Legend tells of a poor widow who had two pretty daughters, Minah and Linah, who were very close to each other. After their mother passed away, the sisters left the village to live with a distant uncle.
One unfortunate day, Linah met a group of pirates while she was fetching water from a well near the sea. Frightened, she ran home while the pirate chief gave chase. At the uncle's home, the pirate brandished a dagger and made known his wish to marry Linah. That night, the two sisters wept bitterly in each other's arms. When dawn broke, the pirate chief and 16 of his men came to take Linah away. Clinging to each other, they were separated and Linah was forced to leave with the pirates. Just then, the sky turned dark and a storm broke out. Desperate, Minah swam after the boat but drowned. On seeing this, Linah fled from her captors and jumped into the sea to join Minah.
The storm subsided soon after but the sisters were nowhere be found. The next day, the villagers were shocked to see two islands at the spot where the two sisters had drowned. The two tranquil islands, called Pulau Subar Laut and Pulau Subar Darat, was henceforth known as the Sisters' Islands. It was said that every year on that very day when the sisters turned into islands, there will always be storm and rain.
Another version of the legend is that the sisters were blown away by the storm and each landed on one of the islands, and hence the name Sisters' Islands.
A third version of the legend said that there were two sisters who drowned at sea. The elder sister tried to save the younger sister but both drowned in the end. The gods were touched by their love for one another and transformed them both into two little islands so they can be together forever.