Rawang is a town and a mukim in Gombak District, Selangor, Malaysia, about 23 km northwest of city centre Kuala Lumpur.
Rawang was one of the first satellite towns of Kuala Lumpur, having been established in the early nineteenth century. Many tin mines were investigated and opened north of Kuala Lumpur during the city’s early tin mining expansion, beginning in the Ulu Kelang district and eventually spreading northwards past Selayang and towards Rawang.
Rawang’s main economic outputs were tin and rubber until the late 1970s, when private enterprises began to construct oil palm plantations. Rawang’s economic output diversified from the late 1980s to the 1990s, and several light industrial districts sprang up during Malaysia’s Fifth Malaysia Plan’s industrialization drive. During this time, industrial zones were established in Sungai Dua and Rawang Perdana, resulting in increased population growth and the influx of foreign workers to Rawang. The geography and composition of industrial estates and townships have changed as a result of the migration of foreign labour.
Rawang was shifted from Hulu Selangor to Gombak in 1974, following Kuala Lumpur’s secession from Selangor, as part of a re-delineation effort for that year’s general election (i.e. Selayang constituency). At the same time, Rawang township (mukim) was transferred to the newly formed Gombak District to serve as the district’s administrative centre. Until now, the northern section of Rawang, comprising Bukit Beruntung, Bukit Sentosa, Serendah, and Sungai Choh, has been part of the Hulu Selangor District.
Rawang served as the capital of Gombak until 1997, when it was relocated to Batu Caves. It is now a significant administrative centre for the Selayang district. Since the PLUS North South Highway was constructed in the mid-1990s, Rawang has grown tremendously. According to the GeoNames geographical database, Rawang has a population of 120,447 people. The Selayang Municipal Council building is located somewhat north of the old Rawang town in the new Rawang town centre, which was erected in the early 2000s.
In addition to tin mining, Rawang has large swathes of rubber fields on the outskirts of town. As a result, Rawang has had a considerable population of Chinese and Indian pioneers since the early twentieth century, who, when joined with the existing Malay population, have made the town a vibrant and diverse multi-racial community. Malay, English, Tamil, and Chinese elementary schools have all been in close proximity to one another since the beginning. Rawang also contains a Sikh and Gurkha presence, which adds to the area’s already diverse population.
Rawang can be accessed using public transport and multiple highways.
The region is home to multiple primary and secondary schools. It also houses the first ever English language school of the country in the form of the private school, Clifford Institute. Rawang has 21 primary schools and no less than 9 secondary schools, each more reputed than the last.
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