Besut District

Coordinates: 5°35′N 102°30′E / 5.583°N 102.500°E / 5.583; 102.500
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Besut District
Daerah Besut
Other transcription(s)
 • Jawiداءيره بسوت
 • Chinese勿述县
Wùshù xiàn (Hanyu Pinyin)
Flag of Besut District
Official seal of Besut District
Location of Besut District in Terengganu
Location of Besut District in Terengganu
Besut District is located in Malaysia
Besut District
Besut District
Location of Besut District in Malaysia
Coordinates: 5°35′N 102°30′E / 5.583°N 102.500°E / 5.583; 102.500
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)
 • Total140,952
 • Estimate 
 • Density110/km2 (300/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+8 (Not observed)
Calling code+6-09-6
Vehicle registration platesT

Besut (Terengganuan and Kelantanese: Besuk; Jawi: بسوت) is a district in the Terengganu federal state of 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.


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] There is a legend that recounts the tale of how Besut got its name.[6] According to this story, when the region was under Siamese rule, the district was named "Besut" which originated from the Siamese word "Be" meaning "district" and "sut" which means "a distant area" or "at the end." This story could be plausible since Besut is located quite far from Bangkok.[6]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Besut District is divided into 16 mukims, which are:[7]


Historical population
1991 107,900—    
2000 120,199+11.4%
2010 136,563+13.6%
2020 154,168+12.9%
Source: [8]

As of 2010, there are approximately 140,952 people in Besut District, of various ethnicity, with the Malays being the majority. Other ethnic groups include Chinese and Siamese.[3][9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

Federal Parliament and State Assembly Seats[edit]

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

Parliament Seat Name Member of Parliament Party
P33 Besut Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh PN (PAS)
P34 Setiu Shaharizukarnain Abd. Kadir PN (PAS)

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

Parliament State Seat Name State Assemblyman Party
P33 N1 Kuala Besut Azbi Salleh PN (PAS)
P33 N2 Kota Putera Mohd. Nurkhuzaini Ab. Rahman PN (PAS)
P33 N3 Jertih Riduan Mohamad Nor PN (PAS)
P33 N4 Hulu Besut Mohd Husaimi Hussin PN (BERSATU)
P34 N5 Jabi Azman Ibrahim PN (PAS)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Administrator. "Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Daerah Dan Tanah Besut".
  2. ^ Administrator. "Laman Web Rasmi Pejabat Daerah Dan Tanah Besut".
  3. ^ a b "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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 January 2022. 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. ^ a b primuscoreadmin (2015-10-08). "Besut Info". Official Portal of Besut District Council (MDB) (in Malay). Retrieved 2023-04-06.
  7. ^ "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)
  8. ^ "Key Findings of Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2020" (pdf) (in Malay and English). Department of Statistics, Malaysia. ISBN 978-967-2000-85-3.
  9. ^ "Masyarakat Siam Besut sambut Loy Krathong". Utusan Online.
  10. ^ "Orang Besut: Anak Terengganu, Kelantan Pelihara? - Mohd Izzuddin Ramli". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-10-09.
  11. ^ "Malaysian beaches on CNN top list - Nation - The Star Online".
  12. ^ "Portal Rasmi Majlis Daerah Besut - Pulau Perhantian". Archived from the original on 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-10-09.
  13. ^ "Portal Rasmi Majlis Daerah Besut - Tempat - Tempat Menarik". Archived from the original on 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-10-09.