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Johor Darul Takzim
جوهر دارالتّعظيم
Flag of Johorجوهر柔佛
Coat of arms of Johorجوهر柔佛
Coat of arms
Motto: Kepada Allah Berserah
كڤدالله برسراه
(To Allah We Surrender)
Anthem: Lagu Bangsa Johor
لاڬو بڠسا جوهر
(Johor State Anthem)
<span style=   '''Johor''' in    ''''''" src="" width="250">
   Johor in    Malaysia
Johor Sultanate 14th century
British control 1914
Japanese occupation 31 January 1942
Accession into Federation of Malaya 1948
Independence as part of the Federation of Malaya 31 August 1957
Capital Johor Bahru
Royal capital Muar (Bandar Maharani)
 • Sultan Sultan Ibrahim Ismail
 • Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin (BN)
 • Total 19,210 km2 (7,420 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 3,348,283
 • Density 174/km2 (450/sq mi)
 • Demonym Johorean / Johorian
Human Development Index
 • HDI (2010) 0.733 (high) (6th)
Postal code 79xxx to 86xxx
Calling code 07
06 (Muar and Ledang)
Vehicle registration J
^[a] Kota Iskandar is a state administrative centre
^[b] Except Muar and Ledang

Johor is a Malaysian state, located in the southern portion of Peninsular Malaysia. It is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. The state capital city and royal city of Johor is Johor Bahru, formerly known as Tanjung Puteri (Malay for Princess's Cape) and Muar respectively. The old state capital is Johor Lama.

Johor is surrounded by Pahang to the north, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan to the northwest, and the Straits of Johor to the south which separates Johor and the Republic of Singapore. The state also shares a maritime border with the Riau Archipelago from the east and Riau mainland on the west by the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca respectively, both of Indonesian territories.

Johor is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Ta'zim, or "Abode of Dignity", and as Johore in English.


The name "Johor" originated from the Arabic word Jauhar, 'gem/jewel'.[3] Malays tend to name a place after natural objects in great abundance or having visual dominance. Before the name Johor was adopted, the area south of the Muar River to Singapore island was known as Ujong Tanah or 'land's end' in Malay, due to its location at the end of the Malay Peninsula. Coincidentally, Johor is the most southern point of the Asian continental mainland.[4]


In the early 16th century, the Sultanate of Johor was founded by the Alauddin Riayat Shah II, the son of Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca who fled from the invading Portuguese in Malacca. Johor sultanate was one of the two successor states of the Melaka empire. Upon Malacca's defeat by the Portuguese in 1511, Alauddin Riayat Shah II established a monarchy in Johor which posed a threat to the Portuguese. The Sultanate of Perak was the other successor state of Malacca and was established by Mahmud Shah's other son, Muzaffar Shah I. During Johor's peak the whole of Pahang and the present day Indonesian territories of the Riau archipelago and part of Sumatra Island was under Johor's rule.[5]

A series of succession struggles were interspersed with strategic alliances struck with regional clans and foreign powers, which maintained Johor's political and economic hold in the Straits. In competition with the Acehnese of northern Sumatra and the port-kingdom of Malacca under Portuguese rule, Johor engaged in prolonged warfare with their rivals, often striking alliances with friendly Malay states and with the Dutch. In 1641, Johor in co-operation with the Dutch succeeded in capturing Malacca. By 1660, Johor had become a flourishing entrepôt, although weakening and splintering of the empire in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century reduced its sovereignty.

In the 18th century, the Bugis of Sulawesi and the Minangkabau of Sumatra controlled the political powers in the Johor-Riau Empire. However, in the early 19th century, Malay and Bugis rivalry commanded the scene. In 1819, the Johor-Riau Empire was divided up into the mainland Johor, controlled by the Temenggong, and the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga, controlled by the Bugis. In 1855, under the terms of a treaty between the British in Singapore and Sultan Ali of Johor, control of the state was formally ceded to Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, with the exception of the Kesang area (Muar), which was handed over in 1877. Temenggong Ibrahim opened up Bandar Tanjung Puteri (later to become Johor's present-day capital) in south Johor as a major town.

Flag of Johor. The colour blue represents the State Government, the colour red for warriors defending the state, the white crescent and 5-sided star represent the monarchy and Islam.

Temenggong Ibrahim was succeeded by his son, Dato' Temenggong Abu Bakar, who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor by Queen Victoria of England. In 1886, he was formally crowned the Sultan of Johor. Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor (1864–1895) implemented a state constitution, developed a British-style administration and constructed the Istana Besar, the official residence of the Sultan. For his achievements, Sultan Abu Bakar is known by the title "Father of Modern Johor". The increased demand for black pepper and gambier in the nineteenth century lead to the opening up of farmlands to the influx of Chinese immigrants, which created Johor's initial economic base.[6][7] The Kangchu system was put in place with the first settlement of Kangkar Tebrau established in 1844.[8] The decline of the Kangchu economy at the end of the 19th century coincided with the opening of the railway line connecting Johor Bahru and the Federated Malay States in 1909 and the emergence of rubber plantations throughout the state.[9] Under the British Resident system, Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan Abu Bakar's successor, was forced to accept a British adviser in 1904. D.G. Campbell was dispatched as the first British adviser to Johor. From the 1910s to the 1940s, Johor emerged as Malaya's top rubber producing state, a position it has held until recently. Johor was also until recently the largest oil palm producer in Malaysia.

During World War II, Johor Bahru became the last city on the Malay peninsula to fall to the Japanese. Allied Forces, Australian, Malayan and Indian forces held out for four days in what was known as the Battle of Gemas,[10] the General Yamashita Tomoyuki had his headquarters on top of Bukit Serene and coordinated the downfall of Singapore.

Johor gave birth to the Malay opposition which derailed the UMNO) in Johor on 11 May 1946. (UMNO is currently the main component party of Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.) In 1948, Johor joined the Federation of Malaya, which gained Independence in 1957.

Population and demographics

Johor is Malaysia's second most populous state with the nation's biggest conurbation, the Iskandar Malaysia. Johor's geographical position in the southern of Peninsular Malaysia contributed to the state's rapid development as Malaysia's transportation and industrial hub. It's also borders with Singapore. This created jobs and attracted migrants from other states as well as overseas, especially from Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and China. In recent decades, the influx of illegal immigrants, particularly from Indonesia, has further contributed to Johor's population.

Rank Districts Population 2010
1 Johor Bahru 1,386,569
2 Batu Pahat 417,458
3 Kluang 298,332
4 Kulaijaya 251,650
5 Muar 247,957
6 Kota Tinggi 193,210
7 Segamat 189,820
8 Pontian 155,541
9 Ledang 136,852
10 Mersing 70,894

Johor has the second largest population in Malaysia at 3,233,434 as of 2010.[11] The state's ethnic composition consists of Malay 58.9%, Chinese 33.6%, Indian 7.1%, and other ethnic groups 0.4%.


Religion in Johor - 2010 Census[12]
religion percent
Chinese Ethnic Religion
No religion

As of 2010 Census the population of Johor is 58.2% Muslim, 29.6% Buddhist, 6.6% Hindu, 3.3% Christian, 1.3% Taoist or Chinese religion adherent, 1.4% follower of other religions, and 0.7% non-religious.


Geography of Johor in Panti Forest.

Johor is the 5th largest state by land area and 2nd most populous state in Malaysia, with a total land area of 19,210 km2 (7,420 sq mi),[1] and a population of 3,233,434 as of 2010.[13]

It is the southernmost state in Peninsular Malaysia, and is located between the 1°20"N and 2°35"N latitudes. The highest point in Johor is Gunung Ledang (1276 m). Gunung Ledang is also known as Mount Ophir. Johor also has a 400 km coastline on both the East and the West coasts.

Johor has 8 large islands with numerous smaller ones, namely Pulau Aur, Pulau Besar, Pulau Dayang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Pemanggil, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Sibu, Pulau Tengah and Pulau Tinggi.


Johor has a tropical rainforest climate with monsoon rain from November until February blowing from the South China Sea. The average annual rainfall is 1778 mm with average temperatures ranging between 25.5 °C (78 °F) and 27.8 °C (82 °F). Humidity is between 82 and 86%.

On 19 December 2006, a continuous heavy downpour occurred in Johor, which led to the 2006-2007 Malaysian floods. Many towns such as Muar, Kota Tinggi and Segamat were seriously flooded with water levels as high as 10 feet (3.0 m) above ground level recorded in some areas. 15 lives were lost and many possessions destroyed, and this resulted in huge financial losses in Johor. More than 100,000 victims were evacuated to flood relief centres.[14]

Links to Singapore

Malaysia's new Customs Complex (Sultan Iskandar Complex) at Johor Bahru
The water pipeline at the causeway which provides much of Singapore's water supply.

Johor is linked to Singapore via two road connections: the Johor-Singapore Causeway and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link. The Causeway also carries a railway line, which is now part of the main rail route linking Singapore with Thailand via Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Butterworth.

The Johor-Singapore Causeway (length: 1038 m) was designed by Messrs Coode, Fizmaurice, Wilson and Mitchell of Westminster, while the construction contract was awarded to Topham, Jones & Railton Ltd of London. Construction of the causeway started in 1919 and was completed in 1923.

It was preceded by a railway ferry link in 1903 which connected Johor Bahru to Singapore, then the administrative headquarters of British interests in South-East Asia. In 1909 this ferry link connected with the Johore State Railway which opened that year between Johore Bharu and Gemas, providing a direct rail route with the rest of the Federated Malay States. Prior to 1909 travellers between Singapore and the Federated Malay States had to travel by sea between Singapore and Port Dickson.

The causeway has been a source of contention ever since Singapore seceded from Malaysia in 1965. Stagnating water caused by the Causeway has raised health concerns in Johor. Malaysia proposed to replace the causeway with a bridge, allowing water, tide movement and ship movement from Pasir Gudang, the older port in Johor to the new port in Gelang Patah through the Straits of Johor. Singapore rejected this proposal, after which Malaysia came up with the idea of what became known as "the crooked half-bridge", 25m above water level, and descending halfway to link up with the low-level causeway. The railway was to have a swing bridge. The scheme was part of the Gerbang Selatan Bersepadu project. It had been previously announced that the bridge project would go ahead, even without the agreement of the Singaporean government. The bridge would become a straight bridge if the Singaporean government accepted the project. Construction work on the bridge stopped, however, on the orders of the former Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who cited the unwillingness of Malaysia to sell sand and allow the use of Malaysian airspace by Singapore as a return for Singaporean consent to the bridge's construction.

Animosity between previous leaders of both countries has abated with the rise of new leaders, Abdullah Badawi as Malaysian Prime Minister replacing Mahathir Mohamad and Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore replacing Goh Chok Tong. It has renewed talks and improved relations between countries.

Some analysts have concluded that replacing the causeway with a bridge would allow a creation of a comprehensive port system linking Johor Port and Tanjung Pelepas Port in Johor, some go on to suggest that this presents a threat to Singapore's port activity, thus explaining the initial reluctance of Singapore to agree to the causeway's replacement.

The second road connection, the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, was completed in October 1997; the link consists of a 1920 m twin-deck bridge supporting a dual-three lane carriageway linking Kampong Ladang in Tanjung Kupang, Johor, to Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim in Tuas, Singapore.

Government and politics


Sultan's Palace in Johor Bahru

Johor is a constitutional monarchy. Johor was the first state in Malaysia to adopt the constitutional monarchy system via Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Johor (Johor State Constitution) written by Sultan Abu Bakar. The constitutional head of Johor is the Sultan. This hereditary position can only be held by a member of the Johor Royal Family, who is descended from Sultan Abu Bakar. Until 2010 the State's Sultan since 1981 had been Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj. His Majesty died on Fri, 22 January 2010. Tunku Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar was proclaimed as the new Sultan of Johor on Sat, 23 January 2010.

Johor was the first state and currently the only state in Malaysia that has its own military force called the Royal Johor Military Force or 'Timbalan Setia Negeri'. It is a private army of the Sultan of Johor located at Johor Bahru City.[15]

State government

The state government is headed by the Chief Minister or Menteri Besar. The current Chief Minister is Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, the former Minister of Higher Education. He is replacing Dato' Abdul Ghani Othman, which has been Johor's Chief Minister for 18 years from 1995 till 2013. The Chief Minister is assisted by 10 members executive council (exco), whose members are selected from the state assembly members.

The legislative branch of Johor's government is the Johor State Legislative Assembly. The state assembly makes laws in matters regarding the state. Members of the Assembly are elected by citizens every five years by universal suffrage.


The State of Johor is divided into the districts of:

  • Johor Bahru 1817.8 km², population 1,386,569 (2010)
    • Majlis Bandaraya Johor Bahru (Abbreviation as MBJB or City Council of Johor Bahru. It includes areas of Johor Bahru City Centre, Taman Pelangi, Pasir Pelangi, Taman Rinting, Tasek Utara, Permas Jaya, Kangkar Tebrau, Kempas, Larkin, Majidee, Taman Mount Austin and Tebrau)
    • Majlis Perbandaran Johor Bahru Tengah (MPJBT includes areas of Masai, Plentong, Ulu Tiram, Gelang Patah, Skudai, Pulai, Lima Kedai.)
    • Majlis Perbandaran Pasir Gudang (MPPG includes areas of Pasir Gudang Industrial Estate, Taman Kota Masai, Taman Pasir Putih, Air Biru, Taman Tanjung Langsat, Taman Scientex, Taman Nusa Damai, Kampung Kong Kong, Kampung Sg. Tiram.)
    • Iskandar Malaysia (Nusajaya includes areas of Nusajaya Town, Kota Iskandar, Gelang Patah, Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Bukit Indah and Horizon Hills)
  • Kulaijaya 753.45 km², population: 251,650 (2010)
    • Majlis Perbandaran Kulai (previously known as Majlis Daerah Kulai) (Includes areas of Senai, Kulai Town, Sedenak, Ayer Bemban)
  • Pontian 919.5 km², population: 155,541 (2010)
    • Majlis Daerah Pontian
  • Kota Tinggi 3488.7 km², population: 193,210 (2010)
    • Majlis Daerah Kota Tinggi
  • Kluang 2851.8 km², population: 298,332 (2010)
    • Majlis Perbandaran Kluang (previously known as Majlis Daerah Kluang Utara)(Includes the capital district of Kluang,and most of the northern part of Kluang district)
    • Majlis Daerah Simpang Renggam (previously known as Majlis Daerah Kluang Selatan)(Includes Simpang Renggam and most of the southern part of Kluang district
  • Segamat 2851.26 km², population: 189,820 (2010)
    • Majlis Daerah Segamat (Majlis Daerah Segamat Utara) (Includes areas of Jementah, Buloh Kasap, Batu Enam and Gemas Baharu)
    • Majlis Daerah Labis (previously known as Majlis Daerah Segamat Selatan) (Includes areas of Tenang Station, Chaah, Bekok and Pekan Air Panas)
  • Muar 2346.12 km², population: 247,957 (2010)
    • Majlis Perbandaran Muar (previously known as Majlis Daerah Muar Selatan) (Includes areas of Bukit Pasir, Bukit Bakri, Parit Jawa, others)
  • Ledang 970.24 km², population: 136,852 (2010)
    • Majlis Daerah Tangkak (previously known as Majlis Daerah Muar Utara)(Includes areas of Bukit Gambir, Sagil, Serom, Kesang, others)
  • Batu Pahat 1878 km², population: 417,458 (2010)
    • Majlis Perbandaran Batu Pahat (previously known as Majlis Daerah Batu Pahat Barat)(Includes most of the western part of the district,from Semerah in the north to western Rengit in the south,and the city of Batu Pahat (city),)
    • Majlis Daerah Yong Peng (previously known as Majlis Daerah Batu Pahat Timur)(Includes the eastern part of Batu Pahat from Ayer Hitam in the south to Parit Sulong in the north)
  • Mersing 2838.6 km², population: 70,894 (2010)
    • Majlis Daerah Mersing

Ranking Population Johor (Metro Area):[16]

Rank Districts Population 2010
1 Johor Bahru 1,386,569
2 Batu Pahat 417,458
3 Kluang 298,332
4 Kulaijaya 251,650
5 Muar 247,957
6 Kota Tinggi 193,210
7 Segamat 189,820
8 Pontian 155,541
9 Ledang 136,852
10 Mersing 70,894


Iskandar Malaysia

The Iskandar, Johor (also known as Iskandar Development Region and South Johor Economic Region), encompassing Johor Bahru, Johor Bahru Tengah, Kulaijaya, Pasir Gudang and Nusajaya is a major development zone in Johor. It was named after the late Sultan Iskandar Al-haj. At 2215 km², it is two-and-a-half times bigger than Singapore and 48 times the size of Putrajaya. It is intended to draw investment and business to Johor and will be among the biggest development projects in Malaysia. The state administrative capital will be moved to Nusajaya. Residential areas include Bukit Indah and Horizon Hills townships.


Johor has several institutions of higher learning. It has three universities, namely Universiti Teknologi Malaysia situated in Skudai, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia in Parit Raja, Batu Pahat (UTHM), Universiti Teknologi MARA Johor ( UiTM) in Segamat and UiTM City Campus in Johor Bahru and several polytechnics as an example Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan and Politeknik Mersing Johor. Johor also has a teaching college called Maktab Perguruan Temenggung Ibrahim. It has one non-profit community college called Southern College situated in Skudai. Southern College was established in 1990 owing to the generous support from the communities. It is the first non-profit community college in the country wholly funded by public donation and is open to Malaysian students of all races.[17]

Johor Education Foundation (Yayasan Pelajaran Johor) also establish tertiary education opportunity in Johor state. It offers studies from various field such as engineering, business, economics & hospitality for all Malaysian as well as qualified students from anywhere around the world.

The English College Johore Bahru, also known as Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, abbreviated as English College, EC, MSAB, The College, and sometimes dubbed "The Pride Of Johore", is among old premier school in Malaysia.

At the primary level, Muslim Johorean students are required to attend Islamic religious school in addition to national school. Many Malay Johoreans have competent skills in Jawi script, the official script in Johor since 1885, which is still used in Islamic religious and Malay cultural matters.

As of 30 June 2008, there are 243 secondary schools in Johor educating 277 059 students.[18] The total number of teachers in Johor at that time was 18212 which translates to overall teacher-student ratio of 15.21. The complete list of schools in Johor can be found in WorldHeritage.

Public universities

Official Name in Malay Name in English Acronym Location
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia Tun Hussein Onn University of Malaysia UTHM Parit Raja
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia University of Technology, Malaysia UTM Skudai
Universiti Teknologi MARA MARA Technology University UiTM Segamat & Pasir Gudang
Universiti Terbuka Malaysia Open University Malaysia OUM Johor Bahru & Batu Pahat

Private universities and university colleges

Official Name in Malay Name in English Acronym Website Location
Kolej RIMA RIMA College RIMA [1] Johor Bahru
Pusat Bahasa ELS ELS Language Centres [2] Johor Bahru
Kolej Olympia Olympia College [3] Johor Bahru
Kolej Universiti Southern Southern University College SUC [4] Skudai
Universiti Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur University UniKL [5] Masai
Institut Sains & Teknologi Darul Takzim (INSTEDT) University Affiliated College INSTEDT [6] Kota Tinggi
Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Polytechnic PIS [7] Johor Bahru
Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar English College Johore Bahru EC [8] Johor Bahru
Institut Teknologi Perindustrian YPJ Institute Of Industrial Technology YPJ [9] Johor Bahru
Kolej Aman Aman College [10] Batu Pahat
Kolej I-Systems I-Systems College INFORMATICS [11] Johor Bahru
Kolej Islam Johor Johor Islamic College KIJ [12] Johor Bahru
Kolej Internasional Crescendo Crescendo International College CRESC [13] Johor Bahru
Kolej Metropoint Metropoint College [14] Johor Bahru
Kolej Reliance Reliance College Johor Bahru
Kolej SAL SAL Group of Colleges SAL [15] Johor Bahru
Kolej Sunway Sunway College SUNWAY [16] Johor Bahru
Kolej Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Tunku Abdul Rahman University College TARC [17] Labis
Universiti Perubatan Antarabangsa International Medical University IMU [18] Batu Pahat
Kolej Universiti Sains Kesihatan Masterskill Masterskill University College of Health Sciences (MUCH) MUCH [19] Masai
Institut Latihan Perindustrian (ILP) Pasir Gudang Pasir Gudang Industrial Training Institute ILPPG [20] Pasir Gudang
Universiti Perubatan Newcastle Malaysia Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia NUMM [21] Johor Bahru
Universiti Southampton Kampus Malaysia University of Southampton Malaysia Campus USMC [22] Johor Bahru
Universiti Raffles Iskandar Raffles University Iskandar, Malaysia RUI [23] Johor Bahru


There are public hospitals and private hospitals in Johor:

Public Hospitals

Private Hospitals

  • Hospital Penawar
  • Pantai Hospital Batu Pahat
  • Putra Specialist Hospital Batu Pahat
  • KPJ Specialist Hospital Muar(Under Construction)
  • Hospital Pakar Abdul Samad

Transportation hubs


Johor has three ports, the Pasir Gudang Port, the Port of Tanjung Pelepas and the Tanjung Langsat Port.


Johor has one international airport (30 km away from JB city centre), Senai International Airport in Senai (01’38’26’ N, 103’40’13’ E). It was opened on 6 June 1974 and has been expanded several times since. Currently, it has a 5-million passenger capacity, with a parallel taxiway under construction.

The airport is a regional hub of AirAsia group, a regional low-cost no-frills airline. Malaysia Airlines and Firefly also operate flights from Senai International Airport to some local destinations.



Media Prima

Television in Johor consists of seven free-to-air stations. The TV stations are transmitted from Gunung Ledang, Johor (for North Johor area), Gunung Pulai, Johor (for Central and South Johor area) and Bukit Tinggi, Johor (for East Johor; TV1 and TV2 only).Three of the seven free-to-air stations are managed by Radio Televisyen Malaysia, a federal government-owned media company headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, while the four commercial stations are owned by Media Prima, an integrated media company headquartered in Bandar Utama, Selangor. In addition, Singapore TV channels like MediaCorp Channel 5, MediaCorp Channel 8, MediaCorp Suria (South Johor only), MediaCorp Vasantham, MediaCorp Channel U (South Johor only), Okto and Channel News Asia are able to be received in Central and South Johor area which are transmitted from Bukit Batok, Singapore.

Cable television
Satellite television


Radio stations in Johor are available in the FM frequency and transmitted from Gunung Ledang, Johor (for North Johor area), Gunung Pulai, Johor (for Central and South Johor area) and Bukit Tinggi, Johor (for East Johor). Singapore radio stations like 883JiaFM (88.3 MHz), BBC World Service (88.9 MHz), Ria 89.7FM (89.7 MHz), Gold 90.5FM (90.5 MHz), HOT FM91.3/Radio 91.3 (91.3 MHz), Kiss 92FM (92.0 MHz), Symphony 92.4FM (92.4 MHz), Y.E.S. 93.3FM (93.3 MHz), 938LIVE (93.8 MHz), Warna 94.2FM (94.2 MHz), Class 95FM (95.0 MHz), Capital 95.8FM (95.8 MHz), XFM 96.3 (96.3 MHz), Oli 96.8FM (96.8 MHz), Love 97.2FM (97.2 MHz), Power98FM (98.0 MHz), 987FM (98.7 MHz), Lush 99.5FM (99.5 MHz) and UFM 1003 (100.3 MHz; South Johor only) are able to be received in Central and South Johor (Batu Pahat, Kluang, Pontian, Kota Tinggi, Kulaijaya and Johor Bahru) which are transmitted from Bukit Batok, Singapore.


The Star Newspaper

Mainstream newspapers in Johor are:


Major tourist attractions

Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque

Among the popular tourist destinations in Johor are:

  • Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque constructed between 1892 and 1900
  • Tebrau – Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple- The world's first Hindu glass temple
  • Desaru – beaches & golf courses along the South China Sea
  • Johor Bahru – shopping, night market, colonial/royal district
  • Endau Rompin National Park – pristine jungle
  • Kota Tinggi 34 meter waterfall.
  • Kukup – a fishing village with seafood restaurants built over water
  • Muar – picturesque riverside town
  • Seribuat Archipelago – islands with beautiful beaches, coral reefs
  • Tanjung Piai – the southernmost tip of mainland Asia
  • Danga Bay – The new waterfront city
  • Pekan Air Panas – hot springs, waterfall, local fruits available
  • Bandar Nusajaya – new administration of Johor Government
  • Bukit Indah – new shopping district, Jusco, Tesco & Giant
  • Horizon Hills – best Asia pacific golf development 2009 by CNBC
  • Pulau Dayang – major diving attraction, snorkelling, fishing
  • Gunung Ledang – legendary mountain/highest peak in South of Peninsula Malaysia, famous of mountain hiking
  • Ayer Panas Waterfall – Malaysian "Jiu Zai Kou" with crystal clear water from the peak of Gunung Ledang
  • Tangkak – hometown of famous "Tangkak Beef Noodle", shopping paradise for fabric, served best handmade noodle in the world
  • Pulau Kukus – This island is close to Pulau Sibu Tengah and popular for snorkelling activity
  • Tampoi Muniswaran Hindu Temple during Thaipusam

International theme parks

  • Legoland Malaysia – The first of its kind theme park in Asia and the first international park in Malaysia[19]
  • Hello Kitty Town

National parks and forest reserves

Johor is also noted for its national parks. Johor currently has five national parks, with a combined area of more than 700 km² and several smaller recreational forest. Almost all recreational parks are based around a mountain. Johor also has the third largest mangrove forest reserve in Peninsular Malaysia (167 km²).

  • Tanjung Piai National Park – A natural wonderland at the southernmost tip of Asia, located 90km south of Johor Bahru's city centre[20]
  • Endau Rompin National Park – The second National Park in Malaysia after Taman Negara, it covers an area of approximately 80,000 hectares [21]
  • Pulau Kukup Johor National Park – One of the largest uninhabited mangroves in the world, Pulau Kukup has been granted the status of a 'Wetland of International Importance' (RAMSAR site) by the Geneva-based Ramsar Convention Bureau.[22]

Islands and beaches

  • Pulau Sibu – A pleasant hideaway with its lush tropical vegetation, endless stretches of golden beaches and clear blue waters [23]
  • Pulau Rawa – Sixteen kilometres off the coast of Mersing, the island is famed for its white coral sand, tall palm trees and coral reefs with neon-coloured fish and other exotic marine life [24]
  • Desaru Beach – Among the best beaches in Johor, the beach is clean, lined with casuarina trees and stretch 25 kilometres long [25]
  • Pulau Aur – Rated among the best diving destinations within the Johor Marine Park Area [26]

Mausoleum of Sultan Mahmud Mangkat Dijulang


The culture of Johor is influenced by visitors and traders throughout history. A major influence was the Bugis – who first set foot in Malaysia in Johor before continuing on to Melaka, Linggi, Selangor, Pahang and TerengganuJavanese and the Arabs. They had a powerful impact on the politics of Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Selangor. The strong Arab influence is apparent in art performances like Zapin and Hamdolok, musical instruments like gambus.[27] Other visible legacies in Johor Bahru are the Arabic names of places such as Wadi Hana and Wadi Hassan in areas populated by the Arab community from Hadhramaut in the southeast of Yemen. Wadi means valley in Arabic.


The Johoreans' Malay, also known as Johor-Riau Malay and originally spoken in Johor, Riau, Malacca, Selangor and Singapore, has been adopted as the basis for both the Malaysian and Indonesian national languages, Malay and Indonesian, respectively. Due to Johor's location at the confluence of trade routes within Maritime Southeast Asia, as well as the former economic might and influence of Malacca and Johor, the dialect spread as the region's lingua franca since the 15th century; hence the adoption of the dialect as the basis for the national languages.


  • Cekak Musang and Teluk Belanga are types of collar design for the male garment 'baju melayu'. It is said that Teluk Belanga was designed by Sultan Abu Bakar in 1866 to commemorate the shift of Johor's capital from Teluk Belanga to Johor Bahru. The Teluk Belanga design is a simple hemmed round collar with a stiff stitching called 'tulang belut' or 'eel's spine', with a loop at the end to fit a 'kancing'. This collar design creates an exposed neck in contrast to the neck-covering Cekak Musang design that is a raised stiff collar of about 1–2 cm with an opening down to the chest. The collar ends have matching holes to fit buttons.[28]
  • Kurung Johor
  • Kurung Riau
  • Belah kebaya panjang


Tanjung Puteri is the song most commonly associated with Johor.

Tanjung Puteri

Tambak Johor Tanjung Puteri

Selat Tebrau airnya biru

Di Pantai Lido tepian mandi

Sepanjang masa di hari minggu

Atas bukit Tanjung Puteri

Taman hiburan indah berseri

Pemandangan menawan hati

Jalan tambak hubungan negeri


Tanjung Sekijang nun di kuala

Tempat nelayan mengail gelama

Istana Hinggap di Kuala Danga

Pantai berkelah keluarga diRaja

Dari Tebrau orang berakit

Singgah Setulang membeli kopi

Pusara si Bongkok di lereng bukit

Di tepi pantai Tanjung Puteri

Folk dances and music

Zapin dance

Zapin is a dance form which is popular in Malaysia, especially in the state of Johor. It is believed to have been introduced by Muslim missionaries from the Middle East in the 14th century.

In the old days only males were allowed to perform it, but nowadays female dancers are included. It used to be performed exclusively for religious ceremonies but through the years it has become a form of traditional entertainment.

The dancers usually perform in pairs and are accompanied by a traditional music ensemble normally consisting of the gambus, accordion, violin, marwas (bongos), rebana (drum) and dok.

There are various types of Zapin in Johore namely Zapin Melayu, Zapin Pekajang, Zapin Tenglu, Zapin Pulau, Zapin Parit Mastar, Zapin Lenga and so on. These variants are caused by the districts and on how the dance is performed.

Kuda Kepang

Kuda Kepang is a dance or game performed by Johoreans, especially of Javanese descent. Kuda kepang is a legless horse-shaped puppet that is straddled by the performers. Usually, a troupe of performers consists of 10 to 15 people. It is performed at wedding ceremonies and cultural celebrations. There are several possible origins of Kuda Kepang. It is said to derive from the struggles of “Wali Songo”, a group of nine Islamic preachers in Java. Others said it originated from the movement of horses commanded by Ali, the fourth Muslim Caliph. There are several dance rhythms or patterns: the 'Sola', 'Selendang', 'Pak Tani', 'Pucuk Rebung', 'Perjuangan', and 'Mempertahankan Diri'. The bobbing movement of the performers and their horse puppet is called 'Lenggang Kiprah'.

The musical instruments used in kuda kepang performance are 'angklong', 'gendang', 'gong', 'kinong', 'jidor', 'soron kecil' and 'bonang'.


Legend of Badang

This is a story of Badang, a slave who gained super human strength by eating the vomitous of a river spirit. He used this to win his release from his master. Contrary to popular belief, Badang was born in Sayong Pinang, Johor, not Singapore or Temasik as it was known then. Upon hearing his strength, he was summoned by the Seri Rama Wira Kerma of Temasik where he displayed his skills. Challengers were sent by foreign kingdoms to defeat him. Among them were King of Kalinga I from India who sent Nadi Bijaya Pikrama, a fierce wrestler, and the noblemen of Perlak who sent Benderang. Badang emerged victorious from both fights and eventually stayed in Temasik until his death.

Legend of Malim Deman

According to legend, 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.

Legend of Gunung Ledang

Awang's spear returned to Dayang

Lembing Awang Pulang ke Dayang (Awang's spear Returned to Dayang) is an incident that occurred in Parit Raja, Muar.

It occurred in 1776 when a man called Awang returned to Padang (now known as Parit Raja, Muar) after more than 3 years abroad to marry his fiancee Dayang. Upon his return, he found out that another man called Bachok at Pa'achok had told Dayang of Awang's death and she was to be married to him the next day. Awang showed up at the wedding and using a twin spear given by Raja Bugis, he speared Bachok in the stomach. Bachok, fatally injured, grabbed the spear in his stomach and speared his best man. The man then speared the next man he saw and this was repeated until the 99th person was speared. It was Dayang's father who was protecting Dayang. He did not continue the repeated spearing and died. Awang ran away to Endau and Dayang did not marry another until she died.

Black Tongue Warrior

Panglima Lidah Hitam (the Black Tongue Warrior) is a legendary warrior in Johor state.


Hamdolok originated from the exposure of Middle East culture introduced by Arabs in Johor. It is a traditional theatre performed during weddings and festivals. It is a blend of artistic characters of both the Middle-East and local Malay communities. Instruments used include the gambus, tambourine, maracas and conga drums. It was also inspired by the Bedouin celebrating the birth of Islamic prophet Muhammad playing musical instruments and reciting poetry.


Cuisine in Johor is influenced by Arabs and cultures of the surrounding Maritime Southeast Asia. Some dishes are a blend of ingredients not found anywhere else in Malaysia. Due to their difficult and sometimes complicated recipes, some can only be sampled during celebrations and state banquets.

  • Laksa Johor is from Johor. It differs from Laksa Penang by having coconut milk added during cooking. It also differs from other laksas by using spaghetti instead of rice-based noodles.
  • Mee Bandung Muar is also a dish originated from Johor, specifically from Muar. The term 'bandung' is not derived from Bandung, Indonesia but is a term for anything that is mixed from many ingredients. One of the most important ingredient is dried shrimp.
  • Penganan Kacau keledek is a dessert normally reserved for the Johor monarch and elites. It is made from sweet potatoes, a lot of eggs (at least 40), fresh coconut milk (not instant ones) and huge amounts of sugar. It is mixed together and stirred on a simmering heat for at least 4 hours.
  • Mee rebus is the famous noodle dish which consists of Mee (a spaghetti like mixture of flour, salt and egg) and is served with a tangy, spicy brown sauce. Usually crumbs and boiled eggs are added.
  • Arisa – A unique chicken dish that is very rare nowadays, and is normally served to the royalties and social elites of Johor at formal functions and celebrations.
  • Satay – is a popular food in Malaysia. Made from marinated meat or chicken and burnt on charcoal grill. Cooked satay is dipped in special peanut sauce. A favourite Malay food in Johor, mostly found in Johor Bahru and Muar.
  • Telur pindang – Eggs boiled together with herbs and spices, popular during wedding feasts in Johor.
  • Roti Jala or Roti Kirai – The name is derived from the Malay word 'roti' (bread) and 'jala' (net). A special ladle with a five-hole perforation used to make the bread looks like a fish net (picture in the works). It is usually eaten spicy with curry or sweet with 'serawa'. Serawa is made from a mixture of boiled coconut milk, brown sugar and pandan leaf.
  • Nasi Beriani Gam – A biryani rice dish originating from India with a cooking method very similar to Hyderabad biryani but with spices adjusted to suit the Malay palate. This dish is very popular in Batu Pahat District.
  • Kacang Pol- This dish is influenced by Arab Culture where special baked bread was served with special sauce and a 'sunny side up' egg.
  • Pisang Salai or Gimpi smoked banana cooked into perfection
  • Otak-otak – Steamed/Grilled fish cake usually served wrapped in sticks of coconut leaves. Two of the most popular varieties are Otak-otak Muar (spicy) and Otak-otak Gelang Patah (sweet).
  • Mee Soto[29] – This Indonesian origin food is very popular in Johor. People may have change noodles with rice or vermicelli rice according to their preference. Combination of either noodle, rice or vermicelli rice is added with peanut, beansprout and chicken meat. These combination then is poured with special soup. This soup was made from chicken stock and some other spice. Enjoy it while its hot.
  • Mee Bakso – This is almost identical with soto, only this dish have meatball instead of slices of chicken meat.
  • Lontong – Dish using combination of pressed rice and special coconut soup with vegetables. Served with boiled egg and chili.
  • Burasak – It is a type of Buginese food.
  • Halwa Maskat This dessert type food may be originated from muscat, Oman.
  • Kerutup ikan – Fish is steamed with variety of local fragrant leaves.
  • Pecal – It is a Javanese traditional cuisine which consists of long beans, slice of cucumber, beansprout, tauhu, tempe mix with special peanut sauce.
  • Tauhu bakar- it is made from soybean where it is burnt on a grill and cut into cubes and dip with special sauce.
  • Pendaram
  • Mee Siput – It is a mixture of flour that will expand in term of size when deep fried.
  • Rojak Petis – It is a combination of local vegetables mix with special black coloured sauce made mostly from shrimp(Otak Udang).
  • ABC – ABC is abbreviation of 'Air Batu Campur' or known as Ice Kacang Johor. It is a special desserts created from shaved ice added with corn, jelly, redbeans, groundnut, syrup, pasteurised milk, and liquid chocolate.

Javanese-influenced cuisine

There are a few Johorean dishes with Javanese influences due to the high number of Javanese settlers in the state. These include lontong, nasi ambeng, satay and bontrot or berkat – both traditionally served after feasts like wedding ceremonies, Yasinan and others; and ungkep.[30]


  1. ^ a b "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. 27. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Laporan Taburan Penduduk dan Ciri-ciri Asas Demografi 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. iv. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  3. ^ [24]
  4. ^ Ancient names of Johor, 2 March 2009, JohorBuzz, New Straits Times
  5. ^
  6. ^ A. Trocki, Carl (2007). Prince of Pirates: The Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore 1784-1885 (2nd ed.). NUS Press (published 1st 1997).  
  7. ^ Jackson, James C. (1968). "Planters and speculators: Chinese and European agricultural enterprise in Malaya, 1786-1921". University of Malaya Press 
  8. ^ Roads to fame, Fauziah Ismail, Johor Buzz, New Straits Times
  9. ^ Ancient temple steeped in history, Peggy Loh, JohorBuzz, New Straits Times
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. iv. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "2010 Population and Housing Census of Malaysia" (in Malay and English). Department of Statistics, Malaysia. Retrieved 17 June 2012.  p. 13
  13. ^ "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. iv. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Mother Nature hits back, 29 December 2006, The Star (Malaysia)
  15. ^ An army of its own, Fauziah Ismail, JohorBuzz, New Straits Times
  16. ^ "Taburan Penduduk dan Ciri-ciri Asas Demografi, Malaysia, 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. 27. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  17. ^ About Southern College, Message from the Executive Advisor, retrieved 21 February 2009
  18. ^ [25]
  19. ^ "Play time for all – LEGOLAND and Hello Kitty Town, Johor". Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Tanjung Piai National Park". Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Endau Rompin National Park". Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Pulau Kukup Johor National Park". Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Pulau Sibu". Tourism Malaysia. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Pulau Rawa". Tourism Malaysia. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "Desaru Beach". Tourism Malaysia. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "Pulau Aur". Tourism Malaysia. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  27. ^ Folk dance with religious origin, 14 April 2005, Peggy Loh, Travel Times, New Straits Times
  28. ^ Kenali Gaya: Mata lalat, tulang belut bezakan baju Melayu, Berita Harian Online, September 2008
  29. ^ Little touches for unique dishes, GEETHA KRISHNAN, 26 June 2006, The Star (Malaysia)
  30. ^ Hidangan dan Masakan Johor, 11 December 2006, Official Portal of the Johor State Government


  • Andaya, Leonard Y., "The Kingdom of Johor 1641-1728: Economic and Political Developments", Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1975.
  • Borschberg, Peter, "The Seizure of the Santa Catarina Revisited: The Portuguese Empire in Asia, VOC Politics and the Origins of the Dutch-Johor Alliance (c. 1602–1616)", Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 33.1 (2002): 31–62. (This article can be downloaded free of charge at, doi:10.1017/S0022463402000024)
  • Borschberg, Peter, "The Singapore and Melaka Straits: Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the Seventeenth Century", Singapore: NUS Press, 2010. ISBN 978-9971-69-464-7.
  • Borschberg, Peter, "Hugo Grotius, the Portuguese and Free Trade in the East Indies", Singapore: NUS Press, 2011. ISBN 978-9971-69-467-8.
  • Trocki, Carl A., Prince of Pirates: the Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore, 1784–1885, University of Hawaii Press, 1979, ISBN 978-9971-69-376-3 ISBN 9971693763
  • Winstedt, Richard O., “A History of Johore”, Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 10.3 (1932): 1-167. (Available in various MBRAS reprints).

External links

  • Johor Government Website
  • Johor Chief Minister Office Official Website
  • Johor Chief Minister Office Official Website, Media and Communication Unit(MedKom)
  • Johor Tourism
  • Johor travel guide written and maintained by locals
  • Johor Community
  • My Far East, Johor – Malaysia
  • History of the Johor Empire
  • Faculty of Built Environment, UTM, Skudai, Johor
  • Tourism Malaysia – Johor
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