via New Straits Times, 22 June 2019: The French Ambassador to Malaysia writes an opinion piece about little-known links between France and the northern state of Kedah.
It is a little known fact that Kuala Kedah served as the first landing point on the peninsula for French Catholic missionaries, who created more than 100 schools in Malaysia, including in Kedah. These include Convent schools like St Nicholas in Alor Star, St Anne in Kulim and Father Barré in Sungai Petani, and La Salle schools such as St Michael in Alor Star, St Patrick in Kulim and St Theresa in Sungai Petani.
But there are other angles, of course, to the history of France and Kedah. Cooperation in archeology is one. In 1959, a temple in Bujang Valley was reconstructed at the request of newly independent Malaysia by a team of historians from the French School of the Far East because they were familiar with similar temples in Angkor, Cambodia.
Culture and education continue to be a strong part of Kedah-France relations.