Lighthouses of Malaysia: Sarawak

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. East Malaysia includes two former British colonies, Sarawak and Sabah, plus a smaller territory called Labuan. Another former British protectorate, Brunei, is an independent enclave surrounded by Malaysia. Sarawak was ruled from 1842 to 1946 by Sir James Brooke and his descendents, who were known as the "White Rajahs," while Sabah was controlled by the British North Borneo Company from 1881 to 1946. After a period as crown colonies, both regions became states of Malaysia in 1963.

This page is for the lighthouses of Sarawak; there's another page for Labuan and Sabah. The coast of Sarawak faces northwest on the South China Sea. The lighthouses of Sarawak are mostly in remote areas, so they attract few visitors and very little is known about them. Information and photos would be very welcome.

Aids to navigation in Malaysia are the responsibility of the Marine Department (Jabatan Laut). Sarawak and Sabah formerly had their own marine departments, but they were merged with the Peninsular Malaya marine department in 2011. The Malay term for a lighthouse is rumah api; an island is a pulau and a cape is a tanjung.

Special thanks to Ezmil Sahrani of GreenFinder Asia for permission to post several of his photos on this page.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. MY numbers are Malaysian light list numbers, where known. 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 Some of the photos are out of date.
Lighthouses Sarawak
Small photos and information, also posted by the Marine Department.
Online List of Lights - Malaysia
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas. The Sabah photos are by Rainer Arndt.
Image Bank - Lighthouses of Malaysia
Posted by Greenfinder.asia, this site has several photos of East Malaysian lighthouses.
Lighthouses in Malaysia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Malaysian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.
GPSNavigationCharts
Navigational chart information for East Malaysia.

Dueling lighthouses at Tanjung Datu
Malaysian lighthouse at right,
former Indonesian lighthouse in the rear
photo courtesy of Greenfinder.asia
Kuching Division Lighthouses
Tanjung Datu (2)
1988 (station establishment date unknown). Active (?); focal plane 171 m (561 ft); white flash every 15 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern. Tower unpainted; the lantern is white. A photo is above, the Marine Department has a poor photo (#6), and Google has a satellite view of the station. This lighthouse marks the border between Indonesia and Sarawak. NGA formerly listed a 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower. This border is the site of dueling lighthouses, one on the Malaysian side and one on the Indonesian side. Since the photo above was taken, Indonesia has built a substantial light station with a 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower centered on a 2-story station building; YusRan has a closeup photo of the Indonesian station. A chain link fence separates the Indonesian station from Malaysia. It appears that both lights are active; the Indonesian lighthouse displays two long (1.5 s) white flashes every 12 s. The surrounding area in Malaysia is an undeveloped national park. In 2014 Malaysia began construction of a new light on a platform off the point of the cape; construction was halted when Indonesia protested that the location was in Indonesian waters as provided by a 1969 treaty. A blog has a lengthy discussion of this controversy from the Indonesian point of view. The onshore Malaysian lighthouse was restored and upgraded in 2017. Located on a promontory at the tip of the Datu Peninsula about 50 km (30 mi) northwest of Sematan. Boat transportation to the park can be arranged in Sematan. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Tanjung Datu National Park. MY-1001; Admiralty F1894; NGA 23872.
Tanjung Sipang
Date unknown (recent). Active; focal plane about 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round white fiberglass tower, flared at the top. Wilson Chin has a photo and a drone view andGoogle has a satellite view. Located at the tip of a rugged peninsula about 30 km (19 mi) north of Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1896.85; NGA 23906.
Tanjung Patang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two yellow flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) white concrete tower mounted on tripod concrete piles. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the north point of a reef about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Tanjung Po. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1897.6; NGA 23910.
Tanjung Po
1873. Active; focal plane 131 m (430 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) lantern centered on the roof of a square pagoda-like wood keeper's house. The house has been covered with white siding, and the lantern is painted white. Ezmil Sahrani has a closeup photo, an older Marine Department photo is at right, J. Davies has a historic photo from the mid 1960s, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. Site status unknown. ARLHS EMA-012; Admiralty F1898; NGA 23916.
Tanjung Batu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); quick-flashing green light. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a low point projecting into the Sarawak River, Kuching's harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1901.6; NGA 23940.

Tanjung Po Light
Tanjung Po Light
Sarawak Marine Department photo

Kuching Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21.5 m (70 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. Approx. 19 m (59 ft) skeletal tower carrying a daymark with yellow vertical stripes and a red diamond. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Sarawak River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1901; NGA 23928.
* Kuching Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30.5 m (100 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) skeletal tower carrying a daymark with yellow vertical stripes and a red diamond. Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located about 760 m (1/2 mi) southwest of the front light. Site status unknown, but the tower is easily seen from nearby roads. Admiralty F1901.1; NGA 23932.
Tanjung Renard
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); quick-flashing green light. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the inside point of a sharp bend in the Sarawak River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1902.2; NGA 23944.
Tanjung Embang Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21.5 m (70 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. Approx. 18 m (56 ft) skeletal tower carrying a daymark with yellow vertical stripes and a red diamond. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. This is the approach range for Kuching. Located on the south side of the entrance to the Sarawak River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1900; NGA 23920.
Tanjung Embang Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30.5 m (100 ft); white light occulting once every 10 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) skeletal tower carrying a daymark with yellow vertical stripes and a red diamond. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located about 760 m (1/2 mi) southwest of the front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1900.1; NGA 23924.

Betong Division Lighthouse
Tanjung Betong (Batang) Marau
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower carrying a triangular white daymark. No photo available and the tower is not seen in Bing's distant satellite view. Located off the north side of a river entrance about 80 km (50 mi) east of Kuching. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1905.6; NGA 24056.

Sarikei Division Lighthouses
Pasir Wong (Wong Sands)
2009. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 11 m (36 ft) tower, no description available. No photo available and the tower is apparently too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located off the south side of the entrance to the Serikai River. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1909.1; NGA 24078.
Tanjung Selalang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16.5 m (53 ft); white flash every 5 s. 17 m (56 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a low point of land on the south side of the entrance to the Serikai River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1909.4; NGA 24076.
Tanjung Jerijeh
1936. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 36 m (118 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Two sides of the tower carry a slatted daymark painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern. Keeper's house and other light station buildings. Ezmil Sahrani's photo is at right, the Marine Department has a small photo (#2), and Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Serikai (Jerijeh?) River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1908; NGA 24068.

Mukah Division Lighthouses
Tanjung Sedi (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21.5 m (70 ft); white flash every 5 s. 18 m (59 ft) skeletal (?) tower carrying a white diamond-shaped daymark, mounted on a square pier. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. In another satellite view, the square keeper's house of the original lighthouse is seen onshore. Located just off the southwestern corner of Pulau Bruit, marking the approach to Kuala Paloh. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1914; NGA 24088.
Kuala Paloh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; four white flashes every 20s. No description available, but this is surely a skeletal tower on a platform supported by piles. The range is listed as 16 nautical miles (29.5 km or 18.5 mi); this would imply a tower at least 30 m (98 ft) tall. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located about 15 km (9 mi) northwest of the entrance to Kuala Paloh. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1913.9; NGA 24093.

Tanjung Jerijeh Light
photo copyright Ezmil Sahrani; used by permission
Tanjung Sirik(2)
1988 (station established 1882). Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); white flash every 10 s. 36 m (118 ft) square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Keeper's house and other station buildings. Sahrani's photo is at right, a small photo is available, the Marine Department's page has a small photo (#3 in the list), and Bing has a satellite view of the station. This light marks a major change in the direction of the coastline, from north-south to east-west. The original lighthose was described in 1904 as a "wood and iron" tower. The site is probably accessible only by boat. Located at the northern tip of Pulau Bruit, about 100 km (60 mi) northwest of Sibu. Site status unknown. ARLHS EMA-013; Admiralty F1916; NGA 24104.
Kuala Balingian (Batang Balingian)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (50 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 18 m (59 ft) white metal skeletal tower. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) off the entrance to Balingian. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1923.41; NGA 24140.

Bintulu Division Lighthouses
* Kuala Bintulu Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); continuous green light. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) square white skeletal tower carrying a triangular daymark, point down. Google has a closeup street view and an indistinct satellite view. The front light is on a shorter skeletal tower. Located at an intersection next to the Golden Bay Hitel on Tun Razak Street in downtown Bintulu. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1924.1; NGA 24160.
Bintulu (Tanjung Kidurong) South Access Channel Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 35 m (115 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Tanjung Kidurong is the port area of northern Bintulu; it includes a very large liquified natural gas facility. Located on the waterfront of Tanjung Kidurong. Located at a petroleum stirage facility south of the main port. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1925.051.
Bintulu (Tanjung Kidurong) Outer Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white light, 6 s on, 6 s off, synchronized with the rear light. Approx. 26 m (85 ft) skeletal tower carrying a white trapezoidal daymark. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1925.2; NGA 24172.

Tanjung Sirik Light, Pulau Bruit
photo copyright Ezmil Sahrani; used by permission
Bintulu (Tanjung Kidurong) Outer Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white light, 6 s on, 6 s off, synchronized with the front light. Approx. 41 m (135 ft) square skeletal tower carrying a white trapezoidal daymark. No photo available but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located 840 m (0.52 mi) east of the front light. Site status unknown.
Admiralty F1925.21; NGA 24176.
Bintulu (Tanjung Kidurong) Inner Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft) (?); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off, synchronized with the rear light. 18 m (59 ft) skeletal tower carrying a red trapezoidal daymark. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Tanjung Kidurong. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1925.3; NGA 24177.
Bintulu (Tanjung Kidurong) Inner Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft) (?); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off, synchronized with the rear light. 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower carrying a red trapezoidal daymark. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located 200 m (220 yd) east of the front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1925.31; NGA 24178.
Bintulu (Tanjung Kidurong)
1988 (station established 1878). Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 21 m (69 ft) square aluminum skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. The Marine Department's page has a small photo (#4 on the list), and Google has a satellite view. Tanjung Kidurong is an oil terminal and seaport about 15 km (9 mi) north of Bintulu. Located on the north side of the port entrance. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1925; NGA 24168.
Tanjung Payong
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) round white fiberglass tower with a flared top. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a headland about 80 km (50 mi) northeast of Tanjung Kidurong. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1925.8; NGA 24184.

Miri Division Lighthouses
* Miri (Tanjung Lobang) (3)
1988 (station established 1930s). Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); white flash every 10 s. 16 m (52 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery and enclosed upper section but no lantern. Lighthouse painted white. The Borneo Post has a photo, the city has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. A British lighthouse here was destroyed by Japanese troops in 1942; it was replaced by the tower seen on the Marine Department's page. Close to roads and buildings, this lighthouse is accessible. Located on a promontory just south of Miri. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1930; NGA 24216.
Baram (Tanjung Baram)
1936 (station established 1892). Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 45 m (148 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Two sides of the upper half of the lighthouse carry a slatted daymark painted with a red and white checkerboard pattern. A Marine Department photo is at right, Ezmil Sahrani has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse, only 5 km (3 mi) west of the Brunei border, stands on a prominent cape and helps guide ships approaching Brunei. Located on the north side of the Baram River entrance at Kuala Baram. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1934; NGA 24240.
Tanjung Baram Light
Tanjung Baram Light
Malaysian Marine Department photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Spratly Islands | Northeast: Brunei | Southwest: Southern Kalimantan | West: Natuna Sea Islands

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Posted March 21, 2006. Checked and revised November 24, 2018. Lighthouses: 28. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.