Saturday, February 21, 2015

12 Things You Don't Know About Kelantan

1. It has its own unique Malay dialect

Every region in Malaysia has its own variety of the Malay language. However, there is no denying that the Kelantanese dialect is the most divergent variety of the language. This is probably because the Kelantan-Pattani region is isolated from the rest of the Malay world by mountains and rivers.


2. It has its own currency

Issued by the state government, this currency is said to be in line with the Islamic gold dinar concept. However, the federal government denies its use for legal tender, stating the Ringgit Malaysia is the only legal tender currency in Kelantan and Malaysia as a whole. At the moment, the currency is most predominately used for Zakat payment and marriage dowry.


3. It has the largest Malay population in the country

Kelantan is part of the conservative Malay heartland, with over 95% of the state's population being Malays. It is often considered the cradle of Malay culture, preserving rich local traditions like kite-flying, top-spinning, bird singing, Batik making, Songket weaving and silver crafts manufacturing.


4. It is home to one the longest Sleeping Buddha statues in the world

Found in Wat Photivihan, a Buddhist temple in the Tumpat district, this statue is 40 meters in length. The temple is a mainly Thai temple, which is evident from its name, architecture and the majority of its devotees. 


5. It is the largest producer of teachers

Which is why it is so hard for Kelantanese teachers to be transferred back to their home state. With about 60 000 fresh graduates every year, a large portion of them are serving outside the state.


6. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the country

The Department of Statistics revealed that the unemployment rate in Kelantan is the lowest in Malaysia with only 2.2 % compared to the national rate of 4.0%.


7. It has the most non-Chinese learners of Mandarin in the country

Following in the footsteps of former Chief Minister, the late Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who sent five of his grandchildren to Chinese medium schools, many citizens of this Malay-majority state are sending their children to such schools themselves. 


8. Most of its signboards are in both Roman and Jawi scripts

The Kelantan state government has enforced local authorities to enforce the use of the Jawi in not only signboards but also in official reports.


9. Its ad billboards feature female models and celebrities wearing the headscarf

While advertisement agencies might use the exact same billboards for a specific product in different parts of Malaysia, they are also obligated to make different ones exclusively for Kelantan. In accodring to the state's laws, the billboards there can only feature women in the headscarf.


10. It has the largest number of AIDS and HIV patients in the country

Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that for every 100 000 citizens, 29 out of them have the disease. This is highter than the average rate for the whole of Malaysia, which is 13 for every 100 000 citizens. 


11. It tops the list of local pornographic website visitors

In 2014, a porn website called Pornhub revealed that Kelantan's capital, Kota Bharu spends the most time on to its website, losing to another east coast city, Kuala Terengganu. The average time spent browsing pornography in these cities were higher than the average time for the whole of Malaysia itself.


12. It has the most polygamists in the country

The high number of registrations for polygamy is probably due to flexibility in terms of polygamy laws in the state.


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