1786 Kedah-Penang lease agreement a myth

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1786 Kedah-Penang lease agreement a myth

There are no lease documents or royalty payment agreements between Penang and Kedah in 1786, said Professor Datuk Ahmad Murad Merican.

In this regard, the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation-International Islamic University Malaysia (ISTAC-IIUM) professor of social and intellectual history said the narrative that there is, in fact, a lease agreement between the states is just a myth.

“I do not know what agreement was referred to by the Kedah menteri besar on the issue of lease payment but in 1786, there were no documents at all about the lease of Penang from Kedah.

“This lease issue is a misunderstanding in the country’s history and many believe in the existence of the lease agreement… (but) it did not happen in the first place,” he told The Vibes today.

Yesterday, Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the state will demand payment from Penang for lease compensation of RM100 million annually through the federal government after finding that it has not been revalued since 1786.

The demand is on the Kedah government’s wish list for Budget 2022, which will be tabled tomorrow.

Sanusi said currently, the state government has only received a special payment of RM10 million a year since 2018 and a lease royalty of RM10,000 a year.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said in response that Penang will not pay a single sen to Kedah and urged the federal government to ignore the request.

The lease payments made by the federal government to Kedah earlier, he said, was done because many parties believe in untrue historical narratives that were misinterpreted.

Murad, who has studied the history of Penang and Kedah for more than 20 years, said even if the lease payments still needed to be made, the only party that can claim them is the Kedah palace.

Reasoning further, Murad said Penang was seized from the Kedah sultan through dealings with the state’s founder, Captain Francis Light.

“I am not the first person to reveal that there is no lease between Penang and Kedah. It was previously revealed by historian R. Bonney through his book in 1971.

“However, the book is not known to many people. So, I hope we can correct and revise the real history of Penang and Kedah.” TV

1786 Kedah-Penang lease agreement a myth

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