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Shadows beneath the wind : Singapore, world city and open region MacLeod, Scott Alexander 1995

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SHADOWS BENEATH THE WIND: SINGAPORE, WORLD CITY AND OPEN REGION by SCOTT ALEXANDER MACLEOD B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1985 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1988 A THESIS SUBMITTED DSf PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1995 © Scott Alexander MacLeod, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my wri t ten permission. (Signature) Department of &<?6 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date pel/£/e7<C DE-6 (2/88) iiAbstractThis study examines the production of a new regional space known as the GrowthTriangle. The Growth Triangle represents a (re)integration of the economies of Singapore,the Riau Archipelago in Indonesia and Johor State in Malaysia. It is argued that theGrowth Triangle should be seen as an ‘open region.’ The open region is affected by a widerange of ‘external’ influences and is open to shifting representations which are important toits unfolding. The study takes on the interpretation of the open region through aconsideration of the unstable and amorphous realm of ‘middle space.’Middle space is manifold. It includes: 1) the middle spaces between the global andthe local; 2) the middle spaces between conceptual divisions (e.g., urban/rural andlabour/capital); and 3) the middle spaces of circulation (i.e., connections betweenindividuals, firms and places). The triangulation of these three arenas provides a heuristicdevice for the examination of the changes sweeping the Growth Triangle.The analysis moves from a time when the region’s global niche was based on themovement of goods to more recent developments where-in the movement of information andcapital are crucial. The global flows of information and capital are the ‘winds’ of the title.The region, and various ways of conceptualizing it, are the ‘shadows.’The main fmdings are that: 1) global change must be seen in terms of local roots andconsequences; 2) local differentiation and the representation of difference are increasinglyimportant, even in the frame of globalization; 3) analytic strength may be gained by dullingthe edges of interpretive constructs (such as information or labour); 4) there are strongconnections between the circulation of goods, people, money and information (spatialiiiinteraction) and the generation of new and distinct geographies (areal differentiation); and 5)there are strong linkages between Singapore’s shift towards advanced world city functions(‘intensive globalization’) and the mega-urbanization of the near-by international hinterlands(‘extensive globalization’). To understand each of the three corners of the Growth Triangleone must engage Singapore as a World City and as an Open Region.i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Tables vii List of Figures viii Acknowledgments ix Chapter One An Introduction, Islands in the Stream: the Open Region Islands in the Stream 1 The Open Region 8 Structure of the Thesis 12 PARTI Chapter Two Conceptual Baggage: Travelling with Theory Introduction 16 Space 17 The Local-Global Nexus 20 World City Formation 29 Mega-Urbanization 35 Methodologies and Middle Space: The Growth Triangle as Open Region 46 Chapter Three Historical Linkages, Patterns and Texture of Change in the Global/Regional Interface Introduction 51 Location, Location, Location, and More: Early precedents in the Control of Circulation 53 Peopling the Straits 57 Surnming-up 95 PARTE Chapter Four Transformations at the Margins, Johor: Integration and Fragmentation Introduction 98 (Re)Integration With Singapore 100 Structural Changes in GDP 104 Employment Shifts 115 Landscapes of Change 119 Summing-up 125 V Chapter Five Transformations at the Margins, The Riaus: Integration and Fragmentation Introduction 127 Regional Integration 129 Investment Levels 130 GDP Changes 133 Population and Employment Shifts 134 Landscapes of Change 137 The Push Further into the Riaus 142 Summing up 146 Chapter Six Changes at the Core, Singapore: The Razor's Edge Introduction 148 Recent Historical Antecedents 155 Recent Structural Changes 171 Labour Market Changes 172 Landscape Changes 175 Singapore, 1992: Core City on the Edge 179 PARTIE Chapter Seven State Mediation, Regional Production and the Representation of Space Introduction 188 Politics, as Usual 188 Geo-Strategic Attractiveness of the Growth Triangle for Singapore 197 Constructing a New Global/Regional Space 206 Marketing the Mix and Mixing the Markets 214 Chapter Eight Comparative Advantage and Labour: Reworking the Region Introduction 217 Shades of the Singapore Labour Market 219 Regional Labour Pools 234 Summing-up 244 Chapter Nine Comparative Advantage and Land: Landscape and Space Introduction 245 Shades of Singapore's Land Market 246 Regional Land Markets 263 Producing Land Markets 271 Summing-up 272 vr Chapter Ten Comparative Advantage and Capital: the Boundaries of Capital? Thinking About Capital 275 Shades of Singapore's Financial Markets 278 Shades of Capital 289 Surrirning-up: Capital and the Region 295 Summing-up, Factors of Production 297 PART IV Chapter Eleven Places of Connectivity: Islands in the Stream to Shadows Beneath the Wind Introduction 300 Singapore: a Place of Flows 302 Local Production of Globalization 305 Singapore: the (Global) Informational City-State? 324 A Picture of Dorian Grey 338 Islands in the Stream: Rivers of Change 339 Shadows Beneath the Wind 340 Chapter Twelve Triangulations: A Conclusion in Three Parts Paradoxes, Paradoxes, Most Confounding Paradoxes 342 Middle Space(s) 345 Trajectories of Change 353 Bibliography 363 Appendix 389 List of Tables v i i 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Table 4.1 Table 4.2 Table 5.1 Table 6.1 Table 6.2 Table 8.1 Table 8.2 Table 9.1 Johor: Gross Domestic Product by Sector 104 Johor: Employment Structure Changes, 1976-1992 115 Increases in Circulation Batam, 1988-1992 129 Singapore, Trade with Malaysia, 1964-1980 159 Employment Change by Occupation Singapore, 1980 - 1990 172 Changes in Value-Added, by Sector, 1978-1988, 1990-92 228 Singapore, Occupational Structure for Residents and Non-Residents 1980 230 Percentage of Private and Public Ownership, Singapore 1949-85 248 List of Figures v i i i 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. Figure 1.1 Figure 3.1 Figure 4.1 Figure 4.2 Figure 4.3 Figure 4.4 Figure 5.1 Figure 5.2 Figure 5.3 Figure 6.1 Figure 6.2 Figure 6.3 Figure 6.4 Figure 6.5 Figure 6.6 Figure 6.7 Figure 6.8 Figure 6.9 Figure 6.10 Figure 6.11 Figure 8.1 Figure 8.2 Figure 8.3 Figure 8.4 Figure 9.1 Figure 9.2 Figure 9.3 Figure 9.4 Figure 10.1 Figure 10.2 Figure 10.3 Figure 11.1 Figure 11.2 Figure 11.3 Figure 11.4 Johor, the Riaus and Singapore 2 The Location of the Straits of Malacca. 53 Johor State 99 Investment Breakdown, Sources of Foreign Equity, Approved Projects, Johor, 1981-1992 103 The "Johor Growth Corridor" 103 Johor, Selected Projects, 1992 124 The Riau Archipelago 128 Industrial Investments in Batam Island, by Source as of June 1992 132 Developments and Squatter Settlements, Batam 1992 140 Change in Real GNP, Singapore 1966-1992 149 Singapore Island Map 150 Singapore's Dependence on Transnational Equity 1960-1992 160 Unemployment Rate Singapore, 1980-1991 165 Changes in Unit Business Costs in Manufacturing Singapore, 1980-1991 167 Singapore, Total Trade Volumes, 1980-1992 168 Forex Trading, Singapore 1978-1993 169 Singapore's Global Connectivity, Information: Out-going Calls 170 Changing Shares of GDP, Singapore (1978-1991) 171 Changes in Index of Industrial Production 1986-1992 179 GDP Growth Rates, Asian NIEs 1989-1992 185 Singapore: Real Take Home Wages, 1981-1992 220 Rates of Productivity Increases, Singapore 1986-1992 224 Sources of Productivity Gains, Asian NIEs 226 Manufacturing Wage Costs: Singapore, Johor and the Riaus, 1991 235 Location of International Service Firms 251 Land Prices Singapore 1980 to 1991 253 Industrial Land Price Index, 1981-1991 255 The J.B. of Tomorrow 269 MAS, Protecting the Currency of a Global City-State 279 Singapore's Savings - investment Gap (1984-1991) 282 Interpenetration of Singapore Government and Salim Group Investments 292 Singapore's Merchandise and Trade Surplus/Deficit, 1970-1993 304 Gross Fixed Capital Formation, Selected Sectors 308 Returns on Fixed Assets, Singapore Telecoms and Port of Singapore 309 Fixing Identity in the Global City-State 335 i x Acknowledgments A journey as long as this study has turned out to be, requires a great deal of guidance along the way. My chief confidant, critic and travelling partner has been my wife, Cyndia. I hope I have not thoroughly dissuaded her from starting a doctoral program of her own. The patience she showed me should stead her well in such an endeavour and her hours will be hard to repay - but I will try! Long journeys also require guides. In this case, Terry McGee has been sine quo non. He allowed me to wander off track and to eventually get where he always seemed to know I would end up. I consider Terry to be a mentor in all the fullness of that word. I hope our relationship transcends the completion of this work. My grapplings are a pale reflection of his insights. My years at UBC geography and in the field have also depended on a number of 'fellow-travellers.' In particular, the 'McGlee Club' with its love of 'real places' and Friday afternoon 'Dissertation Strategy Sessions' provided a secure context in the isolated task of individual research. Rex Casinader, Becky Elrnhirst, Chuck Greenberg, Phil Kelly, George Lin, Andrew Marton, 'J.F.' Proulx and Gisele Yasmeen were all worthy companions in the unique time of doctoral work. In particular, Wang Yaolin's help in overcoming my complete lack of graphics skills is a testament to his kindness and patience. As a group, though 'our regions' varied, we shared a fascination for what was happening in Asia today and a common bond to Terry. I hope our paths are forever bound. Now that we are separating, the gravity of our mutual dependence is striking home. The research odyssey would not have been possible without grants from the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada-ASEAN Centre, British Columbia Government, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the University of British Columbia. I would also like to thank Gerry Pratt, Derek Gregory, Dick Copely and Stephen Milne for bringing a passion from their range of interests which infected my own work. My students and colleagues at Capilano College, the staff at ISEAS and the Department of Geography at NUS in Singapore and my friends in the Growth Triangle region must all go nameless, but remembered. It should be said that though I stand on the shoulders of giants, the shortcomings in vision are mine alone. Finally, thanks Mary. / CHAPTER I AN INTRODUCTION: ISLANDS IN THE STREAM, THE OPEN REGION A. ISLANDS IN THE STREAM My interest in Singapore was first sparked by changes occurring some distance from the heart of the Republic, outside the city-state — in small fishing villages in Indonesia's Riau Islands and in the plantation settlements of Malaysian Johor (see Figure 1.1). These two areas, which lie across Singapore's borders, were until very recently, in comparison to Singapore, economic backwaters. Today, the landscapes of Johor and the Riaus are the sites of tremendous transformation. New industrial and recreational complexes are being carved out of plantation and jungle lands. Older landscapes and space-economies are literally being pulverized as new forms of integration occur and as new spaces of economic activity are produced. The previously fairly homogeneous rural economies (largely agriculture and fisheries) of Johor and the Riaus are exploding into a frenetic multitude of new activities (from theme parks to petro-chemical complexes). The opportunities abounding in the regional reformation are drawing in large numbers of migrants and investment dollars into once remote and rural settings. For example, by 1995, Johor will have become home to twenty-eight new Industrial Estates developed since 1985; it will have 8-12 new golf courses (with pledged investments 2 Figure 1 Johor, the Riaus and Singapore iJohor Bahruv \ .-SINGAPORE R R B A T A M ^ < r / r * " \ P . BINTAN AT, ' t, INDONESIA 0 50 100KM i I 3 totalling US$6 billion),1 numerous resorts (including the US$1.5 billion Desaru project2); an increase of 3,600 hotel rooms3 (not including the new 500 room five-star Putari Pan Pacific); and countless smaller developments strung out along the state's by-ways. The increasingly riotous landscapes of Johor and the Riaus present the observer with a poignant and telling counter-point to the finely orchestrated economy, polity and geography of Singapore. This mix of apparent polarities is not an accident, but a critical element of integration. It was ironic that each time I set out to the Riaus from the Singapore ferry terminal in search of an understanding of the changes affecting the islands I was leaving more answers behind than I would find in the archipelago. As the ferry left the city-state behind, its wake pointed to some clues as to the sources of transformation at its destination. Rounding Singapore's Sentosa Island, one sees telecommunication dishes peering upward nestled beside new five-star resorts set to attract a global business elite. Further along, the vista of the skyline and port are striking. They attest to the rise of international financial services and the emphatic development of Singapore as a 'global hub.' 7 Straits Times, 20/4/92:36; (Mai) Business Times. 25/07/92:6. 2/ Though this development is now undergoing some difficulties, it evinces the scale of the growth mentality in the state. Desaru, as originally conceived, would have had four golf courses (designed by Greg Norman, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus) and an Arnold Palmer Golf Academy, Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy and John Bertrand Yacht Club. It was intended to have nine hotels, including a six-star all-suite resort, 4,000 holiday homes, a winter wonderland, including artificial snow, and other theme parks. It was planned to attract some 1.8 million tourists per year. - Johor State Economic Development Corporation (1990) Johor Investment Guide. Sept/Oct 1990, page 10. See also the detailed discussion of the travails of Desaru in Singapore Report on the Growth Triangle. 9/4/92:3. 7 Straits Times. 14/4/91:9. 4 Singapore's global niche4 is changing and with it the niches of the Riaus and Johor. The result of this realization has been that the bulk of my research has been focused on Singapore. I will be arguing that an understanding of the profound changes sweeping the Republic's hinterlands must begin with an understanding of the changing (global) niche of its core. Singapore has long been deeply enmeshed in the global economy. It has been an important stop on the global assembly line of the New International Division of Labour (NIDL). The streams of intermediate products coming through Singapore were the basis of its spectacular growth (averaging over 8%/annum over the last 25 years) and the remaking of the city's landscapes and the lives of its population. The city-state's bustling port, efficient industrial estates and ubiquitous workers' housing blocks are the physical manifestations of its deft identification of a niche within the global economy — a propitious location of the island within the stream of global commerce. However, earlier successes are proving hard to maintain. Singapore, along with the other Asian Newly Industrialized Economies (NIEs) of Taiwan, South Korea and Hongkong, is entering into a new facet of its mercurial development trajectory. The Asian miracle-economies' societies, polities and economic systems have come to be honed on a diet of nearly continuous rapid growth and industrial transformation.5 The successes of the past are pushing up costs and leading to changing values within the state apparatuses and the civil society to some extent beginning to marginalize the traditional growth core of the economy - export-oriented manufacturing of intermediate products. As well, the stream of the NIDL is meandering and splitting. The city's location within the global 7 I do mean to use the term niche in its ecological sense. In that manner, it connotes interdependency and interaction between an organism and its environment — each affecting the other. 5/ For an impressive overview of the 'Miracle' see World Bank (1993) The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy. New York Oxford University Press. Or cf. F. Deyo (ed.) (1987) The Political Economy of New Asian Industrialism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press and/or W. Bello and Stephanie Rosenfeld (1992) Dragons in Distress. New York: Penguin Books. 5 production line is no longer so sure as new sites of production are coming to the fore.6 Singapore and the other NIEs are all on the edge of profound transformations as they become what one might call 'POst-Industrial Nffis' (PONIES). What will happen if these economies 'de-industrialize' as rapidly as they once industrialized? What locations within the streams of global commerce can they identify, colonize or create in order to solidify their ascendency and maintain their momentum? And how can each of these questions be answered with any surety in the face of apparently accelerating global economic change and increasing instability? Such are the questions facing Singapore today as it attempts to renegotiate its global niche. Despite the lack of certainty about what precisely the future may hold, it seems clear that the state in Singapore is steering a course into the most rapid parts of the cataract, aggressively inserting the nation within a new geography of global circulation. Although manufacturing remains important, Singapore's vision of its Next Lap7 is to further develop the city-state as a finance, information and business centre, or what the 1991 Strategic Economic Plan calls a "global city."8 Yet, to become a global city Singapore needs a hinterland. Today, Singapore's niche as global centre is very much predicated on growing regional ties. This is something of a change. Over much of the last 25 years (circa 1965 to late the 6/ See for example, Julie Ross (1992) "Electronics Sourcing, Transport Options Light-Up," Global Trade, 112 (4), pp. 40-43. 7 The Next Lap is a People's Action Party policy document focused on taking Singapore to the 'super-league' of developed nations. The twin goals involve reaching a GDP approximating Switzerland's current level and simultaneously increasing the quality of life in the island republic. Republic of Singapore (1991) The Next Lap, Singapore: Times Editions Ltd. */ Republic of Singapore, Ministry of Trade and Industry (1991) The Strategic Economic Plan: Towards a Developed Nation. Singapore: Ministry of Trade and Industry, page 8. 6 1980s), Singapore occupied a peculiar niche among the developing nations of Asia. It was considered a model of effective development policy and an almost unique case — a city-state.9 In the combination of these roles Singapore is matched only by Hong Kong and the comparison is instructive. Both economies once found it advantageous to lack hinterlands (and related development costs) as they became 'production platforms' in the nascent New International Division of Labour. Today, both Singapore and Hong Kong are reaching out to their once estranged peripheries to provide an economic base for further development. Hong Kong's increasingly service-based economy is now being driven by the development of its new frontier in southern China.10 The Singapore government, with its tradition of heavy involvement in economic affairs, has set about trying to create a new economic/spatial frontier of its own in the nearby areas of Johor and the Riaus. The government of Singapore has aggressively sought out and supported investors looking to develop recreational and productive capacity in the city's transnational hinterland.11 The push to develop a new frontier is linked to the development of a regional, transnational production and consumption complex known as the 'Growth Triangle.'12 7 The term 'city-state' is a loaded one, especially when approached from a European perspective. In broad outlines the term fits: Singapore lacks a national hinterland and is highly dependent on trade for its sustenance. 10'/ In fact the Hong Kong case, with its links to the Shenzhen FTZ and Guangdong province, is on a much larger scale than the Singapore situation. It is discussed in more detail below. See George Lin (1995) Regional Development in the Zhuiiang Delta. 1980-1990. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of British Columbia. For a discussion of the service niches of the two nations see DBS Bank, Economic Research Department (1990) "Hong Kong and Singapore: Competition or Complementarity?" Singapore Briefing # 13, April 1990. "/ Interview with Singapore Economic Development Board, August 1992. 12/ For useful overviews of the early development of the Growth Triangle see Lee Tsao Yuan and S. Kumar (eds.) (1991) Growth Triangle: The Johor. Singapore. Riau Experience. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies/Institute for Policy Studies; Caroline Yeoh, Lau Geok Theng, Mark Goh and Julie Richardson (1992) Strategic Business Opportunities in the Growth Triangle. Singapore: Longman Singapore Publishers; Ng Chee Yuen and Wong Poh Kam (1991) "The Growth Triangle: A Market Driven Response?" Asia Club Papers. 2. pp. 123-152; James Parsonage (1992) "Southeast Asia's 'Growth Triangle': A Sub-Regional Response to Global Transformation," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 16 (2), pp. 307-317; or Martin Perry (1991) "The Singapore 7 Sitting over the complex melange of change and integration which characterizes the region of my concern is a deceptively simple concept with deceptively clear outlines ~ a triangle of cooperation between Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The idea of the 'Triangle of Growth' was first suggested by current Singapore Prime Minister (then Deputy PM) Goh Chock Tong in 1989.13 The triumvirate is conceived of as a vehicle for interweaving the differing comparative advantages of Singapore, Johor and the Riaus to increase the attractiveness of each to global investors. The synergistic utilization of comparative advantages, it is argued, will increase the well-being of the individual elements and the collective — thus, the concept of the 'Growth Triangle.' The Growth Triangle is seen as presenting a unique investment opportunity as the three nations work together in order to enhance global competitiveness and returns to investors (i.e., turning comparative advantage into competitive advantage). The Growth Triangle is being represented as an example of a fortuitous melding of proximity and difference. The location of Singapore is unique in terms of its access to two 'third world' production and leisure sites so close to an extremely advanced city (about 3/4 of an hour from the CBD by surface transport). As the Far Eastern Economic Review has put it, Singapore can provide highly developed telecommunications links and management expertise. Batam and Johor can offer abundant land and cheap labour. Together, they can produce the kind of business environment no longer available in Asia's newly industrialized countries.14 Growth Triangle: State, Capital and Labour at a New Frontier in the Global Economy," Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 12 (2), pp. 138-151. 13/ Straits Times, 21/12/89:1. "7 Far Eastern Economic Review. 03/6/91:34. 8 The Growth Triangle is a beguiling research topic. It is at once a vague marketing tool employed to attract investment and a key element (and expression) of the transformation of regional spaces. It was with the pronouncement of the Growth Triangle concept that the changes in the Riaus and Johor took off. Further, although the Growth Triangle transects international borders and is composed of extremely divergent landscapes and livelihoods, it is none-the-less an increasingly integrated region.15 As this study documents, understanding the changes currently occurring in Singapore, Johor and the Riaus requires an approach which emphasizes regional interdependencies. The elements of the regional ensemble are also characterized by very high levels of connectivity with 'external' markets. One is, therefore, faced with a conundrum: regionalization seems to be occurring at the same time that the 'global economy' is increasingly pervasive and invasive. These two trends must be reconciled. A concept which attempts just such a reconciliation is that of the open region. B. THE OPEN REGION The term I have developed to capture the theoretical space of the meso-scale in the context of shifting streams of circulation and perception is the 'open region.'16 This concept gets 151 I understand the aversion by writers such as Storper and Walker to the term region. They prefer the term 'territory' which they feel "is less theory laden... denotes functional integration rather than bounded spaces" and leads them nicely to the concept of territorial production complexes. However, I prefer the concept of the region. I like the fact that is grounded in more than just industrial production (such as distribution, consumption and cultural specificity), and the fact that it does evince some sense of a unique node on the surface of the earth. See M. Storper and R. Walker (1989) The Capitalist Imperative, New York Basil Blackwell, page 183. 16/ Since developing this term in an effort to interpret the Growth Triangle case, I have come across a broad base of theoretically derived support. The idea of 'opening' the region has also been annunciated by David Slater who has noted how "Ultimately, concepts of the regional are most usefully viewed as unfixed and open." - D. Slater (1989) "Regional Capitalism and the Regional Problem," in Thrift and Peet (eds.), (V. 2) New Models in Geography, Winchester Mass.: Unwin-Hyman, pp. 267-294, page 283; Doreen Massey has emphasized interconnections and external linkages as fundamental to place formation (admittedly not explicitly 'the region'). As she writes, "Places viewed in this way are porous and open." Massey (1993) Space. Place and Gender, Cambridge: Polity, page 5; see also pages 121 and 152; Ray Hudson (1990) "Rethinking Regions: Some Preliminary Considerations on Regions and Social Change," in J. Hauer et al (eds.) Regional Geography. New 9 at the sited and integrated, but unbounded nature of regional formation within contemporary global capitalism.17 The idea of openness is meant to convey both the level of interaction (circulation) with the 'outside' and the variability in the way a region is conceived and perceived. One needs to turn the presence of 'cross-boundary' dynamics away from being 'problems' for regional research and towards being key elements of research. The Growth Triangle region is a focal point of numerous overlapping and cross-secting networks and pathways (e.g., Chinese kinship ties and the day to day movement of the people of the region). My research tries to evoke this multiplicity of connections through emphasising the circulation of goods, people, capital and information. It is the interlaced hierarchy of spaces which needs to be the content of regional analysis. As Giddens writes, such a web of relations is unlikely to be bound by clean perimeters, All societies both are social systems and at the same time are constituted by the intersection of multiple social systems. Such multiple systems may be wholly 'internal' to societies, or they may cross-cut the inside and the outside forming a diversity of possible modes of connection.18 York Roudedge, pp. 67-84, page 72; see also RJ. Johnston (1990) "The Challenge for Regional Geography: Some Proposals for Research Frontiers," in the same volume, pp. 122-140, page 131; and M.B. Pudup (1988) "Arguments Within Regional Geography," Progress in Human Geography. 12, pp. 369-390. 1''/ I have chosen this term rather than one of the many possible alternatives for a number of reasons. First, I am uncomfortable with some of the theoretical superstructures which encumber such terms as late capitaUsm' or 'disorganized capitalism,' etc. See E. Mandel (1975) Late Capitalism. London: Verso; and S. Lash and J. Urry (1987) The End of Organized Capitalism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. My purpose is not so programmatic as to wish to construct a model of 'capitaUsm' as a unit. Rather, I take contemporary 'capitalism' to be an increasingly pervasive marketplace in which the 'spaces of accumulation,' though always important, have leapt to the fore. Secondly, I am avoiding modelUng a new form of capitaUsm as such an act would evince a disjuncture with the past rather more than I would wish to. The current developments are exaggerations of processes which have been in place for some time. 18/ A. Giddens (1984) The Constitution of Society: An Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Berkeley: University of CaUfornia Press, page 164. 10 As the case studies document, increasing 'external' integration does not necessarily render regions indistinguishable but rather is implicated in their ongoing differentiation: both within the region and in terms of wider markets. Differentiation helps to distinguish the way regions are nested within the global economy and underlines the continuing utility of regional analysis even in a 'globalizing economy.' This study emphasizes circulation and spatial interaction as a key interpretive motif for understanding areal differentiation.19 The emphasis on the region as a distinct unit of analysis is not intended as an argument for an exceptionalist approach. Indeed, the type of analysis which best iUuminates regionalization and globalization considers how distinct regions are nested within an overarching totality.20 Distinctions and differences (often seen as unique regional attributes) can tell one as much or more about general ('global') processes as can commonalities. This is a key argument of the thesis as a whole. The modifier 'open' also implies the variable manner in which regional entities may be conceived or represented. As I will demonstrate, the construction of the Growth Triangle as 19/ An emphasis on circulation is occasionally positioned as oppositional to the tradition of areal differentiation. However, I intend to illustrate the critical linkages between changes in circulation and local contingencies and variability: i.e., the links between movement (circulation) and grounded change (e.g., differentiation). Peet and Thrift (1989) op cit, pages 21-22, suggest that two key elements of contemporary geographical analysis must be a focus on the impacts of transportation and communication innovations (i.e., on circulation) and locality.' 20I Regional studies and the school of areal differentiation have a tradition of emphasizing the openness of their arenas of analysis despite the caricatures which are often drawn. Hartshorne took pains to emphasize the analysis of interaction (see especially his refinements in R. Hartshorne (1959) Perspectives on the Nature of Geography, Chicago: Rand McNally/AAG, pages 14, 19, 116. However, Hartshorne moved his argument away from differentiation which was the locus of the 'exceptionalist' (i.e., idiographic) attack towards 'areal variation.' (See the interesting article J. Agnew (1989) "Sameness and Difference: Hartshome's The Nature of Geography' and the Geography of Areal Variation," in J.N. Entrikin and S.D. Brunn (eds.) Reflections on Richard Hartshome's Nature of Geography, Washington: AAG, pp. 121-140.) I have found great empathy for what Hartshorne was pointing to. However, I feel the retreat from differentiation takes the action verb out of the process of regional formation. Secondly, although Hartshorne makes a distinction between 'the regional method' and regional geography he is not very clear in outlining either (see for example, 1959:129-130). His basically positivist leanings could not allow him to fully open up the 'object' of his quest and so he became somewhat mired in the search for a paradigmatic object. 11 a 'mythical' investment space (as presented to investors) is an 'open' region in this sense as well. That is, it is open to appropriation as a representation of space. The manner in which the region is conceived is crucial to its unfolding (as outlined in Chapters VII through X). There is a deeper utility to the model of the open region. It informs how we categorize our world. The categorization and delineation of sets of uniformly bounded social variables is doing much more to obscure the dynamic nature of change than to inform. Schoenberger effectively summarizes the move away from categorical frames in writing, To analyze these processes, [of regional growth] recent theory has cut across the boundaries compartmentalizing traditional analyses. The conceptual divides between industrial location and regional development, the local and the global, the micro and the macro, the spatial and the aspatial, have all been eroded. Instead the inter-relationships among these have been brought to the fore.21 I will be arguing that by opening up several basic analytical constructs a good deal of insight may be gathered from their frayed edges. It is the middle, shadow realms between space/place, capital/labour and urban/rural and the tensions between such constructs that a dynamic and critical regional geography may be developed. Stepping outside the boundaries of conventional categories such as urban and rural or the bounded region towards aspects of the way space is shaped through circulation and imagination allows for greater insights into specific arenas of change.22 The key to research must be to discern the textures and unevenness of regional formation: i.e., regionalization.23 21/ E. Schoenberger, (1989) "New Models of Regional Change," in R. Peet and N. Thrift (eds.) op cit, pp. 115 -141, page 133. 22l Along these lines the thoughts of Doreen Massey and Henri Lefebvre have a strong resonance. Both note how our research attention should turn away from objects (or products) to processes. H. Lefebvre (1991) (Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith) The Production of Space. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, page 26; D. Massey (1984) Spatial Divisions of Labour. London: MacMillan. 23/ See also Giddens' admonishments regarding geography's error in supplanting the notion of regionalization with "more abstract models of spatial form." He argues in regards to regionalization that: "No single concept helps more to redress the misleading divisions between micro- and macro-sociological research." He goes on to say that "no 12 The goal, then, is to write a regional geography without relying on standard, closed categorizations and premised on an examination of the shifting tensions between local and global dynamics. This tension is outlined by the relationship between integration in the guise of increased circulation of goods, people, capital and information and the production (and differentiation) of local spaces: the geography of islands in the stream. C. STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS This thesis is organized into four main components. All aim at constructing an interpretation of an emergent regional ensemble known as the Growth Triangle. Part I (Chapters II and HI) introduces the theoretical underpinnings and historical precedents within which the analysis is set. Chapter II addresses basic conceptual parameters within which the thesis will unfold. I want to keep the early theoretical discussions to a minimum in order to get quickly to the region at hand — to illustrate the broad and particular outlines of regional integration. However, the use of some key concepts (e.g., globalization, world city formation or mega-urbanization) needs to be clarified from the outset. Chapter HI goes to some lengths to illustrate the historical development of the region and of Singapore as a world city. It identifies key trends which are still resonant and critical today (such as global-regional interaction, the nature of circulatory transformation and the fragmentation of the region). A key conclusion of that chapter is the suggestion that the Growth Triangle is something of a reincarnation of past regional groupings. Part II (Chapters IV, V and VI) presents the key vectors of change in Singapore, Johor and the Riaus as the region has (re)integrated. The main theme of these chapters is the increasing differentiation within the regional space economy occurring along with its increasing concept helps more to counter the assumption that a 'society' is always a clear cut unity with precisely defined boundaries to it." - Giddens (1984) op cit, page 365. 13 integration (regionally and globally). The combined considerations which inform Chapters HI through VI lead one to a number of queries, but central among them is what is underpinning the current regional recombination? Part HI (Chapters VII, VIII, IX and X) marks the start of the second half of the thesis which involves the exploration of the sources and texturing of regional production. Chapter VII looks at two elements of explanation: 1) the geo-strategic agenda of the Singapore government; and 2) the conceptualization and marketing of the regional ensemble as an integrated complex within the circuits of global commerce. Chapter VII is important as it initiates a critique of the neo-classical explanation for the regional reformation (factor endowments) and considers the impact of the 'idea' of the Growth Triangle as a representation of space. Chapters VHI, IX and X delve more deeply into the factor endowment model (labour, land and capital in turn) both as a critique of standard explanations for regional reformation and as a way of uncovering the complexity of regional interdependence and formation. The key themes of these three chapters are that: 1) 'factors of production' are highly fragmented and 'fuzzy' categories; 2) the regional factor endowment mix is highly (though unevenly) fluid; 3) the differentiation and specificities of factor allotments must be seen in terms of their regional context (i.e., not simply preceding the region's development); 4) factors of production can be and are socially produced in the context of regional production; and 5) shifts in Singapore, and its global niche, underpin the regional transformation. The final major element of the thesis, Part IV examines circulation specifically and ends with the study's conclusions. Chapter XI develops the themes outlined in the chapters on factors of production and focuses on the role of circulation in regional reformation. It argues that circulatory changes and possibilities are fundamental to the global-local nexus and to the 14 production of the Growth Triangle region. In particular, the global circulatory niche of the regional core, Singapore, has direct implications for the regionalization process. This niche is increasingly premised on information-based services. Chapter XI also delves more deeply into the current political economy of Singapore to try an examine the contours of Singapore's emergent global informational niche which are evident within the city-state and in its periphery. The portrait of Singapore as an informational state is critical to clarifying the region's trajectory. The concluding Chapter (XII), 'Triangulations,' is divided into three parts. Li the first section the major themes of the thesis as a whole are reviewed. These are: 1) the utility of (open) regional analysis, even within the frame of globalization; 2) the interplay of circulation and differentiation; and 3) the need to see analytical categories as 'fuzzy.' The second section of the conclusion examines the various 'middle spaces' which the thesis has uncovered in its analysis of the Growth Triangle (e.g., between the global and the local). The final section considers: 1) possible outcomes of the regionalization process for the Growth Triangle's three constituent polities, its peoples and its landscapes; 2) implications for future research; and 3) policy concerns. Thus, the study is divided into four main parts. Part I (Chapters II and HI) introduces the conceptual and historical bases for the interpretation of regionalization. Part II (Chapters TV through VI) investigates current patterns of change. Part HI (Chapters VII through X) interprets the sources of change through examining representation and 'the production of factor endowments.' Part IV focuses in on the discussion of circulation and Singapore;'s emergence as a 'place of flows' as a gateway to considering the study's conclusions. \5 PARTI THEORETICAL AND HISTORICAL UNDERPINNINGS Part I (the second and third chapters) introduces the theoretical underpinnings of the piece and the historical preconditions which underlay today's reformation. The key themes of this section are: 1) the theoretical and historical linkages between world city formation and transformation at the margins and thus the need to examine the region as a whole to understand its parts; and 2) the importance of circulation as an analytical tool (e.g. as crucial to understanding globalization, world city formation, mega-urbanization and spatial production) and as an important regional characteristic (e.g. which is outlined through an examination of the role of circulation in an historical frame). 16 CHAPTER H. CONCEPTUAL BAGGAGE: TRAVELLING WITH THEORY A. INTRODUCTION In this chapter, I will draw in some concepts which are useful for framing the discussions as a whole. However, I am wary of what one might call the 'Hope and Crosby syndrome.' In their movie "On the Road to Singapore" Bob and Bing never quite get there, drawn by the allure of a tropical island and a young (Spanish!) dancer. I do not want to let the theoretical exposition lure me too far from the core of the thesis and prefer to introduce the bulk of the theoretical explorations through discussions of the regionalization process. This study is not based on any one theoretical model. Rather it is an attempt to contextualize elements of various models in-so-far as they help to make the process of change in the Growth Triangle more intelligible. This said, it is helpful to consider four sets of ideas which are useful in interpreting the Growth Triangle region. These are: 1) space as an arena of analysis; 2) a consideration of the global-local nexus; 3) the model of world city formation; and 4) the model of mega-urbanization. My aim is to contextualize these theory sets as they relate to the Growth Triangle. 17 B. SPACE The productive forces have since taken another great leap — from the production of things in space to the production of space.1 The importance of considering the inter-relationships of society and space has recently been given increased immediacy by: 1) technical and social changes which have transformed spatial relations (e.g., time-space collapse, etc.);2 2) a realization of the representational and symbolic role of the spatiality of every day life in social constitution3 and 3) the manner in which space is increasingly seen as an integral aspect of the development of markets, enterprises and power.4 All three of these inter-related aspects will come to the fore below as they pertain to the Singapore case. Yet for now they draw one closer to the question of how one might theorize spatial change. The sources and textures of new regional spaces are multiple and complex. Selecting the spatial transformation of a region as a research topic widens one's research agenda, but it '/ Lefebvre (1991) (Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith) The Production of Space. Cambridge Mass.: Blackwell., page 357. 2/ See for example, D. Janelle (1968) "Central Place Development in a Time-Space Framework," Professional Geographer. 20, pp. 5-10; M. Castells (1982) "Crisis, Planning and the Quality of Life: Managing the New Historical Relationships between Society and Space," Society and Space, 1, pp. 3-21; T. Leinbach and S. D. Brun (eds.) (1991) Collapsing Space and Time. London: Harper Collins; Stephen Kern (1983) The Culture of Time and Space: 1880 - 1918. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press; or D. Harvey, (1989b) The Condition of Postmodemity. Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell. 3/ See for example, H. Moore (1986) Space. Text and Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; J. Duncan and N. Duncan (1988) "(Re)reading the Landscape," Society and Space, 6, pp. 117 - 126; F. Jameson (1984) "Post-Modernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism," New Left Review, 146, pp. 53-92; and H. Lefebvre (1991) op cit. 7 See for example, J. Beniger (1986) The Control Revolution, Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press; K.N. Chaudhuri (1991) Asia Before Europe: Economy and Civilization of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750. New York Cambridge University Press; D. Harvey (1989a) "Money, Time, Space and the City," in The Urban Experience. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; D. Massey (1984) Spatial Divisions of Labour. London: MacMillan; M. Mann (1986) The Sources of Social Power. Vol. 1: From the Beginning to AD 1760. New York: Cambridge University Press; M. Foucault (1986) "Of Other Spaces," Diacritics. 16, pp. 22-27; and F. Driver (1985) "Power, Space and the Body: A Critical Assessment of Foucaulfs Discipline and Punish," Society and Space. 3, pp. 425-446. 18 also increases interpretive range. Henri Lefebvre has both asserted the utility of spatial analysis and suggested the complexity of the task in his writings. It seems useful to quote him at length in what is an apt summary of the project at hand, A comparable approach is called for today, an approach which would analyze not only things in space, but space itself... ...the world space does not merely subsume national spaces, but even (for the time being at least) precipitates the formation of new national spaces through a remarkable process of fission. All these spaces meanwhile, are traversed by myriad currents. The hyper-complexity of social space should now be apparent, embracing as it does individual entities and peculiarities, relatively fixed points, movements, and flows and waves — some inter-penetrating, others in conflict and so on. The principle of interpenetration and super-imposition of social spaces has one very helpful result, for it means that each fragment of space subjected to analysis masks not just one social relationship but a host of them that analysis can potentially disclose.5 The wide range of insights which potentially may be revealed through analyzing space is both a strength and weakness of the geographical project. The selection of space as an axis of analysis makes for challenging research (i.e., more difficult than say a sectoral or industry study) because of the breadth of potentially relevant concerns and the illusiveness of the 'object' of analysis. Space is a 'concrete abstraction' whose role in society is ubiquitous but it is also often intangible and multi-faceted. As such, space challenges traditionally empirical and categorical forms of inquiry (which are premised on definable objects of analysis). How is one to approach the spectral and fragmented, yet critical conceptual array which outlines the silhouette of space as an arena of analysis? I am arguing that one needs to turn towards processes, movement and perception and away from categorical boundaries and fixity. 5/ Lefebvre (1991) op tit, pages 88-89. 19 The first boundary to be deconstructed is that between society and space. There is an apparent consensus within the geographical 'conventional wisdom' about the interwoven and reflexive relationship between society and space (i.e., neither having a priori primacy, or existing outside of the other).6 However, the details of this relationship are often ambiguous and contingent. This is precisely because the two 'categories' are not isolated sets. Space is both the medium and the outcome of human agency, perception and systems of social practice. This reflexivity makes the object of analysis less self-evident, but it also serves to bring one's focus to the specific subtleties of the production of space within a given milieu. I will be engaging some of Lefebvre's ideas about how space is socially produced in my interpretation of the emergence of the Growth Triangle. The ensuing discussions will illustrate the manner in which the Growth Triangle may be seen as an evolving 'product.'7 Lefebvre holds that 'produced' spaces may usefully be interpreted in terms of: 1) representational spaces and 2) spaces of representation and 3) 'spatial practices'.8 I will be emphasizing two aspects of the production of space: circulation and representation (especially the former). Yet as I argue the local production of space (or region) needs to be set within the context of increased global integration. The Growth Triangle must be seen as a mediation of 'the global and local.' */ See for example, Anthony Giddens (1984) The Constitution of Society: An Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Berkeley: University of California Press; M. Dear and J. Wolch (1989) The Power of Geography. Boston: Unwin-Hyman; D. Gregory and J. Urry (eds.) (1985) Social Relations and Spatial Structures. New York: St. Martins Press; D. Gregory, (1989) "Presences and Absences: Time-Space Relations and Structuration Theory," in David Held and John Thompson (eds.) Social Theory and Modern Societies: Anthony Giddens and His Critics. New York Cambridge University Press; D. Massey and J. Allen (1986) Geography Matters. New York: Cambridge University Press; E. Soja, (1989) Postmodern Geographies. London: Verso; N. Thrift (1983) "On the Determination of Social Action in Space and Time," Society and Space. 1 (1), pp. 23-57. 7 Lefebvre has a distinct meaning for this term which connotes the artificiality of the product. This approach seems particularly applicable in terms of the way the region is conceived and perceived. However, Lefebvre seems to express a much more marked concern for 'colonization' of the life-world (i.e., as exemplified by the work of Habermas) than is my wish here. V Lefebvre (1991) op cit, page 356. C. THE LOCAL-GLOBAL NEXUS 20 1. Outlining the Local The contemporary spatial reconstitution of markets and the increased fluidity of capital have drawn a good deal of attention to the manner in which 'localities' respond to and affect change in economic systems of greater scale.9 Much of the analysis based on this approach emphasizes the activities of local political groupings (i.e., townships or unions) in negotiating a new space in a fluid and 'competitive' economic system. This work is very attractive and resonates strongly in the Singapore case where the geo-economic strategizing by the state is ubiquitous in its importance. Despite its strengths, 'localities research' is often haunted by criticism which focuses on the specificities of what defines 'the locality.' Among the issues facing the definition of the locality is the issue of boundaries.10 As argued above in regards to regions, it is not useful to set arbitrary confines upon the 'locality' as the unit of analysis. One's attention should really turn towards the process of localization. a) Localization Localization is the grounding (and generation) of social dynamics through local praxis.11 '/ This work arises from D. Massey (1984) op cit; see also P. Cooke (1989) Localities. London: Unwin-Hyman; A. Cochrane (1987) "What a Difference the Place Makes: The New Structuralism of Locality," Antipode. 19, pp. 354-363; S. Duncan (1989) "What is Locality?" in N. Thrift and R. Peet (eds.) New Models in Geography. Winchester, Mass.: Unwin-Hyman, pp. 221-253; J. Urry (1987) "Society, Space and Locality," Society and Space. 5, pp. 435-444; and particularly a special 1991 issue on 'the locality debate' of Environment and Planning A. 23 (2), pp. 155-308. In a related, but less explicidy theoretical vein see Sharon Zukin (1991) Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World. Berkeley: University of California Press. 10/ As well as the 'agency of localities.' See S. Duncan and M. Savage (1991) "Commentary: New Perspectives in the Locality Debate," Environment and Planning A. 23 (2), pp. 155-164. "/ This view is closely linked to Giddens' structuration theory. The reader may wonder why I have not more systematically drawn on Giddens' work. For example, his idea of regionalization, which implies both localization and 'zoning' (differentiation) of social practices, would seem applicable to the present case. However, despite Giddens' concern with 'instantiation,' system integration and his dislike of the macro-micro 2 1 The localization process may be usefully understood within a given frame (such as a community, town or region), but is not necessarily limited to that frame.12 The boundaries of localization are woven of a diffuse tapestry of varying levels and kinds of interdependency and perception/representation (i.e., no clear confines).13 The 'Singapore region' is one arena of localization. It is given representation by the concept of the Growth Triangle, but it is clearly not reducible to the area within that euclidian frame (interview results confirmed this point). As Gregory has written, "models of transformation require theorization of spatial structure, not as flat, frozen lattices - 'the most solid of all geometries' - but as hierarchically ordered arenas of social practice."14 The Growth Triangle as an ensemble is but a part of the interwoven fabric of global space.15 distinction, I find his model in toto to be most applicable at the micro-scale and difficult to put into research practice (e.g., to get at and define 'routine practices') at the meso-scale (although his argumentation supports such an approach). His insights (e.g., on dualisms vis dualities or the layering of social/spatial practices) are instructive, but I have found the weight of the model of structuration as a whole in its many details to be too totalizing and theoretically driven to allow a regional portrait to emerge. These comments are based on A. Giddens (1984) The Constitution of Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, see especially pages 110-144, 363-368. 12/ And, one should add is not necessarily coherent, rather multiple localizations occur. 13/ Maillat summarizes this view effectively in writing about milieu, "...there is still a poorly defined level of analysis which hardly corresponds to traditional analysis: it is transectoral, does not regroup into a well-defined category and does not have precise geographical limits, but refers to notions of territorial interdependence and proximity... Conceived in such terms, the milieu is a process of continual perception, understanding and actions." - D. Maillat (1991) "Local Dynamism, Milieu and Innovative Enterprises," Cities of the Twenty-First Century. New York: John Wiley and Sons, pp. 265-274, pages 268-269. Note the resonance with Lefebvre's concern for the way 'space' is conceived, perceived and lived. I4/ D. Gregory (1985) "Suspended Animation: The Status of Diffusion Theory," in Gregory and Urry (eds.) Social Relations and Spatial Structures. New York: St. Martin's Press, page 323. 15/ Despite the apparently totalizing approach, Wallerstein's World Systems model has also emphasized this theme. The most explicit melding of the global and the local is in this school's work on family strategies. - See J. Smith, I. Wallerstein and H-D Evers (eds.) (1984) Households in the World Economy. Beverly Hills: Sage. In terms of urban space, a global approach to the urbanization process (largely based on world systems theory) has been undertaken by Timberlake. See M. Timberlake (ed.) (1985) Urbanization in the World Economy. New York: Academic Press. I have avoided a full engagement of the world systems model in order to avoid the necessary theoretical exegesis which would detract from the core of the piece: an analysis based on the Growth Triangle. 22 2. Outlining the Global The term 'global,' as often presented, is derivative of such terms as 'external' or international. Yet as Cardoso so long ago pointed out, the supposition of fully bounded internal and external dynamics is flawed.16 I will use the term global along the lines of its most general (and admittedly vague) meaning — as 'embracing' (i.e., unbounded context). The real utility of the global as an aspect of analysis is to be found in the process of globalization. a) Globalization Globalization as it is often evinced is closely linked to 'internationalization' of corporate activities.17 This line of discussion, which is primarily concerned with the 'logic' of corporate internationalization and location, stretches from Vernon's product cycle thesis, to Hymer's functional hierarchy, to Dunning's eclecticism, to the diversification model of Dickens, and so on.18 A second stream, typified by Kenichi Ohmae, emphasizes the integration of the world's developed economies through corporate interlocks and governmental linkages.19 A third stream focuses on the globalization of culture and consumption (usually seen as driven by transnational firms).20 All three of these approaches tap into some of the symptoms of globalization, but tend 16/ F.H. Cardoso (1977) "The Consumption of Dependency Theory in the US," Latin American Research Review. XII, pp. 7 -24. 17/ Of course there are more general treatments as well, such as Samir Amin (1974) Accumulation on a World Scale. Monthly Review Press; or I. Wallerstein (1974) The Modern World System. New York; Academic Press. These studies were progenitors of more specific analyses of the mechanics and agents of change such as transnational corporations. 18/ S. Hymer (1972) "The Multinational Corporations and the Law of Uneven Development," in J. Bagwati (ed.) Economics and World Order. New York The Free Press, pp. 113-140; J. Dunning (1980) "Towards an Eclectic Theory of International Production," Journal Of International Business Studies. II, pp. 9-31; or P. Dickens (1986) Global Shift: Industrial Change in a Turbulent World. London: Harper and Row; but cf. D. Becker and R. Sklar (1987) Postimperialism. Boulder: Reinner. 19/ K. Ohmae (1985) Triad Power: The Coming Shape of Global Competition, New York Free Press. 70I This discussion is roughly divided between those who see the globalization of consumer markets as emphasizing similarities such as Harvard's Theodore Levitt and those who speak of a 'globalization of 23 to be diverted by the internationalism and growing size of economic actors (e.g., TNCs) and as such miss the core of the process. 3. The Importance of Circulation I take globalization to be not so much a 'planetary event'21 but rather to primarily refer to the growing volume and speed of movement of goods, people, money and information within a deepening and increasingly pervasive sphere of circulation.22 Importantly, the increasing integration which this process underpins does not lead to a homogenization of space. As this thesis demonstrates, circulatory levels are geographically uneven - and likely to remain so. Further, the elements of capital, people, goods and information have differential movement capacities between one another and within themselves as categories.23 The arena of circulation is constantly undergoing changes in constraints and possibilities in the form of technical and social changes and the resolve of individual agents engaged with newly emergent possibilities which evolve along with changes in the spatial fabric of everyday difference' such as Mike Featherstone. See T. Levitt (1985) The Marketing Imagination. New York Free Press; or M. Featherstone (ed.) (1990) Global Culture. Newbury Park: Sage. 21/ This phrase was used in a presentation by Saskia Sassen (1991) "The Regional Question in Today's World Economy: The Case of Global Cities," at the Conference, Multilateral Cooperation for Development in the Twenty-First Century, United Nations Centre for Regional Development, Nagoya, November 7-8, 1991. This view contrasts with that of Manuel Castells current ruminations. See M. Castells and P. Hall (1994) Technopoles of the World. New York: Routledge, page 3, where-in the emphasis is placed on a 'planetary economy.' 22/ The assertion of the generic qualities of the globalization trend also enhances the awareness that the process is not really new or revolutionary. (For a useful corrective to the hyperbole surrounding the current phase of time-space compression/collapse see D. Massey (1993) Space. Place and Gender. Cambridge: Polity.) Indeed, globalization as circulatory transformation may well have reached its peak in terms of the pace of time-space reformation in the last fin de siecle. It may be that the most recent round of globalization is to be most noted for its representational and ideological ubiquity. 23l The works of Castells and Harvey have long been consumed by the differential circulatory capacity of capital and people. For a wider rendering of the tensions in circulatory difference see Masse/s 'power geometry' (1993, op cit, pages 60-62); or Gregory (1994) Geographical Imaginations, Cambridge Mass.: Blackwell, page 414. 24 practice. I will particularly emphasize the way the region's states and elements of capital and labour use and produce spatialities within their (shifting) strategic agendas and how the actions of these agents serve to produce the regional fabric. This matrix of change is what underpins continued spatial variation. A second and somewhat derivative element of the role of circulation in terms of the differentiation of space concerns the importance of representation to spatial production. As circulatory capacity increases and options grow, the manner in which investment sites are represented becomes even more crucial.24 In particular, the representation of difference is important. As Lefebvre has noted "a new space cannot be born [produced] unless it accentuates differences."25 As the following study demonstrates, the representation of difference within the Growth Triangle has material consequences in terms of the way new spaces (and geographies) are produced. Thus, it may be argued that the possibilities presented by 'the annihilation of space through time' have paradoxically enhanced the importance of variations in the texture of space.26 M/ This point is a fulcrum for D. Harvey. For focused discussions of the theme see D. Harvey (1993) "From Space to Place and Back Again," in J. Bird et al (eds.) Mapping the Futures: Local Cultures. Global Change, New York Routledge, pp. 3-29, pages 6-8; or his (1989c) "From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism in Urban Government in Late Capitalism," Geografisker Annaler B. 71 (1), pp. 3-17; see also S. Roberts (1994) "Fictitious Capital, Fictitious Spaces: the Geography of Off-shore Financial Flows," in S. Corbridge, R. Martin and N. Thrift (eds.) Money. Power and Space. Cambridge Mass.: Blackwell, pp. 91-115, page 107-108. The role of representation also has much deeper implications than I have outlined here (i.e., in terms of identity formation). These deeper meanings are 'bracketed' here in order to keep the introduction focused. 25I Lefebvre (1991) op cit, page 52; Gregory's reading of Lefebvre's La Revolution Urbaine (1970) also draws out this theme and links it more closely to the urban moment. Gregory writes of Lefebvre's suggestion that urbanization produces "a time-space that is simultaneously differentiated and integrated: what Lefebvre calls 'the differential." D. Gregory (1994) op cit, page 376. 26/ The theme of the retained importance of spatial variation has been stridently argued by Harvey and Scott. They write of the impact of time-space compression (ability to get from A to B faster) "...this has led some to argue that space is decreasing in significance for understanding the processes at work under capitalism. We insist that the converse is the case. The problem of space is not eliminated but intensified by the crumbling of spatial barriers. Command over space now becomes the vehicle for increasingly subtle intermediations and differentiations. So far from becoming uniform and homogenous, space becomes even more variegated, 25 The Singapore region illustrates this trend both in the region's totality (i.e., as a unique 'market' in a global grid of markets) and in regards to its separate elements (i.e., between Singapore, Johor and the Riaus, and within each of the nodes). This differentiation process is critical to understanding the global economy as well as the uniqueness of the region of study. The possibilities inherent in the process of globalization (as enhanced circulation) are not in themselves new, but the scope and scale of globalization has greatly accelerated of late. Circulation has become more fluid, more controlled, more encompassing (i.e., more locations), faster and less expensive. More areas of the globe are potentially accessible to more intense circulation than ever before. These shifts have come to affect, but not uniformly determine, the context of individual actions. Globalization, therefore, refers to the possibilities of circulation which have transformed potential time-space relations but done so in a highly uneven manner. Thus, globalization is a process and a set of possibilities rather than an event. As such, globalization is also a deeply local process.27 4. Local-Globalization28 In considering circulation and the local-global nexus, it is useful to look at what one heterogenous and finely textured, even more complex in the manner of its usage." — D. Harvey and A. Scott (1989) "The Practice of Human Geography: Theory and Empirical Specificity in the Transition from Fordism to Flexible Accumulation," in B. MacMillan (ed.) Remodelling Geography. Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, pp. 217-229, page 228. 21 I This argument can in fact be inverted to suggest that the local is global as Massey has done. (See Massey (1993) op cit, pages 120-121). The reason for my approach is to assert the retained importance of local specifics even while these must be seen in a global context. It is really the separation of the categories which is at issue (see Massey (1993) page 161). Note also that Peet and Thrift (1989) op cit, pages 21-22, suggest that two key elements of contemporary geographical analysis must be a focus on the impacts of transportation and communication innovations (i.e., on circulation) and locality.' 28/ See the extensive treatment of this theme in C.F. Alger (1988) "Perceiving, Analyzing and Coping with the Local-Global Nexus," International Social Science Journal. 117, pp. 321-340. The intermingling of global and local strategies is very much de rigeur in the popular business press. It was also very present in my interview set with managers of transnational firms based in Singapore. They were all fixated with the challenge of "thinking global but acting local." 26 might call intensive and extensive globalizations. 'Extensive globalization' refers to the progressive identification and integration of new frontiers for development (e.g., the Riaus and to a lesser extent Johor). The frontier is a critical element of globalization as process, the search for spatial arbitrage possibilities (with high margins), spurs on the development of new markets (e.g., of labour or products) in once 'remote' settings.29 However, the 'edge' which is so crucial to globalization can only be apprehended in situ where the process is carried out. 'Intensive globalization' refers to a deepening of levels of integration already well in place (i.e., Singapore's rapidly growing throughput). The engines driving intensive globalization are also local and must be apprehended at that scale. For example, Singapore continues to invest billions of dollars in enhancing its circulatory capacity, and thus, global circulation, through the development of port, airport and telecommunications facilities and institutions. Globalization is also usefully seen as an ideological construct.30 As Singapore's Strategic Economic Plan has put it: "globalization doesn't merely mean doing things overseas. Singaporeans have to embrace the global socio-economic space..."31 How is this space shaped and defined? Amin and Thrift have argued for the internal reflexivity of the process of globalization in writing that "... the 'stories' that are circulated about a global production filiere, and how they are scripted constitute that filiere's understanding of itself."32 However, although 29/ This idea would seem to have a resonance with Giddens' idea of time-space edges. However, the detailing of such edges would appear to be an undertheorized area of structuration theory (though it is also crucial). */ See also Gregory (1994) op cit, page 203-204. 3'/ Republic of Singapore (1991) The Strategic Economic Plan: Towards a Developed Nation. Singapore: Ministry of Trade and Industry, page 61. The state's vision seems to be finding its way into the Singaporean psyche. A Singapore Sunday Times supplement on 'Singapore: World City' presented survey data showing that 44% of respondents thought Singapore should be seen as an "International City," 35% thought of Singapore as an ASEAN country and only 21% as an East Asian country. Sunday Times. 8/19/92:4. 32/ Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift (1992) "Neo-Marshallian Nodes in Global Networks," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 16 (4), pp. 571-584, page 576, see also page 574. 27 the imagery of the global economy may seem transnational in its content, it is a local product (for example, through infrastructure investments).33 The wide spectrum and spectre of the possibilities offered by globalization makes the process a very effective ideological tool within local political arenas (such as Singapore) where the imagery of globalization is largely constructed.34 In Singapore, the portrayal of the omnipresent competitive global milieu has long been a source of state power (discussed in more depth below). Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has described Singapore's fate as, ... to run on the fast track of economic development... or face being left behind ... It is our lot in life that we continue running in the fast lane to keep up with changes in the new world economy. (Goh Chok Tong, 1991)35 Among the traits of the 'new world economy' which Goh points to is the emergence of economic instability and a linked emphasis on economic flexibility.36 A key arena for the realization of flexibility is in terms of the ability of firms or localities to reposition economic resources such as labour, land capital and information (the foci of Chapters VII to XI). The perceived (and real) threats of potential competition and instability which 33/ This point is made clearer (i.e., the local basing of the narratives) in a later piece by Thrift. N. Thrift (1994) "On the Social and Cultural Determinants of International Financial Centres: The Case of the City of London," in S. Corbridge, R. Martin and N. Thrift (eds.) Money. Power and Space. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, pp. 327-355, page 335. M/ The role of the international 'cultural mass' (media, academe, etc.) should not be discounted in this regard. Academics are deeply implicated in feeding the globalization myth and are thus affecting the political struggles surrounding that discourse. See David Gordon's attempt to 'de-mythologize' current visions of globalization in D.M. Gordon (1988) "The Global Economy: New Edifice or Crumbling Foundations?" New Left Review. 168, pp. 24-64; or Massey (1993) op cit. 35/ Straits Times. 27/9/91 cited in Singapore National Computer Board (1992) A Vision of an Intelligent Island. Singapore: SNP Publishers Ltd., page x. 36/ This is ironic in that classical economic theory would suggest that the larger the market the more stable it will be. The globalization process contains many other paradoxical trends. Among these are the seemingly contradictory trends of economic integration and political/ethnic fragmentation and the irony that smaller entities may survive more effectively in a global economy. These themes have been much more evident in the popular than academic presses. See for example, B.R. Barber (1992) "Jihad VS McWorld," Adantic Monthly. March, pages 53-55 and 58-63; or John Naisbitt (1992) Global Paradox. New York: W. Morrow. 28 accompany the globalization process have increased the apparent need to be able to recast and move factors of production smoothly. Speed of turnover of information ('real time data'), capital (flexible accumulation), goods ('Just In Time') and personnel (subcontracting, tapping new labour markets) is increasingly vital to economic success.37 Importantly, these requisites, when pursued by 'local' agents, spur on globalization as circulatory transformation as they become the competitive benchmarks (i.e., a kind of treadmill effect). It is imperative that one notes that the elements of production which are being repositioned and redefined within the shifting eddies of perceived global and regional opportunities are not simply inert aspects of econometric analysis: they are the landscapes and the livelihoods of the region. Although regional production might well need to be set in a global context, it is a deeply local process in the end grounded in local landscapes and livelihoods. As Lefebvre and Castells write, The raw material in the production of space is not, as in the case of particular objects, a particular material: it is rather nature itself, nature transformed into a product, rudely manipulated, now threatened in its very existence, probably ruined and certainly and most paradoxically, - localized, [emphasis in original] -H. Lefebvre38 While the overall logic of the production and management system still operates at the level of flows, the connection between production and reproduction - a key element of new productive forces - requires an adequate linkage to the place-based system of formation and development of labour, [emphasis added] - M. Castells39 37/ All of these developments affect spatial relations and thus the utilization of the omitted factor of production — land. 37 Lefebvre (1991) op cit, page 123. 37 Castells (1989) op cit, page 351. 29 The model of separate global and local spaces is flawed. Globalization in both functional and ideological senses is locally produced and realized. However, 'local' spaces can not be analyzed in isolation from the (increasingly relevant) global context. Accepting the indivisibility of global and local spaces makes the search for a 'middle-space' between the two seem all the more alluring yet also all the more difficult. This is because of the openness, unevenness and tumult of the arena of analysis. As will be argued, the middle space between macro and micro, global and local is extremely unstable. It is unstable in terms of flows and connections, but also in terms of landscapes and livelihoods. Even given this instability, the construction of new middle spaces is not without pattern or form. Despite local distinctions (indeed, perhaps thriving on them), the current round of localized global economic restructuring is yielding some discernable spatial profiles. In examining the changes characterizing the Growth Triangle case, two models seem to capture the region as it has evolved. These are: world city formation and mega-urbanization. These models and the processes they describe capture the extreme cases of intensive and extensive globalizations (respectively). Both are useful for interpreting the emergence of a middle space known as the Growth Triangle. D. WORLD CITY FORMATION 1. General Introduction The model which seems most useful for understanding changes at the regional core is the 'world city model.' Singapore is a world city. In their seminal 1982 paper, Friedmann and Wolff noted the emergence of, 30 ... an urban hierarchy of influence and control. At the apex of this hierarchy are found a small number of massive urban regions that we shall call world cities.40 World cities were originally seen as 'command posts' for transnational corporations. They were envisioned as reflections of corporate hierarchies and command structures. The emergent system of world cities provided transnational capital with meeting places for the articulation of global and regional markets. World cities have been characterized by quaternary sector growth, social and economic dualisms and escalating land prices.41 However, as Friedmann and Wolff emphasized, the central trait of these cities is their global integration. A key to their success is to be found in the high levels of connectivity with other centres by way of informational and financial flows, corporate networks and the work of an international elite (in business and financial services). Circulation makes the world city.42 2. The World City as Circulatory Place In pointing to the importance of the transnationalization of services and circulation to 40/ J. Friedmann and G. Wolff (1982) "World City Formation: An Agenda for Research," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 6, pp. 309-344, page 310. 41/ The world city literature to date has been surprisingly concentrated in its foci. World city research has tended to focus on places like London, New York, Los Angeles or Tokyo. There is a relative shortage of material on the nature of 'lower-order' world cities such as Singapore. See for examples, A. King (1990) Global Cities. Post-Imperialism and the Internationalization of London. New York: Routledge; N. Thrift (1990) "Doing Regional Geography in a Global System: The New International Financial System, the City of London, and the Southeast of England, 1984-87," in RJ. Johnstone, J. Hauer and G.A. Hoekveld (eds.) Regional Geography. New York Routledge; Saskia Sassen-Koob (1988) The Mobility of Labour and Capital. London: Cambridge University Press or S. Sassen (1991) The Global City. Princeton: Princeton University Press; M. Davis (1992) City of Quartz. New York Vintage; Takashi Michimura (1992) "The Urban Restructuring Process in Tokyo in the 1980s, Transforming Tokyo into a World City," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 16 (1), pp. 114-128; or P. Rimmer (1986) "Japan's World Cities: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya or Tokaido Megalopolis?" Development and Change. 17 (1), pp. 12-58. 42/ As Gottmann noted long ago, accessibility, is "the first prerequisite" to the development of centrality, transactional densities and therefore, of quaternary functions. J. Gottmann (1970) "Urban Centrality and the Interweaving of Quaternary Activities," Elastics. (29), pp. 322-331, page 326. 31 world city formation, one is quickly confronted with the issue of where an 'object' of analysis might lie in attempting to uncover the roots and nature of world city formation. In this regard, Manuel Castells has been consumed with the impact of enhanced circulatory capacities, or his 'space of flows.'43 To understand the world city, in his view, one needs to understand the nature of these flows (mostly of information). In Castells' earlier work, the impact comes in the way "the internal logic of an organization tends to supersede the external factors associated with specific places."44 This kind of view echoes Friedmann and Wolffs vision and is based on the assertion of the growing dominance of transnational corporations (TNCs) in the structuring of the global space-economy.45 Such a perspective, while containing many valid observations, increasingly needs to be questioned. The reasons for the retreat from firm-based analysis are to be found in the irregularity and invention of different corporate forms and strategies (thus denying specific 'logics') and the increasingly vague boundaries surrounding the corporate entity. The booming growth in corporate interlocks, joint ventures and vertical disintegration has made 'the' corporation an increasingly difficult object of analysis.46 Yet one must acknowledge the importance of transnational firms for world city 43/ Castells' view is that new information channels have undercut the role of local citizens in creating their place. For him, the information-based world city is a place where "life is transformed into abstraction, cities into shadows." - M. Castells (1983) The City and The Grass Roots. Berkeley: University of California Press, page 314. See also M. Castells (1989) The Informational City. Oxford: Basil Blackwell; M. Castells (1985), "High Technology, Economic Restructuring, and the Urban-Regional Process in the United States," in M. Castells (ed.) High Technology. Space, and Society. Beverly Hills: Sage. *7 M. Castells (1985), op cit, page 4. 45/ See for example, N. Thrift and M. Taylor (1986) Multinationals and the Restructuring of the World Economy. London: Croom Helm. A6I See interesting discussion in A. Scott and M. Storper (1992) Pathways to Industrialization. New York Roudedge. 32 formation (certainly the Singapore government does). For this reason, I carried out unstructured interviews with senior managers of 40 transnational corporations with important office functions in Singapore. The managers' fixation with the spatial re-organization of their competitive milieux came strongly to the fore: milieux which they affect and which they interpret in various ways but which can not be reduced to the logic of a generalized 'capitalist firm.' A key result of the interview set was the wide range and indeterminacy of the spatial strategies adopted by the firms (see Chapter XII). Schoenberger captures the variability of corporate strategy effectively in writing, Li the final analysis, definitive theories of regional change elude us because the primary agents of change, capital and labour, are so extraordinarily creative, each in their own way. The use of space is part of this strategic array and it would be surprising indeed to find a unique spatial strategy in the midst of this diversity.47 The variability of specific corporate strategies has of late been magnified by new transportation and communication technologies which are implicated in the reconstitution of enterprise form. As Castells has more recently argued, the technologies which once supported corporate expansion have now dissolved the roles and structures of the large firms they once created and replaced their hierarchies (which are crucial to world city formation) with ^determinate networks.48 He writes, There is a shift, in fact, away from the centrality of the organizational unit to the network of information and decision. In other words, flows rather than organizations become the units of work, decision and output accounting.49 [emphasis in original] 47/ E. Schoenberger (1989) "New Models of Regional Change," in R. Peet and N. Thrift (eds.) New Models in Geography. Winchester, Mass.: Unwin-Hyman, pp. 115 - 141, page 134. "7 Castells (1989) op cit, page 20. 47 Castells (1989) op cit, page 142. 33 And further that, The new international economy creates a variable geometry of production and consumption, labour and capital, management and information - a geometry that denies the specific productive meaning of any place outside its position in a network whose shape changes relentlessly in response to the messages of unseen signals and unknown codes.50 Such a view renders the 'new global economy' in which world cities must be placed an even more evanescent arena of analysis. One is confounded by the intangibility and mdeterminacy of the very technological and market forces which are spurring on global transformation and world city formation. How is one to analyze such a disperse and apparently amorphous melange? The meeting place for different actors, their different strategies and the 'flows' and networks of capital, information, people and goods is the market — more precisely the market place.51 Markets have increasingly come to replace hierarchies as the organizing principle of contemporary capitalist reformation.52 Such a development requires a re-direction in the way we view world city formation — making local attributes (such as the regional economies) all the more crucial. 3. Differentiation There has been a marked progression since Friedmann and Wolffs work towards a consideration of differentiation and the world city model (both between and within world cities). 50I Castells (1989) op cit, page 348. 5I/ See the cogent arguments of R. Martin (1994) "The End of Geography?" in S. Corbridge, R. Martin and N. Thrift (eds.) Money, Power and Space, Cambridge Mass.: Blackwell, pp. 251-278, page 263; or N. Thrift (1994) "On the Social and Cultural Determinants of International Financial Centres: The Case of the City of London," in the same volume, pp. 327-355; or W. Code (1991) "Information Flows and the Process of Attachment and Projection: the Case of Financial Intermediaries," in S.D. Brun and T.R. Leinbach (eds.) Collapsing Space and Time. London: Harper Collins, pp. 111-131, page 113. 52/ See for example A.J. Scott (1988a) Metropolis. Berkeley: University of California Press, page 188. 34 World cities are distinguished from other cities by their high levels of connectivity and circulation. Yet there are also important distinctions within this broad heading. As Sassen has recently argued, there is a notable and important differentiation in the roles of world cities, at least of the top of the hierarchy (her 'Global Cities' of London, New York and Tokyo).53 For example, Tokyo exports capital, New York leads in securities and London is the centre of global money markets. These niches are distinct and have historical, social and regional roots. Differentiation is permitted and demanded by enhanced circulation (as options increase and accessibility varies). Singapore's regional 'envelope' is part of its global differentiation as a key world city. The Growth Triangle is important to the city's plans as it is a 'foundational element' of the city's external connections, a concrete manifestation of control capacity and a dynamic and visible magnet for investment.54 World cities also seem to need internal differentiation to support their mix of resident (and flexible) manufacturing activities and the emergent amalgam of services. The high end financial and informational services personnel need to be, and tend to be, matched by a large number of other low wage service and production workers who produce the accoutrements of their work settings and life styles and provide an economic base for the city.55 This dualistic model holds for the Singapore case, but has some peculiar dimensions - involving other parts of the Growth Triangle. 53/ See especially Sassen (1991) op cit, page 327. *7 As Chapter III demonstrates, Singapore has long been a 'lower order' world city — acting as a link between its surrounding region and the imperial metropole. The nature of the city's current niche has not changed so very much from its historical role (though the global 'core' is now much more diffuse). V See especially Saskia Sassen-Koob (1988) op cit. 35 Singaporean society and the state's legitimacy is premised on the continued growing affluence of the bulk of the population (in a kind of hybrid Fordism) and the appearance of equity. Because of the 'tightness' (in physical, political and economic senses) of the society, deep and obvious disparities would be difficult to maintain.56 The Growth Triangle gives the city-state a 'social vent' where marginal but economically important functions may be carried out. As this study demonstrates, Singapore as world city needs its regional envelope or, in this case, its mega-urban shadow region. E. MEGA-URBANIZATION 1. General Introduction. The margins of the Growth Triangle (i.e., Johor and the Riaus) are undergoing changes similar to those occurring in many other 'once-rural' areas of Asia which have been termed mega-urbanization.57 The model of mega-urbanization in Asia is an outgrowth of McGee's early work on what he termed Desa-Kota (a melding of Bahasa Indonesia terms for town and city).58 The model, and the subsequent conceptualization of mega-urbanization, is in essence a concern with the development of traits long thought of as urban in dispersed 'rural' settings.59 Mega-56I One should note, however, that Singapore has the highest Gini co-efficient (indicating income inequality) among the four little Dragons' or Asian NIES. See World Bank (1993) The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, pp 72-74. 51 I For a review of the mega-urban model see N. Ginsburg, B. Koppel and T.G. McGee (1991) (eds.) The Extended Metropolis: Setdement Transition in Asia, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press; for a focus on the Singapore case, see S. MacLeod and T.G. McGee (1992) The Emergence of Extended Metropolitan Regions in ASEAN. A Study of the Singapore-Johor-Riau Growth Triangle. Bangkok United Nations, ESCAP. */ See T.G. McGee (1988) "Urbanisasi or Kotadesasi? Evolving Patterns of Urbanization in Asia," in F.J. Costa, et al (eds.) Urbanization in Asia: Spatial Dimensions and Policy Issues. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 59/ Mega-urban regions have been identified in Japan (Tokyo to Osaka), China (the Shenyang-Dalian Corridor; Beijing-Tianjin; the Shanghai-Nanjing conurbation and in the Hongkong-Guangzhou belt), Taiwan (Taipei-Kaoshiung), Thailand (the Central Plains), and Indonesia (Jabotabek). 36 urban regions, also called extended metropolitan regions (or EMRs), are characterized by:60 1) extremely high levels of economic diversity and interaction (high circulatory and transactional densities); 2) a high percentage of non-farm employment (i.e., over 50%); 3) a mix of employment possibilities, especially for female labour which is moving into the paid work force on a large scale; 4) a lack of regulatory control, these regions often transect political boundaries; 5) a deep penetration of global market forces into the country-side; 6) a landscape of incongruous juxtapositions (i.e., differentiated) and extremely uneven development; 7) dispersal of up to one hundred kilometres from an urban core and frequently found near major transportation conduits. 2. Western Variations on the Mega-Urban Model The way we have come to view the distinctions between the city and the countryside is a core axis of the western geographical imagination. The changing relations and divisions between city and country have attracted such luminary thinkers as Raymond Williams and Anthony Giddens.61 Recent works by Berry and Champion on 'counterurbanization,' Knox on 'outer-city urbanization' and Garreau on 'Edge Cities' and a number of other authors have begun the construction of a new appreciation for the transformation of spaces girding large metropolises (i.e., beyond suburbanization).62 ml As largely outlined in T.G. McGee (1991) "The Emergence of DesaKota Regions in Asia," in Ginsburg et al (eds.) op cit, pp. 12-17. 6I/ A. Giddens (1985) "Time, Space and Regionalization," in D. Gregory and J. Urry (eds.) Social Relations and Spatial Structures. New York St. Martins Press, page 294; or R. Williams (1973) Country and the City. London: Chatto and Windus. Perhaps the classic study premised on the rural-urban divide is M. Lipton (1977) Why Poor People Stay Poor: Urban Bias in Third World Development, London: Temple Smith. ml A.G. Champion (1989) Counter-urbanization: The Changing Pace and Nature of Population Deconcentration. London: Edward Arnold; P. Knox (1990) "Planning and Applied Geography," Progress in 37 The starting point for western models of the development of mega-urban zones is the work of Jean Gottmann and the idea of megalopolis, a fusion of urban spaces across vast tracks of the US northeast.63 Gottmann foresaw the potential for today's transformation of rural space in Asia. In 1961 he wrote that: The symbiosis of urban and rural in megalopolis, creating new and interesting patterns of multiple land use over large areas...Like the downtown business districts with powerful skylines, this aspect of the megalopolis will probably be repeated in slightly different but not too dissimilar versions in many other regions of the rapidly urbanizing world.64 This prediction was astute but there are important differences between the megalopolitan and mega-urban models and the trends they describe. 3. Megalopolis? The Asian-based mega-urbanization process is distinct from Gottmann's image of megalopolis in at least three ways. First, megalopolitan development was the result of rapid suburbanization65 and the conjoining of urban nodes interspersed with places of relative wilderness. In Asia it is not so much people moving from the city to the countryside (though this is clearly part of the mix - see Chapter IX) as it is the urban system enveloping areas and peoples traditionally conceived of as rural or drawing rural migrants to new rural zones of growth. Mega-urbanization sees labour tapped in the countryside. A second distinction from the megalopolitan model which is important in considering mega-urbanization is the role of 'external' forces. Asia's mega-urban regions are largely spurred Human Geography. 14 (1), pp 112-119; and J. Garreau (1991) Edge City. New York Doubleday. 63/ J. Gottmann (1961) Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States. New York Twentieth Century Fund. «7 Ibid, page 257. 6S/ The 'western' experience of the timing of the movement of industry into suburban zones (regarding labour market formation) is not without debate. For a brief review, see Storper and Walker (1989) op cit, page 21. 38 on by foreign investment which increases margins for local investors (i.e., extensive globalization).66 Although Gottmann thought the megalopolitan region's links to the international economy important, his vision was not one of regionalization fuelled by foreign investment as is the case in most of Asia. The third variation on Gottmann's theme concerns the speed of the development of mega-urban regions — they are enveloping rural landscapes at ferocious speeds. Mega-urbanization is a phenomenon which has taken off in the last 10 years. The Growth Triangle has taken off in the last five years.67 4. The Growth Triangle as Mega-Urban Region An intriguing aspect of the mega-urban model is the manner in which broadly similar spatial formations tend to have different and distinct roots and specific characteristics in individual cases. Each mega-urban region must be interpreted in its own terms. The Growth Triangle is a mega-urban zone, yet it differs from the 'classic' mega-urban model in two important ways. First, unlike the 'rice-bowls' of many other mega-urban regions, the areas of the Riaus and Johor are relatively sparsely populated. This has meant that labour has had to be drawn to the region. Conversely, the low population levels and the original dominance of plantations and fisheries at the regional margins have made land acquisition and assembly for development easier than might otherwise have been the case. The second key distinction regarding the Growth Triangle as a mega-urban zone is also in many ways its defining element. The Growth Triangle is a trilateral transnational complex. */ See M. Douglass (1991) "Transnational Capital and the Social Construction of Comparative Advantage in Southeast Asia," Southeast Asian Journal of Social Sciences. 19 (1&2), pages 14-43. 61 I Though shifts, which may be seen as mega-urbanization, were occurring in Johor before the Growth Triangle frenzy. The specific time-lines of development are outlined in much more detail below. 39 As such, issues of geopolitics and tariffs cloud the picture of the mega-urbanization process. However, they may also serve to enhance the region's cache as a development zone through comparative advantage. In sum, although the population levels in Singapore's shadow region are low and the borders can obstruct integration, the actual outcome of the regional mix has been to push the mega-urbanization process along. The benefits of differentiated constituencies push some activities across the border into Johor and the Riaus (e.g., in search of tax breaks) and the search for cheaper labour pushes investment and developments further into 'remote' areas as initially accessible spaces are consumed/transformed. In the Growth Triangle, as in most mega-urban zones, this transformation process is heterogeneous in its manifestations and explosive in its growth rate. 5. Theoretical Themes of the Mega-Urban Model The Mega-urban regions of Asia are the 'leading edges'68 of some of the fastest growing economies in the world. They very much represent the competitive vanguard and the face of contemporary capitalism and as such they must be understood. As mega-urbanization explodes outwards into rural hinterlands, the areas involved often reach very rapid economic growth rates and immense social and environmental dislocation. The need to come to an understanding of these regions is given urgency by both the impacts on the ground (involving several hundred million people) but also the way they may force us to reconsider a number of theoretical tenets. Mega-urbanization presents one with a number of useful and corrective theoretical insights, especially in terms of how one views spatial change. The key implication of the model is that the existence of mega-urban regions re-affirms the dubious theoretical footing on 68J The can be seen as such in both figurative and literal terms. They are both at the vanguard of industrial growth and a new frontier of capital engagement. 40 which the concept of the city is based.69 Thrift highlights the conundrum: The age of Gottman's megalopolis has been reached, almost without it being noticed. What constitutes a town or a city nowadays, when a mosaic of specialized and carefully designed urban and rural areas sprawls over vast tracts of space, is an interesting question.70 As Koppel has noted, the concept of mega-urbanization seeks a middle ground, avoiding the 'ersatz debate' surrounding models juxtaposing rural and urban categories.71 The model moves the emphasis of analysis away from issues of defining boundaries and relations between artificial categories such as 'urban' and 'rural' (e.g., unequal exchange) and towards a deeper consideration of grounded processes and interaction. 6. Circulation The emerging literature on mega-urbanization places a strong emphasis on the link between circulation and the processes of spatial change, in particular on a 'space-economy transition.'72 In the space-economy transition, activities which could once only be carried out within the higher transactional densities of a city core can now often be completed within apparently 'rural' spaces. Transactional densities are closely linked to advances in circulation.73 w/ See also P. Saunders (1985) "Space, the City and Urban Sociology," in D. Gregory and J. Urry (eds.) Social Relations and Spatial Structures. New York St. Martin's Press, pp. 67-89, page 80. 10I Nigel Thrift (1989) "Introduction: New Models of the City," in N. Thrift and R. Peet (eds.) New Models in Geography. Winchester, Mass.: Unwin-Hyman, pp. 43-54, page 51; See also Lefebvre (1991) op cit, or P. Saunders (1986) Social Theory and The Urban Question. London: Hutchison. 71/ B. Koppel (1991) "The Rural-Urban Dichotomy Re-examined: Beyond the Ersatz Debate," in Ginsburg et al (eds), op cit. Also, as Harvey has put it "... the urban-rural distinction has lost its real economic basis, although it lingers, of course, within the realms of ideology with some important results. But to regard it as a fundamental conceptual tool for analysis is in fact to dwell upon a lost distinction that was in any case but a surface manifestation of the division of labour." D. Harvey (1989a) The Urban Experience, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, page 73. nl See T.G. McGee (1991) op cit, pages 6-7. 73/ Rural hinterlands in Asia also generally provide the population densities suitable for establishing a diversified regional economy — population densities allow for high levels of transactional density which are 4 1 In the Singapore case, the increasing numbers of jet boats linking the Riaus to Singapore or the ubiquitous transport trucks moving between Johor and Singapore illustrate something of this dynamism. The space-economy transition is crucial to regional reformation, it affects and reflects the changing contexts of individual actions. Improvements in circulation have the ability to bring new opportunities and influences to rural areas. However, this process does not occur deus ex machina. It is often local agents who drive the transformation of spatial relations (e.g., new private bus routes or state-built infrastructure) and who take advantage of emergent possibilities as the space-economy is convulsed. Mega-urbanization is a form of extensive globalization where the perceived opportunities (and differences) at the edge draw investors and workers alike to the new landscape which they are in turn forming.74 In terms of opportunities, investors currently seem to be seeking out the economic rents available by tapping into once rather remote but now potentially accessible rural settings, especially in search of cheap land and labour. With advances in accessibility, large economic rents may be achieved by being at the cutting edge of transformation. The 'edges' of economic opportunity found in mega-urban zones are especially attractive to investors because the frenzy of growth is so intense and access to a global hub is usually easy (as in the Growth Triangle). Beyond the possibilities of land speculation, once 'remote and rural' areas are also especially conducive to establishing new production and/or recreation complexes because of the characteristics of labour.75 These traits include: pre-requisites for a flexible region. 74/ This theme came out strongly in interviews with workers and employers. 75/ Although not in the Growth Triangle case, rural hinterlands in Asia also generally provide the population densities suitable for establishing a diversified regional economy. Population densities allow for high levels of 42 1) low cost 2) inexperience in wage labour and thus less prone to militancy 3) more easily retrenched in the event of a slow-down (e.g., T>ack to the farm'). As Storper and Walker have pointed out, cheap and flexible labour in and of itself is not enough to guarantee investment — cheap labour on a world-wide scale is plentiful. This is indeed the dilemma of 'false cheapness.' If real costs were lower in poorer areas, more industry would have previously moved to the most depressed regions of the Third World than has so far been the case.76 Rather, the location and accessibility of the labour as well as productivity must also be considered (i.e., the spatial context of the labour process is crucial). Besides needing 'thick' local circulation levels, mega-urban zones also need global connectivity. Singapore presents the regional periphery with a superb communications and transportation centre. This 'uplink' to the world economy gives the region a global presence and is the source of a good deal of investment.77 The Growth Triangle would not exist if not for Singapore's strategic niche in the global flow of commerce.78 Singapore's global niche is a central part of the region's differentiated and distinct offerings. 7. Differentiation Much like world cities, mega-urban zones are also characterized by differentiation. transactional density ~ a pre-requisite for a flexible region. McGee goes further to argue that the socio-economic apparatus of rice paddy production predisposes work forces to inclusion in mixed, flexible labour markets. See T.G. McGee (1991) "The Emergence of Desa-Kota Regions in Asia," in Ginsburg, Koppel and McGee (eds.) op cit, page 14; see also H. Oshima (1986) "The Transition from an Agricultural to an Industrial Economy in East Asia," Economic Development and Cultural Change. 34 (4), pp. 783-810. 76/ See M. Storper and R. Walker (1989) op cit, page 73. 77/ The 'uplink' is crucial, for example, to Johor's official policy of 'twinning' its resources with Singapore's global connections. See Johor State Economic Planning Division (1992) Johor Operational Master Plan. Johor Bahru. 16I In the global view of international investors, Singapore and Johor are spectacularly close. As Peter Woo of Hong Kong's Wharf Holdings has put it "We see Singapore and Johor as one entity." - New Straits Times, 19/4/92:2 43 Within the regional ensemble, the distinctions between Singapore and its periphery are the most evident, but one should also note the differentiation within the new spaces in the regional periphery. As I will outline in Chapters IV and V, in Johor and the Riaus, changes in employment structures and the diversification of economic activity traditionally linked to urbanization are occurring over a wide area and in once remote village communities. In the past, the urbanization process and the social and economic developments (such as differentiation) which it entailed were thought of as 'city-based' phenomenon. The mega-urban model argues that we need to think of urbanization as region-based urbanization.79 Region-based urbanization reflects an eclectic mix of creativity, opportunities and constraints which are coming to characterize 'rural' spaces. Like many frontier zones, the regulatory control capacity of governments in mega-urban zones (and of Johor and the Riaus) is small and the new arenas of accumulation in the hinterland are bursting out of control. The trend to regional heterogeneity, spawned by the mix of agents and the lack of regulatory control, is magnified as the contexts of individual action are continually shifted. The impingement of global market forces must be seen as the primary element shifting local opportunities and constraints and thus as underpinning (but not determining) local 79/ This point has important consequences for development planning. For example, rather than witnessing a full blown urban transition (the population moving form 'rural' to 'urban' areas) as has been so long predicted, many areas in Asia are now experiencing a 'space-economy' transition where extensive areas, often many miles from urban cores, are developing very rapidly. The implications of this trend are at least two-fold. First, it will be necessary to rethink projections of population distributions for the future (and thus for service delivery plans) as cities may no longer be the centres of growth. Second, the mega-urban model is changing the very way that 'modernization' is reaching the countryside. Traditionally, the impulses of 'modernization' were considered to diffuse down through an urban hierarchy and eventually into the hinterlands (i.e., urban based and biased social change). This pattern is being supplanted in the mega-urban zones by a 'region-based' modernization process. Once 'rural' and 'backward' areas may well be experiencing deeper and more rapid social change than that found in secondary cities. 44 transformation.80 This said, it is also useful to remember the agency of local governments and developers in negotiating their new spaces within the global grid of possibilities. To attract investment, the mega-urban regional ensemble needs to differentiate itself (from other regions) on a global scale. As will be shown, the regional complex of Singapore, Johor and the Riaus has been asserted in the sphere of global investment precisely in light of its (presented) unique offerings as a region (and in terms of the distinctions within the region). It is a self-defined region consciously composed by its elements in order to mark its space in the circuits of global investment. It need not be argued that differentiation is solely the result of conscious local agency and design. The specific mix of 'local' contingencies and unintended consequences is by definition unique to each region. Regional differentiation is also the result of the specific manner in which each arena has been incorporated into wider economic rearms. The incorporation process has representational and circulatory dimensions. The way a given region is perceived from the 'outside' (i.e., what 'distinguishes' it) will affect of investment patterns and other forms of interaction (as the case study illustrates, is the case in the Growth Triangle). 8. Summing-up: The Models of Mega-Urbanization and World City Formation Although specific mega-urbanizing regions vary in their detailing, they reflect a generalized set of spatial changes. The specific outlines of the Growth Triangle will be addressed throughout the dissertation. For now I should like to redraw the key elements of the mega-urban model. First, it avoids the artificial duality of rural and urban and examines processes. These processes are based on a space-economy transition that has woven a complex m/ It is the mix of broadly similar contextual variables (technology, global economic trends and local inventiveness) which gives mega-urban regions their mix of familiarity and distinctiveness. The enterprise of individual and institutional agents within given settings are fundamental to regional formation and the uniqueness of each regional melange. 45 web of transactional space throughout the once 'distant' rural hinterland. Second, this web is fundamentally affected by levels of circulation. Third, mega-urban regions tend to present highly differentiated and tumultuous landscapes. Fourth, mega-urban regions in the main are archetypically closely linked to the world economy (i.e., they are a grounded manifestation of globalization). The global link is important. Gottman also foresaw the necessity of this linkage: It seems a necessary condition of a megalopolis is a hinge articulating two or more networks, one of them a national internal network, and the other an international and overseas network.81 I am arguing that this hinging function is most effectively carried out by a world city — especially a world city with entrepot functions such as Singapore. Singapore is the well-spring of the tremendous cash influx which is swamping and revamping the space-economies and land-use regimes of Johor and the Riaus. In the case of the Growth Triangle, the mega-urban shadow zone needs its globally articulated, world city core. While the models of mega-urbanization and world city formation have applicability to elements of the regional ensemble it is their integration which provides the interpretive axis of this piece. For this reason, a 'regional approach' has been adopted. Yet this regional approach must be 'open' and straddle the middle space between the global and the local.82 The middle space is critical to understanding the region's unfolding but it is also a difficult terrain to map. 81/ J. Gottmann (1990) Since Megalopolis: The Writings of Jean Gotlmann. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, p. 164. ffi/ In this sense my approach is distinct from Sayer's portrayal of what the Wew Regional Geography is all about. He suggests that the new regionalism seems to operate at any scale (i.e., being conflated with locality at any scale). See A. Sayer (1989) "The New Regional Geography and Problems of Narrative," Environment and Planning D Society and Space, 7, pp. 253-276, page 255. 46 F. METHODOLOGIES AND MIDDLE SPACE: THE GROWTH TRIANGLE AS OPEN REGION 1. The Meso-Scale Equidistant from the stars and the atoms are the familiar middle ground distances of the geographer. (P. Hagget)83 This study is about middle space. Its focus is the emergence of an open regional economy. However, analysis at the regional or meso-scale is a tremendously daunting task.84 It can make research frustrating and unfocused. I say unfocused because the road maps of macro theory lose some of their directive capacity as one explores new backroads and ungazetted landmarks.85 Further, the meso-scale lacks the potential depth and containment which one might achieve from a very focused study of a village undergoing change. In some ways, the points I have just made are overstatements: all research is shaped by a priori theoretical positioning and no local place is contained. However, my point is not so much meant to create caricatures of the micro and macro, but to highlight the difficulty of the meso-scale where there is less to hold on to 'going in.'86 83/ Peter Hagget in his aptly titled The Geographer's Art, cited in D. Gregory (1994) Geographical Imaginations. Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell, page 55. **/ For useful discussions of the issues of scales of inquiry, see B. Dewalt and P.J. Pelto (1985) Micro and Macro Levels of Analysis in Anthropology: Issues in Theory and Research. Boulder Colorado.: Westview; A. Giddens (1984) The Constitution of Society, Berkeley: University of California Press; or N. Smith (1989) "Uneven Development and Location Theory," in R. Peet and N. Thrift (eds.) op cit, pp. 142-163, page 145. 85/ The tensions between theorization and empirical study are very much a concern of the present study. However, rather than engage this arena of debate in an explicit vein I have decided to set about writing an analysis which is informed by discussions surrounding such dualisms as theory-general and empirical-local but which is not consumed nor directed by them. For a review of discussions in this area see A. Sayer (1991) "Behind the Locality Debate: Deconstructing Geography's Dualisms," Environment and Planning A. 23, pp. 283-308; David Harvey (1987) "Three Myths in Search of Reality in Urban Studies," Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 5, pp. 367-376; or D. Massey (1993) op cit. 86/ Those emphasizing the state (e.g., Poulantzas) and/or national economies (e.g., the French Regulationists) would find this something of an overstatement. These authors place a great deal of emphasis on the meso-scale as outlined by national economies/polities. However, the growing transcendence of national boundaries, regional inequalities and political fragmentation have rendered the nation state an increasingly difficult unit of 47 2. Differentiation and Dynamism The unevenness, scale and pace with which spatial transformation is occurring has a number of research implications. First, the very differentiation process which attracts the eye makes a reliance on both detailed site-specific studies and broad regional statistical generalizations moot. Second, it is not possible to present the full scale of spatial change at its many levels. There are simply too many elements implicated in spatial change. Third, the fluidity and currency of the changes I am investigating makes for a moving target. One can at best outline the region's trajectory based on a mosaic of 'triangulations' of elements of change.87 As outlined in subsequent chapters, the processes I have researched seem to have peaked in 1992 when I did the bulk of my field work. For the sake of continuity, I have decided to focus on 1992 as the focal point for data (in most cases). 3. Issues Directly Relating to the Growth Triangle A broad-based study of regional transformation also needs to be set in the practical confines of the forms of information which are available at the meso-scale (see also Appendix 1). In the Growth Triangle, hard data on regional change in toto are difficult to come by. This is not simply because of the difficulties one might expect in using different national data sets.88 It is also part of the nature of the research focus. Part of the economic success of the nations analysis. See works of N. Poulantzas (1978) (Trans. P. Camiller) State. Power. Socialism. London: New Left Books; M. Aglietta (1979) A Theory of Capitalist Regulation: The US Experience. London: New Left Books; A. Lipietz (1984) Mirages and Miracles: The Crisis of Global Fordism. London: Verso or cf. R. Fagan and R.B. LeHeron (1994) "Re-interpreting the Geography of Accumulation: the Global Shift and Local Restructuring," Society and Space. (12), pp. 265-285. 87/ This difficulty is a key one affecting research in most mega-urban regions. It was the focus of a workshop at the "Conference on Managing ASEAN's Mega-Urban Regions," AIT, Bangkok, Nov 30-Dec 03, 1992. w/ In the present case, the difficulties of the meso-scale have been aggravated by the complexity of dealing with five different political entities (for data) and three nations. The Growth Triangle region, as a whole, is extremely fragmented in terms of data availability and quality. 48 involved and of the Growth Triangle itself is based on the representation (statistical and otherwise) of the contours of change. In this case, a kind of boosterism characterizes official data (on which investment decisions are made) and even the work of local researchers.89 Data on regional change is part of the representation/marketing of the region and must be seen in this light.90 Further, there is a great deal of sensitivity about releasing data on the region and its transformation because: 1) of the sense of competition which pervades the local marketplace (information about change is key to competitive positioning and is guarded.); 2) of the geo-politics involved in the regional reformation and the extreme sensitivities in Indonesia and Malaysia to Singapore's 'capture' of a new hinterland within their territories;91 and 3) the role of ruling political parties and actors in directly profiting from the region's unfolding. 4. Research Approach In this light, I have had to make some methodological decisions. From the start, my approach is synthetic.92 I have tried to keep my research approach as broad as possible. I have *"/ I am not suggesting that local researchers have consciously obscured the reality of change, but rather they have tended to emphasize policy dynamics and potentials rather than negativities or consequences. This is especially the case in Singapore. Singapore is a very small working milieu where the feeling of national pride and vulnerability is pervasive. The work of the 'intellectual elite' (who often are educated abroad with government funds and work at the University or government-linked research institutes) must be part of the national development capacity. As such, their work is both theoretically advanced and well argued, but highly selective in its scope. ^V The most up-to-date data often must be gleaned from materials designed for prospective investors. 9I/ Indeed, I was unable to get required research permits (after some 18 months of waiting) from both Indonesia and Malaysia on the topic at hand. This was in spite of the best intentions of well-connected local researchers who volunteered to collaborate with my study. It was even impossible to get topographic maps of southern Johor made after 1970 as they were deemed sensitive for security concerns. Research on Batam was also aggravated by the fact that (for geo-political reasons) the Singapore government does not publish any figures on trade with Indonesia. 91 I The process of synthesis is particularly given to bias. This is in part because the region, as the realists might have it, is a chaotic conception. The mere fact of co-presence does not signify a causal relationship. It is this fact which opens up regional inquiry to bias. On the other hand, the contingent relationships can reveal 49 relied on three main lines of inquiry: 1) empirical examination -1 spent some 13 months in the region 'seeing for myself the validity of statistical representation and official pronouncements. Research involved 110 qualitative interviews with regional politicians, business leaders, academics and citizens (I did not try to quantify their comments but rather worked at drawing out key contours of regional change from a compilation of the differing perspectives;93 2) newspaper searches - despite the fact that the news media in Singapore and Malaysia are very controlled, the local newspapers are excellent sources of fragmentary data which may then be recombined to yield wider insights; and 3) statistical materials — although there is no 'Growth Triangle' data set, I have used a wide array of statistical sources to make key connections and identify key trends. It is in the reconfiguration of existing data that this study's major research contribution is to be found. The motif I have employed to focus analysis has been the consideration of circulation and differentiation. In sum, information about the unfolding of the region is shadowy. This is part of the source of my title. Much like the region's famed Wayang Kulit (shadow puppetry), one is faced with the dancing, shifting imagery of change behind veils of secrecy, discourse and complexity which obscure some of the realities of the unfolding scene. The portrait of the region is admittedly something of a shadow, a silhouette of a complex, highly textured and variegated process based on an array of sources from a variety of angles. However, as in a chiaroscuro a good deal more than might be the case with pre-given assumptions about causation. Further, as Sayer has suggested, it is not always desirable to reduce the object so that it is less chaotic, because it may never-the-less of interest as a whole. A. Sayer (1984) Method in Social Science. London: Huthchison, page 227. 93/ This approach is derived from E. Schoenberger (1991) "The Corporate Interview Research Method in Economic Geography," Professional Geographer. 43 (2), pp. 180-189. 50 painting, the shading of edges and the evocation of shadows can perhaps provide a truer sense of depth and fullness than may result from imposing stark outlines.94 I will begin my search for the roots of the current changes from the margins (first historical, then spatial) and spiral towards the core (Singapore today). At each stage a layer will be added to the regional portrait. The resultant image will itself be shifting from 'islands in the stream' (cargoes) to 'shadows beneath the wind' (finance and information) as the examination of the Growth Triangle as open region unfolds. 94/ I am struck by Greenberg's thoughts on the way the impressionist painters of late 19th century Paris tried to come up with new, less defined modes of representation to come to terms with the city's emerging rural/urban belt. C. Greenberg (1994) "Region Based Urbanization in Bangkok's Extended Periphery" Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of British Columbia. S7 CHAPTER HI. HISTORICAL LINKAGES, PATTERNS AND TEXTURE OF CHANGE IN THE GLOBAL/REGIONAL INTERFACE ...East and West must seek my aid Ere the spent hull may dare the ports afar The second doorway of the wide world's trade is mine to loose or bar. (Rudyard Kipling on Singapore)1 ... it is not so much from the fine character of its foreign merchantmen that the harbour of Singapore is chiefly remarkable; it is rather from the extraordinary variety of nondescript native craft that swarm the shoaler waters.(J. Cameron 1865)2 A. INTRODUCTION The present day space economy of the Growth Triangle region has not arisen fully formed deus ex machina. The local, regional and global forces 'producing' the region have remade and recombined the accumulated sediment of past epochs. The 'geologic analogy' linked to Doreen Massey's book Spatial Divisions of Labour rings particularly true for the strata underlying today's volcanic changes.3 Yet, as she has more recently clarified, one needs to '/ From Rudyard Kipling's "The Song of the Cities," cited in Wong Lin Ken (1991) "Commercial Growth Before the Second World War," in Ernest Chew and Edwin Lee (eds.) A History of Singapore, pp. 41-65, page 41. 7 J. Cameron (1865) cited in Wong Lin Ken (1960) "The Trade of Singapore, 1819-1969," Journal of the Malay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 33 (4), page 71. 3/ D. Massey (1984) Spatial Divisions of Labour. London: MacMillan, see also her 1993 comments on the 'geological metaphor' in Progress in Human Geography. 17 (1), pages 71-72. 52 move beyond the stasis of periodized cross sections and engage the nature of change - to look at geomorphological processes within the shifting landscapes of developing space economies as well as understanding the substratum, the foundation rocks and tectonics of today's landscape. In the following chapter I will outline how the process of change occurred, from one strata to the next, so to speak. In each instance I will be attempting to draw out the importance of the patterns set in place in the past (e.g., Singapore's centrality) as old 'local worlds' were destroyed and new ones created: the foundational elements of today's regional (re)formation. The four main themes in this chapter are: 1) the manner in which earlier periods established key patterns in the way circulation came to be managed and set the tone for the political economy of today. Li particular, the early linkages between world city formation and regional development are crucial. 2) the specific nature of the opening up of the lands of the region and the 'positioning' of various groups of actors and locations within the emerging space economy (e.g., ethnicity, class and gender); 3) the multiple and overlapping geographies which cross-sect and define the region. These separate geographies lie at the root of the political fragmentation of the region into the three parts of today and are central to its present re-constitution; 4) the way in which historical records bring home the fact that the triad described as the Growth Triangle is indeed one of a series of recombinations of the constellations of the Riau Islands, Singapore and the Malay peninsula. The times when the three areas of my concern have been integrated far surpass the period when they have been sundered. The global/regional interface with which this study is so concerned should not be seen as a strictly recent phenomenon. Historically, the space economy of the region surrounding Singapore was in all instances deeply articulated with the shifting currents of circulation and increasingly impinging global markets. The region in its various apparitions and global dynamics can not be separated. 53 B. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, AND MORE: EARLY PRECEDENTS IN THE CONTROL OF CIRCULATION. 1. Circulation Figure 3.1 The Location of the Straits of Malacca The themes of circulation and the interaction of the global and the regional run very deep into the heart of the region's history. The ebbs and flows of trade, much like the coming and going of the monsoons, have long provided the backdrop for the rise and fall of the various polities which have occupied the precious geographical niche where the sea lanes of east and west meet. The history of 'The Golden Khersonese,' as the Malay Peninsula was known in f 54 more ancient times, is one of shifting power bases and struggles to control this critical bottleneck in global geography.4 At the macro scale, the geographical niche occupied by the Straits of Malacca and the societies which governed it through to the 19th century was critical for three main reasons. First, the Straits were located at the intersection of the Indian, Chinese and Southeast Asian rearms of commerce. Second, the area was one of only two points (the other being the Sunda Straits) in an 8,000 mile journey where the spice trade from the islands of present day Indonesia to the Middle East and Europe could be monopolized (due to the constricted passages of the Straits). Third, the Straits' position was very well suited to the nature of sea-faring and its relation to climate and the monsoons during pre-square rigged and pre-steamship times.5 The monsoons dictated the flow of goods and people. Running with the monsoons, the trading ships from Gujerat would come to the straits between March and May, southern Indians from October to January, the Chinese would arrive between November and March and need to wait until June to return, and the Javanese would arrive in the months between May and September and wait until January to return home.6 It is because of the fortuitous conjunction of monsoonal wind patterns that the region is sometimes called "the lands beneath the winds." 2. Early Urban Nodes Due to the waiting periods and mismatched timing of the monsoons a distinct niche developed for the port which could provide needed services and supplies. These services 7 P. Wheatley (1961) The Golden Khersonese: Studies in the Historical Geography of the Malay Peninsula Before AD 1500. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press. 5/ Singapore, and the Straits' area was also fortunate to be in an excellent location to act as a refuelling stop for steamships as well as attracting sailing ships. See Francis E. Hyde (1973) Far Eastern Trade. 1860-1914. London: Adam and Black. 6I C. Mary Turnbull (1989) A History of Malaysia. Singapore and Brunei. Boston: Allen and Unwin, page 29. 55 included maintaining a market of suitable goods for trade, ship repairing, financing credit, providing storage and providing mediation between the different cultures involved. From early on then, the successful urban centre in the Straits was a service economy based on 'global' circulation. Yet local connections and the localized manner in which control capacities were produced have also long been important to urban development in the region. a) Sri Vijaya The first halcyonic society in the region was that of the Sri Vijayan empire, which dominated the Straits from circa 700 to 1100 AD.7 The urban core of Sri Vijaya was located some 75 kilometres upstream on the Palembang river in Sumatra, seemingly not a propitious location for the control of the Straits of Malacca. The city rose to power for a number of reasons which set important precedents. The city's location, although outside shipping lanes, did give ready access to valuable commodities in the jungles of Sumatra. Intra-regional trade has always been important to the success of trade at the wider, global scale. The volume of local goods finding their ways into larger markets served to underpin the successes to be found in capturing the transient flows of international trade moving through the region. Ores (notably gold and tin), jungle products (such as aromatics and resins) and the products of the sea (such as seaweed) were critical to the sustenance of the regional entrepot.8 7/ The dates for the Sri Vijayan period are unclear. Sri Vijaya, was known to be Buddhist and was considered a great city of learning as early as 671 when it was visited by the famed Chinese scholar I Ching on his pilgrimage to the holy land of India. Wheatley (1961) op cit, page 42. Andaya and Andaya (1982) provide a useful caveat here. As our historical references for the period are largely Chinese it may be that the record is simply 1)lind' to other trading centres which thrived without dependency on China but which may have also had a great impact in the region. It also needs to be noted that archaeological evidence does not fully support the accounts of Arab and Chinese traders and Malay lore. - See Barbara and Leonard Andaya (1982) A History of Malaysia. Hongkong: Methuen, pages 18-22. 8/ O.W. Wolters (1970) The Fall of Sri Vijaya in Malay History, London: Lund Humphries. 56 The small scale but critical trade was also important in that it bound the Malay traders to tribal peoples (orang asli) who collected the products from throughout the hinterlands (increasing the density of transactions of the region) and it was the source of very important links with China (a core of old world global trade) where the demand for these goods was greatest. The importance of a local base of products is still present today and underlies Singapore's quest for fuller regional integration in the guise of the Growth Triangle. Due to the nature of its products (i.e., rainforest and sea commodities) and a number of successful embassies, the state of Sri Vijaya had very close relations with Imperial China.9 It was also physically well placed on the Northeast Monsoons which Chinese traders would follow in their ships. The monopoly of this key external relation was a fundamental source of the city's power and thus of its ability to control the surrounding lands and seas.10 The maintenance of the city's centrality was further maintained through the use of 'pirates.' Pirates would escort passing ships to the harbour, charge them tariffs and enforce the authority of Sri Vijaya. A Chinese visitor writing in 1225 noted that, If some foreign ship passing this place should not enter here [Sri Vijaya], an armed party would certainly come out and kill [the sailors] to the last man.11 Through its enforced centrality of circulation Sri Vijaya became even more powerful and exerted its influence from Puhket through the Riaus and possibly beyond to Borneo. In so 7 This argument is strongly advanced by O.W. Wolters (1970) op cit. One should note, however, that the vast majority of the documentation on Sri Vijaya comes from Chinese sources and this may serve to somewhat overplay the importance of the China Trade. 10I The conquest of other littoral Kingdoms of the Malay Peninsula, in particular those which held control over the Isthmus of Kra, where goods could be transhipped to avoid taxes on sea lanes (see Figure 3.1), allowed Sri Vijaya to deny any potential competitors the space to establish a rival entrepot. "/ Cited in Wheatley (1961) op cit, page 298. 57 doing it set the precedent for the centrality of the control of circulation and provided the model for subsequent regimes. In summary then, two key themes emerge from the Sri Vijayan case. These are: 1) the early interdependencies between regional and global trade in the development of successful urban nodes in the region; and 2) the need to control circulation. There is, however, more to the regional geography than the importance of multivalent trade which the Sri Vijayan case highUghts. The region was, and is produced by people acting on the possibilities and constraints offered by new connections (both globally and regionally). C. PEOPLING THE STRAITS An historical examination is also useful in that it allows one to illustrate the roles of key groups of actors in the region and how they were 'positioned' by the events of geography and history as the regional space-economy evolved and how they exerted agency which in turn defined the region and its global niche. Thus, a useful way of apprehending the development of the region is to create a kind of historical triangle, looking at three major groups of regional actors: the Malays, the Chinese and the Europeans.12 This division is useful in that it allows one to unpack at least a crude triad of the many geographies which make up the region and set the scene for later developments. My goal is not to recount the length of each group's history in the region but rather to use each to highlight general themes regarding the nature of the region, its ongoing production, the growing centrality of Singapore and the roots of the eventual fragmentation of the region. As such, the historical narratives will be partial. 12/ This is not meant to subsume the role of the region's South Asian population. However, their impact on the formative period of development can not be considered to be on the same scale as that of the other three groups I have mentioned. For discussions of the South Asians in the region see the excellent K. Sandhu (1969) Indians in Malaya. London: Cambridge University Press; or M. Stenson (1980) Class. Race and Colonialism in West Malaysia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. 1. The Malay13 World of Trade 58 The view of the region's development is often couched in the terms of the those who came to colonize the it.14 As Carl Trocki has noted, "No country's history is so well documented yet so poorly understood as that of the former colony."15 Pushing the colonial story to the side for the moment,161 will trace the region's premier Malay lineage and the way its 'story' winds through the region's geography and history. The ebbs and flows of Malay identity are deeply bound up with the rulers of Sri Vijaya and especially with their descendants in Malacca and the Malaccan lineage. These leaders provide the threads of the Malay narrative as espoused in Seraju Malayu or The Malay Annals and The Tuhfat al Nafis or The Precious Gift and provide the touchstone for this analysis.17 13/ The term Malay has evolved over the years, denoting different groups in different settings. At times it has specifically meant the Melayalu of Sumatra (the 'originals'), or the peoples of Riau and Johor and more recently, in British Malaya, the term was used to refer to a polyglot of archipelagian peoples. The general self-definition of Malay identity which seems to have emerged over the years is that one is Malay who follows Malay customs, speaks Malay, is Moslem and draws links to Malay history. Malay history is in turn very much the history of the trading centres of the region and its rulers. 14/ For example, see F. W. Swettenham (1920) British Malaya: An Account of the Progress of British Influence in Malaya, London: Bodley Head. 15/ Carl Trocki (1979) Prince of Pirates: The Temenggongs and the Development of Johor and Singapore. 1784-1885. Singapore: Singapore University Press, page xiii. I6/ Though this is many ways impossible as even the Malay texts I have used have been re-presented in a manner which clearly differs from the origins, if only in that a sense of grounded historicity is forced upon them. For a discussion of some of the difficulties of translating and interpreting Malay works of History see the thoughts of Shelley Errington (1979) "Some Comments on Style and Meanings of the Past," in Anthony Reid and David Marr (eds.) Perceptions of the Past in South East Asia. Singapore: Heinemann Educational Books, pages 26-42 or A.H. Johns, (1979) "The Turning Image: Myth and Reality in Malay Perceptions of the Past," pages 43-67. "/ C.C. Brown (1952) 'Seraju Malayu, The Malay Annals,' Journal of the Malay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 25, (2) and (3); Ah al-Haji Riau (trans V. Matheson and B. Andaya) (1982) Tufat al-Nafis (The Precious Gift). New York Oxford University Press. Note that these narratives are highly partial. The Malay tradition of historical narratives was a verbal one (and the 'boundaries' between historical 'fact' and a 'good stor/ were not always clear. For example, the word for history Hikayat, has a more emotive connotation than Seraju which is related as annals). Further, the narrative was committed to paper during the time of dominance of a Malay sub-grouping called the Bugis and thus plays up their role. The version of the Annals I am using is referred to as Raffles MS 18 and is considered 'the' text. My focus on the narratives of the Malay leaders is due to a lack of other sources and the fact that this story contains daulat a term which captures the lineaments of royal power stretching down from Sri Vijaya to 59 From the outset, the Malay narrative has an important early phase in 'Tamasek' or 'Singapura.'18 Malay history describes a pre-British incarnation of Singapore (of several thousand people) founded by refugees from the collapse of Sri Vijaya. After injustices by the ruler of Singapura to a faithful servant the city was said to have been attacked by a swordfish. A successful defensive strategy was suggested by a child who was then slain by the leader for fear of future competition and "the guilt of his blood was laid on Singapura."19 This metaphorical guilt and Malay claims to early precedents in Singapore are important to understanding the positioning of Singapore within the current Malay geographical imagination. The island represents an abberation and something of a lost space' at the heart of the Malay world (i.e., Indonesia and Malaysia) as it evolved through British and Chinese incarnations. In any event, Singapura is usually seen as an historical stopping off point on the way to the great Malay trading city of Malacca. It is believed that Malacca was founded by refugees from Singapore after the Malay trading town there was sacked by the Javanese. The new settlement was to become the cosmopolitan city of Malacca which The Malay Annals claims to have eventually achieved a Malacca (see John R. Bowen (1983) "Cultural Models for Historical Genealogies: The Case of the Melaka Sultanate," in K.S. Sandhu and P. Wheatley (eds.) Melaka. V. I. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 162-179, page 164). I am not suggesting that a "history from below' is unwarranted, simply that for present purposes, with present resources such an undertaking would far outstrip the purpose of the piece. The roles of the leaders do capture something of the historical Malay condition and illustrate the essential linkages binding the region as a whole within the Malay world and world view. 18/ The Malay Annals relates that Singapore was founded by a man named Sri Tri Buana who was an offspring of the founders of Sri Vijaya (pages 50-55). (These founders are in turn seen as children of none other than Iskander Zul-karnain (Alexander the Great, who is seen as an Islamic King) who were magically delivered on a bill near Pelembang, Sri Vijaya.) He found his way to the Riaus, then to Tamasek (which he calls Singapura -Lion City - on seeing a strange lion-like beast there, pages 61-62) and thence to Malacca. '/ The Malay Annals, op cit, pages 80-81. 60 population of 190,000.20 The city of Malacca is an archetype of the role of core trading centres in the region and it is around Malacca that so much of the region's Malay history swirls, it is a history of movement and trade, of 'Islands in the Stream.' Much like Sri Vijaya, Malacca's power came in part from the control of circulation and its legitimacy among sea pirates (or orang laut - 'people of the sea').21 Although Malacca was in form a city state (having a very limited directly controlled hinterland) its influence also became widespread by dint of the status of its leaders and its centrality in the Malay world view. The power and success of Malacca's rulers also arose from the maintenance of key external connections and ideological positioning. Like Sri Vijaya, Malacca's ascendency was highly dependent on its trade ties with China, but also with the Islamic world of trade. Malacca was visited by the famed Admiral Zheng He (himself a Moslem) and a member of China's Imperial house was married into the Malaccan lineage. Malacca was also heavily influenced 20/ Though most estimates put the number in the 60-70,000 range. - Turnbull (1989) op cit, page 28; and Andaya and Andaya (1982) op cit page 44. 2'/ For a definitive examination of the Orang Laut and the wider grouping of 'Sea-Nomads' see D.E. Sopher (1964) The Sea Nomads, Singapore: Singapore National Museum, esp. pages 320-321. Malay tradition has it that the rulers key 'possession' in the underpopulated areas of the Peninsula were the subjects. The Orang Laut were treated respectfully by Malaccan leaders and even married into the royal family. The reciprocal responsibilities engendered by the system allowed the Malaccan rulers territorial power far outstripping their military might. In classical Malay times, subjects were so valued that it would seem a waste to use them in battle. Indeed, military power was thought of in terms different from the European norm, "In all the countries Below the Winds the peasantry and the army are one and the same and if the army suffers the country itself falls into ruin. Consequently, when the natives of this region wage war, they are extremely careful and the struggle is wholly confined to trickery and deception. They have no intention of killing each other or inflicting any great slaughter because if a general gained a real conquest, he would be shedding his own blood, so to speak." — Ibrahim, Ibn Mohammed (1688) The Ship of Sulaiman, trans from Persian by J. OTCane, London: Routledge, 1929, page 90, cited in Anthony Reid (1988) Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce. 1450-1680: Volume One. The Lands Below the Winds. New Haven: Yale University Press, page 123. 22/ The Malay faith, Islam, language (termed 'Bahasd and including behaviour) and custom (adat) were all honed by the Malaccan leaders and spread from Malacca. 6 1 by Islamic Gujerati traders who sojourned there awaiting the return monsoon. The adoption of Islam is a watershed in the city's history and is given much weight in the Malay Annals.23 Islam found its way from the port of Malacca to the more peripheral areas of the Peninsula where it served to bind together disparate groups and areas (including the present day Growth Triangle). In this way another precedent was set for today, the role of acting as linchpin between different cultural/economic realms (as Singapore strives to be a node in both Chinese and western circuits of enterprise). The policy of circulatory control and ideological hegemony was matched by what is perhaps a slightly paradoxical cosmopolitanism (this tension between control and internationalization/openness is also found in modem day Singapore). Malacca, by 1509, was home to some 4,000 foreign merchants. Reports from the chronicler Pires suggest that no fewer than 84 distinct languages could be heard in the streets of Malacca.24 A further key to the Malaccan ruler's success was the entrepot system they employed where traders were free to carry out their business and the state's wealth accrued from ship tariffs and personal trading (again, there are strong echoes with present day Singapore in this). Of course all of this would not have been possible if not for the city's enviable location in the flow of international trade. As Pires wrote, Malacca is a city that was made for merchandise, fitter than any other in the world; the end of monsoons and the beginning of others, Malacca is surrounded and lies in the middle, and the trade and commerce between different nations for a thousand leagues on every hand must come to Malacca.25 23/ Though Wake has suggested that the Islamic bias may be somewhat overdrawn in the current version. See C.H. Wake (1983) "Melaka in the 15th Century: Malay Historical Traditions and the Politics of Islamization," in Sandhu and Wheadey (eds) op cit, pp. 128-161. 24/ Datuk Zainal Abidan bin Abdul Wahid (1983) "Power and Authority in the Malay Sultanate: The Traditional View," in Sandhu and Wheadey (eds.) op cit, pp. 101-112, pages 106-107. 25/ Cited in Wheadey (1961) op cit page 313. 62 In such a critical location Malacca drew the covetous eyes of the newly arriving Europeans. The Portuguese took Malacca in 1511. However, although the Portuguese occupied the physical niche of Malacca they were unable and/or unwilling to adopt its institutional roles as the 'leader' of the region, as master of the orang laut or as contact node within established skeins of Asian commerce.26 The Sultanate carried on from a number of locations frequently attempting to retake Malacca through the formation of alliances with other Malay Kingdoms (attacking Malacca in 1512, 1515, 1516, 1519, 1521 and 1523). It was during this period of early exile that the Sultanate moved to the present day state of Johor to a site on the Johor river and thence in 1513 to the Riau island of Bintan (the multitudinous Riaus were home to the largest orang laut groups) and then later back to Johor. Despite the perturbations of new comers to the region, the Johor Malays managed to maintain their system of accumulation even as their actual power base began to wane. They did so through a deft positioning of 'islands in the stream.' As Turnbull has written, The same resilience that allowed Malacca to rise fairly quickly in the 15th century enabled it [Johor] to surmount the vicissitudes which followed. Mobile and adaptable to their environment, living by a combination of piracy and trade, without fixed agricultural base, or large permanent city, the Johor Malays could quickly recover from the destruction of their cities.27 26l See Turnbull (1989) op cit, page 41; or L. Andaya (1975) The Kingdom of Johor. 1641-1728: Economic and Political Developments. New York: Oxford University Press. Note also that the Portuguese were deeply ignorant of the region. The first Portuguese emissary to Malacca (who was also given instructions to take the town) was sent with a list of questions to ask the Chinese. The queries illustrate European ignorance. "He was to ask the Chinese where they lived and at what distance away, and at what times they came to Malacca, for what purpose, from what place they set out, what merchandise they brought ... whether they were Christians or Pagans, whether their country was large, whether moors and others dwelt among them who shared neither their faith nor their laws, and if they turned out not to be Christians, what they believed and what they worshipped, what customs they observed, in what direction was their country and by what was it bounded, and all other information concerning them." V. Purcell (1948) The Chinese in Malaya, Toronto: Oxford University Press, page 23. 21 I Turnbull (1989) op cit, pages 51-52. 63 The quick recoveries were due to their hold on the orang laut and the acquisition of wealth from the seemingly omnipresent flow of goods through the region. This said, the full resumption of the glories of the Malaccan Malay political elite could not occur without an alliance with the new military force in the region - the Dutch. The resurgence seemed complete when a joint Dutch-Johor force finally rousted the Portuguese from their Forsa at Malacca in 1641. While the new Dutch lords of Malacca struggled to balance the ledgers, using any means available to attract traders, Johor-Riau found new wealth (at the expense of Malacca) as its relations with neighbouring states and its stature in the Islamic world made it a stopping place preferable to Malacca for many traders. In 1687, the Governor of Dutch Malacca wrote, The number of ships going to Riau is so great that the river is scarcely navigable as a result of the many trading vessels in it...here traders are paid half in constant [specie] and half in cloth; whereas in Malacca they are given whatever cloth available and not the newest styles as in Riau.28 The peace with the Dutch eventually also came to an end as the Dutch set about deflecting Chinese Junk traffic to their central port of Batavia (present day Jakarta) and their clear military supremacy came to be questioned. The decline in the perceived benefits of alliance with the Dutch was matched by the incursion of another newcomer to the area - Britain. The British, needed a trading point and were increasingly attracted to Riau, fuelling its growth and undercutting Dutch authority (often trading in smuggled spices escaping from the VOC monopoly). By the late 18th, early 19th century the coherence of the Malay Malacca-Johor polity was a shattered image of its former self. The lineage was in disarray and the advisors of the rulers had risen in importance greatly. In particular, the Temonggong, originally an 28/ Cited in Andaya (1975) op cit, page 38. 64 administrative official for the royal house, had eclipsed the Sultan in terms of actual power. In 1819, the Temenggong came to make an arrangement with the British whereby they could set up a base on the sparsely settled island of Singapore.29 Knowing that this would anger the Dutch and was on very dubious legal footing, the founder of British Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, turned to the remnants of the Johor royal family, in particular a dispossessed son, Hussien. Raffles approached him for permission to set up the port at Singapore in return for British recognition of his position and 5,000 Spanish dollars/annum. The British then named him Sultan Hussien of Singapore.30 The 1824 Treaty of London further undermined Malay power and had profound affects on the region. It gave the British areas north of, and including Singapore and the Dutch the lands to the south (and including Sumatra - but not Aceh). The Treaty cut the Malay world in half severing the links between the Malayan Peninsula and Sumatra from which it had derived its language, religion, political and cultural traditions dating back centuries to the Sri Vijaya period.31 It put an end to the oscillation of seats of power between Johor and the Riaus. It is the first of two critical partings which divided today's Growth Triangle into its elemental parts, now hiving off the Riaus. Though interaction still occurred, the centrifugal forces of separate colonial territories interceded and essential holism of the region was undermined by the barriers of colonial 29/ For an excellent account of this event see Ah al-Haji Riau (1985) op cit, pages 226-228. M/ It was slow communications which saved Raffle's vision of a British Singapore. Although many in the British colonial system had thought Raffle's move unwise, by the time that the issue had been passed through the India Office in Calcutta and thence to England the British and the Dutch were focusing their attention on diminishing their animosity in Europe (and excluding the competitors such as the Germans or Americans) and were on their way to signing the Treaty of London of 1824, ceding Singapore to the British. See N. Tarling (1962) Anglo-Dutch Rivalry in the Malay World. London: Oxford University Press. 3I/ See the evocative discussion in B. Andaya (1979) Perak, The Abode of Grace: A Study of an Eighteenth Century Malay State. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. 65 geographies (i.e., the social construction of new spaces). The region began to fragment as it was drawn into an emergent global, European-centred industrial capitalist economy.32 It is also at this time that the fuller expression of British power comes to be felt in the region through punitive raids on recalcitrant local lords under the guise of pirate eradication campaigns.33 In destroying 'piracy' the colonialists also outlined a sea change in Malay history. No longer could a leader whose fortunes had reached a low ebb seek wealth on the seas and thus revive a bid for power. The struggle to rest control from the Malays expressed the spatial restructuring of the accumulation process in the region: away from 'the local' towards rather more global theatres of accumulation. Singapore was explicitly seen by Raffles as a global 'emporium.' He wrote, Unlike the Ports of India, which are the natural portals of the commerce of the country, ... Singapore is a mere depot, where goods, the produce of other countries, are stored, until a favourable opportunity for their reshipment to their final destination.34 The growth in European circuits of trade may be seen in shifts in trade flows. In 1829-30, 23% of Singapore's trade was carried out by native perahu, and 77% by square-rigged vessels; by 1865-6 the figures were 8% and 92% respectively.35 The control of circulation had shifted to European hands. Yet at the same time that the regional trade regime was being re-3Z/ For a comprehensive review of the early internationalization of Singapore's trading regime see Wong Lin Ken (1961) "The Trade of Singapore, 1819-69," Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 33 (4), Singapore: Tien Wah Press Ltd. 33/ For a discussion of the fluid and often dubious definition of the 'pirate' in the struggle to control the local sea lanes see N. Tarling (1992) "The Establishment of Colonial Regimes," in N. Tarling (ed.) The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 5-78, pages 56-59. For a less academic account, written in the 19th Century, see C.B. Buckley (1965) An Anecdotal History of Old Times in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur: University of Malay Press, pages 49, 107 and 119. M/ Cited in Wong (1961) op cit, page 159. 35/ Wong Lin Ken (1960) op cit, page 295. One should also note that local and regional trade was still immensely important, accounting for over half of trade revenues. 66 centred and focused on Singapore and its international links, there was a dispersion of activities (and the sale of British and Indian goods) ever more deeply into remote areas of the Archipelago.36 Growing global links were bound up with a newer form of regional integration. As Singapore's centrality grew, the Riaus sank into obscurity. The Riaus became an increasingly peripheral zone in the Dutch East Indies which could not compete with the British sea power in Singapore. In this way the centre was swiftly turned into the periphery - and a new centre was born - Singapore - but this centre would evolve to become resolutely British and Chinese not Malay. The story of the Riaus is one of decline and slumber. Riau fell long and hard from its glory days as the centre of the Malay world. Although the Riaus retained a Dutch residency, it was said by P.J. Begbie, a chronicler of the region (in 1834), that it had "nothing to recommend it to notice, except a pretty fort"37 and that, It does not, however, appear likely that Rhio [Riau] will ever rise into any importance as a commercial settlement, so long as the neighbouring British settlement of Singapore exists.38 Only 50 kms from what is today the largest container port in the world, the once powerful trading islands of the Riaus became rural backwaters. The waters of the archipelago were still the conduit of life but their role was as a source of fish and transport to work on other islands rather than a realm of control over the sinews of trade and a connection to the 36I See Wong (1961) op cit, pages 76-77. Further on he writes, "The full economic significance of Singapore as a Port of call for Malaysian traders was not to be measured in the profits it brought to the mercantile community of Singapore. It was to be found, rather, in the extension of trade into practically every corner of the Archipelago from which a prow [small ship] could put out for Singapore." (page 85). 37/ P.J. Begbie (1834) The Malayan Peninsula. Embracing its History. Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants, Politics. Natural History & etc.from its Earliest Records. Madras, page 304 , cited in Khoo Kay Kim (1991) Malay Society. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk Publications, page 78. */ Ibid 67 fleets of the world. As the Riaus began their long decline Johor was being reborn in a new guise. As the Temenggong's traditional sea-based sources of power were drying up, he began to find favour with the British when he decided to support their anti-pirate campaigns and acted as mediator with other Malay power brokers. The upshot of this collaboration was that the Temenggong was given sanction for his claim to holdings on the mainland - vast tracks of virtual wilderness - which became, with historical resonance, the present day state of Johor. Through to about 1800, Johor was not the focus of any large groups of population.39 The situation in Johor changed as a number of (externally originating) synergies developed. In the earliest stages, Johor's economy came to grow along with increasing external demands for resources found naturally in its forests. In particular, southern Johor was first opened up in the quest for a latex like substance known as 'Gutta-Percha' which was one of the many crops which had long been harvested from the forests by the orang asli and passed along to Malay traders and then to China. Gutta Percha was found to have industrial uses and the seemingly insatiable European demand transformed its harvesting. Quicker returns and higher volumes could be achieved through cutting the trees down rather than tapping them. The region's emergent entrance into the European industrial/colonial economy is illustrated by the rapid and pervasive exploitation of the country side. It is estimated that between 1844 and 1848, 270,000 trees were cut down in Johor to supply Gutta-Percha for industrializing Europe.40 Exports through Singapore 39/ The area was intermittently used by 'orang lauf for temporary bases and the Johor river had provided the location for numerous short lived incarnations of the Johor-Riau government but it was basically uninhabited until as late as the early 1800s. V Trocki (1979) op cit, page 88. 68 increased from 168 piculs41 of gutta percha in 1944 to 9,296 piculs in 1847.42 During this period there was very little actual settlement in the state, and the 'urban system' was largely a number of 'river houses,' at the mouths of rivers from which harvesters would set off upstream to gather Gutta Percha.43 These river-mouth houses were important as they allowed the Temenggong to control the flow of Gutta Percha and reap windfall profits from its sale (again, to accumulate through the control of circulation). Once the Gutta Percha stocks were nearly exhausted the leader of Johor needed another source of capital acquisition from his lands. This source came in the form of Chinese gambier and pepper planters who set up crude plantations upstream on Ichor's rivers drawing wealth to both the Temenggong and Singapore. The state's potential for growing export crops (because of large amount of 'empty land') and the increasing numbers of Chinese available to 'colonize the landscape' (as the great Chinese diaspora was beginning44) gave the Temenggong the elements he needed to build a 'New Joho/ ('Johor Bahru'). This is a critical moment in that it set the stage for the development of a hinterland through which capital, people, goods and information could be funnelled to, and through Singapore - providing Singapore a regional base from which to accumulate capital and which would need its services — including connections to global 41/ One picul is equal to 100 catties or about 135 pounds. 42/ Wong Lin Ken (1961) op cit, page 99. 43/ This system was called the Kangchu system and Trocki argues that it was imported from the Riaus as the rigour of the British systems of land control was not suitable for the fluid and rapidly opening frontier zone. Trocki (1979) op cit, page 90. **/ See Purcell (1948) op cit; L. Pan (1990) Sons of the Yellow Emperor: The Story of the Overseas Chinese. London: Secher and Warburg; or Victor Limlingan (1986) The Overseas Chinese in ASEAN. Manila: Vita Development Corporation. 69 markets.45 In turn, market information, capital, materiel and labour were marshalled in Singapore for the opening of the new lands. The majority of surplus value generated on the frontier tended to find its way to Singapore where the outfitting of (Chinese) planters and transhipment generally occurred and where thos