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Perlis (Jawi ﭬﺮليس) , is the smallest state in Malaysiamarker. It lies at the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysiamarker and has Satunmarker and Songkhlamarker Provinces of Thailandmarker on its northern border. Perlis was called Palit ( ) by the Siamese when it was under their influence.

Perlis Indera Kayangan has a population of 210,000. The ethnic composition for the year 2000 in Perlis was: Malay (174,805 or 79.74%), Chinese (21,058 or 9.6%), Indian (2,658 or 1.21%) and others (20,690 or 9.45%).

The capital of Perlis is Kangarmarker and the Royal capital is Araumarker. Another important town is Padang Besar, at the Malaysian-Thailand border. The main port and ferry terminal is at the small village of Kuala Perlismarker, linking mostly to Langkawi Islandmarker. Perlis has a famous snake farm and research centre at Sungai Batu Pahat and Gua Kelam and Perlis State Park are tourist attractions. Compared to other states of Malaysia, Perlis has bucolic charm, peace and simplicity.


was originally part of Kedahmarker, although it occasionally came under rule by Siammarker or Acehmarker. After the Siamese conquered Kedah in 1821, the Britishmarker felt their interests in Perakmarker to be threatened. This resulted in the 1826 Burney and Low Treaties formalising relations between the two Malay states and Siam, their nominal overlord. In the Burney Treaty, the exiled Kedah sultan Ahmad Tajuddin was not restored to his throne. Sultan Ahmad and his armed supporters then fought unsuccessfully for his restoration over twelve years (1830-1842).

In 1842, the Sultan finally agreed to accept Siamese terms, and was restored to his throne of Kedah. However, Siam separated Perlis into a separate principality directly vassal to Bangkokmarker. Syed Hussain Jamalulail, the paternal grandson of a Hadhrami Arab immigrant and maternal grandson of the Sultan of Kedah, became the first Raja of Perlis. His descendants still rule Perlis, but as rajas, instead of as sultans.

As with Kedah, the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 forced Siam to relinquish its southern Malay vassal states to Great Britainmarker. The British installed a Resident in the Perlis Royal capital of Araumarker. Perlis was returned to Siam by the Japanesemarker in World War II as a reward for Siam's alliance with Japanmarker, but this brief annexation ended with the Japanese surrender. After World War II, Perlis returned to British rule until it became part of the Malayan Unionmarker, then Federation of Malayamarker in 1957 and lastly Federation of Malaysiamarker in 1963.

The economy of Perlis was booming at the time when Shahidan Bin Kassim was the Menteri Besar. Despite numerous allegations and rumours of him involving in shoddy dealings, he managed to hold on to power from 1996 to 2008. Although he single-handedly managed to prevent oppositions from capturing the state, the royal family refused to let him to continue as MB.

Since 2000, the Raja or hereditary monarch has been Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin. He was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysiamarker from 2001 to 2006. Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra was the Regent of Perlis during the five-year period when Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin was Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The Chief Executive or Menteri Besar is Datuk Seri Dr Md Isa Sabu of Barisan Nasional.


The state economy is dominated by agriculture, with rice, sugar, herbs and fruits predominating. Forestry especially from Jati timberwoods and fishery is also important, and the state is making great efforts to attract small and medium scale manufacturing industries and services.During the Japanese occupation of Malaya, the Raja of Perlis was Syed Hamzah Jamalullail but the Siamese Government also appointed their own Governor in Perlis by the name of Udom Boonyaprasop.The Japanese lost the War and the British returned as colonialists again and decided to replace Raja Syed Hamzah with Syed Putra Jamalullail who reigned over the smallest State in Malaya and later Malaysia both in terms of size, revenue and population.

See also


  1. The Constitution of Perlis

External links

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