Pahang (pəhŭngˈ, –hăngˈ) [key], state (1991 pop. 1,081,148), 13,920 sq mi (36,053 sq km), Malaysia, S Malay Peninsula, on the South China Sea. It is the largest state of West Malaysia. The capital is Kuala Lipis. The region is mostly covered with dense jungle and has a mountainous interior. It is drained by the Pahang River (c.285 mi/460 km long), the chief river of the Malay Peninsula. Agricultural products include rubber, rice, coconuts, tobacco, and hemp; gold and tin are mined. Over half the population is Malay, but there is a large Chinese minority. Before the 16th cent. Pahang was the vassal state of the various powers that in turn dominated the Malay Peninsula. After the fall of Malacca (1511), Pahang formed part of the sultanate of Riau and Johor (except in the 17th cent. when it was captured by Acheh) until its own rulers established themselves as independent sovereigns in the 19th cent. Pahang became a British protectorate in 1888 and in 1896 became one of the Federated Malay States. In 1948 it joined the Federation of Malaya. See Malaysia.
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