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The island was referred to as Bīnláng Yù (檳榔嶼, 槟榔屿) in the navigational drawings used by Admiral Zheng He of Ming-dynasty China in his expeditions to the South Seas in the 15th century. Early Malays called it Pulau Ka-Satu or "First Island".

The name "Penang" comes from the modern Malay name Pulau Pinang, which means island of the areca nut palm (Areca catechu, family Palmae).

Penang is severally known as "The Pearl of the Orient" and "Pulau Pinang Pulau Mutiara" (Penang Island of Pearls).

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******* HISTORY ******

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". [2]

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.

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/ More Informations Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Ally Theanlyn (shevchenko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2575 W: 64 N: 4774] (20560)
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