Penang Island is part of the state of Penang, on the west coat of Peninsular Malaysia. It was named Prince of Wales Island when it was occupied by the British East India
Company on 12 August 1786, in honour of the birthday of the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The capital George Town
, was named after the reigning King George III.Malaysia has another island called "Pulau Pinang", which is a diving site located in South China
Sea and part of the Johor Marine Park, which consists a group of islands: Pulau Aur, Pulau Dayang, Pulau Lang, and Pulau Pinang itself.
The island is the fourth-largest in the country with an area of 293 sq km. It is also the most populated island in the country with an estimated population of 678,000.The island is connected with the mainland by the Penang Bridge. The bridge begins at Gelugor on the island and ends in Perai
on the mainland. The mainland portion of the Penang state is known as Seberang Perai (Province Wellesley), and together with Penang Island and other smaller islands, form the state of Penang.
The local authority on the island is the Municipal Council of Penang Island (Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang). Local councillors have been appointed by the state government since local elections were abolished in Malaysia in the 1960s. Both municipal councils are made up of a president, a municipal secretary and 24 councillors. The president is appointed by the State Government for two-year terms of office while the councillors are appointed for one-year terms of office.
Penang Island is divided into 2 administrative districts.The eastern portion of the island facing the mainland is highly urbanized and built-up with either industrial, commercial or residential areas. The western portion is generally more rugged/hilly and less developed than the rest of the island.