Situated at the southern end of Peninsula
Malaysia, Johor is the third largest state in the country. It was named
after the Sungei Johor, which is the longest river in the state. Economically,
it is one of the most important states in the country with various large
plantations. They include commodities such as rubber, palm oil, and pineapple.
On top of agricultural products, Johor is also becoming an industrial
base. It has even developed to become one of the most populated states
with Johor Bahru (JB), its capital city, as the second-largest city in
Malaysia. A causeway and a railway line connect JB to Singapore, thus
making it easier to travel to and from each country.
It is believed that Sultan Mahmud Shah,
the last ruler of Malacca, founded Johor when he was forced to flee from
the Portuguese in 1511. After his death, his son Alauddin Riayat Shah
moved the capital to Kota Tinggi in Johor. He was able to build a strong
kingdom, was feared by many, and was able to make Johor a preeminent Malay
state. However, this did not mean the end of turmoil and fights. In the
16th Century, the state was attacked by the Portuguese followed by the
Achinese from Sumatra, and later the Bugis from Sundawesi (Celebes). However,
the Malay rulers of Johor managed to hold their own fort against all odds.
When Sir Stamford Raffles set foot in Singapore
in 1819, he witnessed the factional war within the court of the Johor
Sultan, which was divided by Malay and Bugis factions. He pensioned off
the sultans and gave actual power to the "temenggong" (Malay minister).
Temenggong Abu Bakar was given that privilege to rule Johor. He elevated
himself to the position of Sultan of Johor in 1886. He persevered to build
up the state and to modernize its administration. He established Johor
Bahru (New Johor) as the capital city and began modernizing it. He was
thus aptly called "The Father of Modern Johor". Johor finally became part
of the Federation of Malaya in 1948.
Top of Page