Lumut in Malay means moss, lichen, or seaweed. In its early days, the beach was said to be rich in moss, so the local people called it Lumut. Lumut jetty is the staging-off point to offshore islands, including Pangkor Island and Marina Island.
Lumut has a sheltered jetty. A large Hock Chew community moved from there to Sitiawan. The estuary was formerly characterized by damp mossy soils on reddish earth. Tin and lumber were transported there by elephants and sampans, from as far away as Kinta. It was once part of the Straits Settlements by virtue of the Pangkor Treaty of 1874 until it was returned to Perak by Great Britain in 1935.
Since 1993, six U.S. Navy warships had been repaired at Lumut's dockyard at a cost of RM 1.6 million. The warships were the USNS Sioux , USS Tuscaloosa , USS Fort McHenry , USS Schenectady , USS Rushmore , and USS Reid .