States and Territories of Malaysia
ترڠڬانو دار الإيم?
Terengganu Darul Iman

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Flag of Terengganu
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Coat of arms of Terengganu
Flag''Coat of arms''
State motto: Islam Hadhari Terengganu Bestari
State anthem: Terengganu State Anthem
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Location of Terengganu
(and royal capital)
Kuala Terengganu
Ruling partyBarisan Nasional
 - SultanSultan Mizan Zainal Abidin1
 - Menteri BesarIdris Jusoh
 - British control1909 
 - Japanese occupation1942 
 - Accession into Federation of Malaya1948 
 - Total12,955 km
 - 2005 estimate1,055,943[1]
 - Density82/km
HDI  (2000)0.807 (high)
National calling code09
National postal code20xxx to 24xxx
License plate prefixT
1 Elected and reigning as the 13th King of Malaysia. The Regent of Terengganu (Pemangku Raja), Tengku Muhammad Ismail (eight-years of age) co-reigns with the three-member Regency Advisory Council (Majlis Penasihat Pemangku Raja) headed by Raja Tengku Baderulzaman (the King's younger brother)
Terengganu (Jawi: ترڠڬانو, formerly spelled Trengganu or Tringganu) is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman ("Abode of Faith"). The coastal city of Kuala Terengganu, at the mouth of the broad Terengganu River, is both the state and royal capital and is the largest city in Terengganu.


There are several theories on the origin of the name 'Terengganu'. One theory attributes the name's origin to terang ganu, Malay for 'bright rainbow'.[2] Another story, said to have been originally narrated by the ninth Sultan of Terengganu, Baginda Omar, tells of a party of hunters from Pahang roving and hunting in the area of what is now southern Terengganu. One of the hunters spotted a big animal fang lying on the ground. A fellow party member asked to which animal did the fang belong. The hunter, not knowing which animal, simply answered taring anu (Malay: 'fang of something'). The party later returned to Pahang with a rich hoard of game, fur and sandalwood, which impressed their neighbors. They asked the hunters where did they source their riches, to which they replied, from the land of taring anu, which later evolved into Terengganu.[2]

Geography and demographics

Terengganu is situated in north-eastern Peninsular Malaysia, and is bordered in the northwest by Kelantan, the southwest by Pahang, and the east by the South China Sea. Several outlying islands, including Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Kapas and Pulau Redang, are also a part of the state. The state has a total area of 12,955 km².

Terengganu has a population of 1,055,943 (2005 census), of which Malays make up 94.8%[1] of the population and Chinese, 2.6%[1], while Indians 0.2%[1] and other ethnic groups comprise the remainder, 2.4%[1]. In the year 2000, the state's population was only 48.7% urban; the majority lived in rural areas[1]. By the 2005 census, the proportions had changed significantly, with 51% of the population living in urban areas and 49% in the rural areas[1]. Terengganu is divided into seven administrative districts (called Daerah in Malay), of which the respective names, area, population, district seats and density are shown in the table below:

District Area (km²) Population (2005 census)[1] District seat Density
Besut1,233141,918Kampung Raja115
Dungun2,736156,246Kuala Dungun57
Hulu Terengganu3,87473,156Kuala Berang19
Kuala Terengganu605353,321Kuala Terengganu584
Setiu1,30460,456Bandar Permaisuri46


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The Terengganu Inscription Stone. The Jawi inscriptions are of local laws influenced by the Shariah and thus one of the earliest proof of Islamic influence in Malaysia
Terengganu's location by the South China Sea ensured that it was on trade routes since ancient times. The earliest written reports on the area that is now Terengganu were by Chinese merchants and seafarers in the early 6th century A.D. Like other Malay states, Terengganu practiced a HinduBuddhist culture combined with animist traditional beliefs for hundreds of years before the arrival of Islam. Under the influence of Srivijaya, Terengganu traded extensively with the Majapahit Empire, the Khmer Empire and especially the Chinese. Terengganu was the first Malay state to receive Islam, as attested to by a stone monument dated 1303 with Arabic inscriptions found in Kuala Berang, the capital of the district of Hulu Terengganu. Terengganu became a vassal state of Melaka, but retained considerable autonomy with the emergence of Riau-Johor.

Terengganu emerged as an independent sultanate in 1724. The first Sultan was Tun Zainal Abidin, the younger brother of a former sultan of Johor, and Johor strongly influenced Terengganu politics through the 18th century. However, in the book Tuhfat al-Nafis written by Raja Ali Haji, in the year 1708, Tun Zainal Abidin was installed as the Sultan of Terengganu by Daeng Menampuk also known as Raja Tua under the rule of Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah. In the 19th century, Terengganu became a vassal state of Siam, and sent tribute every year to the King of Siam in the form of bunga mas (a tree with flowers and leaves made of gold). Under Siamese rule, Terengganu prospered, and was largely left alone by the authorities in Bangkok. The terms of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 saw power over Terengganu transferred from Siam to Great Britain. A British advisor was appointed to the sultan in 1919, and Terengganu become one of the Unfederated Malay States. The move was highly unpopular locally, and in 1928 the British used military force to suppress a popular uprising. During World War II, Japan transferred Terengganu back to Siam, along with Kelantan, Kedah, and Perlis, but after the defeat of Japan, these Malay states returned to British control. Terengganu became a member of the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and a state of independent Malaya in 1957.

Following decades of rule by the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) came to power in the 1999 General Elections, making Terengganu the second state in Malaysia to be ruled by the Islamist party (the first being neighboring Kelantan). However, in the 2004 General Elections, Terengganu was recaptured by the Barisan Nasional.

Politics and government


The Constitution of Terengganu came into force in 1911, it has a supplement that came into force in 1959. Both the original document and its 1959 supplement are in full force. The official English title for the 1911 constitution is;
  • " The Constitution of the Way of Illustrious Sovereignty "
The 1959 constitutional supplement is divided into two sections. The sections official English language titles are:

The Sultan of Terengganu

Main article: Sultan of Terengganu
The Sultan is the constitutional Ruler of the state of Terengganu. The State Constitution proclaims that the Sultan is "the Ruler and fountain head of all authority of government in the State and Territory of Terengganu", the Head of the Religion of Islam in the state and the source of all titles, honours and dignities in the state. He is also vested with the Executive Power of the State. The hereditary Sultan of Terengganu since 1998 has been Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.


The current Sultan was elected as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong or King of Malaysia. As per the Malaysian constitution and the State constitution, the King cannot reign both as the Head of State of the federation and as ruling monarch of his state. During his tenure as King of Malaysia the state ruler appoints a Regent to rule in his place. The Regent (Pemangku Raja) of Terengganu is now the King's eldest son, Tengku (Prince) Muhammad Ismail. As he is not yet of age suitable for the post (being only eight years old), the Prince co-reigns with the three-member Regency Advisory Council (Majlis Penasihat Pemangku Raja) headed by Raja Tengku Baderulzaman (the King's younger brother) as dictated by syarat (2) Fasal 16 AA Undang-Undang Bagi Diri Kerajaan Terengganu (Bab Yang Kedua) under the state constitution.

Chief Ministers

During the monarchy system, the Chief Minister was elected by the Sultan of Terengganu. After the declaration of independence of Malaysia (then was Tanah Melayu) and the first general election, the Chief Minister was then elected from the general election and winner of a State Assembly Seat (ADUN). Below is the list of the Chief Minister of Terengganu from 1925.

Term Starts Term Ends Chief Minister[3] Party
April 1925June 1940Dato' Seri Amar Diraja Ngah Muhamad bin Yusof
June 1940May 1942Tengku Seri Setia Raja Tengku Omar bin Othman
May 1942Dec 1945Dato' Jaya Perkasa Da Omar bin Mahmud
Dec 1945Dec 1949Tengku Panglima Perang Tengku Muhamad bin al-Marhum Sultan Ahmad
Dec 1949June 1959Dato' Perdana Menteri Di Raja Dato' Seri Setia Raja Kamaruddin bin Idris
June 1959Nov 1961Mohd Daud bin Abdul SamadPAS*
Nov 1961Sep 1970Tan Sri Ibrahim Fikri bin MohammadPerikatan
Sep 1970Sep 1971Dato' Mahmood bin SulaimanPerikatan
Sep 1971Aug 1974Dato' Nik Hassan bin Wan Abdul RahmanPerikatan
Sep 1974Dec 1999Dato Seri Amar Diraja Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar AhmadBarisan Nasional
Dec 1999March 2004Dato' Seri Abdul Hadi AwangPAS
March 2004IncumbentDato' Seri Idris JusohBarisan Nasional

note:* The state Government formed by PAS after the general election in 1959 was turned over to Perikatan in Nov 1969 due to a vote of no confidence in the State Assembly and 2 PAS assemblyman switched parties [4]

The State Executive Council

The state executive council (EXCO) is established by the constitution. It is composed of the Menteri Besar, who is its chairman, and ten other members. The Menteri Besar and the other members of the council are appointed by the Sultan ( or Regent ) form the members of the State Assembly. The Menteri Besar is currently Dato' Seri Idris Jusoh of the Barisan Nasional, who is a businessman.

The Terengganu EXCO consists of:

1. Y.B. Dato' Dr. Abdul Latiff bin Awang, D.P.M.T.,K.M.N., P.K.T., P.J.K.(ADUN Bukit Payung, Marang)

2. Y.B. Dato' Rosol bin Wahid, D.P.M.T., P.J.K. (ADUN Ajil, Hulu Terengganu)

3. Y.B. Dato' Ahmad bin Said, D.P.M.T., A.S.M., P.J.K. (ADUN Kijal, Kemaman)

4. Y.B. Dato' Mohamed bin Awang Tera,D.P.M.T.,D.I.M.P., S.A.P., A.M.P. (ADUN Chukai, Kemaman)

5. Y.B. Dato' Haji Wan Hisham bin Wan Salleh, D.P.M.T., D.J.N., P.J.K. (ADUN Ladang, Kuala Terengganu)

6. Y.B. Haji Din bin Adam, S.M.T.,P.J.K. (ADUN Bukit Besi, Dungun)

7. Y.B. Datuk Haji Mohd Jidin bin Shafee, D.M.S.M., A.M.N. (ADUN Permaisuri, Setiu)

8. Y.B. Datuk Abdul Rahin bin Dato' Mohd Said, D.M.S.M., A.M.N. (ADUN Teluk Pasu, Kuala Nerus)

9. Y.B. Haji Wan Mohd bin Wan Hassan, P.J.K. (ADUN Kota Putera, Besut)

10. Y.B. Encik Toh Chin Yaw (ADUN Bandar, Kuala Terengganu)


Terengganu used to be Malaysia's poorest state until oil and gas were discovered off its coastline not too long ago. Terengganu's main industry now is petroleum and gas. There are huge petrochemical complexes near Paka and Kerteh, involving many joint ventures between the Malaysian national oil company, Petronas, and foreign multinationals. Tourism and fishing are also major industries in Terengganu, a state with a long coastline. Agriculture also remains important, with banana, rambutan, durian, watermelon, and various other fruits and vegetables available in season. Terengganu was traditionally famous for boat-building, with highly decorated carved wooden boats called bangau to be found in the harbor of every village and town in days not so long gone by, before electric motorboats became standard equipment for the state's fishermen.

Income and Quality of life 1995 [1] 2005 [1]
GDP (RM Million)12,082.916,821.2
GDP Per Capita (RM)13,636.113,642.6
Average Household Income (RM)1,113.02,075.3
Crude Birth Rate (Per Thousand)29.518.5
Infant Mortality Rate (Per Thousand)10.46.5
Number of Population Per Doctor2,803.01,930.0
Number of Students Per Teacher17.615.1
Motor Vehicles Registered (Per Thousand)181.0212.5
Number of Viewers Per TV11.49.0

Culture and attractions

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Kemasik Beach, in the town of Kemasik, Kemaman District.
Terengganu did not receive many Indian or Chinese migrants, and therefore Malay cultural influences predominate. Traditional pursuits such as kite-flying contests, top-spinning contests, and traditional arts & crafts, such as batik and songket are still very much alive. The people of Terengganu have always had a reputation for being socially conservative and devout Muslims.

The major tourist attractions in the state include: Kuala Terengganu, the capital; Tasik Kenyir, a large artificial lake; Sekayu Waterfalls; Kuala Ibai Lagoons; Batu Burok Beach, Kemasik Beach, Rantau Abang, Marang, Chukai town and several offshore islands such as Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah, and Pulau Kapas, and the Pulau Perhentian, which attract beachgoers and snorkelers because of their picture perfect beaches. Many travelers find the relatively rural and tranquil atmosphere in the state conducive to a relaxing holiday. Terengganu has recently been known internationally as the host of Monsoon Cup, which was first held in 2005 and then became an annual national sporting event. The event brought millions of ringgit of investment into the state from the private sectors and Malaysian Government. Tourists flocked to Kuala Terengganu and Duyong to witness this event, held during the monsoon season, which had previously been low season for tourism in Terengganu.

Basic Tourism Sector Data 1999 [1] 2005 [1]
Average Day of Stays of Foreign Tourist3.34.2
Average Day of Stays of Domestic Tourist1.93.1
Sectorial Constribution to the Economy (RM Million)298.91281.0
Number of Registered Tourist Agents7092
Number of Tourist Guides2137
Average Hotel Occupancy Rate (%)55.958.3
Domestic Tourist1,002,3241,624,726
Foreign Tourist146,713197,952
Total Tourist Arrival1,149,0371,822,678


  • Monsoon Cup- international sailing event
  • Sultan's Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge - Horse Endurance Race
  • Formula Future- speed boat racing for under 15
  • Kapas-Marang International Swimathon- International swimming event
  • Kenyir Motocross Championship
  • Terengganu Masters- Golf
  • Kenyir International Mountain Bike Challenge
  • 'Candat Sotong' Fiesta - fishing conmpetition
  • Kenyir Lake International Triathlon
  • Terengganu Starhill Tasik Kenyir 4x4 Challenge
  • Tasik Puteri Water Festival
  • Terengganu Traditional Games Competition
  • Terengganu International 4WD Rainforest Challenge 2007


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Sata being cooked on a grill.
The most famous local food is Keropok Lekor, which is made primarily from a combination of dough (sago flour) and pounded fish mainly from mackerel and sardines, fried and served with hot chilli sauce for afternoon tea. Keropok Keping (fish crackers) are made from sun-dried slices of Keropok Lekor. Numerous keropok stalls are to be found on the side of the highway that passes through coastal communities.

Budu, a very pungent and salty anchovy sauce is also popular among the locals. It is often mixed with sliced onions and chillies as condiments.

Laksam (or laksang in local Malay dialect), a modified version of Laksa is made from rice flour (thick and soft slices). It is served in a bowl of light fresh coconut milk mixed with boiled fish flesh (mainly mackerel), finely chopped cucumbers, chillies, onions and long beans. It is eaten cold at breakfast.

Another Terengganu specialty is sata, a type of otak-otak or fish cake wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over a grill.


1. ^ Terengganu Basic Data (Malay). Malaysian Consensus Department. Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
2. ^ Data asas dan sejarah ringkas negeri Terengganu Darul Iman (Malay). Retrieved on 2007-03-21.
3. ^ Rulers of Terengganu (English). Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
4. ^ History of PAS in Terengganu (Malay). Parti Islam Se-Malaysia. Retrieved on 2007-05-23.

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The Terengganu State Anthem of Terengganu State, Malaysia, is the sultanate's first State Anthem.

It was composed in 1927 by Mohamad Hashim bin Abu Bakar (1896-1962), a primary school teacher.
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Kuala Terengganu (colloquially abbreviated as KT; Jawi: كوالا ترڠڬانو) is the largest city as well as the state and royal capital of Terengganu state, Malaysia.
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His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia XIII (King of Malaysia) and Sultan of Terengganu

Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud
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Literally, "big minister" in Malay, a Menteri Besar is a Chief Executive of the state governments of Perlis, Johor, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan in Malaysia—that is, all states with royal rulers.
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Japanese occupation.


Further information: Battle of Malaya

Military response

During the occupation a guerilla resistance force battled the Japanese from the jungles of Malaya.
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  • Malaysian vehicle license plates are the license plates displayed on all motorized road vehicles in Malaysia, as required by law. The issue of license plates is regulated and administered by the Malaysian Road Transport Department.
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    Jawi may refer to:
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    Kuala Terengganu (colloquially abbreviated as KT; Jawi: كوالا ترڠڬانو) is the largest city as well as the state and royal capital of Terengganu state, Malaysia.
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    Terengganu River is a river in Terengganu, Malaysia. It flows through the state capital of Terengganu, Kuala Terengganu, and flows into the South China Sea. It is bridged by the Sultan Mahmud Bridge in Kuala Terengganu.
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    Writing system: Rumi (Latin alphabet) (official) and Jawi (Arabic script); historically written in Pallava, Kawi and Rencong 
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    Sultan of Terengganu is the title of the constitutional head of Terengganu state in Malaysia. The current sultan, Mizan Zainal Abidin, is the seventeenth Sultan of Terengganu.
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    States and Territories of Malaysia
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    Pahang Darul Makmur

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    Kelantan Darul Naim

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