The town was established as part of the British strategy called the Briggs' Plan during the Malayan Emergency. The strategy aimed to forcibly relocate Malayan people, particularly ethnic Chinese, to isolate them from the Communists' influence. Jinjang was by far the largest of the relocation communities (called "New Villages") on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, at 445 hectares (4.45 km2), nearly twice the size of the other New Villages combined. It used to be known for the prevalence of gangsterism during the 1970s to late 1980's but is now a largely residential area.
Along with the township of Kepong, Jinjang has been particularly prone to outbreaks of dengue fever, and the outbreak of the 1973 dengue epidemic which resulted in 969 reported cases and killed 54 people was traced to Jinjang.
Jinjang comprises Jinjang Utara (North) and Jinjang Selatan (South).
The name Jinjang is thought to be derived from the name of a pig brought to Malaya by a Chinese merchant in the 19th century. The pig was believed to have special powers, and to bring prosperity to the people.
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