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In Malaysian history, the occasion marked the beginning of more than a century of British imperialism in Malaya.

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To this day, the Malaysian federal government still pays Kedah, on behalf of Penang, RM 10,000 annually as a symbolic gesture.He then renamed the island the Prince of Wales Island in honour of the heir to the British throne, and established the settlement of George Town at the northeastern tip of the island in honour of King George III.George Town was Britain's first settlement in Southeast Asia, and was one of the first establishments of the British Empire after the loss of its North American colonies.Aside from the three main races, the Chinese, Malays and Indians, Penang is home to significant Eurasian, Siamese and expatriate communities.The name Penang may refer either to Penang Island or the State of Penang.Sent by the Ming Emperor Yongle as part of a series of long-range Chinese naval expeditions, the sailors, who were led by Admiral Zheng He, labelled the island as Bīnláng Yù (simplified Chinese: However, the modern history of Penang only began in 1786.

On 17 July that year, Captain Francis Light, an English trader-adventurer of the British East India Company, landed on Penang Island, which was then part of Kedah.

Penang's modern history began in 1786, when Francis Light founded George Town as a trading post of the British East India Company.

Penang formed part of the Straits Settlements in 1826, which became a British crown colony in 1867.

These artifacts indicate that the earliest inhabitants in the area Seberang Perai were nomadic Melanesians.

The Cherok Tok Kun megalith in Bukit Mertajam, uncovered in 1845, contains Pali inscriptions, indicating that the Hindu-Buddhist Bujang Valley civilisation based in what is now Kedah had established control over parts of Seberang Perai by the 6th century.

Thus, Light endeavoured to negotiate with Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah of Kedah regarding the cession of Penang Island to the British East India Company, in exchange for military assistance against Kedah's foes.