Kelantan (kəlănˈtən, kəlänˌtänˈ) [key], state (1991 pop. 1,207,684), 5,780 sq mi (14,970 sq km), central Malay Peninsula, Malaysia, on the South China Sea. It is bordered on the N by Thailand. The capital is Kota Baru. It is drained by the Kelantan River (c.150 mi/240 km long), which flows into the South China Sea. Rice, the most important commercial crop, is grown on the wide coastal plains; other products are rubber and copra. Tin, gold, manganese, and iron are mined on a small scale in the hills of the interior. The people are mainly Malay, but there is a small Chinese minority. Kelantan was ruled by Sri Vijaya until the 13th cent.; it fell under the sway of Malacca (see Melaka) in the 15th cent. After the fall of Malacca (1511), conflict among many powers resulted eventually in the establishment by Siam of sovereignty over the area (early 19th cent.). Kelantan became a protectorate of Great Britain in 1909. Before the establishment of the Federation of Malaya (1948), Kelantan was classed as one of the Unfederated Malay States. See Malaysia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Kelantan from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Malaysia and Singapore Political Geography