Sunday, August 5, 2007

States Of Malaysia - Penang

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Penang or Pulau Pinang in Bahasa Malaysia is situated on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is the second smallest state in Malaysia after Perlis, and the eighth most populous.

Penang derives its name from the Pinang or Betel Nut palm which was abundant on Penang Island.

Penang is divided into Penang Island and Mainland Penang or Prai.

The 2 regions are separated by the 4km Penang Straits.

Penang is bordered by Kedah in the north and east and Perak in the south.

Penang Island has a granite hill interior and its highest point is Penang Hill (830m). There are many sandy beaches on the island’s north, in the state capital of George Town.

The state’s major towns are George Town (Penang City) and Balik Pulau in Penang Island and Butterworth, Bukit Mertajam and Nibong Tebal on the mainland.

There are several small islands off the coast of Penang Island and they include former penal colony Pulau Jerejak in south-eastern George Town. It is now a tourist resort.

The state’s climate is sunny and rainy all year round.

It has the highest population density in Malaysia with 2,031 people per square kilometre on Penang Island and 866 people per square kilometre on the mainland.

The population comprises 45 per cent Chinese, 43 per cent indigenous Malaysians (almost entirely Kedahans) and 12 per cent Indians.

Most of Penang’s Chinese have adopted indigenous Malay customs and are known as Peranakan Chinese (acculturated Chinese).

The state was originally part of Kedah. In 1786, the Sultan of Kedah sold Penang to Britain in return for military assistance to fend off Siamese attacks.

George Town was a free port until 1969. After that, it became a major manufacturing hub of the country.

Penang is the third largest economy amongst Malaysian states after Selangor and Johor. It is a major manufacturing centre of the country.

George Town and Butterworth are connected by a ferry service, while George Town is connected to Bukit Mertajam suburb Prai (Seberang Jaya) by the 13.5-km Penang Bridge, Asia’s longest bridge, built between 1975 and 1985.

Penang is famous for its food. It has been honoured by Time Magazine as the Street Food Capital of Asia.

Malaysia’s only hill railway, the Penang Hill Railway, takes tourists up and down Penang Hill. The service began in 1923.

The three-wheeled trishaw is a popular mode of tourist transport in George Town.

Penang is a state of many firsts. They include the following:

Oldest public school in Malaysia - Penang Free School formed in 1816.

Oldest girls’ school in Malaysia - Convent Light Street formed in 1852.

Oldest turf club in Malaysia - Penang Turf Club formed in 1864.

Standard Chartered Bank, Malaysia’s oldest bank, opened in 1875.

Oldest Chinese daily, Kwong Wah Daily, formed in 1910 by China’s first President Dr Sun Yat-Sen.

Oldest city - George Town, proclaimed on January 1, 1957.

Famous Penangites:

Anwar Fazal, social activist and Ralph Nader of Asia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Datuk Mohamad Iskandar, father of Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who founded Sultan Abdul Hamid College in Alor Star, Kedah.

Melissa Campbell, Australian-Malaysian actress who starred in Anna And The King.

Karpal Singh, prominent lawyer and opposition leader in the Malaysian Parliament.

Jeffrey Ong, film-maker and national swimmer.

Datuk Eddy Choong, four-time All England badminton champion.

Datuk Jimmy Choo, London-based shoe designer.

Nordin Ahmad, legendary actor.

Kee Thuan Chye, journalist, playwright and actor.

Fauziah Ahmad Daud, Malaysia’s Jodie Foster and female Simon Cowell.

Datuk Ahmad Daud, Malaysian Frank Sinatra, and father of Fauziah Ahmad Daud.

Nicol David, international women’s squash champion.

Tan Sri P. Ramlee, Malaysia's King of Entertainment.

Lillian Too, Feng Shui consultant and best-selling author.

David Arumugam and Loganathan Arumugam (the late), talented brothers who founded the popular soul and pop group The Alleycats (Bee Gees and Earth, Wind And Fire of Malaysia).

Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew, Malaysia’s Honda King.

Dr Wu Lian Teh (1879-1960), world-renowned plague fighter who modernised China's public health system.

Several films were shot in Penang and they included Indochine (1992), and Anna And The King (1999).

Penang’s State Anthem is as follows:

In Bahasa Malaysia:

Selamat Tuhan kurniakan
Selamat Pulau Pinang
Negeriku yang mulia
Kutaat dan setia
Aman dan bahagia
Majulah jayalah
Negeriku yang kucinta
Bersatu dan bersama
Untuk negeri kita

In English:

May God give us safety
Bless our land Penang
Our exalted land
Which we are loyal to
Peaceful and prosperous
May it progress and grow
Our beloved land
Let’s unite and stand together
For our land