Lighthouses of Malaysia: Malaya East Coast

The nation of Malaysia is in two parts: Peninsular Malaysia (also called West Malaysia or Malaya) on the southern end of the Malay Peninsula and Malaysian Borneo (East Malaysia) on the island of Borneo roughly 700 km (450 mi) to the east. West Malaysia is the former Federation of Malaya, a union of 11 states placed under British protectorate in the late 1800s. In 1963 the British granted independence to Malaysia, a new country formed by uniting Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah (North Borneo). Singapore, a predominantly Chinese city just off the tip of Malay Peninsula, left the union in 1965 and has been independent since.

Malaya faces one of the world's most important waterways, often called simply The Straits. The Strait of Malacca opens westward to the Indian Ocean and separates Malaya from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. At its southeastern end, the Strait of Malacca joins the Singapore Strait, which connects to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean.

This page describes lighthouses of the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, facing the South China Sea in the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, and eastern Johor.

Aids to navigation in Malaysia (except for Pulau Pisang) are the responsibility of the Marine Department (Jabatan Laut). The Malay term for a lighthouse is rumah api; an island is a pulau, a cape is a tanjung, a river is a sungai, and a hill is a bukit.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Aids to Navigation
Posted by the Marine Department, this page links to slide-show presentations on Malaysian lighthouses. Some of the photos appear to be out of date.
Lighthouses in Malaysia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Malaysian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.
Leuchttürme Asiens, Australiens, und Ozeaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Terengganu Light
Terengganu Light, Terengganu, April 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams
Kelantan Lighthouses
Pulau Pantai Kuda (Pulau Kuda) (2?)
2013. Active; focal plane unlisted; two white flashes every 5 s. The Marine Department contracted for this new light in September 2012. No description and no photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA's description of a wood skeletal tower is almost certainly obsolete. Located on the west side of the mouth of the Kelantan River, which leads to the state capital, Kota Bharu. Site status unknown. NGA 20930.
* Tumpat
Date unknown. Inactive, probably since World War II. 21 m (70 ft) round brick tower with gallery; lantern removed. Wikipedia's photo is at right, a 2011 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The history of this lighthouse is unclear. The Malaysian source says it was built by local authorities around 1900, but it was not listed then by international light lists. Apparently it remained in use until World War II, when occupying Japanese forces used it as a watchtower. Located close to the Malayan Railway station at Tumpat, Malaya's northernmost port on the South China Sea. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malayan Railways Ltd.). ARLHS WMA-032.
Sungai Kelantan Approach
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (60 ft); white flash every 4 s. 15 m (50 ft) skeletal tower. No photo available, and the light is not seen in Bing's satellite view. Located on a small island northwest of the Pantai Senok entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2890; NGA 20932.
* Pantai Senok (Pengkalan Daty)
Date unknown (recent). Active; focal plane approx. 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) white round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. A 2011 closeup photo and another photo are available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. This light was built to guide ships to a new harbor facility on the coast of Kelantan state, near the Thai border. Located on the east breakwater at Pantai Senok, about 15 km (9 mi) northeast of Kota Baharu, the capital of Kelantan state. ARLHS WMA-021; Admiralty F2889; NGA 20934.
* Kemasin
Date unknown (recent). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); green flash every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) white round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. A 2011 photo is available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located on the east breakwater at Kemasin, about 20 km (13 mi) east of Kota Baharu, the capital of Kelantan state. Admiralty F2889.5; NGA 20935.
Tumpat Light
Tumpat Light, Tumpat, January 2008
Wikimedia public domain photo by Mhby87

Northern Terengganu Lighthouses
Seabelle Rock
2002. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) white concrete post with gallery, mounted on an octagonal platform supported by eight concrete piles. A 2010 photo is available, and Google has a very distant satellite view. This interesting modern light is off the east coast of Terengganu state in the Perhentian Islands, an archipelago of coral islands and reefs. The region is included in a national park. William Cheng has a photo of tourists jumping from the lighthouse (this is common but not recommended). Located about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of Kampong Kuala Besut, off the west coast of Pulau Perhentian Kecil. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Pulau Redang Marine Park. ARLHS WMA-022; Admiralty F2885.6; NGA 20942.
* Kuala Besut (Sungai Besut) (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 2 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. No photo available, and the small tower is hard to see in Google's satellite view. Kuala Besut is a small port in northernmost Terengganu. NGA lists a tripod tower at this location. Located on the waterfront on the east side of the Besut harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2885.5; NGA 20948.
* Bukit Puteri (Terengganu)
1909. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 7 m (23 ft) brick post light with a small gallery. A tall signal mast is beside the lighthouse. A photo is at right and a 2008 photo is available, but the small tower is hard to see in Google's satellite view. Bukit Puteri is a hilltop 19th century fortress on the south side of the entrance to the Terengganu River in Kuala Terengganu, the capital of Terengganu state. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS WMA-023; Admiralty F2880; NGA 20968.
* Terengganu (No. 4)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two red flashes every 4 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete block tower with gallery, painted white. Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams has the photo at the top of this page, and Malik Yasin also has a photo, but the light has not been found in Google's satellite view. Located on the south side of the Trengganu estuary, roughly 1.5 km (1 mi) inside the entrance. Site open, tower closed. NGA 20970.
* Chendering North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane approx. 15 m (49 ft); quick-flashing green light. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower mounted on a square 1-story equipment shelter. Entire structure is white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA lists an 8 m (26 ft) skeletal tower at this location. Located at the end of the north breakwater at Chenderling (Cenderling), about 8 km (5 mi) south of Terengganu. Site probably open, tower closed Admiralty F2878.5; NGA 20996.
Bukit Puteri Light
Bukit Puteri Light, Terengganu
VirtualTourist photo copyright mansioion; permission requested
* Chendering South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane approx. 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 5 s (?). Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower mounted on a square 1-story equipment shelter. The fiberglass tower is red and the equipment shelter is white. A photo and a closeup are available, and Google has a satellite view. NGA lists a skeletal tower at this location. Located at the end of the short south breakwater about 8 km (5 mi) south of Terengganu. Site open, and visitors can climb atop the equipment room. Admiralty F2878; NGA 20992.

Southern Terengganu Lighthouses
Tanjung Dungun (Dungun Head, Tanjung Jara)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); white flash every 10 s. Square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, height unknown, painted white. Zulbahrin Nordin's photo is at right, a second photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory sheltering the harbor of Dungun on the central east coast of Malaya. Site status unknown; apparently the lighthouse can be viewed from nearby. Admiralty F2870; NGA 21004.
Tanjung Pelor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 5 s. "White pillar on concrete base," according to NGA. No photo available, but Bing's satellite view suggests a post rising from an equipment building. Located at the tip of a steep headland about 15 km (9 mi) south of Dungun. Accessible only by boat. Admiralty F2869.5; NGA 21006.
Sungai Kemaman
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 105 m (344 ft); white flash every 12 s. Masonry tower, height unknown, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Kemaman is a major port supporting the offshore oil and gas installations in the South China Sea. Located on a headland on the north side of the entrance to Kemaman, in southernmost Terengganu. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2862; NGA 21032.
Tanjung Dungun Light
Tanjung Dungun Light, Dungun, February 2011
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Zulbahrin Nordin

Pahang Lighthouses
Kuantan Port Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (115 ft); green light occulting once every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) square cylindrical steel skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower. Founded in 1974, Kuantan Port is a modern harbor developed just north of Tanjung Gelang. Located in a tank farm on the east side of the harbor. Site status unknown. Site manager: Kuantan Port Authority. Admiralty F2858.1; NGA 21060.
* Tanjung Gelang
1977. Active; focal plane 85 m (279 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a small 1-story equipment room. Lighthouse painted white. A Marine Department photo is at right, amateur radio operators have posted two photos, (1/3 to 1/2 the way down the page), a closeup (bottom right on the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape at Balok, about 30 km (19 mi) north of Kuantan in Pahang state. Accessible by road. Site status unknown. ARLHS WMA-024; Admiralty F2857; NGA 21052.
* Tanjung Tembeling (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 6 m (20 ft) tower; NGA lists a skeletal tower but Bing's satellite view shows a white concrete post with gallery. Located on the hillside above a popular resort on the cape, east of Kuantan. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Kuantan Tembeling Resort. Admiralty F2847; NGA 21076.
Tokong Bahara
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) concrete post light with two galleries, mounted on a large square concrete pier. Daniel Kwok has a photo misidentified as "Berhala," and another photo is available. Located on a rocky reef about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Tioman Island, a popular vacation destination 32 km (20 mi) off the coast of Pahang. Accessible only by boat, but there may be a view from ferries between Mersing and Tioman. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2836.7; NGA 21138.
Tanjung Penuba
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) concrete post with gallery, mounted on a square concrete pier. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the northwest coast of Pulau Tioman. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. NGA 21134.
Tanjung Gelang Light
Tanjung Gelang Light, Balok
postcard photo by Malaysian Marine Department
Tanjung Lanting (Pulau Tioman)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 20 m (66 ft) concrete post with gallery. Entire structure is white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. 39 km (24 mi) long and 12 km (7.5 mi wide), the mountainous island is known for its scenic beauty and its coral reefs. Located in the surf at the southeastern tip of Pulau Tioman. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. NGA 21136.

Eastern Johor Lighthouses
Note: Johor state occupies the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, opposite Singapore. The state has an east coast on the South China Sea and a west coast on the Strait of Malacca. Lighthouses of the west coast are described on the Malaya West Coast page. Prior to the arrival of the British, the Sultanate of Johor controlled a large area of the Malay Peninsula as well as the Riau Islands and portions of Sumatra in what is now Indonesia.
Padang Endau (Inner)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) white concrete post on a square platform supported by piles. The tower also carries a red square daymark. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located about 1.5 km (1 mi) east of the mouth of the Endau River, which forms the border between Padang and Johor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2837; NGA 21140.
Padang Endau Outer
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); quick-flashing white light. 12 m (39 ft) white concrete post on a square platform supported by piles. The tower also carries a white square daymark and a black vertical stripe. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located off a point of land about 1.6 km (1 mi) east of the inner light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2837.2; NGA 21144.
Pulau Achi (Anchi)
2002. Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white; the upper portion of the tower is enclosed by a white slatted daymark. A closeup photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 16 km (10 mi) east of Rompin. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2836.3; NGA 21148.
Pulau Harimau
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 97 m (318 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower, covered with a slatted daymark painted with red and white horizontal bands. An aerial photo is available (click on the photo for enlargement), and Google has a satellite view. Located on the northernmost of a group of small islands northeast of Mersing. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2836.1; NGA 21150.
Pulau Setindan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 11 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower standing on a square concrete base. Entire lighthouse is white. NGA misspells the name of the island as "Stindan." A 2009 photo shows the light under restoration, the 2010 photo at right shows the restored tower, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of Setindan, an island in the entrance to the harbor of Mersing. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2836; NGA 21164.
Pulau Lang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. A view from the sea and a somewhat closer view are available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on a small island off the west coast of Pulau Aur, an island 65 km (40 mi) east of Mersing. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2835; NGA 21167.
Tanjung Tenggaroh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. NGA provides no description of this lighthouse, and no photo is available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Mersing. Site status unknown. NGA 21168.
Pulau Setindan Light
Pulau Setindan Light, Mersing, June 2010
Panoramio photo copyright husswahab; used by permission

Southern Johor (Singapore Strait) Lighthouses
Tompok Utara (2)
2014 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 25 m (82 ft) round fiberglass tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Lighthouse colored with red and white horizontal bands. The photo at right is from the Facebook page of the Greenfinder Company, which installed the lighthouse. This light marks the beginning of the passage through the Straits for ships arriving from the South China Sea. It is somewhat similar in design to the Selatan lighthouses (see the Malaya West Coast page) at the other end of the Straits. Fishermen have some photos taken around the base of the earlier lighthouse, which was similar in appearance. Located on a shoal about 13 km (8 mi) east of Kampong Punggai. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1821; NGA 21186.
Pulau Mungging
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 3 s. 8 m (26 ft) square skeletal tower, the upper 3/4 enclosed by white panels as a daymark. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the extreme southeastern tip of the Malay Peninsula and stands at the north side of the eastern entrance to Singapore Strait. Located just offshore, about 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Kampong Punggai. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS WMA-025; Admiralty F1822; NGA 21180.
Tanjung Setapa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 33 m (108 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted orange. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This light marks a promontory on the north side of Singapore Strait near the eastern entrance to the Johor Strait, which separates Malaysia from Singapore. Located on a cape about 5 km (3 mi) east of the easternmost point of Singapore. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1737; NGA 21184.
Malang Berendam
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 17 m (56 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef in the entrance to Johor Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1737.2; NGA 21185.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Tompok Utara Light
Tompok Utara Light, September 2014
Greenfinder Company photo
courtesy of Ezmil Sahrani

Adjoining pages: North: Southern Thailand | East: Riau Islands | South: Singapore| West: Malaya West Coast

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Posted March 12, 2006. Checked and revised December 17, 2014. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.