Johor Bahru, the capital of Johor State, the third-largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia which covers an area of 19,984 square kilometers at the southern end of the peninsula. The state has about 2.3 million of its population composed of a multi-racial mix of Malays, mostly of Javanese and Bugis descent as well as Chinese, Indians and others.
Johor abounds with great holiday opportunities for those in search of sun, sand, and sea. The popular beach resort of Desaru on its southern coast is a magnet for holiday makers from Singapore. Its pristine island havens dotting the South China Sea are simply irresistible getaways, with their unspoiled white sandy beaches, verdant jungles and rich marine life. Further inland, Jahor is home to Endau-Rompin National Park, one of the few lowland forests in Malaysia.
The word "Johor" is derived from the Arabic word Jauhar, which literally means "Precious Stones", which illustrates the influence of Arab traders who traded spice in the state. To the Siamese, Johor is Gangganu or "Treasures Stones".
Johor was founded in the early 16th century by the son of Sultan Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca, whose state was captured by the Portuguese. From a small state, it grew into the Johor Empire that covered the Riau Archipelago.
In the 18th century, the Bugis of Celebes and the Minankasbaus of Sumatra controlled the political powers in the Johor-Riau Empire. However, in the early 119th 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-Linggi, 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, who began to develop Johor.
The Temenggong 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 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".
Until the administration of his son and successor, Sultan Ibrahim, the State continued to prosper. In 1910, the British appointed the British advisor to counsel Sultan Ibrahim on matters of state. The Johor State also suffered, as did others, during the Japanese occupation of Malaya until the year 1945.
Then in 1948, it joined the Federation of Malaya, which gained Independence in 1957. Today, Johor is a prosperous State with an expanding economy, fuelled by agriculture, manufacturing, commerce, and tourism.