Kedah (/ˈkeɪdɑː/; Malay pronunciation: [kəˈdɑh]; Jawi: قدح), also known by its honorific Darul Aman or “Abode of Safety”, is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and the Langkawi islands. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice, while Langkawi is an archipelago, most of which are uninhabited islands.
Kedah was previously known as Kadaram (Tamil: கடாரம்; kadāram) by the ancient and medieval Tamils, Kataha or Kalahbar (Arabic: قتح; qataḥa or Arabic: قلحبر; qalaḥbar) by the Arabs, and Syburi (Thai: ไทรบุรี; RTGS: Sai Buri) by the Siamese when it was under their influence.
To the north, Kedah borders the state of Perlis and shares an international boundary with the Songkhla and Yala provinces of Thailand. It borders the states of Perak to the south and Penang to the southwest.
The state’s capital is Alor Setar and the royal seat is in Anak Bukit. Other major towns include Sungai Petani, and Kulim on the mainland, and Kuah on Langkawi.
Kedah has a relatively heterogeneous populace constituted by three major ethnic groups; the Malays, Chinese and Indians as well as some Malaysian Siamese ethnic groups, similar to most of the other Malaysian states. Prior to the formation of the Federation of Malaya, there was an ethnic group known as the Sam Sam people. They are culturally Malay Muslim but speak Siamese language. Most of these communities are almost extinct due to assimilation with the Malays. In some places in Kedah, the Sam Sam people still retain their Siamese language as their mother tongue. These communities can be found in Pendang District, Kuala Nerang District and Kubang Pasu District (Changlun, Kodiang, Jitra, Wang Tepus, Guar Napai, Malau, Ason and Napoh). Kedah has a very small Orang Asli community. Orang Asli only can be found in the Baling district.
Like most parts of Malaysia, Kedah is home to various languages and dialects. The majority language of Kedah is Kedah Malay, known natively by locals as Pelat Utagha (Northern dialect), it is a distinct variety of Malay which also serves as the state’s main lingua franca and is used by almost all Kedahans regardless of race. Kedah Malay has many sub-dialects which differs from district to district and is also spoken outside of its boundaries such as Penang, Perlis, northern Perak and even as far as Satun in Thailand and Tanintharyi in Myanmar. Besides Kedah Malay, another distinct variety of Malay known as Baling Malay (Cakak Baling) is mainly spoken in Baling district as well as some parts of Sik and Yan districts. Baling, along with Grik Malay is part of Reman Malay, an offshoot of Kelantan-Pattani Malay of which it was descended from the people of the Kingdom of Reman of which once ruled the Baling and Grik regions before it was dissolved and became part of three distinct political entities namely Kedah, Perak and Yala (Thailand).
Besides Malay, there are also various minority languages spoken throughout Kedah, Aslian languages such as Jahai, Kensiu and Kintaq are spoken by the small Orang Asli populations mostly in the inland region. The Chinese in Kedah also speaks various varieties of Chinese such as Mandarin, Hokkien (majority), Teochew, Cantonese and so on. There are also a small but well established Indian community mostly of ethnic Tamil and Punjabis and also smaller number of Telugus who speak their own respective languages. Kedah is also home to a large community of ethnic Siamese of which it has its own distinct dialect of the Thai language which is different from ones spoken in Kelantan (which also has a large Siamese population) and Standard Thai.
The population of Kedah in 2015 was 2,071,900. It was made up of 76% Bumiputra (Malays and others), 12.7% Chinese, 6.9% Indian, 0.9% others and 3.4% non-Malaysian. The following is based on 2015 figures from the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Kedah is considered the “rice bowl (Malay: Jelapang Padi) of Malaysia, accounting for about half of Malaysia’s total production of rice. In 2008, the state government banned the conversion of paddy fields to housing and industrial lots to protect the rice industry.
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 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).
According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, this economic area is part of 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.
Tourism is mainly concentrated on Langkawi Island, the largest island in the archipelago. There are some places of interest on the mainland as well.
- Alor Setar Tower – One of the tallest telecommunications tower in the world, standing tall at 165.5-metre in height
- Balai Nobat
- Bukit Kayu Hitam
- Balai Seni Negeri
- Batu Hampar Waterfall
- Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum – The only museum in Malaysia to display archaeological artefacts proving the existence of international trade and development of the Hindu Buddha religion in South-East Asia in the 3rd – 12th century
- Junjong Waterfall
- Kota Kuala Kedah
- Lata Mengkuang Waterfall
- Lembah Bujang Archaeological Park
- Pantai Merdeka
- Pantai Murni Waterfront
- Pekan Rabu (Wednesday Market) – A multi-storey arcade selling a wide range of traditional delicacies, handicraft products and apparel
- Rumah Merdeka
- Seri Perigi Waterfall
- Sungai Merbok Recreation Park
- Sungai Sedim Tree Top Walk – The longest canopy walk in the world stretching 950m-long, visitors can enjoy the fabulous sight of rushing streams and truly fascinating flora and fauna all from 50m up
- Ulu Muda Eco Park
- Ulu Paip Recreational Forest
- Hutan Paya Laut
- Ulu Legong Hot Springs – The only 24-hours hot spring, located 22 km from Baling
- Titi Hayun Waterfall
- Gunung Jerai
- Zahir Mosque (Masjid Zahir) – One of Kedah’s most distinctive architectural landmarks, it is one of the oldest mosques in the country
The Langkawi International Airport is located at Padang Matsirat and it is also considered a tourist attraction as the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition takes place every 2 years near the airport. The airport handled almost 1.2 million passengers and over 41,000 aircraft movements in 2008. It serves as the primary gateway into Langkawi.
In 2007, Langkawi Island was given a World Geopark status by UNESCO.
Places of interest
- Mount Mat Cincang (Gunung Mat Cincang)
- Field of Burnt Rice
- Hot Springs
- Telaga Tujuh (The Seven Wells)
- Beach of Black Sand
- Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden)
- Gua Cerita (Cave of Stories)
- Gua Langsir (Curtain Cave)
More Info please visit http://www.visitkedah.com.my/