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

By Xiao An Wu

This ebook examines how chinese language relatives and company networks, targeted round actions equivalent to profit farming, together with opium, the rice alternate, and pawnbroking, and similar criminal and labour association actions, have been hugely influential within the strategy of kingdom formation in Malaya. It exhibits how chinese language kinfolk and company networks have been versatile and dynamic, and have been heavily interlocked with financial and social constructions, round which executive, and states, constructed. It considers the an important function of wealth and gear within the means of nation formation, and demanding situations authorized perspectives of chinese language ethnicity and migration.

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

Sample text

32 Kedah’s hopes were soon dashed as, by 1511, Malacca had fallen into the hands of the Portuguese. The European presence was a watershed in the sense that it marked the creation of new economic and political entities centred on respective European powers. The power hierarchy hence would be that of the new European colonial powers, traditional regional Southeast Asian powers and small local states. The entrenched rivalries between political and economic centres placed small local states in great uncertainty as to their political fortunes, in the meantime shaping their active strategy of playing one against the other.

Although their common identity is a combination of the business concern and kinship and clan association that bound them together in communal socio-economic and political life, that linkage does not necessarily coincide with one particular village or neighbourhood in their home country. Also they were widely distributed within the Penang and Kedah Chinese business communities, Straits and singkeh Chinese, and first generation and second generation. This coverage allows us to present a long-term process which saw continuity and change in terms of leadership and business at the communal level on the one hand, and of the wider colonial Southeast Asian political and economic development on the other.

14 In the regions of Penang and Kedah, such smuggling activities had been part of the local scene. In 1824 a rival Cantonese syndicate began to challenge a long-term Hokkien monopoly that also controlled the revenue farms of Kedah. 15 In Singapore and Johor, periodical conflicts of interest also arose from opium smuggling. Since the 1840s, Johor had become a base for smuggling opium into Singapore. To check this situation, arrangements were reached several times for the two farms to be merged into one and the same Singapore farm.

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