MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Monday, November 29, 2021

Penang’s history needs ‘fixing’ says opposition leader


Supporters of Kedah’s cause claim that Penang was illegally acquired by Francis Light.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s opposition leader said today it was time for the state to review the history of the state’s founding, asserting that there were “errors that needed fixing”.

Muhammad Yusoff Mohd Noor (BN-Sungai Dua) said a group of experts had recommended that “corrections to Penang history” be escalated to federal level, including the history of the island and Seberang Perai and matters related to Kedah.

He did not give further details on what was believed to be erroneous.

Yusoff said he had chaired several meetings as part of a task force of history researchers and academics from Universiti Sains Malaysia over the matter.

Yusoff said the group has since come up with pamphlets, a book and a report that will be sent to the national heritage department and the national archives for further corroboration.

Yusoff urged the state government to step in to cooperate in playing an important role in “fixing” the state’s history.

Penang’s history has been brought into question after neighbouring Kedah sought RM100 million in payment for what the Kedah menteri besar described as a lease on the island and Seberang Perai.

However, the Penang state government has rejected such claims.

Activists for Penang have argued that Penang Island and Province Wellesley (as Seberang Perai was known then) was ceded to the British by the Kedah sultan whereas those supporting Kedah’s cause have said Penang was on lease and was illegally acquired by Francis Light who took possession of the island in 1786 and is regarded as the founder of George Town.

The East India Company later ceded the island and Province Wellesley to the British crown.

Putrajaya currently pays Kedah a RM10 million honorarium annually in respect of an agreement signed by Light and the Kedah sultan in 1791. Some experts have questioned whether any lease agreement even exist. - FMT

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