Sultanate Of Kedah

Penang was part of the Sultanate of Kedah before the 18th century. Situated on the main trade routes between China and India, Kedah was then under the influence of the Hindu Sri Vijaya Empire (5th to 11th century) based in Sumatra.

The 10th century AD saw the emergence of the Kedah Sultanate and her rapid growth attracted a cosmopolitan population of settlers and traders, including Chinese, Achehnese (from northern Sumatra), Burmese and Arabs.

Towards the 17th century, Siamese dominance in the region grew and Kedah came loosely under the control of Siam. This period also saw an increase in piracy in the region with the island of Penang serving as a refuge and lair for these marauders.