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The name Parit Buntar originated from a well-known leader, Tok Buntar, who was famous at the time when he and his followers built the drainage system, which used water from the Kerian River to irrigate the surrounding paddy fields. The main drain was named "Parit Tok Buntar" meaning the drain of Tok Buntar. Later on, the town where the main drain is located was named Parit Buntar.
Parit Buntar town is situated in the north of the Kerian district and is bordered by the towns, Bandar Baharu in the state of Kedah and Nibong Tebal in the state of Penang. Its old town is situated near the Engineering Campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
There are a few secondary schools and primary schools situated in this town; these are SMJK Krian, SMK Pekan Baru, SMK Seri Perak, SMK Panglima Bukit Gantang, SMK Methodist, SK Methodist, SJK(C) Sin Hwa, SMJK Sin Hwa, SK Wawasan,SK St. Mary and SK Sri Kerian
The landmark of Parit Buntar is the Clock Tower, which is situated in the old town of Parit Buntar. The tower was built in early 1961 and was officiated by the First Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj on 24 August 1961.
Parit Buntar is also famous for its "pasar malam" (night market), which is said to be the biggest in the northern region of the Perak State. The said night market operates weekly on Friday evenings from 4pm to 10pm.
Parit Buntar is an important commercial centre in the northern region. There are many branches of various major financial institutions in the town centre. There are also many medical clinics, automobile centres etc.
There is also an industrial area of 88.42 hectar that houses 28 factories, which are well known in the rattan and furniture industry. Other factories in this area include textile, packaging and electronics factories. Some of these factories are Poh May Craft, Nikko Electronics, Tanako and Hunza Marine Products.
Parit Buntar is also an administration district. Some of the government offices that are situated in this town are the Land and District Office , the Public Welfare District Office, the District Information Office, the District Veterinary Office, the Public Works Department District Office, the District Health Office, the District Education Office  and the District Agriculture Office.[hide]