Rawang, Selangor

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Rawang is located in Peninsular Malaysia
Location in Peninsular Malaysia
Rawang is located in Malaysia
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 3°19′N 101°35′E / 3.317°N 101.583°E / 3.317; 101.583Coordinates: 3°19′N 101°35′E / 3.317°N 101.583°E / 3.317; 101.583
Country Malaysia
State Selangor
Establishment 1823
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
Aerial view of Rawang

Rawang is a town (bandar) of Gombak district in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.


Rawang was founded in the early-19th century and was one of the earliest satellite towns of Kuala Lumpur. During the initial tin mining growth of Kuala Lumpur, many tin mines were explored and opened north of Kuala Lumpur, starting initially at the Ulu Kelang area and gradually moving northwards past Selayang and towards Rawang.

The earliest estimates of Rawang's founding dates back to 1825. It was the second area in Selangor to be explored for tin mining. The tin mining industry in Rawang developed concurrently at around the same time as the larger tin mines in Lukut, Perak.

During the Selangor Civil War of the 1860s and 1870s, Yap Ah Loy's gangs who were aligned with Tengku Kudin repelled Syed Mashor's troops away from Kuala Lumpur and pushed them further north. During the Battle of Rawang in 1871, Syed Mashor's followers and Chinese gangs loyal to him (led by Chong Chong) ended up being pushed up towards Serendah and Kuala Kubu Bharu, with Yap Ah Loy's men (led by Chung Piang) holding their ground at Rawang. Thus, Rawang became an unofficial boundary of Tengku Kudin's dominance at the northern Klang Valley during the war.

In 1894, the first electric generator in British Malaya was installed in Rawang to support the mining industry, making Rawang the first location to be electrified in Malaysia. Numerous electrified tin mines were operated by Loke Yew and K. Thamboosamy Pillay, who both contributed significantly to the growth of Rawang. With Rawang being the first town in Malaya to utilize electricity for tin mining, it was also the first town to have electric street lights, and the Rawang Railway Station was the first railway station in Malaya that had electricity supply to power the lamps and fans.

When World War 2 struck, Rawang fell to the Japanese invasion and the tin mining sector rapidly deteriorated. After the war, the Rawang New Village (now known as Kampung Sungai Terentang) was established by the British in 1951 during the Emergency. By this time, the Chinese population of Rawang also had a sizable percentage of Cantonese in addition to the Hakkas and Hokkiens.

The tin mining industry in Rawang picked up again in the 1950s. Rubber estates were also established around Rawang during this time. In 1953, the first cement factory in Malaya, Rawang Works, was launched by the Associated Pan Malayan Cement company (now Lafarge Malaysia Berhad). This marked the first instance of heavy industry taking root in Rawang. It also made Rawang one of the earliest towns in Malaysia to simultaneously produce agricultural, natural resource, and heavy industrial economic outputs.

Tin and rubber were major economic outputs of Rawang until the late-1970s, after which oil palm plantations started being established by private companies such as the Guthrie group alongside their rubber plantations.

Throughout the late-1980s until the 1990s, Rawang's economic output continued to diversify and many light industrial areas opened up during Malaysia's industrialization drive under the Fifth Malaysia Plan (RMK-5). Industrial zones that were set up at Sungai Dua and Rawang Perdana during this period generated jobs which resulted in further population growth and the increase in foreign workers residing in Rawang.

Rawang was the capital of Gombak until 1997, and is now a major administrative center for the district of Selayang. The Selayang Municipal Council building is situated at the new Rawang town center that was established in the early-2000s slightly north of the old Rawang town.

The district Magistrate subordinate Court and the District Police Headquarters were moved away to Selayang from Rawang in the 1990s, while the town library and government-run public clinic were decommissioned. The large land area in which the magistrate court, library, police quarters and government clinic used to reside was redeveloped as the new Rawang town center.

Rawang has shown a tremendous growth since the PLUS North South Highway was opened on the mid-1990s. The population of Rawang stands at 120,447 according to the GeoNames geographical database.

Up until the mid-2000s, the borders of Rawang has greatly expanded to encompass the rubber estates outside Serendah to the north (now the townships of Bukit Beruntung and Bukit Sentosa; and Sungai Bakau and parts of Kundang to the west (now the townships of Bandar Tasik Puteri, Bandar Country Homes, Emerald West and Anggun Rawang). To sustain the growth in size and population, the PLUS North South highway has now been complemented by the Guthrie Corridor Expressway (linking Rawang to Shah Alam), the LATAR highway (linking Rawang to Kuala Selangor) and the upcoming Rawang-Serendah bypass that replaces an earlier Outer Ring Road proposal.

Racial Diversity[edit]

Besides tin mines, Rawang also had large swathes of rubber estates at the outskirts of the town. Consequently, Rawang had a significant population of Chinese and Indian immigrants which, in combination with the existing Malay population, made Rawang a diverse multi-racial town since the early-20th century. This is reflected in the presence of English, Tamil, Chinese and Malay primary schools in close proximity to one another since the early days.

The Sze Yeah Kong Chinese Temple was founded by the Hakka immigrants in 1869 and still stands till today as the primary Chinese temple in Rawang. Hakka and Hokkien immigrants dominated the tin mining sector in Rawang until the 1930s, during which Rawang continued growing at a rapid pace and many opium dens and brothels were opened by Chinese triads to provide entertainment to miners and travelers.

The Indian community are primarily Tamils with a small percentage of Ceylonese and Telegu immigrants. Although they were mostly estate workers, there is also a significant minority of them involved in businesses at the town center. One of Rawang's main street, Jalan Welman, is known as "India Street" until today due to the shoplots being dominated by Indian businesses that range from textile and silverware merchants to barbers and restaurants. The primary Hindu temple in Rawang, the Sri Veerakathy Vinayagar temple, was built along Jalan Welman in 1943. It is located less than 100 meters away from the Sze Yeah Kong Chinese temple.

Rawang also has a Sikh community, originally settled at the Rawang Tin area. The Rawang Sikh gurdwara (Gurdwara Sahib Rawang) was built in 1938 not far from the Rawang railway station. Rawang is one of the few towns in Malaysia with a Gurkha population. They are descendants of Gurkha military personnel that were brought in by the British.

The Malay community of Rawang primarily reside in two villages that border the town center - Kampung Melayu and Kampung Kenanga. Originally, only one mosque served the religious needs of the Malay community, located in Kampung Melayu. In 1969, due to population growth, a new mosque was constructed at Kampung Kenanga, then known only as Masjid Batu 18 Kampung Kenanga. In 1971, the mosque was upgraded into a Masjid Jamek, and was officiated by the Sultan of Selangor on the 5th of March 1971 with the new name of Masjid Jamek Nurul Iman Rawang.


To reach the town centre, one must drive about 25 minutes (during non-peak hours) from Kuala Lumpur city centre. One can choose to take the Rawang Interchange EXIT 116 from the North-South Expressway, the Guthrie Corridor Expressway from Rawang South Interchange EXIT 115, the Kuala Lumpur - Kuala Selangor Expressway from Rawang South Interchange EXIT 115, the B27 road from Batang Berjuntai, or the trunk road to Rawang.

On the trunk road, passengers are able to see Templer's Park, Hutan Lipur Sg. Kanching, and the Commonwealth Forest Park. These are all forest reserves and are hot spots for jungle trekking and camping. The trees along the roads at Templer's park has been cleared for the construction of more houses and the slopes are left bare with much erosion. The trunk road from Templer's Park to Bandar Baru Selayang is now widened into a second lane.


Prior to the opening of the SRJK(Ing) Rawang around 1964, Clifford Institute used to be the only English school available for students pursuing an English Education. There are several primary and secondary schools in this town now:

Primary schools[edit]

  • Sekolah Rendah Sinaran Budi (Formerly SRJK (Inggeris) Rawang.
  • Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) San Yuk 1
  • Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) San Yuk 2 Cawangan
  • Sekolah Rendah Agama Sungai Choh
  • Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Rawang
  • SK Bukit Rawang Jaya
  • SK Bandar Baru Rawang
  • SK Rawang
  • SK Tun Teja
  • Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Emerald

Secondary schools[edit]

  • Sekolah Menengah Seri Garing (Formerly SMJK (Inggeris) Rawang
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Rawang Batu 16
  • Sekolah Menengah Agama Rawang (SAMER)
  • Sekolah Menengah Tun Perak
  • Sekolah Menengah Desa 1 & 2, Country Home
  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bandar Tasik Puteri


Rawang is home to many housing areas old and new, such as Bandar Country Homes, Rawang Putra, Taman Bukit Rawang, Rawang Perdana, Taman Pelangi, Taman Tun Teja, Taman Jati and Taman Bersatu.

The older housing areas in Rawang include Green Park, New Green Park, Rawang Garden and Rawang Jaya to the north; Taman Garing, Kuala Garing and Taman Sri Rawang to the west; Kampung Datuk Lee Kim Sai, Kampung Sungai Terentang, Kampung Kenanga and Kampung Melayu Batu 16 to the south.

Hong Leong Emerald (Emerald East and Emerald West), Hong Bee Anggun (Anggun 1, 2 and 3), Lake Club Parkhomes and M Residences are new upscale gated-and-guarded neighborhoods that have emerged in recent years, with guardhouses and perimeter fencing for added security and privacy.


Rawang is currently experiencing rapid development. Many new commercial and residential areas are being constructed. In 2006, a new central market was opened in Bandar Baru Rawang in order to meet the increasing demand from the population. There are a number of shopping centers in Rawang which includes Tesco, Parkson, AEON and Giant.

KPJ Specialist Hospital Rawang is already in operation to serve the residents of Rawang. Another recent development in Rawang is The Reef Business Center situated next to Tesco Rawang. Among the major tenants occupying this area are Maybank, Morinda Tahitian Noni, QB Worldwide and Ali Maju chain of restaurants.

The Anggun City commercial area is currently under construction next to AEON Rawang. A Tenby International School is currently being negotiated for the Anggun township, as well as a Columbia Specialist Hospital. In October 2014, Naza-Kia opened a new Red Cube 4S center at Batu 20 Rawang, making it the fifth Red Cube outlet in Malaysia. A Honda 4S center is currently being planned for Rawang, possibly situated at the Anggun/Emerald West area.


The Rawang train station, which is located in the middle of the old town area, is a major stop for KTM Intercity trains, notably Ekspres Langkawi. It is also the northern terminus for the Rawang-Seremban line on the KTM Komuter, which is also served by the Rawang-Kuala Kubu Bharu Shuttle Route. A new and much bigger bus station located in the centre of the new town area was completed recently.