|— State —|
|Perlis Indera Kayangan|
|Anthem: Amin amin ya Rabaljalil|
Location of Perlis
|- Ruling party||Barisan Nasional|
|- Raja||Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin|
|- Menteri Besar||Datuk Seri Dr Md Isa Sabu|
|- Total||810 km2 (312.7 sq mi)|
|Population (2009 est.)|
|- Density||297.5/km2 (770.6/sq mi)|
|Human Development Index|
|- HDI (2003)||0.785 (medium)|
Perlis (Jawi ﭬﺮليس) , is the smallest state in Malaysia. It lies at the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and has Satun and Songkhla Provinces of Thailand on its northern border. Perlis was called Palit (Thai: ปะลิส) 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 Kangar and the Royal capital is Arau. Another important town is Padang Besar, at the Malaysian-Thailand border. The main port and ferry terminal is at the small village of Kuala Perlis, linking mostly to Langkawi Island. 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.
Perlis was originally part of Kedah, although it occasionally came under rule by Siam or Aceh. After the Siamese conquered Kedah in 1821, the British felt their interests in Perak 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 Bangkok. 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 Britain. The British installed a Resident in the Perlis Royal capital of Arau. Perlis was returned to Siam by the Japanese in World War II as a reward for Siam's alliance with Japan, 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 Union, then Federation of Malaya in 1957 and lastly Federation of Malaysia in 1963.
Since 2000, the Raja or hereditary monarch has been Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin. He was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia 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.
Currently, Perlis is planning to develop a land port to ensure Malaysian economy will be able to surpass Singapore's. Despite the fact that the land port is still in planning stage, a local company, Globonus is injecting a huge amount of capital every year to make sure this dream comes true.
Perlis can be reached by train from Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth (near Penang) on Keretapi Tanah Melayu's Senandung Langkawi, as well as from Bangkok, Thailand on the State Railways of Thailand's International Express. The two main railway stations in the state are Arau and Padang Besar on the Thai-Malaysian border. See the individual pages for details.
Interstate long distance express buses to/from Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth and other destinations arrive/depart from the Bukit Lagi bus terminal in Kangar. Kuala Perlis and Padang Besar also have long distance bus connections.
There is a snake park in Perlis. You can see various types of snakes here. If you are lucky, there are also some snakes shows. A tame python may be released for visitors to see. You can also get various info about snakes.
Bukit Keteri rock climbing
Harumanis - A kind of mango that is specially grown only in Perlis. It has a strong smell and is very sweet in taste. Thus, it is called "Harum" which means "fragrance" in Malay and "Manis" which means "sweet".
Ikan Bakar - Seafood is a very popular food in Perlis especially in Kuala Perlis. Ikan Bakar means "grilled fish" are dishes of seafood grilled with special hot sauce. The seafood is very fresh since it is supplied directly from local fishermen.
Restoran Tok Mek: Situated just before the Timah Tasoh Lake, on the Kangar – Padang Besar trunk road. Serves great lunch food with Siamese – Kelantanese influence, plus large selection of local ulam. Awfully cheap too.
Pokok Sawa: This is actually a kampung lunch joint situated along Jalan Santan, a few kilometers east of Kangar. Simple but very tasty kampung cooking. Ask the locals for directions: everyone knows the place.
Seafood joint at Jalan Sekolah Derma; opposite Derma School. This is a converted house. Great seafood menu for dinner.
For those really adventurous among you, go to Padang Besar Bazaar, where several little stalls serve sup perut ayam i.e. Chicken Gut Soup (arrgh!). This is not a recommendation, since I have never tried the stuff, so you’re on your own here!
You can’t visit Perlis without trying the Kuala Perlis laksa, arguably the best this side of Vladivostok! Head for Kuala Perlis (where else?) at night, and take your pick from the row of stalls by the main road. In the day, try this old Chinese man in Ban Cheong Restoran, smack in the middle of Kangar.
Nightlife is non-existent. Beers can be purchased at all 7-11 convenient stores.
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|States and Federal Territories of Malaysia|
|States: Johor | Kedah | Kelantan | Malacca | Negeri Sembilan | Pahang | Perak | Perlis | Penang | Sabah | Sarawak | Selangor | Terengganu|
|Federal Territories: Kuala Lumpur | Labuan | Putrajaya|