The British East India Company was also seeking a naval base in the region for the maintenance of Royal Navy ships.
Human remains, dating back to about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, have been uncovered in Seberang Perai, along with seashells, pottery and hunting tools.
Light founded George Town as a free port to entice traders away from nearby Dutch trading posts.
As a result, trade in Penang grew exponentially soon after its founding – incoming ships and boats to Penang increased from 85 in 1786 to 3569 in 1802.
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 (formerly Province Wellesley) on the Malay Peninsula.Thus, Light endeavoured to negotiate with Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah of Kedah regarding the cession of Penang Island to the British East India Company, in exchange for military assistance against Kedah's foes.