Once upon a time in Malaysia’s pre-Merdeka era, this former state secretariat building of Johor used to be the tallest in the area.
Although that is no longer the case today, the Sultan Ibrahim Building is still a historical landmark in Johor Baru.
The building was constructed between 1936 and 1939, and completed in 1940. It was officially opened by Johor’s late Sultan Ibrahim in 1942. The building used to house both the Chief Minister’s office and the Johor State Legislative Assembly.
However, the offices of the state secretariat have been relocated to Kota Iskandar and plans are in the pipeline to convert the building into a museum.
The building’s design is a union between colonial and Malay architecture with Saracenic design (Islamic architecture known for its decorated surfaces, domes and arches).
It was designed by a well-known British architectural firm, Palmer and Turner, that also designed the Hospital Sultanah Aminah (formerly known as Johor Baru General Hospital), as well as several colonial buildings in Singapore, Hong Kong and China (Shanghai).
During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese Imperial Army used it as a fortress and command centre to spy on the British in Singapore.
From the compound, one can get a good view of the Straits of Malacca and also the Singapore skyline.
The building was slightly damaged during the war and the damaged parts of the building are still visible today.
Visitors are not allowed inside the building but can view it from outside.
Other interesting heritage buildings in Johor Baru include the High Court Building, Chinese Heritage Museum (Tiong Hua Museum), Sentral Police Station and Old Railway Station.
The Sultan Ibrahim Building is located at Bukit Timbalan on Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim. It is a 10-minutes drive from the city centre. The GPS coordinates are 1.457830,103.761173.
Alternatively, you can walk there from JB Sentral (railway and bus station). It is a 20-minute walk away, though the building is on a fairly steep hill.
Sultan Ibrahim Building
Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim
Bandar Johor Baru
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