Origin Of Names of PlacesWritten on 15/05/2013 14:06:15
The naming of a place depends on a number of reasons. Some arising from beliefs or narations (Kampung Batu Gajah – Rhino Rock Village). Some are derived from nature such as the surrounding (Kukup), animals (Rengit) or plants (Gunung Pulai - Mount Pulai) and some are named after prominent local figures (Tenang – Peace)). Some names are born out of the events that occurred in that place (Gelang Patah – Broken Anklet/Bracelet)). An interesting point is the change that occurs in the pronunciation of the name of a place. At times it is an abbreviation, sound change or accentuation.
Batu Pahat – Carved Rock
The name Batu Pahat is said to be from an event of rock carving for freshwater supply at the beach in Minyak Beku, located at Sungai Batu, Batu Pahat. This was done by the Thai Army (Siamese Pattani Muslim), under the leadership of Awi Dicu in the 15th century while preparing to attack Melaka. The carving effect is still present until now. This carving is known as the Siamese Well or Batu Pahat Well. The town center of Batu Pahat District is Bandar Penggaram. The name Penggaram is said to have derived from ’ head of rapids ‘, as there were rapids in a small river flowing from the hills behind the town.
Muar was derived from the word ’ muara - mouth ‘, namely river mouth. This was due to the early settlement within the area, located at the mouth of the Muar River. The Muar River is well known since the past because of its width, enabling seafarers to take refuge during turbulent season. Exiled Raja Iskandar Syah (Parameswara) from Singapore had defeated Majapahit in the early 15th century using the river. Similarly, when Melaka fell to the Portuguese in 1511, the King and the noblemen of Melaka fled through the Muar River.
Other versions of the establishment of the name are from the word ’ sick ’ (weary) and ’ mu-aru ‘ (Tamil language) meaning three rivers.
Bandar Maharani, which is the town center of the Muar district, got its name after the name of the Maharani of Maharaja Abu Bakar on August 12, 1887. Because at that time Sultan Abu Bakar was still wearing the title Maharaja, the Empress Consort wore the title Maharani. The town was named after the Empress Consot who was with the Maharaja at the opening ceremony of the town, Maharani Fatimah.
Mersing got its name from the event of a banishment of a detainee who was a Sikh messenger to the Sultan of Pahang, found guilty of treason. This took place when Mersing was sparsely populated. The messenger was Amer Singh, and his name became known in the area resulting in the place being known as Mersing.
Another story that brought the emergence of the name Mersing was from a virgin named Mersing who was in love with a wanderer from Pahang named Awang. Due to Mersing being fancied by the son of the village chief, Mersing’s father had chosen the village chief’s son as his prospective son-in-law.
To separate Mersing and Awang, defamation transpired. But Awang managed to prove her innocence by supressing the slander. Finally, Mersing’s father agreed to accept Awang as her husband. But Awang was hardheaded and left Mersing’s family with the villagers in a state of ruefulness. From this, the name Mersing appeared and the lore was sung in the folk song Seri Mersing.
The name Segamat is derived from the expression ’ most immediate ’ or ’ very fresh’. These expressions were born from the mouth of Bendahara Tepok during his exile upstream of the Muar River after the Portuguese conquered Melaka. Bendahara Tepok who suffered a paralysis was stretchered to the boat. Upon reaching Lubuk Batu, he exclaimed, how very quickly his entourage had reached a safe place, away from the threat of the Portuguese. Because on that day, the weather was quite hot, Bendaraha Tepok had a bath there. Bendahara Tepok had said after the bath, “how fresh this body feels ” these words by Bendahara Tepok became a common phrase among his followers and subsequently, the settlements where they lived was named Segamat.
The word is said to originate from the term ‘ Stop ‘. The intended stop was the Pontian Besar River, a shelter from the turbulent Strait of Melaka for most seafarers heading to Singapore or Melaka. Some refer to it as a pirate’s stop while waiting for victims to cross the area. However, the mouth of Pontian Besar River is a stop for fishermen to unload their catch, while Pontian Kecil was the main town of the District of Pontian.
Kota Tinggi took its name from a city that was built on a high ground by the bank of the Johor River. The construction of the city was to ward off attacks by the Portuguese who strived to eliminate the power of the Malay Sultanate that was defeated in Melaka in the year 1511.
Because the Johor River was a safe area to seek shelter from the turbulent South China Sea, it had become the convergence of traders since ancient times. During Ptolemic era, this area was known by the name Palanda. Many old remains such as beads and gems from the Han’s era (SM200-TM20) and the period of the Roman Empire have been discovered in Kota Tinggi.
The name Tangkak emerged from ‘tang merangkak (crawl)’. ‘tang’ came from the word ‘tentang‘ that is, about the place. The incident occurred when settlers in Tangkak area, Long Mahmud and his seven relatives had to crawl up the bank of Tangkak River to reach Bukit Tambak in Seri Makmur. The riverbanks in Tangkak area were soft and loose because the swamps were overgrown with shrubs, weeds, ferns and palms.
Kluang town took the name of village inhibiting ‘keluang’. ‘Keluang’ is a large fruit-eating bat. It feeds on durian flowers and fruits such as rambutan, rambai and others. The villagers managed to kill squirrels that infested their orchards, but failed to scare the numerous ‘keluang’ that came every evening to the place. Those countless ‘keluang’ was believed to have come from a hill behind their village (the alleged hill was probably Gunung Lambak). Finally, a witchdoctor had to perform a ceremony in the Hill to lure away the ‘keluang’ from the villagers’ orchards.This page has been read 48926 times