Tanah Merah District

Tanah Merah District (meaning Red Land or Laterite, Kelantanese: Tanoh Meghoh; Jawi:‌‌ تانه ميره) is a district (jajahan) in the state of Kelantan in northeast Malaysia. The urban area of Tanah Merah is situated along the Kelantan River. It is bordered by Pasir Mas District in the north, Machang District to the East, Kuala Krai District to the South East, Jeli District to the South West and Thailand in the West.

Tanah Merah District
Tanoh Meroh
Jajahan Tanah Merah
Other transcription(s)
  Jawiتانه ميره
  Tamilதானா மேரா
Location of Tanah Merah District in Kelantan
Tanah Merah District
Location of Tanah Merah District in Malaysia
Coordinates: 5°48′N 102°04′E
Country Malaysia
State Kelantan
SeatTanah Merah
Local area government(s)Tanah Merah District Council
  District officerMohammad Yusoff bin Hassan[1]
  Administrative officeTanah Merah Land Officers and Colony
  Total880 km2 (340 sq mi)
  Density170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (MST)
  Summer (DST)UTC+8 (Not observed)
Calling code+6-09
Vehicle registration platesD
Tanah Merah District Council

Majlis Daerah Tanah Merah
Founded1 January 1979
Mohammad Yusoff Hassan
District secretary
Tengku Ahmad Zarir Tengku Abdul Rahim
Meeting place
17500 Tanah Merah, Kelantan Darul Naim.

Historically it used to be a capital of a kingdom called Chi Tu. Chinese Sui Dynasty annals of the 7th century describe an advanced kingdom called Chi Tu ("Red Earth") in the area now called Kelantan. The ancient name for Kelantan was "Raktamrittika", meaning "Red Earth" — this was later changed to "Sri Wijaya Mala".[4]

Map of Tanah Merah District


Several types of school can be found in Tanah Merah.[5] Among the schools in Tanah Merah are

  • Maahad Ahmadi, Padang Siam, 17500 Tanah Merah (Sekolah agama yang perlukan bantuan)
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Alor Pasir, 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Batu Gajah, 17510 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Belimbing, Jln. Tanah Merah-Pasir Mas, 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato' Mahmud Paduka Raja (1), 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ipoh, 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kemahang, W/P Felda Kemahang, 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ladang Kerilla, Peti Surat 39, 17507 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tanah Merah (1), 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tanah Merah (2)(SEMETAM2), 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Kolej Vokasional Tanah Merah, Km.3, Jln. Tanah Merah-Machang, 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bukit Bunga, 17500 Tanah Merah
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato Mahmud Paduka Raja (2), 17500 Tanah Merah


Historical population
1991 94,611    
2000 101,509+7.3%
2010 115,949+14.2%
2020 150,766+30.0%
Source: [6]

The total population in 2020 was about 151,000, the majority being Malays, with a small Chinese and Indian population. Immigrants, mostly from neighbouring Thailand, also make up a part of the population.[3]

Most of the population be distributed among various villages (or "kampung" in Malay) and suburb areas, while only a small proportion is located in the town.

Tanah Merah used to be a small town, but has seen major changes in the last decade when the younger generation started to migrate to cities along the Malaysian west coast for jobs with higher pay. Money sent back to their families has catalysed the growth, expansion and development of the town.

Ranking Population of Jajahan Tanah Merah.

Rank Daerah/Mukim Population 2000
1 Kusial 46,737
2 Jedok 27,474
3 Ulu Kusial 27,298


The landscape of Tanah Merah is greatly influenced by the Kelantan River (Malay: Sungai Kelantan) which supplies much needed water to its agricultural plantations. Mt. Kemahang (876 m or 2,874 ft) and Mt. Kusial (723 m or 2,372 ft) are both located in the western part of Tanah Merah.

Federal Parliament and State Assembly Seats

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

Parliament Seat Name Member of Parliament Party
P27 Tanah Merah Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz Perikatan Nasional (PPBM)

List of LMS district representatives in the State Legislative Assembly.

ParliamentStateSeat NameState AssemblymanParty
P27 N26 Bukit PanauAbdul Fatah MahmoodPerikatan Nasional (PAS)
P27 N27 Gual IpohBakri MustaphaBarisan Nasional (UMNO)
P27 N28 KemahangMd. Anizam Ab. RahmanPerikatan Nasional (PAS)


Highway 4 is the main highway serving the constituency. Highway 129 is a shortcut to Pasir Mas.

KTM Intercity has a station in Tanah Merah town.


  • Aneka
  • Jaya Gading
  • Pantai Timor Shopping Centre
  • Salamku
  • Tesco (proposed)
  • Merah Mall (upcoming projects)


  1. "Pejabat Tanah Dan Jajahan Tanah Merah - Perutusan Ketua Jajahan". www.ptjtm.kelantan.gov.my. Retrieved 2022-09-09.
  2. "Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Tanah Dan Jajahan Tanah Merah - Sejarah PTJTM". www.ptjtm.kelantan.gov.my.
  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. Zulkifli B. Mohamad (2002). "Evanescent Kingdoms, Everlasting Spirit". MIS Center PSU Pattani. Archived from the original on August 10, 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
  5. "Secondary Schools in Kelantan, Malaysia". 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  6. "Key Findings Population and Housing Census of Malaysia, 2020" (in Malay and English). Department of Statistics, Malaysia.
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