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Kedah (Jawi: قدح, also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Aman, or "Abode of Peace") is a state of Malaysiamarker, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysiamarker. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawimarker. The mainland has relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice. Langkawi is an archipelago of islands, most of which are uninhabited. Kedah was called Syburi ( ) by the Siamese when it was under their influence.

Kedah borders the state of Perlismarker and shares an international boundary with the Songkhlamarker and Yalamarker provinces of Thailandmarker to the north. It also borders the state of Perakmarker to the south and Penangmarker to the southwest.

The state's capital and royal seat is Alor Setarmarker. Other major towns include Sungai Petanimarker, and Kulimmarker on the mainland, and Kuahmarker on Langkawi. Kedah is divided into 12 districts namely Balingmarker, Bandar Baharumarker, Kota Setar, Kuala Muda, Kubang Pasu, Kulimmarker, Langkawimarker, Pokok Sena, Padang Terap, Pendangmarker, Sik and Yan.


Kedah has a long history. The Bujang Valley has remains of a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom that dates back to the 4th century AD, making it the oldest civilization of Peninsular Malaysiamarker. The current royal family can trace their ancestry from this time. According to Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa or the Kedah Annals, Kedah was founded by a Hindu king named Merong Mahawangsa. According to the text further, the Sultanate of Kedah started in year 1136 when the 9th King Phra Ong Mahawangsa converted to Islam and adopted the name Sultan Mudzafar Shah.

In the 7th and 8th centuries, Kedah was under the domination of Srivijaya, and was later under Siammarker, until the rise of the Malay sultanate of Melakamarker in the 15th century. In the 17th century, Kedah was attacked by the Portuguesemarker after their conquest of Melaka, and by Acehmarker. In the hope that Great Britainmarker would protect what remained of Kedah from Siam, the sultan handed over Penangmarker and then Province Wellesley to the British at the end of the 18th century. The Siamese nevertheless conquered Kedah in 1811, and it remained under Siamese control until transferred to the British by the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909.

In World War II, Kedah (along with Kelantanmarker) was the first part of Malaya to be invaded by Japanmarker. The Japanese returned Kedah to their Thai allies who had it renamed Syburi, but it returned to British rule after the end of the war. Kedah was a reluctant addition to the Federation of Malayamarker in 1948.

Since 1958, the hereditary Sultan of Kedah has been Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah. The Kedah Sultanate began when the 9th Kedah Maharaja Derbar Raja AD) converted to Islam and changed his name to Sultan Muzaffar Shah. Since then there have been 27 Sultans who ruled Kedah. The Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) is currently Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak of (Pakatan Rakyat-PAS)


Kedah is the 8th largest state by land area and 8th most populated state in Malaysia, with a total land area and population of 9,426 km2 and 1,818,188 respectively.

The Pedu Lake is the largest man-made lake in the state.


Kedah has a relatively non-homogeneous populace constituted by the three major ethnic groups; the Malays, Chinese and Indians, similar to most of the other Malaysian states.

There are 1,336,352 Malays (who make up about 75.5% of the state's population), 252,987 Chinese (or 14.2%), 122,911 Indians (or 6.9%), 35,293 non-citizens (or 1.9%) and 27,532 people from other ethnic groups (or 1.5%) in the state.

Government and politics


Kedah's Constitution was promulgated by its Ruler in July 1950 and its full title in English is;

  • The Laws of the Constitution of Kedah.

The various provisions laid down in the Constitution include the role and powers of the Monarch, the State Parliament and the State's Civil Service.

The Sultan of Kedah

The Sultan of Kedah is the constitutional ruler of the State. His position is hereditary and he holds office for life. The Ruler is the head of the religion of Islam in the State and the executive power of the state government is vested in him. The current Sultan is Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah, who has reigned since 1958.

State Executive Council

The State Executive Council, which along with the Sultan is Kedah's executive branch of government. It is composed of the Menteri Besar, who is its chairman and Kedah's head of government, and ten other members. The Menteri Besar and other members of the council are appointed by the Sultan of Kedah from members of the Dewan Undangan Negeri (State Assembly). The current Menteri Besar is Dato' Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS, or Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party).

List of Chief Ministers

Incumbent Tenure Political Affiliation
Mohamad Sheriff bin Osman 1948 - 1954 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Tunku Ismail bin Tunku Yahaya 1954 - 1959 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Syed Omar bin Syed Abdullah Shahabuddin 1959 - 1967 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Tun Dato' Seri Utama Syed Ahmad bin Syed Mahmud Shahabuddin 1967 - 1978 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Syed Nahad bin Tun Syed Sheh Shahabuddin 1978 - 1985 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Haji Osman bin Haji Aroff 1985 - 1996 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Sanusi bin Junid 1996 - 1999 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Syed Razak bin Syed Zain Barakhbah 1999 - 2005 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Dato' Haji Mahdzir bin Khalid 2005 - 2008 UMNO of Barisan Nasional
Dato' Seri Ustaz Haji Azizan bin Abdul Razak 2008 - present PAS of Pakatan Rakyat

Kedah State Assembly

The state also has a legislative branch, called the state assembly. It is similar to the Parliament but is limited to making laws relating to the state. Its members are elected in elections which are usually held simultaneously with federal elections. The term of each state assembly member is limited to five years. The state assembly must be dissolved before or once it expires its term for a fresh election to elect its members.

Kedah State Government Agency

Istana Anak Bukit
  1. Kedah State Government Secretary Administration
  2. Kedah Department of Islamic Affairs
  3. Kedah Department of Syariah Law
  4. Kedah Department of Public Works
  5. Kedah Department of Agriculture
  6. Kedah Department of Community Welfare
  7. Kedah Department of Forestry
  8. Kedah Department of Irrigatian and Drainage
  9. Kedah Department of Mufti
  10. Kedah Department of Veterinar
  11. Kedah State Treasury
  12. Kedah Museum Board
  13. Kedah Housing and Property Board
  14. Kedah Water Management Board
  15. Kedah Public Library Corporation
  16. Kedah Islamic Religious Council
  17. Kedah Zakat Board
  18. Kedah Agriculture Development Corporation
  19. Kedah State Development Corporation
  20. Kedah Land dan Mineral Office

State Anthem

Malay English translation
Allah selamat Sultan Mahkota

Berpanjangan usia di atas Takhta

Memelihara agama Nabi kita

Negeri Kedah serata-rata
God save the Crowned Sultan

Long life upon the Throne

Upholding the religion of our Prophet

Throughout the State of Kedah


List of districts

Kedah is divided into 12 administrative districts, namely:

List of local authorities

  • Majlis Daerah Kubang Pasu (MDKS)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Langkawi Bandaraya Pelancongan (MPLBP)
  • Majlis Bandaraya Alor Star (MBAS)
  • Majlis Daerah Padang Terap (MDPT)
  • Majlis Daerah Pendang (MDP)
  • Majlis Daerah Yan (MDY)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Sungai Petani (MPSPK)
  • Majlis Daerah Sik (MDS)
  • Majlis Daerah Baling (MDB)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Kulim (MPKK)
  • Majlis Daerah Bandar Baharu (MDBB)
  • Majlis Daerah Pokok Sena (MDPS)



Kedah is considered the "rice bowl" of Malaysia, accounting for one third of Malaysia's total production of rice. Other agricultural products, including rubber, oil palm and tobacco are also important. Tourism, particularly on the island of Langkawi is of growing importance.

More recently, Kedah has forged its economy towards the automotive and aerospace industries with Modenas and Asian Composites setting up bases here. One of the main advantages is the low labour costs and the infrastructure in place with the North-South Expressway and the Penang International Airport close by. In 1996, the Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP) was officially opened as the first high technology industrial park in Malaysia. The Park comprises a total land area of approximately 14.5 square kilometres (5.6 mi²). Many local and foreign companies, such as Intelmarker, Fuji Electric, Showa Denko and SilTerra have moved to the site since then.

According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, this economic area is referred to as the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). The Northern Corridor Economic Region is one of three development regions formed in Peninsular Malaysia, other development regions being the Iskandar Malaysia (or South Johor Economic Region) and the East Coast Development Region. The NCER encompasses Penangmarker (Penang Island and Seberang Prai), Kedah (Alor Setarmarker, Sungai Petanimarker, Tikam Batu and Kulimmarker) and northern Perakmarker.


Kedah has given birth to numerous successful Malaysians who have achieved immense success in Malaysia and abroad.

The state has a campus of Universiti Utara Malaysia, UUM which is located in Bandar Baru Sintokmarker.It was formally incorporated on 16 February 1984. The University was established with the specific mission of providing a leadership role for management education in the country.Thus, the university is also known as a management university. The academic establishments in UUM include College of Business (COB), College of Law, Government and International Studies (COLGIS) and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). UUM is the first university in the country to be a fully wired using fiber-optic cables.

Kedah also has several public universities and colleges such as Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Merbokmarker.Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Spanish Institute (UniKL MSI) located in Kulimmarker , The Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST University) in Bedongmarker and Kolej Universiti Insaniah (KUIN) is located in Mergong.

Polytechnic of Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah (POLIMAS) in Jitramarker and Polytechnic of Sultanah Bahiyah (PSB)in Kulim.

Institut Perguruan Sultan Abdul Halim (IPSAH) in Sungai Petani and Institut Perguruan Darul Aman (IPDA) in Bandar Darulaman are a institute set up by the government to provide teaching courses for trainee teachers.

One of the country's fastest growing private university, the Open Universitymarker Malaysia (OUM) Regional Learning Center for the state of Kedah and Perlismarker is also located in Sungai Petani and Albukhary International University located in Alor Setar. There are also have private college like PTPL College and Cosmopoint College.In Kedah also located 3 technical institute from MARA that is Institut Kemahiran MARA Sungai Petani locate in Sungai Petani, Institut Kemahiran MARA Alor Setar located in Alor Setar and Institut Kemahiran MARA Sik located in SikThis state also have several boarding school such as Sekolah Berasrama Penuh and MARA Junior Science College or MRSM which provided good infrastructure facilities life to students.

MRSM Merbok in Kedah, MALAYSIA


Hospitals in Kedah state are listed below:

General Hospital

  • Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah
  • Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim
  • Hospital Kulim
  • Hospital Jitra

Furthermore, all district in Kedah has own their public hospital and clinic.

Private Hospital

  • Metro Specialist Hospital
  • Hospital Pantai Utara
  • Kedah Medical Centre
  • Putra Medical Centre


Kedah Mainland

Paddy Field
Bukit Kayu Hitam
  • Puncak Janing Waterfall
  • Balai Besar
  • Balai Nobat
  • Bukit Kayu Hitam
  • Balai Seni Negeri
  • Batu Hampar Waterfall
  • Junjong Waterfall
  • Kota Kuala Kedah
  • Lata Mengkuang Waterfall
  • Lembah Bujang Archaeological Park
  • Lasor Eco Park
  • Masjid Zahir
  • Menara Alor Setar
  • Muzium Negeri
  • Muzium Padi(Jelapang Padi Malaysia)
  • Pantai Merdeka
  • Pedu Lake
  • Pekan Rabu
  • Perangin Sik Waterfall
  • Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir
  • Seri Perigi Waterfall
  • Sungai Merbok Recreation Park
  • Sungai Sedim Tree Top Walk
  • Ulu Muda Eco Park
  • Hutan Paya Laut
  • Ulu Legong Hot Springs
  • Titi Hayun Waterfall
  • Gunung Jerai


The Statue of Langkawi
  • Atma Alam Batik Art Village
  • Air Hangat Village
  • Craft And Cultural Complex
  • Dataran Lang
  • Galeria Perdana
  • Gunung Raya Golf Resort
  • Ibrahim Hussein Museum
  • Pekan Kuah
  • Langkawi Cable Car
  • Langkawi Canopy Adventure
  • Langkawi Crocodile Farm
  • Langkawi Golf Club
  • Langkawi Falls
  • Mahsuri’s Mausoleum
  • Morac Go Karts
  • Padang Matsirat Village
  • Rice Museum – Laman Padi
  • Sailing And Marinas
  • Telaga Harbour Park
  • The Golf Club Datai Bay
  • Traditional Malay Kampong
  • Underwater World Langkawi
  • Wildlife Park
  • Pulau Payar Marine Park


  • James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (1985)

See also

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