KESULTANAN KEDAH: SATU PENGENALAN RINGKAS WILAYAH DAN JIRAN-JIRANNYA
Main Article Content
Negeri Kedah Darulaman yang wujud hari ini merupakan sebuah dari Kerajaan Melayu tertua di rantau ini. Tanpa mengambil kira tentang kesahihan Kerajaan Langkasuka dari segi kedudukannya, pedagang-pedagang Arab telah memperakui bahawa mereka telahpun sampai ke Kedah pada abad ke-9 Masihi'. Sebagaimana dengan sistem pemerintahan kerajaan lain, Kerajaan Kedah juga mempunyai ciri-ciri kerajaan yang berpemerintahan dan diperintah. Di kalangan pemerintah terdiri dari seorang yang dipanggil Raja ataupun kemudianya dipanggil Sultan. Baginda akan dikelilingi oleh kaum kerabat yang akan menguat atau melemahkan pemerintahannya. Keupayaan baginda medapatkan sokongan dari kaum kerabatnya akan menguatkan pemerintahannya, dan demikianlah sebaliknya. Bagi mempastikan jentera pemerintahan atau pentadbirannya berjalan lancar, baginda mempunyai hairaki pembesar yang akan menjalankan tugas. Ada dua katogeri pembesar; iaitu yang berdampingan dengan pihak istana dan yang tinggal di daerah atau wilayah sebagai wakil Sultan atau pun pembesar di istana. Satu lagi golongan di kalangan kumpulan pemerintah ini ialah petugas-petugas Di Raja atau pembesar yang melaksanakan, tugas di istana mahupun sebagai penghubung pihak pemerintah dengan rakyat jelata.
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