Sungai Petani

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Sungai Petani
Nickname(s): SP
Sungai Petani is located in Malaysia
Sungai Petani
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 5°39′N 100°30′E / 5.65°N 100.5°E / 5.65; 100.5Coordinates: 5°39′N 100°30′E / 5.65°N 100.5°E / 5.65; 100.5
Country Malaysia
State Kedah
Government
 • Yang DiPertua Haji Adzmi Bin Din
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 421,530
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)

Sungai Petani (abbreviated "Sg. Petani" or "SP")[2] is a town in the state of Kedah, in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. Sungai Petani is the second largest town in Kedah after Alor Star. The name Sungai Petani has its roots from sungai meaning river and petani meaning farmer in the Malay language. Sungai Petani in full means "Farmer's River", as there are a lot of paddy fields and farmers in the state. The word "petani" may also refer to "Pattani", a city in present day Thailand to which the river was once connected. Even the old spelling of Sungai Petani was "Sungei Patani", without any reference to farming.

Politics[change | change source]

Sungai Petani is designated as a parliamentary area in its own right. A total of 983,851 people (2008) are able to vote. It is currently represented by Johari Abdul from Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

The parliamentary area of Merbok and part of the parliamentary area of Yan (Gurun) form part of Sungai Petani Municipal administrative area.

Economy[change | change source]

Sungai Petani has a high and medium sized business community. Small and medium industry also play a part in the local economy, producing many products, from semiconductors to television tubes and from textile to wood products. Sungai Petani is also a booming business center with many large malls, franchise stores and business enclaves.

Sungai Petani has many malls and shopping centers such as Central Square, Village Mall, Lagenda Height Tesco, Sungai Petani North Tesco, Sungai Petani South Tesco, Giant Hypermarket, Econsave, Billion, Sp Plaza and Parkson.

Transportation[change | change source]

The town is accessible through the Federal Route 1 and also the North-South Expressway. Sungai Petani has two highway exits while the Federal Route I runs across the city. Apart from that, it also has a train station and a makeshift express bus hub that caters to any destination within Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

Sungai Petani also has a relatively below average local bus service called City Liner,[3] with air-conditioned red coaches.The express bus station not far from Sungai Petani Railway Station. The railway station is managed by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad.

The nearest airport is the Penang International Airport on Penang Island. Another alternative airport is the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport, Alor Star (the state capital of Kedah).

Services and Amenities[change | change source]

Health[change | change source]

Sungai Petani has various health amenities such as the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital, a USD150-million hospital, and various private medical facilities. It is one of the most high-tech hospitals in Malaysia with Total Hospital Information System. The Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital was handed over by the Public Works Department to the Health Ministry on July 23, 2006. It is a 498-bed hospital which provides secondary and tertiary specialist services.

The hospital provides laparoscopic gynaecology operations. It is a recognized training center for gynaecologists in this field. It is also a center for thoracic surgery for the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. This hospital is a training hospital for a local private medical university, AIMST University.

There are also two private hospitals in Sungai Petani: the Metro Specialist Hospital and Hospital Pantai Utara.

Education[change | change source]

Schools[change | change source]

The District Education Department in Sungai Petani administers two districts of Kuala Muda and Yan with the highest number of primary and secondary schools in the state of Kedah.

Sungai Petani hosts a large number of reputable schools such as the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ibrahim,[4] and Sekolah Menengah Sains Sultan Mohamad Jiwa.

Other schools include Convent Father Barre (Primary and Secondary), Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bakar Arang, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Khir Johari, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bandar Sungai Petani, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Ismail, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sungai Pasir and Sekolah Menengah Teknik Sungai Petani 1 & 2.

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Amanjaya, Sg. Lalang (6 km north of Sungai Petani) and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bedong (7.5 km north of Sungai Petani) is the most crowded school in Kedah state and second most crowded school in the country.[source?]

SRJK(T) Saraswathi is also one of the premier[source?] Tamil primary schools in Kedah. Recently the school celebrated its 85th anniversary.

Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Sin Min (新民国民型中学) and its Chinese primary school counterpart, SJK(C) Sin Min, are both also famous nationally for their academic performance. There is also a well established Chinese primary school called SJK(C) Sin Kwang which was built at the year of independence.

There is also a Maktab Rendah Sains MARA Merbok (MRSM) in Merbok about 11 km northwest of Sungai Petani.

Tertiary[change | change source]

The AIMST University, (the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology), was previously in Amanjaya. In April 2007, the university moved to its new futuristic Semeling campus. The university offers a variety of professional courses, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biotechnology, materials technology, engineering, and computer science and information technology.

Universiti Teknologi Mara has a branch campus at Merbok, Sungai Petani. Universiti Utara Malaysia also has a branch campus here.

Other government institutions with campuses in Sungai Petani include Institusi Kemahiran Malaysia (IKM). Ten minutes from Sungai Petani town, Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Sultan Abdul Halim (IPG KSAH) is an institution set up by the government to provide teaching courses for trainee teachers.

One of the country's fastest growing private universities, the Open University Malaysia (OUM) Regional Learning Center for the state of Kedah and Perlis are also in Sungai Petani. There are also private colleges like PTPL College and Cosmopoint College offering a variety of courses.

The Kolej Universiti Insaniah (KUIN) is a private university operating from two campuses in Kedah and one of them is in Sungai Petani.

Tourism[change | change source]

Sungai Petani offers high potential of growth in tourism industry specifically in Historic Themes, Ecotourism and Aqua sports. The district of Kuala Muda, in which Sungai Petani is, has the 2nd largest mangrove area in the country. Ecotourism is now in continuous development. From Sungai Emas to Bukit Meriam, Bujang/Merbok, Pulau Tiga and Kota Kuala Muda one can trace the path of Kedah ancient capitals.

Pulau Tiga, near Laguna Merbok was once the location of His Highness Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin's palace and his headquarters after being defeated and drove away by the Siamese in the Battle for Kuala Kedah Fort in the 18th. century. For not so long after, the Siamese attacked the new palace and razed it down. The Sultan escaped to Penang and then Malacca. Kedah was then broken into several administrative territories and ruled by respective Siamese Military Governors. A few years later, after a peace negotiation, the Siamese agreed to re-install His Highness as the Sultan of Kedah with a new throne at the Kuala Muda Fort. The smaller territories were then merged back as Kedah state with the military governors replaced by a Siamese Resident Advisor.

The present military camp was a RAF Aerodrome during the WWII and was heavily bombed by the Japanese Airforce on the first day of the invasion of Malaya. The 6th. Brigade (Army) was historically full of military exploits/combats/battles during the Communist Insurgency in the 1970s. There are a large numbers of military cemeteries of Ghurkas' and Commenwealth soldiers. There are a numbers of fallen heroes during the insurgency that came from this command. One was the downing of a Nuri helicopter by the rebels near the Thai border that killed more than a dozen soldiers. The communists had ceased all hostilities since 1989, when a peace treaty with the Malaysian government was signed.

The military camp also is the headquarters of the 19th. Royal Malay Regiments with war records such as the famous Black Hawk Downs battle in Mogadishu, Somalia. They helped rescued the surrounded US soldiers with one casualty of their own Regiment members.

The present District Police Headquarters was the headquarters/camp of the Police Field Force Battalion during the insurgency. The paramilitary police too has their shares of fallen heroes during the insurgency.

The bloody legend of Raja Bersiong (the King with Fangs) whom was believed to be one of the rulers of ancient Kedah was originated from the Lembah Bujang (or Bujangha in Sanskrit = Big Snake = Dragon ), one of the 2 valleys (Lembah Muda is the other) that covers half of the Sungai Petani surrounding landscape. The other half is the highland of Gunung Jerai. There are two major rivers Sungai Merbok and Sungai Muda that are suitable for aquasport. There are also abandoned open mining/quarry pools that are suitable for water tourism. Gunung Jerai offers an abundance of waterfalls.

Clock Tower[change | change source]

The major of Sungai Petani is a clock tower on the main street, Jalan Ibrahim. The clock tower was built in 1936. It is 12.1 m in height. It is topped by a dome-shaped and gold coloured structure. The tower was a present from Lim Lean Teng to George V and Queen Mary to commemorate the Silver Jubilee.

Clock Tower in 1990
Clock Tower in 2010

Parks[change | change source]

Sungai Petani is also known for its green lungs and attractions. In the heart of the town is the Jubli Perak (Silver Jubilee) public park and also Bird Park. There are more than five golf courses around Sungai Petani, as well as various streams, rivers and lakes.

Hotels[change | change source]

The Swiss Inn Hotel[5] (owned by Swiss-Garden International Hotels, Resorts & Inns) is on the north of Sungai Petani. Conveniently about 5 minutes from the North Sungai Petani tol. Besides that, another popular hotel in Sungai Petani is the Park Avenue Hotel[6] which is about 5 minutes from the South Sungai Petani tol. Also in the same area are the Emerald Puteri Hotel [7] and Northern Lodge Hotel. D'vista Hotel and Amanpura Hotel[8] (formerly known as SP Inn) is in the heart of Sungai Petani town, its strategic location makes it walking distance to various places such as Central Square and the local bus station. The Seri Malaysia Hotel Sungai Petani opposite the Sungai Petani railway station, which is nearby to the town as well.

SP Club[change | change source]

The Sungai Petani Club (SP Club) is a vibrant meeting and recreational venue for the residents of Sungai Petani.[9] In the middle of the town, it is the oldest golf club in the State of Kedah, having been established in 1922 by British planters. The unique colonial facade and antique wooden interiors of the clubhouse would render it as a heritage site in Sungai Petani. The 9-hole golf course covering 40 acres (160,000 m2) of prime land provides green space to balance the rapid pace of development of the town with environmental conservation.

Cinta Sayang Golf & Country Resort[change | change source]

Cinta Sayang Golf & Country Resort[10] is only 30 minutes from Penang and Kedah’s capital, Alor Setar. Its strategic location gives the Resort an advantage as a tour and shopping agent to Penang, Langkawi and Hat Yai. Cinta Sayang Golf & Country Resort was an 18-hole golf course with only 50-room chalets. Throughout the years, with constant development and upgrading, the Resort is now a proud 4-star golf resort, awarded by the Minister of Tourism Malaysia.

Gunung Jerai[change | change source]

In the northern part of the town, about 30 kilometres away, is the famous Gunung Jerai. Gunung Jerai is 1,217 metres from the sea level. This is the tallest mountain in the northern region and is surrounded by a vast jungle. It is a navigational point for ships entering the Straits of Malacca from the north because it is visible from far. There is an 18 km trekking route to the top of the mountain through a winding road. Atop the Jerai is a resort and the mountain boasts some tall and cooling waterfalls. Historically, the Jerai mountain served as the navigational point for traders from the east and west. There was a Hindu temple on top of the mountain that was built nearly a thousand years ago during the Bujang Valley Hindu Civilization.[11]

The Carnivall[change | change source]

The Carnivall is a newly opened water park in Sungai Petani within the grounds of Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Resort. With an entrance fee of MYR 30.00 for adults and MYR 24.00 for children[12] on weekends. The Carnivall is the first water park in Kedah. It was opened on 25 December 2006. Weekdays rates are cheaper than weekend rates, and the good accessibility of the place makes it one of the most well known attractions in Sungai Petani.

Pantai Merdeka[change | change source]

The only beach in mainland Kedah, it is a major attraction for beach goers from all over mainland Penang and Kedah State. Various accommodation is available for rent to experience the beach and other attractions in the area which includes harvesting Kepah, Siput Kemudi and Kerang (local seafood) in Kampung Tepi Sungai, Kota Kuala Muda, Pantai Merdeka itself and also at Pulau Sayak. Pantai Merdeka is also a gateway to island activities in small islands called Pulau Bidan and Pulau Telor which are a few minutes boat ride away. These areas are good for fishing and its beaches. In addition to that Kota Kuala Muda has an old fort used to be the fort of the Raja Muda of Kedah during its time. There is also an archeology site in Kota Kuala Muda where precious stones panning were done few hundred years ago.

Tanjung Dawai[change | change source]

Tanjung Dawai is a place which is known as a seafood spot in Sungai Petani. It is 30 minutes from Sungai Petani. It has about twenty seafood restaurants. Because of availability of seafood and competition, fine cuisine is available at prices lower most other similar areas - with a dinner for 10-12 people costing around MYR 100.00.

Sri Subramaniya Swami Devasthanam Temple[change | change source]

Sri Subramaniya Swami Devasthanam temple in Jalan Kuala Ketil is a 97 year old temple. The temple was built by philanthropist Sri Annaasamy Pillai, in 1914. The temple, held its first "Maha Kumbhabhishekam" (part of the consecration ceremony in a Hindu temple) in 1924. It has a majestic looking monumental tower, or "Raja Goburam", at the entrance. The temple has 70-year-old wooden chariot, bearing the statue of Lord Muruga. Thaipusam is celebrated grandly every year with 10 days of Ubayam and 3 days of offering milk pots and kavadis. Around 6000 milk pots and 700 Kavadis are carried by devotees from local and other states.

Shopping Places[change | change source]

There are few shopping centre which highly visited by local residents showed as following; Parkson (Developed roughly 20 years ago inside Petani Parade), Central Square, Village Mall (Operated since 2008), SP Plaza and Billion. There are four hypermarket developed for residents convenience which include Tesco Hypermarket (Tesco Sungai Petani and Tesco Sungai Petani Selatan), Giant Hypermarket and Econsave. Furthermore Sungai Petani is a shopper's haven for textiles and traditional gold jewellery.

Cinemas[change | change source]

Currently, there are two cinemas, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) Central Square Sungai Petani and Grand Cineplex Village Mall Sungai Petani, that are operating at Sungai Petani. GSC Central Square is a three-screen cinema on the fifth floor of Central Square, one of the famous shopping complexes at Sungai Petani, while the newly opened Grand Cineplex is a four-screen cineplex on level two of the Village Mall. The seating capacity of GSC Central Square and Grand Cineplex are 666 and 680 respectively.[13][14] Before February 2010, the only place to watch a movie was GSC Central Square as it was the only one that has been operating since 1997.[13] Grand Cineplex Village Mall is near Tesco Sungai Petani, Lagenda Heights, which is at the northern part of Sungai Petani that is growing rapidly at the moment. The opening of Grand Cineplex on 2010 provides patrons with another choice on where to watch a movie at Sungai Petani. It is undeniable that it is more convenient and time-saving to those who stay at the northern part of the Sungai Petani as they do not need to travel all the way to the middle of the Sungai Petani town where Central Square is.

Culture[change | change source]

Cuisine[change | change source]

Sungai Petani is known for its Nasi Kandar and Mee Goreng Mamak which is a Indian Muslim cuisine which is loved by the locals. Sungai Petani also has various slection of franchise restaurant and cafe which is 6 KFC outlets, 3 Pizza Hut outlets, 1 McDonald's, 1 A&W Restaurants, 2 Secret Recipe, 1 Starbucks Coffee and several kopitiams including Old Town White Coffee and Station 1 Cafe.[15] Besides that Radixs outlets, including Radix Fried Chicken and Radix Orientals Cuisine which worth a special mention for value for money in all aspects. There are also Thai Cuisine style restaurants.

  • Restoran Mesra Jaya
  • Restaurant 398 Thai Food, Taman Intan.
  • Restaurant Choon Nam, Taman Sejati Indah.
  • Restaurant Yet Lai Siang, Taman Pekan Lama.
  • Restaurant Chiang Mai Seafood, Taman Kenari.
  • Restaurant Taj Mahal, Lagenda Indah.
  • Chennai Curry House, Legenda Heights.
  • Restaurant Istana, Bandar Laguna Merbok.
  • Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant.
  • Nasi Kandar Pelita Samudera Pertama.
  • Restaurant Mae Salong, Kampung Bakar Bata.
  • Nasi Kandar Hussain, Pekan Baru.
  • Restoran Saraa, Padang Temusu.

Bujang Valley[change | change source]

The Bujang Valley or Lembah Bujang, sometimes referred to as the Ancient Wonder of Kedah, is a rich historical site covering an area of about 400sq. km in Merbok (17 km from Sungai Petani), bounded by Bukit Coras (Choras Hill) and Gunung Jerai. This archaeological area was the site of an ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdom that ruled the region from the 4th century AD. There is also an archaeological museum here which is known as The Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum.[16] This museum displays more than 2,500 artifacts from Malaysia's earliest civilization that have been unearthed from the surrounding excavation sites. Gold, gems, ceramics, Hindu gods and beautiful Buddha stone statues dating from the third to 14th centuries are all on display, though its main feature is Chandi Bukit Batu Pahat, a reconstructed temple built to worship the Hindu god Shiva.

Gallery[change | change source]

Closest Cities[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. http://www.mpspk.gov.my/web/guest/population;jsessionid=0956D5C855629514252AA64B8F27ABAE
  2. http://www.correctplace.com/
  3. http://www.cityliner.com.my/
  4. http://smkibrahim.net/news.php
  5. http://www.swissinnsungaipetani.com/
  6. http://www.parkavenue.com.my/
  7. http://www.emeraldputerihotel.com/
  8. http://www.amanpurahotel.com.my/Web/Page/Home.aspx
  9. http://www.kelabsp.com/
  10. http://cintasayang.com/
  11. http://www.journeymalaysia.com/MHIS_lembahbujang.htm
  12. http://home.thecarnivall.com/rates/water&landofexcitement.html
  13. 13.0 13.1 "GSC Central Square, Sungai Petani". http://www.cinema.com.my/cinemas/cinema.aspx?cid=13. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
  14. "Grand Cineplex Village Mall, Sungai Petani". http://www.cinema.com.my/cinemas/cinema.aspx?cid=540. Retrieved 2011-08-30.
  15. http://www.stationone.com.my/
  16. http://www.jmm.gov.my/en/museum/lembah-bujang-archaeological-museum