Besut District

Besut is a district in Terengganu, Malaysia. It is bordered by the state of Kelantan to the north and west and the South China Sea to the east. It is the northern gateway to Terengganu. Kampung Raja is the district capital, though Jerteh is more developed. Another major town is the fishing port of Kuala Besut. There are other small towns and villages such as Jabi, Apal, Pasir Akar and Tembila.

Besut District
Daerah Besut
Other transcription(s)
Location of Besut District in Terengganu
Besut District
Location of Besut District in Malaysia
Coordinates: 5°35′N 102°30′E
Country Malaysia
State Terengganu
SeatKampung Raja
Local area government(s)Besut District Council
  District officerHaji Rozali bin Salleh[1]
  Total1,233.68 km2 (476.33 sq mi)
  Density110/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (MST)
  Summer (DST)UTC+8 (Not observed)
Calling code+6-09-6
Vehicle registration platesT


There is a lack of written evidence on this district. The records by Munshi Abdullah in his book, Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah ke Kelantan, and Tuhfat al-Nafis by Raja Ali Haji touched a bit on Besut. Due to this, there are many stories that tell the matters regarding the origin of Besut.[5]

Administrative divisions

Besut District is divided into 9 mukims, which are:[6]

  • Bukit Kenak
  • Bukit Puteri
  • Hulu Besut
  • Jabi
  • Kampung Raja
  • Keluang
  • Kerandang
  • Kuala Besut
  • Kubang Bemban
  • Lubuk Kawah
  • Pasir Akar
  • Pelagat
  • Pengkalan Nangka
  • Perhentian Islands
  • Tembila
  • Tenang


Historical population
1991 107,900    
2000 120,199+11.4%
2010 136,563+13.6%
2020 154,168+12.9%
Source: [7]

As of 2010, there are approximately 140,952 people in Besut District, of various ethnicity, with the Malays being the majority. Other ethnics include Chinese and Siamese.[3][8] Most Malays in Besut identify themselves with Kelantanese identity rather than the Terengganuan identity. One of the prominent examples is that they tend to speak Kelantanese Malay instead of Terengganu Malay like in most parts of Terengganu.[9] Meanwhile, the dominant minority ethnic Chinese population are more concentrated near Jerteh town.


Besut has education institutions which are developed by both the central and Terengganu state governments such as, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Institute of Teacher's Education Sultan Mizan Campus, MARA Junior Science College (Kota Putra & Besut campuses), Kolej Komuniti Besut, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tengku Mahmud, Sekolah Menengah Agama Maarif, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Nurul Ittifaq, Madrasah Moden MAIDAM Besut and Sekolah Menengah IMTIAZ, Sekolah Menengah Agama Ittifakiah, among others. Hence, Besut is known as one of the best educational hub towns in Malaysia.


There are a number of travel destinations that are located here, many of them islands or beaches. The most popular of all tourist sites in Besut are Perhentian Islands, one of the top island destinations in the world according to the CNN.[10] Perhentian Islands lie about 10.8 nautical miles (20 km) to the north east of Kuala Besut and are made up of islands such as Perhentian Besar, Perhentian Kecil, and Susu Dara. The islands are well known for their tropical reefs, scuba diving, and snorkeling.[11]

Besides Perhentian Islands, beaches are also among the top local places to visit. The beaches here are Air Tawar, Dendong, and Bukit Keluang beach. In the interior parts of the district, visitors can experience the tropical forest in areas such as Lata Tembakah and Lata Belatan, or climb the 1039m-high Gunung Tebu (Mount Tebu). Tourists can also enjoy bathing in the natural hot springs of Kolam Air Panas La or La Hot Springs. The water here contains sulphur and can reach 49 °C.[12]

Federal Parliament and State Assembly Seats

List of Besut district representatives in the Federal Parliament (Dewan Rakyat)

ParliamentSeat NameMember of ParliamentParty
P33 BesutChe Mohamad Zulkifly JusohPN (PAS)
P34 Setiu Shaharizukarnain Abd. Kadir PN (PAS)

List of Besut district representatives in the State Legislative Assembly of Terengganu

ParliamentStateSeat NameState AssemblymanParty
P33 N1Kuala BesutTengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul RahmanBN (UMNO)
P33 N2Kota PuteraMohd. Nurkhuzaini Ab. RahmanPN (PAS)
P33 N3JertihMuhammad Pehimi YusofBN (UMNO)
P33 N4Hulu BesutNawi MohamadBN (UMNO)
P34 N5 Jabi Azman Ibrahim PN (PAS)

See also


  1. Administrator. "Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Daerah Dan Tanah Besut".
  2. Administrator. "Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Daerah Dan Tanah Besut".
  3. "Population Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristics, 2010" (PDF). Department of Statistics, Malaysia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  4. "Poket Stats Negeri Terengganu ST3 2020" (PDF). Department of Statistics Malaysia. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  5. "Portal Rasmi Majlis Daerah Besut - Sejarah Besut". Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-10-09.
  6. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-10-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Key Findings Population and Housing Census of Malaysia, 2020" (in Malay and English). Department of Statistics, Malaysia.
  8. "Masyarakat Siam Besut sambut Loy Krathong". Utusan Online.
  9. "Orang Besut: Anak Terengganu, Kelantan Pelihara? - Mohd Izzuddin Ramli". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-10-09.
  10. "Malaysian beaches on CNN top list - Nation - The Star Online".
  11. "Portal Rasmi Majlis Daerah Besut - Pulau Perhantian". Archived from the original on 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-10-09.
  12. "Portal Rasmi Majlis Daerah Besut - Tempat - Tempat Menarik". Archived from the original on 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-10-09.
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