Pulau Sekudu and Pulau Ubin

Film Location of Hang Tuah (1956) and Hang Jebat (1961)

A local legend goes that a frog, a pig and an elephant raced each other across the Johor Straits. They didn’t make it to the opposite shore and ended up as islands, with the pig and elephant becoming Pulau Ubin (literally Granite Island; actually made up of two islands), and the frog transforming into Pulau Sekudu (literally Frog Island). An islet lying just off the Chek Jawa wetlands, Pulau Sekudu is well-visited by nature enthusiasts during low spring tides to make records of the abundant sea creatures. From a distance, the islet’s most distinctive features are the granite rock boulders that rise picturesquely above the intertidal waters and sandy flats. Barring weathering and erosion over time, these rock formations have stayed more or less the same over the decades. We know this from films that used Pulau Sekudu as a film location in the past.

1956’s Hang Tuah features a young, courageous Hang Tuah who leads his friends to a Pulau Sekudu to ambush a gang of pirates. In 1961’s Hang Jebat, a revisionist response to Hang Tuah, the adult titular character (“returns” and) sits atop the rocks of Sekudu and contemplates a revenge for his maligned sworn brother Hang Tuah.