Iskandar Puteri and the state of Johor

A Bit of History of the Johor Sultanate

The Johor Royal family’s roots date from the early 16th century. In 1528, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah, a descendent of the Malacca Sultanate, founded Johor and set up his royal residence in Johor Lama. His dynasty ruled Johor until the demise of Sultan Mahmood in 1699, who was said to have been assasinated by Megat Seri Rama (Laksamana Bintan). As Sultan Mahmood did not have a legitimate heir, the management and administration of Johor was transferred to the Bendahara Dynasty. The Bendahara Dynasty comprised ministers who had previously served the Malacca Sultanate. The Johor state capital is said to have moved up to 20 times along the Johor River and was even located in Riau Island at one time because of war strategies and to maintain authority over trading in the region.

In 1769, Sultan Mahmud III was crowned the Sultan of Johor-Riau and had appointed Temenggong Abdul Rahman as the Temenggong of Johor. The British acknowledged Temenggong Abdul Rahman Ibni Temenggong Abdul Hamid as the legitimate Temenggong of Johor-Singapore. This marked the start of the Temenggong Dynasty that later ruled Johor. In 1819, the British appointed Sultan Husain, the eldest son of Sultan Mahmood III as the Sultan of Johor- Singapore. The son of Temenggong Abdul Rahman, Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim, was then appointed as the Temenggong of Johor after the demise of his father in 1825. The British only recognised his appointment 14 years later. On 10 March 1855, the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ali Iskandar Shah ceded the Johor state and government with the exception of Kesang territory to Temenggong Ibrahim via a treaty. The demise of Sultan Ali on 20 June 1877 marked the end of the Bendahara Dynasty. Temenggong Ibrahim had also founded the Iskandar Puteri at Tanjong Puteri in 1855. As such, it can be said that the modern Johor Sultanate was established by Temenggong Ibrahim and further consolidated by Sultan Abu Bakar.

The Ruler

Presently, it is His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim who reigns the State of Johor

Sultan Ibrahim II

Tunku Ibrahim was appointed the Tunku Mahkota Johor on 3 July 1981 when his late father, Sultan Iskandar was proclaimed the Sultan of Johor. Tunku Ibrahim was then appointed the Regent on 25 April 1984 until 25 April 1989 when Sultan Iskandar was appointed the eighth King. While serving as the Regent, he took the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as a Ruler as well as spending much of his time with the people of Johor.

On 23 January 2010, Tunku Ibrahim was proclaimed the Sultan of Johor upon the demise of his father, Sultan Iskandar.

HRH Sultan Ibrahim  is married to Her Royal Highness Raja Zarith Sofiah Binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah and is blessed with six children, five princes and a princess.

With his glorious ancestors, Sultan Ibrahim has the spirit of a soldier and excel in sea activities and other extreme sports. At the age of five, he had already driven a speedboat in a competition. He is capable and is licensed to pilot jets and helicopters. He is also the only Malay Ruler to have a train driving licence. A capable horseman, HRH Tunku Sultan Ibrahim is also an agile polo player. HRH Tuanku is also  Malay Ruler who explores every corner of the state each year to get close to his people through the Mahkota Adventure Programme (Program Kembara Mahkota) since 2001.

Fun Facts About Johor

With Singapore’s burgeoning wealth, job opportunities and higher exchange rate, it is normal for the Lion City to eclipse the state of Johor Darul Ta’zim (in the minds of most Malaysians). However, Johor’s rising status as a developed state is pushing back this stereotype.

Already, massive development projects are underway to answer the housing demands of the growing population, both local and international.

The jewel of south

Johor was named after the Arabic word “Jauhar” which means jewels. It was a name bestowed by the Arab traders who came to peninsular Malaya a long time ago. Visitors and traders from Siam called it “Gangganu,” which means gems.

Gunung Ledang

Standing at 1,276 metres tall, Gunung Ledang (also known as Mount Ophir) is the highest mountain in Johor and the 64th highest mountain in Malaysia. Its peak is shrouded by legends and folklore. According to the Torah, Ophir was a land rich with gold deposits. This story lured traders from as far as China and Greece.

Another story speaks of a princess with magical powers who resided at the top of the mountain. The then Sultan of Malacca, Sultan Mahmud Shah attempted to seduce her to be his wife. However, she set seven conditions that made it impossible for the sultan to receive her hands in marriage. There are many interesting variations to the ending of the story.

Forest City

Johor is grabbing attention from all over Asia with its new and ambitious project, Forest City. Envisioned as a car-free city within a pristine setting, vehicles will not be seen traversing the surface of this development. To achieve this bold concept, Forest City is designed with two layers, one on the surface and another below it. Green facades, sky gardens and rooftop gardens decorate the surface of the city, providing ample green space for residents to enjoy a walk.

The underground layer is composed of intricate networks of roads and railway transit systems, providing ample connectivity to over 100,000 residents. Forest City’s proximity to Singapore also gives residents better access to working opportunities in Singapore while experiencing a cheaper lifestyle in Malaysia. Besides its futuristic and ambitious design concept, Forest City claims that the price of houses offered will only be a quarter of the house price in Singapore. Comprising four reclaimed islands with 3,425 acres near Tanjung Kupang, Forest City has received over RM170bil worth of commitment investment, with an initial gross development of RM450bil. It is expected to generate an additional 220,000 jobs. There are various theme parks and amusement parks to be explored by the curious visitors. Among them are the Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park, Danga Bay, Legoland Malaysia Resort, Mount Lambak Water Park, Tropical Village and Wet World Batu Pahat Water Park.

A tale of might and magic

Malaysians grew up with the story of Badang, a slave who gained superhuman strength by eating the vomit of a river spirit. Contrary to popular belief, Badang was born in Sayong Pinang, Johor. It is a tale of chivalry, valour and bravery that many – young and old alike, could learn and reflect upon.

In short, Johor is a land rife with culture, gastronomic surprises and tourist attractions.

Iskandar Puteri: the Tale of Princesses, Paddles, and Great Ambitions

Through centuries, the area underwent through many transformations, which included its numerous name changes, some of which associated with legends, tales, and rulers and entrepreneurs’ ambitions.

Sempit Puteri

Historically the area was an old Malay and Orang Asli fishing village and fort that has existed since Srivijaya and part of the Johor Bahru which was then known as Ujong Medini or Tanjung Puteri. It is located at the mouth of Tebrau Strait and has the narrowest distance between the Johore mainland to the Singapore, thus nicknamed as Sempit Puteri (literally means, Narrow Princess) in the past.

In 1855, when Sultan Temenggung Daeng Ibrahim bin Temenggung Daeng Abdul Rahman won his claim over the Johor mainland, he shifted the capital city of the latest divided Johore to Tanjung Puteri and renamed it as Iskandar Puteri,] which later the new township will be named after. The name was however short-lived, when his descendant Sultan Maharaja Abu Bakar, the 21st Sultan of Johor and the first Sultan of Modern Johor changed it into Johor Bahru upon his coronation as the Maharaja of Johor in 1868 to distinguish his dynasty from the previous one.

Gelang Patah

During his reign, Jaafar Muhammad was appointed as the first chief minister of Modern Johor. According to one particular story, during his journey to Sempit Puteri, the paddle of the sampan that he was boarding, was broken. From that event, the place is known as Gelang Patah (literally means Broken Paddle.

Johor Bahru Tengah

Between 1953 through mid-1990s the area was known as Johor Bahru Tengah.


In 1993, during the leadership of the fourth Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a plan for a second bridge connecting the Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore was brought forward by a successful young entrepreneur who build the Malaysia longest highway. He also embarked on yet another ambitious project to develop a new township which later became known as Nusajaya. The city was very well planned township and won many award for its sustainable masterplan, and it ultimately became synonym with Johor Bahru Tengah and latter give name to the city.

Iskandar Puteri

In January 2016, Nusajaya was renamed to its former prestige name, Iskandar Puteri by Sultan Ibrahim, the current Sultan of Johor.


The area is also home to a unique EduCity. That is a 600-acre (2.4 km²) educational area, which consists of the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus, Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia, University of Reading, Multimedia University, Raffles University, Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology, Management Development Institute of Singapore, Marlborough College Malaysia and Raffles American School. Other universities in the city are University of Technology, Malaysia and Southern University College.

Today, Iskandar Puteri is famous for its diverse features that make it truly unique for Malaysia and across the region.

Tourist attraction and shopping paradise

The city’s harbour is a marina development that spans 687 acres (2.8 km²) on the Straits of Johor. Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town are also located at Puteri Harbour. Another tourist magnet is Legoland Malaysia, which is a 5,500,000 sq ft (510,000 m2) integrated complex containing the Legoland Malaysia and Legoland Water Park theme parks, plus a lifestyle retail centre, offices, hotels, service apartments and residential units. The main theme park includes 70 hands-on rides, slides, shows distributed among the LEGO Technic, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination, Land of Adventure, LEGO City and MINILAND areas. Another attraction is the Legoland Hotel.The city is also famous for its great shopping malls and outlet villages

Sea port

The city port ranks as Malaysia's largest container port since 2004 lies in the western side of the city. It is the 19th busiest container port in the world as of 2013. Iskandar Puteri houses the Puteri Harbour International Ferry Terminal, with destinations to cities in Indonesia.


The Second Link Expressway and North–South Expressway connect the city to the other states in Peninsular Malaysia.

The Malaysia–Singapore Second Link was built between Kampong Ladang at Tanjung Kupang, Johor and Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim at Tuas, Singapore. The bridge was built to reduce the traffic congestion at the Johor–Singapore Causeway, and was opened to traffic on 2 January 1998. The twin-deck bridge supports a dual-three lane carriageway and its total length over water is 1,920 m.

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