Penang's History

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Penang's history begins in 1786, when Captain Francis Light made a pact with the Sultan of Kedah. He acquired Penang on behalf of the East India Company from the Sultan and in return, the company promised to give Kedah protection from powerful neighbors.

Until 1800, Light also secured a land area across the island. The area was named Province Wellesley (Governor of India) is now called Seberang Perai.

Light renamed the island Prince of Wales Island because the date coincides with the date he obtained the prince's birthday. He had landed in what is now called the Esplanade. Then it is a swamp area that many mosquitoes.
To clean up the place, he loaded his ship with a silver gun and fired into the jungle to stimulate the work of cleaning the bushes by its employees faster.

A town was established and named George Town, after the Prince of Wales. Border area is the streets Light Street, Chulia Street, Pitt Street (Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling) and Bishop Street.

To encourage settlers, the port has been granted tax-free status and new entrants are allowed to claim as much land as they can explain. From an uninhabited island, the population grew to 10,000 by the end of the century.

Penang became a trading post for tea, spices (cloves and nutmeg from local farms), china, black pepper from Acheh and textiles from India. Later, growing regional trade in tin and rubber.

It became a crossroads of great civilizations, a clash of eastern regions. Traders and settlers came from Europe, India, China, the Malay Archipelago, Thailand and Burma.

British ports are independent and impartial, it is preferred to stop the Dutch trade with strict rules and tax.

The Europeans settled in Light Street, the Eurasians from Kedah and Phuket staying at the Bishop Street and Church Street (Church Street). Straits Chinese traders from Kedah and Melaka who came here to seek a new opportunity has concentrated on China Street while the Indian settled in Chulia Street.

In the early 1800s, George Town has grown with the addition of two more roads - Armenian Street occupied by Armenians and Acheen Street, homeless people Acheh, Sumatra and the Malay.

In 1832, Penang became part of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

In addition to being a commercial interest and opportunities, Penang is also a free and safe to the various communities - Malay off Siamese attacks in Orissa, the Eurasians fleeing religious persecution in southern Thailand, the Manchu-oppressed and people of South India leaving the homeland of poverty and strife.

Penang was under British colonial rule until 1957 when it gained independence under the Federation of Malaya. It was briefly occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945. In 1963 it became part of Malaysia when Sabah and Sarawak joined the group.


Source: PENANG STATE BUREAU OF INFORMATION.