The history of Batam is tightly interwoven with
nearby Bintan Island and the rest of Riau Archipelago. According
to Chinese chronicles Batam was already inhabited as early as 231
A.D. when Singapore Island was still called 'Pulau Ujung' (Ujung
Island). It came Malacca kingdom under control from the 13th century,
and later taken over by the Sultan of Johor who ruled until the
18th century. The coastal villages that face Singapore is said to
have been a hideout for pirates who hijacked ships in the strait.
In 1824 the name of the island again appear in
London treaty, which led to the division of the region between the
Dutch and the British. Batam and the surrounding islands later became
part of the Riau Lingga Kingdom, a situation that lasted until 1911,
when the Dutch East Indies colonial administration took over.