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Terengganu (Jawi: ترڠڬانو, formerly spelled Trengganu) is a state of Malaysia. It is located on the north-eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, near but not adjacent to the Thai border. The Perhentian Islands are also a part of the state. The state has a total area of 12,955 sq. km.
The capital of Terengganu is the coastal city of Kuala Terengganu, which is also the royal capital. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman ("Abode of Faith").
Terengganu's location on the South China Sea ensured that it was on trade routes since ancient times. The earliest written reports on the area that is now Terengganu were by Chinese merchant seamen in early centuries A.D. Like other Malay states, Terengganu practiced a Hindu–Buddhist culture combined with animist traditional beliefs for hundreds of years before the arrival of Islam in the Peninsula. Terengganu was the first Malay state to receive Islam, as attested to by a 14th-century stone with Arabic inscriptions that used to be in Kuala Berang, the capital of the district of Ulu (inland) Terengganu, and is now in a museum. During the 19th century, Terengganu was a vassal state of Thailand and sent tribute every year to the Emperor of Siam in the form of "bunga mas" (golden flowers). In the first decade of the 20th century, Terengganu became a protectorate of Britain, as a so-called "Unfederated State" of Malaya, while her Sultan retained de jure sovereignty and considerable de facto local autonomy. During the World War II Japanese occupation, the state, along with other former Malay vassal states of Thailand (Kelantan, Kedah, and Perlis), was officially described by the Japanese authorities as part of Thailand, but after the victory of the Allies, British influence returned to Terengganu until Malaya gained independence in 1957. In 1999, following decades of rule by UMNO—the senior partner in the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition that rules the national government—the Islamic party PAS won the 1999 election in Terengganu, making it the second state in Malaysia to be ruled by PAS, the first being neighboring Kelantan. However, in the general election of 2004 the state was recaptured by UMNO.
The Sultan or hereditary monarch of Terengganu since 1998 has been Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who is concurrently Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. The Chief Executive or Menteri Besar is currently Dato' Deris Jusoh of Barisan Nasional, a businessman.
One of Terengganu's main industries is oil. There are huge petrochemical complexes near Paka and Kijal, involving many joint ventures between the Malaysian national oil company, Petronas, and foreign multinationals. Tourism and fishing are also major industries in Terengganu, a state with a long coastline that is well known within Malaysia for local foods including Keropok Lekor, which is made primarily from a combination of dough and pounded fish, fried and served with hot sauce. Agriculture also remains important in this developing state, with many fresh bananas, rambutan, durian, watermelons, and various other fruits and vegetables available in season.
Among the major tourist attractions in the state are the large reservoir lake, Tasik Kenyir, in Ulu Terengganu, and several offshore islands such as Redang Island, Lang Tengah Island, Kapas Island and Gem Island which in particular attract snorkelers.
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