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George Town History, Malaysia

  Georgetown, Malaysia -History

Georgetown is one of the largest city in Malaysia and also the capital city of Penang, one of the states in Malaysia. We will explore the history of Georgetown, including its founding, early settlement, and important historical aspects of the city. Today, Georgetown is a town of over 600,000 people but this was not always the case.

Georgetown was founded in 1776 by a British trader named Francis Light, but was named after King George III of England. Then, the city was a swampy, uncomfortable settlement to live in and disease and hostilities between the native inhabitants and the European settlers was constant.

Moreover, the original settlement of Georgetown covered what are today Light Street, Beach Street, Malabar Street, Chula Street, and Masjid Kapitan Keling Street.

Nevertheless, the small settlement of European traders grew larger every year and by the mid 19th century, the town was a major trading port and vacation hub for many Europeans.  

By the beginning of the 20th century, Georgetown was the place to be for the European and Asian traders alike. Those who see some of the street names in the city will realize this.

Moving on, the prosperous town continued to thrive throughout the decades preceding WWII, until war finally came to Southeast Asia. In 1942, the Japanese army invaded Malaysia, including Georgetown and occupied it until 1945, when the Japanese forces surrendered to the Allied forces and Georgetown was under British rule.

Then, in 1948, the Federation of Malaysia was formed as a colony of Great Britain. It consisted of the all the territories of the Malay Peninsula - as it does to this day.

Then, in 1957, the Republic of Malaysia was formed after gaining independence from Great Britain. In addition, in 1963, the colonies of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined the republic.

During the brief, Communist insurgency of the 1960’s, the state of Singapore temporarily parted from the republic, but later rejoined.

During the term of Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir bin Mohammed (1981-2003), Malaysia’s world standing and economy saw its biggest boom in its history. Georgetown was included in this boom and the city’s tourism level shot up dramatically.

Today, Georgetown is a large, bustling city that still beckons to foreigners as it did many years before and offers travelers from all over the world a taste of its past, present and future.

So, if you ever decide to visit this lovely city; you will not be disappointed.

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