Kelantan kəlăn´tən, kəlän˝tän´ [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.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Malaysia and Singapore Political Geography