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PENANG'S TRIVIA!1. Did you know that the name of Penang comes from a tree?
Well, many years ago, betel nut trees were found scattered all over the island. Therefore, the name 'Penang' is derived from the Malay word, 'Pinang', which refers to the betel nuts. The name of Pulau Pinang translated literally from Malay means "Betel Nut Island"!
2. Did you know?
The capital city of Penang, Georgetown, was named after King George III of the Great Britain.
3. Did you know?
Penang was once originally under the rules of Malay sultanate of Kedah until the year of 1786 when Captain Francis Light built a fortress (in Georgetown) and managed to get the island ceded to the British East India Company as one of their settlement and trading centre in the past.
4. Did you know that Penang Island has a shape of a turtle?
The state of Penang is made up of two parts, Penang Island, a turtle-shaped island with a total of 292 square kilometers, and Seberang Perai (formerly Province Wellesley), a rectangular-shaped district that is part of the mainland is about 48 kilometers wide.
5. Did you know that Penang was also known as "The Pearl of the Orient" during the early and middle part of the last century?
6. Did you know?
In 2008, Penang was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, together with fellow former Straits Settlement, Melaka.
7. Did you know?
Penang is known for its well-preserved colonial core, with original shop houses dating from the early 19th century. Street markets and hawkers continue to be a part of daily life, and the atmosphere is often likened to that of Singapore back in the 1960s and 1970s.
Penang was originally part of the Malay Sultanate of Kedah. On 11 August 1786, Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company landed in Penang and renamed it Prince of Wales Island in honour of heir to the British throne. Light then received it as a portion on his marriage to the daughter of the Sultan of Kedah. Light ceded Penang to the Government of India and promised the Sultan military protection from Siamese and Burmese armies who were threatening Kedah. Light is now credited as the founder of Penang.
Many early settlers succumbed to malaria, earning Penang the epithet "the White Man's Grave".
Unbeknownst to the Sultan, Light had acted without the approval of the East India Company when he promised military protection. When the Company failed to aid Kedah when Siam attacked it, the Sultan tried to retake the island in 1790. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the Sultan was forced to cede the island to the Company for an honorarium of 6,000 Spanish dollars per annum. This was later increased to 10,000 dollars, with Province Wellesley on the mainland of the Malay Peninsula being added to Penang in 1800. An annual honorarium of 10,000 ringgit continues to this day be paid by the Malaysian Federal Government to the state of Kedah.
In 1826, Penang, along with Malacca and Singapore, became part of the Straits Settlements under the British administration in India, moving to direct British colonial rule in 1867. In 1946 it became part of the Malayan Union, before becoming in 1948 a state of the Federation of Malaya, which gained independence in 1957 and became Malaysia in 1963.
The island was a free port until 1969. Despite the loss of the island's free-port status, from the 1970s to the late 1990s the state built up one of the largest electronics manufacturing bases in Asia, in the Free Trade Zone around the airport in the south of the island.
On 7 July 2008, George Town, the historic capital of Penang, was formally inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside with Malacca. It is officially recognized as having a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penang_Island