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Johor Baharu History, Malaysia

The Historical Glimpse of Johor Baharu, Malaysia

Its highly developed base of industries has made it the biggest industrial centre in the country. Geographically, it is the southern-most city on the mainland of Eurasia.

As far as its history is concerned, the city was founded in 1855 by Temenggung Daeng Ibrahim, Sultan Abu Bakar’s father and Wong Ah Fook, a Chinese businessman. The town had been originally named as Tanjung Puteri and had its beginning as small fishing village in Malay. The name was changed to Johor Baharu by Sultan Abu Bakar when he made the town his kingdom’s capital in 1866. He moved the government seat from Telul Belanga of Singapore to JB during this time.

In 1819, Temenggong Abdul Rahman, a local chief, signed a treaty with British while seeking permission for leasing Singapore island. Much of the city’s prosperity can be credited directly to Bakar’s success in convincing Chinese and British entrepreneurs to make investments in the agricultural estates of the area. Sultan took immense interest in making plans for and laying out a royal city for Johor Baharu and as a result, various places and buildings in the city bear his marks and name including the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar and Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque. The checkpoint of customs at 2nd links has also been named after the Sultan as Sultan Abu Bakar Complex.

One of the major historical events of Johor Baharu include establishment of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in 1946, a leading political party of Malaysia. While the city has developed and grown tremendously since its independence in 1957, its social development does not match with its economic progress. Rate of crimes, ranging from assaults and thefts to assaults, has increased rapidly over the past few years.

 Public transport services are not adequate for accommodating the requirements of more than 800,000 inhabitants. Unfortunately, being an immediate neighbor of Singapore, it only serves to dramatize a gap between the developments of the two places.

Johor Baharu earned a city status in 1994 and its first mayor became Dato Hashim. The City Square had been constructed for commemorating this memorable event. Pasir Pelangi, the birthplace of international singer and local legend, Dato Shake, has also been located in Johor Baharu.


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