Penang is a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Malacca Strait. It has two parts: Penang Island, where the capital city, George Town, is located, and Seberang Perai. 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. Direct British rule was only briefly interrupted during World War II, when Japan occupied Penang; the British retook Penang in 1945. Penang was later merged with the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia), which gained independence from the British Empire in 1957. Following the decline of its entrepôt trade towards the 1970s, Penang's economy was reoriented towards hi-tech manufacturing

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