square One Shopping Mall
  • The Summit Shopping Mall

Food

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:

  • Glutton Square (海墘小贩中心), a famous eatery located on stilts by the river which attracts many people especially on weekends.
  • Taman Soga Hawker Center
  • Taman Banang Hawker Center
  • Medan Selera Peserai
  • Jalan Pengkai (贪吃街), famous eatery located along the road.
  • Medan Selera Taman Maju

Hotels

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

Transport

Public transport

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)[3]

Road

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

Nature and wildlife

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.

Politics


Due to electoral division by Election Commission of Malaysia, there are 3 different parliament seats and state seats (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

  • 1. Mohd Idris bin Jusi PR-PKR) : 38,667
  • 2. Dr. Mohd Puad Zarkashi BN-UMNO): 36,935
  • Majority: 1,732
  • Total Votes: 77,200
  • Percentage Votes: 87.46%
  • Spoil Votes: 1,445

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

  • 1. Gan Peck Cheng (颜碧珍) 25px (PR-DAP): 24,277
  • 2. King Ban Siang (龚万祥) (BN-MCA) : 14,226
  • Majority: 10,051
  • Total Votes: 39,407
  • Percentage Votes: 87.27%
  • Spoil Votes: 836

(P147)-Parit Sulong parliamentary seat

  • 1. Noraini bin Ahmad BN-UMNO): 30,258
  • 2. Khairuddin bin A Rahim PR-PAS) : 18,505
  • Majority: 11,753
  • Total Votes: 49,852
  • Percentage Votes: 87.62%
  • Spoil Votes: 952

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

  • 1. Mohd Ismail Roslan BN-UMNO): 14,404
  • 2. Md Ysahrudin Kusni PR-PKR) : 11,755
  • Majority: 2,649
  • Total Votes: 26,678
  • Percentage Votes: 85.93%
  • Spoil Votes: 446

(P149)-Sri Gading parliamentary seat

  • 1. Ab Aziz bin Kaprawi BN-UMNO): 22,453
  • 2. Mohd Khuzzan bin Abu Bakar PR-PKR) : 16,692
  • Majority: 5,761
  • Total Votes: 39,901
  • Percentage Votes: 89.03%
  • Spoil Votes: 673

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

  • 1. Aminolhuda Hassan PR-PAS): 11,278
  • 2. Teo Yew Chuan (张有全) (BN-MCA) : 10,090
  • Majority: 1,188
  • Total Votes: 21,783
  • Percentage Votes: 88.52%
  • Spoil Votes: 379

Notable residents

Politics

Barisan Nasional

Pakatan Rakyat

Business

Gallery

See also

References

External links

  • Accommodation
  • Batu Pahat Online Portal with maps, news, events and movies
  • The Famous Forum In Batu Pahat
  • Batu Pahat Mall
  • Blog About Batu Pahat
  • Batu Pahat Online Directory

Neighbouring cities and towns

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