Chinese Business in the Making of a Malay State, 1882-1941: by Xiao An Wu

By Xiao An Wu

This booklet examines how chinese language relations and enterprise networks, targeted round actions corresponding to profit farming, together with opium, the rice alternate, and pawnbroking, and comparable felony and labour association actions, have been hugely influential within the means of kingdom formation in Malaya. It exhibits how chinese language relatives and enterprise networks have been versatile and dynamic, and have been heavily interlocked with monetary and social buildings, round which govt, and states, built. It considers the an important function of wealth and tool within the technique of country formation, and demanding situations approved perspectives of chinese language ethnicity and migration.

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Extra resources for Chinese Business in the Making of a Malay State, 1882-1941: Kedah and Penang (Chinese Worlds)

Example text

Besides library research, I have systemically consulted Colonial Office Files (CO 273 1882–1919) and Foreign Office Files (FO 422 1882–1939) concerning Kedah at the imperial level, the High Commissioner’s Office Files (HCO 1896–1941) at the regional level, and the Sultan of Kedah’s Correspondence (1882–1924) and Kedah Secretariat Files (1905–41) at the local level. To locate everyday activities of the families, I have looked through the complete newspaper collection of the Pinang Gazette and Straits Chronicle (1882–1941), the Straits Echo (1903–41), the Penang Sin Pao (1896–1941), the Straits Independence and Penang Chronicle (1889–96) and others.

Incorporating the Kedah opium farm Running parallel to the political institution of the consular system in managing Penang–Kedah interactions was the economic institution of the opium farm. The economic institution referred to an arrangement by 33 NETWORKING REGIONAL INTERACTIONS, 1882–9 which the Kedah opium farm should be incorporated into the Penang opium farm. The reconstruction of the economic institution indicates just how closely it was related to the consular system. Each system supported and facilitated the other.

To contextualize the process, the following loci are identified: the British consulate, the opium farm, the Chinese family and the linkage town of Kulim. These formed the fundamental frontiers for Penang–Kedah interactions. The aim is to show how each locus was related to the fundamental issue of opium, how each locus helped to address the Chinese business networks and power relations. The British consulate and regional power politics The British consulate was a special arrangement to provide the British authorities in Penang with an expedient mechanism for the promotion of their trading interests in the Siamese western Malay states (mainly Kedah).

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