Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh Malaysia (With Lyrics)...Anneke Gronloh


  1. Mr Boon, your Malaysia blog is very rich and informative.

    I visited 华人历史文物馆 at Johor Bahru and couldn't find the name 新山 in Johor history. I am looking for when did Johor Baru name as 新山 and why was it so? Can you provide me some clue?


  2. Johor Bahru was founded in 1855 as when the sovereign ruler of Johor, Temenggong Daing Ibrahim established his administrative headquarters here. It was then-known as "Tanjung Puteri", and was a small Malay fishing village. Temenggong Ibrahim renamed "Tanjung Puteri" in 1858. His son and successor, Temenggong Abu Bakar (Sultan from 1885) renamed it as "Johor Bahru" on 1 January 1866.

    Just like you, I cannot get any info on why the Chinese called it sin-sua(新山) or literally mean new hill. But as usual under the kang-chu(港主) system, the Ghee Hin leader bought in 4,000 Chinese workers from Zhaochow or Teochew(潮州人), and these people called it " little Swatow"(小汕头), Swatow is the port where they depart from China. The Malay called it Johor Baru, the new Chinese may not be well versed in Malay, they use their own name " sin-sua-tow"(新汕头) or new Swatow, and slowly it become sin-sua(新汕), which sound shorter, and easy to call.
    That is what I can help.

  3. Mr Boon,
    Thank you so much for the advise.

    I also gathered another version that during those days, most chinese came from Singapore. Opposite the Johor Strait is Woodland which is full of small hills. Sin-Sua(新山)also has a small hill. In order to distinguish the two, hills in Woodland called Gu-Sua(旧山), JB called Sin-Sua(新山)。

    Once again thank you for the " sin-sua-tow"(新汕头) version, which also makes a lot of sense.