The origin of the district's name is attributed to a Chinese entrepreneur of dried sea products known only by the name of Ma, who was one of the first settlers in the area. The sea products, consisting of fish and squid, are dried on racks called rang by the local populance. Given Ma owned all the rangs, the area became known as Ma rang (i.e. 'Ma's rangs'), which eventually became Marang.
The administrative history of Marang began in the reign of Baginda Omar (r. 1839-1976), the ninth Sultan of Terengganu, with the appointment of noblemen governing riverine districts, whereby the governing noble would administer the collection of taxes and revenue on behalf of the Sultan. Previously, the power to collect taxes was in the hands of village heads; they were now only responsible for village-level administration. The new system greatly improved tax and revenue collection and increased local administration efficiency. Present-day Marang district was divided into four riverine districts, Marang, Bukit payong, Alor Limbat and Merchang.
In 1912, the nobility-based district administration was replaced by professional District Officers. The Marang District Office Building was erected in Marang town in 1915. However, in 1923, during the reign of Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah (r. 1920-1942), the British Adviser, J.L. Humpherys, led a reorganization of district-level administration. The riverine districts were abolished and replaced with three dependencies (Malay: jajahan). The Marang and Merchang riverine districts were lumped with Kuala Berang and Kuala Terengganu into a new Central Dependency. Each dependency was headed by a Commissioner and assisted by an Assistant British Adviser.
Geography and demographics
Marang has an area of 666 km². The district's topography consists of the South China Sea coast, peat swamps, hills and plains. The sub-districts (Malay: mukim) of Rusila, Pulau Kerengga and Merchang lie on the coast with sandy plains gradually giving way to hills in the interior. The Jerong sub-district is mainly hilly, while the sub-districts of Bukit Payong and Alor Limbat consist of rolling plains and peat swamps. The district's population of 84,938 (2000 census) is 97.2% rural and predominantly Malays (97.2%) while the Chinese are the biggest ethnic minority (2.6%).
Among the main attractions in Marang district include:
- Kelulut Beach
- Marang River cruise
- Jambu Bongkok Forest Reserve
- Pulau Kapas (via passenger boats from Marang town)
- ^ Dept. of Urban and Rural Planning, Terengganu State Government. Rancangan Struktur Negeri Terengganu 2005-2015 (Malay), 2005
- ^ a b c "Marang: Sejarah" (in Malay). Pusat Internet Desa Marang. http://marang.idesa.net.my/sejarah.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
- ^ "Marang: Organisasi" (in Malay). Pusat Internet Desa Marang. http://marang.idesa.net.my/organisasi.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- ^ "Marang: Pelancongan" (in Malay). Pusat Internet Desa Marang. http://marang.idesa.net.my/pelancongan.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
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