Johor (alt. English spelling: Johore, Jawi script:جوهر) is a state of Malaysia between 1°20"N and 2°35"N. It is one of the most developed states in Malaysia. The capital city and royal seat of Johor is Johor Bahru, formerly Tanjung Puteri (English: Princess' Cliff). The old state capital is Johor Lama. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Ta'zim ("Abode of Dignity'). It is surrounded by Pahang to the north, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan to the northwest, and the Straits of Johor to the south which is divided by the international border between Malaysia and the Republic of Singapore. Tanjung Piai, in the district of Pontian, is the most southerly point of mainland Asia.
Johoreans often use the word JB to refer to the city of Johor Bahru.
The name "Johor" originated from the Arabic word Jauhar, 'gem/precious stone' . Before the name Johor was adopted, the area south of the Muar River to Singapore island was known as Ujung Tanah or 'land's end' in Malay, due to its location at the end of the Malay Peninsula. Coincidentally, Johor is the most southerly point of the Asian continental mainland.
Modern Johor history began in the early 16th century with the foundation of the Sultanate of Johor by the son of Sultan Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca, who fled from the invading Portuguese in Malacca. Johor sultanate is one of the two successor states of the Melaka empire. Upon Malacca's defeat to the Portuguese in 1511, the son of the last Sultan of Malacca, Sultan Mahmud Shah, had established a monarchy in Johor and had posed a constant threat to the Portuguese. The Sultanate of Perak was the other successor state of Malacca and was established by the son of Sultan Mahmud Shah, Sultan Muzaffar Shah. Johor is the only state, apart from Melaka, that has grown into an empire. During its peak, the whole of Pahang and the present day Indonesian territories of Riau archipelago and part of Sumatra Island was under Johor's rule.
The sultanate grew in economic and political importance due to its position as an East-West trading hub and eventually evolved into the Johor Empire, covering Johor, the Riau Archipelago and parts of eastern Sumatra. However, the Johor Empire failed to reconquer Malacca; in turn Johor harassed and attacked the Portuguese during the 130-year Portuguese rule in Malacca and was a constant thorn to Portuguese dominance in the Straits of Malacca.
Johor is a constitutional monarchy. Johor was the first state in Malaysia which adopted the constitutional monarchy system via Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Johor (Johor State Establishment 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. The State's Sultan since 1981 has been Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj.
Johor was the first state and currently the only state in Malaysia that has its own military force called Johor Military Force or 'Timbalan Setia Negeri'. It is considered a private army of the Sultan of Johor.
The state government is headed by the Chief Minister or Menteri Besar. The current Chief Minister is Dato' Abdul Ghani Othman, a former civil servant. The Chief Minister is assisted by an executive council (exco), whose members are selected from the state assembly members.
The legislative branch of Johor's government is the Johor State Assembly. The state assembly makes laws in matters regarding the state. Members of the assembly are elected every five years in an election.
The Iskandar Malaysia (formerly known as Iskandar Development Region and South Johor Economic Region), encompassing Johor Bahru and Nusajaya is a major development zone in Johor. It is named after the present 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 envisioned to draw investment and business to Johor and will be among the biggest development projects undertaken in Malaysia. As part of the project, the state administrative capital will be moved to Nusajaya.
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 several polytechnics. 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.
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 in the present.
Culture in Johor is influenced by visitors and traders throughout history. The biggest influence would be the Bugis - who first set foot in Malaysia in Johor before continuing on to Melaka and Selangor - Javanese and the Arabs. They had a powerful influence on the politics of Johor and Selangor. The strong Arab influence is apparent in art performances like Zapin and Hamdolok, musical instruments like gambus. 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.
In the old days, only males were allowed to perform 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, hence the participation of female dancers are allowed.
The musical instruments used in kuda kepang performance are 'angklong', 'gendang', 'gong', 'kinong', 'jidor', 'soron kecil' and 'bonang'.
The history of Johor from the late 1500s to the late 1600s is characterised by a series of succession struggles interspersed with strategic alliances struck with regional clans and foreign powers to maintain its 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 in particular the Dutch. In 1641 Johor in cooperation 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 broken into the mainland Johor, controlled by the Temenggong, and the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga, controlled by the Bugis. This is when the history of modern Johor began. In 1855, under the terms of a treaty between the British in Singapore and Sultan Ali of Johor, the control over the State was formally ceded to Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, with the exception of the Kesang area (Muar), which was finally 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.
Temenggong Ibrahim was succeeded by his son, Dato' Temenggong Abu Bakar, who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor. In 1866, he was formally crowned the Sultan of Johor. Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor (1864 - 1895) was the one who gave Johor its own constitution and developed its efficient administration system and constructed the Istana Besar, the official residence of the Sultan. Due to these achievements, Sultan Abu Bakar is known by the title "Father of Modern Johor". He is immortalized at the Sultan Abu Bakar Monument. The monument is built in the seafront directly opposite the courthouse.
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, creating Johor's initial economic base. The Kangchu system was put in place with the first settlement of Kangkar Tebrau established in 1844. 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. 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 under the Japanese. 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 Malayan Union plan. Malays under Dato' Onn Jaafar's leadership formed the United Malays National Organisation (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.
Johor has 8 large islands with numerous smaller ones.
On 19 December 2006, continuously heavy downpour occurred in Johor. Many towns such as Muar, Kota Tinggi and Segamat were seriously flooded with water levels as high as above ground level recorded in some areas. 15 lives were lost and many possessions were destroyed and this resulted in huge financial losses in Johor. More than 100,000 victims were evacuated to flood relief centres.
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. It started in 1909 as a railway link by Johor State Railway to connect Johor Bahru to Singapore, then the administrative headquarters of British interests in South-East Asia. Construction of the road section started in 1919 and was completed in 1923.
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", 25 m above water level, and descending halfway to link up with the low-level causeway. The railway will have a swing bridge. The project is part of the Gerbang Selatan Bersepadu project. It had been previously announced that the bridge project will go ahead, even without the agreement of the Singaporean government. The bridge will become a straight bridge if the Singaporean government accepts the project. Construction work on the bridge has stopped, however, on the orders of the 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 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.
See also Geography and climate of Singapore.
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 Stulang membeli kopi
Pusara si Bongkok di lereng bukit
Di tepi pantai Tanjung Puteri