Modern Johor

Modern JOHOR!

Sultan Abu Bakar Ibni Al-Marhum Tun Temenggung Raja Daing Ibrahim (3 February 1833 – d.4 June 1895), also known as Albert Baker, the Temenggong of Johor. He was the 1st Sultan of Modern Johor, the 21st Sultan of Johor and the first Maharaja of Johor from the House of Temenggong. He was also informally known as “The Father of Modern Johor”, as many historians accredited Johor’s development in the 19th century to Abu Bakar’s leadership.

His Majesty has a very close relationship with Muar town.

1884 - City-Builder


Sultanah Fatimah – Bandar Maharani

Sultanah Fatimah was the third wife of Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor. Her real name was Wong Ah Gew and later changed into Fatimah after converted to Islam. She was a Chinese woman with Cantonese heritage. She was crowned as Sultanah of Johor in 1886. She died in 1891.

Modern Muar Town, known as Bandar Maharani (Sultanah Fatimah), was founded by Dato’ Bentara Luar, Muhamad Salleh bin Perang in 1885 and was only officially opened by His Majesty Maharaja Abu Bakar 12 August 1887 (who just became opted Maharaja title on 30 June 1868) and conferred the namesake Bandar Maharani meaning the Town of Empress, the title of Maharani Fatimah who had accompanied to graced the inauguration ceremony of the new town at Tangga Batu a place around Hentian Maharani bus station now where an auspicious “amulet” or “azimat” is said to be buried underground there then.


Mohd Salleh Bin Perang (Dato’ Bentara Luar)

1886 – Modern Johor



Sultan Abu Bakar – Muar Town

In 1855, Sultan Ali ceded the sovereignty rights of Johor (except Kesang in Muar) to Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, in exchange for a formal recognition as the “Sultan of Johor” by the British and a monthly allowance. Following the secession of Johor, Sultan Ali was granted administrative charge over Muar until his death in 1877, and in most administrative matters, was often styled as the “Sultan of Muar”.[7]

Sultan Ali delegated the administrative affairs of Muar to the Raja Temenggung of Muar (also known by the title of Temenggong Paduka Tuan of Muar) and rather spent most of his time in Malacca.

After Sultan Ali‘s death in 1877, the Raja Temenggong of Muar and its village chieftains voted in favour of a merger of Muar with Johor following a succession dispute between two of Sultan Ali’s sons. Sultan Ali’s oldest son, Tengku Alam, disputed the legitimacy of the chieftains’ wishes and staked his hereditary claims over Muar. Tengku Alam instigated the 1879 Jementah Civil War in a bid to reclaim Muar, but was quickly crushed by the Maharaja’s forces. During the 1880s, Abu Bakar actively encouraged the Chinese leaders to set up new gambier and pepper plantations in Muar.

1941 - Japanese occupation of Malaya


45th Indian Infantry Brigade – Battle of Muar

The Muar Ferry Crossing, in the Battle of Muar, where the 45th Indian Brigade was disposed along 24 miles of river front with four companies of infantry north of the river and the remainder positioned south of the river, to cover the main coast road at Muar against the advance of the Imperial Guards Division.

In the 2nd World War, the Battle of Muar, 14–22 January 1942, fought around the area from Gemencheh, Muar River and Bukit Bakri in Muar was the last major battle of the Malayan Campaign of the Battle of Malaya, fought by British Allied forces and Japanese forces from 8 December 1941 – 31 January 1942 in British Malaya.

The Battle of Bakri or Siege of Bakri was a fierce battle of the fighting troops in Bukit Bakri on 17 January 1942.

The battle resulted in the near-annihilation of the Allies’ deployed 45th Indian Infantry Brigade, with heavy casualties for its two attached Australian’s 2/19th and 2/29th Infantry Battalions and the eventual fall of Muar to the Imperial Japanese forces.

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