53 Facts About Penang


Penang is a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Malacca Strait.

FactSnippet No. 648,292

The second smallest Malaysian state by land mass, Penang is bordered by Kedah to the north and the east, and Perak to the south.

FactSnippet No. 648,293

Penang formed part of the Straits Settlements in 1826, which became a British crown colony in 1867.

FactSnippet No. 648,294

Penang was later merged with the Federation of Malaya, which gained independence from the British in 1957.

FactSnippet No. 648,295

Penang is the nation's third highest Human Development Index state, after Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

FactSnippet No. 648,296

Name Penang comes from the modern Malay name Pulau Pinang which means "areca nut island".

FactSnippet No. 648,297

The State of Penang is referred to as the Pearl of the Orient and "The Island of Pearls" .

FactSnippet No. 648,298

Penang Island was originally known by native seafarers as Pulau Ka-Satu, meaning The First Island, because it was the largest island encountered on the trading sea-route between Lingga and Kedah.

FactSnippet No. 648,299

Penang Island was renamed the Prince of Wales Island after the heir to the British throne, while the new settlement of George Town was established in honour of King George III.

FactSnippet No. 648,300

In 1805, Penang became a separate presidency of British India, sharing similar status with Bombay and Madras.

FactSnippet No. 648,301

However, Penang's importance was supplanted by Singapore, as the latter rapidly outstripped the Port of Penang as the region's premier entrepot.

FactSnippet No. 648,302

Penang Island was renamed Tojo-to, after Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.

FactSnippet No. 648,303

Meanwhile, the Port of Penang was put to use as a major submarine base by the Axis Powers.

FactSnippet No. 648,304

The now separate Crown Colony of Penang was consequently merged into the Malayan Union, which was then replaced by the Federation of Malaya in 1948.

FactSnippet No. 648,305

Penang subsequently suffered an economic crisis, with the loss of maritime trade resulting in massive unemployment and brain drain.

FactSnippet No. 648,306

However, the persistent brain drain, exacerbated by federal government policies that favoured the development of Kuala Lumpur, meant that Penang was no longer at the forefront of the country's economy by the 2000s.

FactSnippet No. 648,307

Penang, situated at the northwestern coastline of Peninsular Malaysia, lies between latitudes 5.

FactSnippet No. 648,308

Penang is geographically divided into two major halves physically divided by the Penang Strait.

FactSnippet No. 648,309

Penang Strait is further divided into the North Channel and the South Channel.

FactSnippet No. 648,310

Penang Island is irregularly shaped, with a hilly and mostly forested interior; its coastal plains are narrow, the most extensive of which is at the northeastern cape.

FactSnippet No. 648,311

In spite of rapid urbanisation, Penang has still managed to safeguard a considerable area of natural environment.

FactSnippet No. 648,312

Central hills of Penang Island, including Penang Hill, serve as the green lung for the urbanised island.

FactSnippet No. 648,313

Penang is home to the smallest national park in the world - the Penang National Park.

FactSnippet No. 648,314

Penang, being a former British crown colony, is one of only four Malaysian states without hereditary monarchies.

FactSnippet No. 648,315

The head of state of Penang is the Governor, who is appointed by the King of Malaysia .

FactSnippet No. 648,316

Current Chief Minister of Penang is Chow Kon Yeow of the Democratic Action Party, who assumed office after the 2018 State Election.

FactSnippet No. 648,317

Amendments to Penang's Constitution require the support of two-thirds of the Penang State Legislative Assembly.

FactSnippet No. 648,318

Penang is divided into five administrative districts - two on Penang Island and three in Seberang Perai.

FactSnippet No. 648,319

In 1807, a Royal Charter was granted to Penang which provided for the establishment of a Supreme Court.

FactSnippet No. 648,320

The legal establishment in Penang was progressively extended to the whole of Malaya by 1951.

FactSnippet No. 648,321

The State of Penang has ratified a sister state agreement with Japan's Kanagawa Prefecture and a friendship state agreement with China's Hainan Province.

FactSnippet No. 648,322

Between 2015 and 2016, Penang achieved the highest migration effectiveness ratio among Malaysian states; for every 100 Malaysians that migrated into and out of Penang, the state's population increased by 58 persons.

FactSnippet No. 648,323

Penang's population is almost equally distributed between the island and the mainland.

FactSnippet No. 648,324

Penang has been regarded as Chinese state because of their high population but in recent years, the proportion of Bumiputeras within the state, which include ethnic Malays and East Malaysian indigenous races, has reached parity with that of the Chinese.

FactSnippet No. 648,325

In particular, Penang is well known for its distinctive Hokkien language, known as Penang Hokkien.

FactSnippet No. 648,326

Penang Hokkien serves as the lingua franca among the various ethnic Chinese communities in Penang.

FactSnippet No. 648,327

Originally a variant of the Minnan language, Penang Hokkien has absorbed numerous loanwords from Malay and English, yet another legacy of the Peranakan culture.

FactSnippet No. 648,328

Notably, smaller communities of Chinese Muslims and Indian Muslims have long existed within George Town, while most Buddhists in Penang follow either Theravada, Mahayana or Vajrayana traditions.

FactSnippet No. 648,329

In spite of its tiny size, Penang, regarded as the Silicon Valley of the East, has one of the largest economies in Malaysia, contributing as much as RM7 billion of the country's tax income in 2015.

FactSnippet No. 648,330

Penang has the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita among Malaysian states.

FactSnippet No. 648,331

Jewellery from Penang is exported to over 20 foreign markets, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and the United States.

FactSnippet No. 648,332

Penang has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Malaysia.

FactSnippet No. 648,333

Penang is known for its rich heritage and architecture, its vibrant multicultural society, a wide range of modern entertainment and retail choices, natural features such as beaches and hills, and the world-famous Penang cuisine.

FactSnippet No. 648,334

Bangsawan, which was developed in Penang, is a type of Malay theatre that incorporates Indian, Western, Islamic, Chinese and Indonesian influences.

FactSnippet No. 648,335

Boria is indigenous to Penang, featuring singing accompanied by violin, maracas and tabla.

FactSnippet No. 648,336

Penang is home to a relatively wide variety of architectures, both historical and modern.

FactSnippet No. 648,337

Various street dishes and delicacies of Penang include asam laksa, Nasi Lemuni, char kway teow, curry mee, Hokkien mee, nasi kandar, oh chien, lor bak, rojak, pasembur, chendol, ais kacang, and tau sar pneah .

FactSnippet No. 648,338

Correspondingly, Penang has the third highest Human Development Index within Malaysia.

FactSnippet No. 648,339

Penang Island is connected to the mainland by two bridges.

FactSnippet No. 648,340

Public bus services are mainly provided by Rapid Penang, which operates 56 routes within Greater Penang, including interstate routes into Kedah and Perak.

FactSnippet No. 648,341

SPICE Arena in Bayan Baru is another major sporting venue within Penang, consisting of an indoor arena and an aquatics centre.

FactSnippet No. 648,342

Penang has hosted the 2018 Asia Pacific Masters Games, the first edition of a Masters Games within Asia.

FactSnippet No. 648,343

Penang is the first Malaysian state to provide its citizens with free internet connection.

FactSnippet No. 648,344