Kangar (Northern Malay: Kangaq; Jawi: كڠار) is the state capital and the largest town in Perlis, Malaysia.[1] It has a population of 48,898 and an area of 2,619.4 ha. It is located next to the Thailand border, in the northernmost point of Peninsular Malaysia. It is situated by the Perlis River.[2]

From top, left to right:
Downtown Kangar, Alwi Mosque, Merdeka Square, Perlis State Legislative Assembly, and KPJ Perlis Specialist Hospital
Official seal of Kangar
Kangar is located in Malaysia
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 6°26′N 100°12′E / 6.433°N 100.200°E / 6.433; 100.200
Country Malaysia
StatePerlis Perlis
Foundation of Kota Sena1653
Municipality status1 January 1980
 • Total29.84 km2 (11.52 sq mi)
 • Total48,898
Time zoneUTC+8 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)Not observed
Kangar Municipal Council

Majlis Perbandaran Kangar
مجليس ڤربندرن كڠار
The Seal of Kangar Municipal Council.png
Founded1 January 1980
Norazlan Yahaya
Municipal Secretary
Raziff Yaacob
Meeting place
Kangar Municipal Council.jpg
192, Persiaran Jubli Emas, 01000 Kangar, Perlis.

The town is also a gathering centre for the paddy rice production of the surrounding district. Its municipal government is unified with that of the neighbouring communities of Arau and Kaki Bukit. The centre of Kangar is Sena Province. The town is the smallest state capital in Malaysia and its inhabitants are mostly farmers and civil servants. Its industries include cement, saw milling, rubber, paper, and processing of sugar and prawns.[3]


Kangar Map

Kangar existed from about 350 years ago, that is since 1653 when Kota Sena was built as the administrative centre for the 14th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhyiddin Mansor Shah. Kangar was then a land port or pengkalan where boats and tongkangs anchor at the confluence of Perlis River, which runs through Kangar town to Kuala Perlis.[1]

The name Kangar was derived from a type of tree. It was here at the port that trading was done, under a big tree that gave shade and respite to the traders. This tree that became a "witness" to many business deals was called Pohon Kangar. Every trader and merchant who came and went to this place began calling it the Pohon Kangar Port, in honour of the tree.[1]


Ethnic composition of Kangar (2010)[4]
Ethnicities / Nationality Percentage
Other Bumiputras

Majority of Kangar population speaks Perlis Malay which is a sub-dialect of Kedah Malay but also has its own unique features compared to those of neighbouring Kedah.

The Han Chinese, the second largest community in Kangar are primarily Hokkien speaking. However, significant Mandarin and English is also well known amongst the local Chinese. In particular, Kangar, and by extension Perlis, is best known for its distinct Hokkien dialect, known as Penang Hokkien. Hokkien serves as the lingua franca of Kangar.

Other languages spoken in Kangar includes Tamil, Telugu, Malayali as well as Punjabi and Hindi among the Kangar Indian population and Southern Thai by the Kedah-Siamese community.

Places of interestEdit

Downtown Kangar is a mixture of old and new shophouses, and has an elegant colonial State Secretariat Building and clocktower from the 1930s. Other major landmarks are:

Sister townEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Kangar Background | Kangar Municipal Council". Majlis Perbandaran Kangar. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  2. ^ Information, Malaya Department of (1957). Fact Sheets on the Federation of Malaya. The Department.
  3. ^ "Kangar | Malaysia". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Population Distribution and Demography" (PDF). Malaysian Department of Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2013.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 6°26′N 100°12′E / 6.433°N 100.200°E / 6.433; 100.200