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Kelantan can boast of a rich and colourful history. Often intriguing, some times controversial, but always fascinating.

For centuries, Kelantan was all but separated from the rest of the country by the Main Range, a series of mountains running from north to south through the peninsula. Weeks of hard travel were required to reach Kelantan. The "easy way" to Kelantan was to sail around the peninsula, braving the sea and pirates. For this reason Kelantan's history often involves the sea, and boats. Even today, many of its people are very much tied to the sea. A discussion with many coastal residents will confirm that their ancestors as far back as they know, were "of the sea."

Kelantan's history will begin to give you a glimpse of what makes Kelantan that it is today.

The early history of Kelantan is rather obscure. The territories of Kelantan and Patani came under Siam in the 14th century. Around 1411, Raja Kumar, the ruler of Kelantan, became independent of Siam and Kelantan became an important centre of trade by the end of the 15th century.

In 1499, Kelantan was conquered by forces of the Malacca empire and became its vassal state. With the fall of Malacca in 1511, Kelantan was divided up and ruled by petty chieftains. 
With the conquest by the Siamese in 1603, most of the Kelantan chiefs became subject to Patani. Around 1760, a petty chieftain of Kubang Labu in Kelantan succeeded in unifying the territory of the present Kelantan. Soon after in 1764, Long Yunos seized the throne and proclaimed himself Raja of Kelantan. With his death, Kelantan came under the influence of Terengganu. 
In 1800, Raja Muhammad declared himself as the first Sultan of Kelantan. In 1812, he broke from Terengganu's influence and became a separate tributary state of Siam. In 1831, Siam divided up the old Malay Kingdom of Patani into 7 provinces each under a Siamese Governor. Siam played an important role in Kelantan throughout the 19th century.

In the 1909 Anglo-Siamese treaty, Siam surrendered its claims over Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis in exchange with the British government for territorial claims in Siam. Kelantan thus came under the control of the Straits Settlements as one of the Unfederated Malay States.

Kelantan was occupied by the Japanese on 8th December, 1941.

After the defeat of Japan on August 1945, Kelantan and the rest of Malaya came under the British Military Administration in September 1945.

Kelantan became part of the Federation of Malaya on 1st February, 1948 and together with other states attained independence on 31st August, 1957. On 16th September, 1963, Kelantan became one of the component states of Malaysia.


edited from

BACHOK MALAYA INC. Kg Rusa, 16070 Jelawat, Bachok, Kelantan, MALAYSIA