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The evolution of overseas Chinese social organization in the nineteenth century western Malay states Leigh, Woh-Peng 1974

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/ THE EVOLUTION OF OVERSEAS CHINESE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY WESTERN MALAY STATES by IJxSIGH WOH-FEWG B ' t A . , U n i v e r s i t y o f Malays ia , I 9 6 8 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department o f Anthropology and Socio logy We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January, 197^ In p resent ing t h i s t hes i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y sha l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission fo r ex tens ive copying o f t h i s thes is f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may tie granted by the Head of my Department or by h is r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in sha l l not be al lowed w i thout my w r i t t e n permiss ion. Department o f $ a c j ; olo The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date J o-i-v CA^-T-V^ ' ^  1H 4-ABSTRACT An attempt i s made to demonstrate that locally-based Chinese communities ss such did not take shape at the point of setttoent i n the western Malay States during the early half of the nineteenth century. Rather, they evolved end eventually emerged through a slow process of change, the effects of which may be found mirrored i n the fluctuating fortunes of the i n i t i a l l y all-powerful and all-encompassing secret societies. With growing length of settlement and expansion, d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n took place and social stratification occurred. Economic and social leadership emerged and became stabilized. Com ensurately, stakes i n and attachment to the local environment mounted. Thus almost imperceptibly to the participants, locally-based and orientated overseas communities took shape and grew. As the yardstick of s o c i a l prestige became increasingly interpreted i n l o c a l terms, leaders began to court the favours of the masses more and more. • In this arocess, the coming of indirect B r i t i s h rule i n the Malay States contributed not a l i t t l e to i t s gatherigg:,:momentuB. Owing to the r e l a t i v e scarcity of comprehensive h i s t o r i c a l data on the subject and the period under study, i t has also been the aim of t h i s thesis to provide some detailed background information on the p o l i t i c s of the: host society as well as the groupings of the various secret societies xn Malaya. TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page I Introduction 1 II The Western Malay States and the Bole of the Host'- 11 Society III Movement' of Chinese Miners into the Malay States; 30 Secret Societies: their Hole and Development from 1810-1860. IV Social Organization of the Mines, I83O-I87O. 64 V Developments from I87O to I89O. 113 VI Conclusion 184 VII. Bibliography 196 List of Figures and Tables -Groupings of the Chinese in the Western Malay States in iv the Nineteenth Century (Table) -Map A - The Malay Statess Place-Names Referred to in v. the Text -Map B - The Larut D i s t r i c t of Perak v i -Map.C'- Areas of Origin for Chinese Migrants to the Malay v i States Tables- GROUPINGS OF THE CHINESE IN THE WESTERN MALAY STATES IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Secret Society GHEE HIN j L HAI SAN TSUNG PAK KUN l l f TOA PEH KONG 'L N HO HUP SEAH -jfn ;j:jL HO SENG Dialect Groups -Fei Chew 4 l (Hakka) -Sun Neng ^ -Teochew -Chin Chew (Hokkien) -Cantonese -Fei Chew (Hakka) . -Chin Sang }A (Hakka) * -Kah Yeng Chew ft* (Hakka) -local-born Hokkien -Sun Neng -Cantonese -dissidents Mining Area. -Klian Bahru -KLian Bahru -Perak -Perak -Perak -Sungei Ujong, Klang, Kuala Lumpur -KLian Pauh -Sungei Ujong, Kanching, Langat -Perak -Klian Bahru -Perak JOHORE \ MAP A. •'- THE MALAY STATES "Pv. SINGAPORE" MAP THE LARUT DISTRICT OF PERAK MAP C:-AREAS OF ORIGIN FOR CHINESE MIGRANTS TO THE MALAY STATES ACKNOWLEDGMENT The author wishes to thank, The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia f o r the -provision of funds f o r the course of her studies, Professor C. BeIshaw f o r h i s i n i t i a l a i d and continued i n t e r e s t , Dr. K.O.L. Burridge f o r the invalusble assistance he h«s offered i n t h i s respect, Dr. G. Johnson who had been Supervisor, Counsellor and. f r i e n d throughout the long period of struggle, Drs. Willmott and Wickberg f o r t h e i r consta.nt and h e l p f u l suggestions and ideas. And a l l those members of the Department who have i n one way or a.nother given f r e e l y of t h e i r time and at t e n t i o n . Chapter I INTRODUCTION -Ia-in recent years much attention has turned to the study of overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia and North America, Their continued survival as distinct communities within larger host societies challenges scholars in the f i e l d to seek a n explanation of the phenomenon. Interest has turned to the nature and possible significance of Chinese organizational beh aviour outside of China. These attempts have given rise to different theories on how Chinese associations and the i n i t i a l common stock of organizational experience from which these derived, influenced and lent continuity to the cultural survival of the Chinese overseas, Crissman attempted to establish that a relationship exists between the social experience of the Chinese peasart at home and that which he faced overseas. The crux of this explanation lay in the existence of 1 an "inter-relationship of urban and rural Chinese culture and society". 2 Through this inter-relationship seemingly rural 'sociologicallprinciples!* of social organization became readily adaptable and relevant even to essentially urban situations overseas. Thus, as Crissman concludes: The unity underlying the diversities in urban and rural l i f e demanded a parallel, and i n a sense inevitably 1, Crissman, L.W., "The Segmentary Structure of Urban Overseas Chinese Comm-unities, " Man, 2(2), p, 202 (1967) 2. See Skinner, G.W., "Chinese Peasants and the Close Community: Ah Open and Shut Case," Comparative Studies in Society and History. 1_3_(3)» July, 1971. s i m i l a r , development of Chinese urban society abroad. The basic s o c i o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s that organize r u r a l l i f e -descent, l o c a l i t y , and o c c u p a t i o n — are also used to order urban society. Indeed i t i s not just the same p r i n c i p l e s , but the same f a c t s of s t i p u l a t e d agnation and o r i g i n which are used, a use made possible by the p u t a t i v e l y temporary 3 nature of migration to c i t i e s , whether i n China or abroad. From t h i s model of a n a l y s i s , one does acquire new i n s i g h t into the raison d'etre of overseas Chinese organizations within t h e i r new environ-ment. I t allows greater perception of the meaning and functions which these transplanted frameworks of s o c i a l a c t i o n held f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a n t s . In addition, Crissman ou t l i n e d some of the major c r i s s - c r o s s i n g p r i n c i p l e s of s o c i a l coherence which help to elucidate the basis of s o c i a l cohesion within an apparently dissected and segmented Chinese community. Reference to the Chinese context and o r i g i n s of overseas Chinese s o c i a l structures therefore enables one to assess organizational behaviour of Chinese 'migrants i n a new l i g h t . Despite the presence of e s s e n t i a l s i m i l a r i t i e s i n needs and experiences as Crissman's a n a l y s i s has shown, i t must nevertheless be recognized that however s i m i l a r the Chinese and overseas s i t u a t i o n s may appear, they nonetheless could not be exactly i d e n t i c a l . This d i s p a r i t y must i n turn necessitate modifications and adaptations of what began e s s e n t i a l l y as a "common Chinese core of s o c i a l experiences»" Indeed the process of modification and adaptation was a never-ending one i n the h i s t o r y of community development among overseas Chinese. '£he::existence of these f a c t o r s thus makes a r e a l i s t i c a p p r a i s a l of overseas Chinese communities incomplete i f seen s o l e l y i n terms of a s t r u c t u r a l model of a n a l y s i s . In t h i s respect, Freedman's theory appears to provide a more comprehensive approach. Freedman argues that the bases of overseas Chinese s o c i a l organization change and d i f f e r e n t i a t e i n response to 3. Crissman, p. 202. -3-p a r t i c u l a r circumstances existent i n the community, he i t a growth i n scale or a development i n complexity. The idea of a l i n k between evolutionary change and i n t e r n a l needs of the community presents a more r e a l i s t i c picture not only of change but of the necessary adaptation which must have taken place at the time of settlemtnt. In f a c t Freedman 1s study of "Immigrants and Associations" demonstrates that i n the nineteenth century, "once the a n t i - d y n a s t i c apparatus was moved overseas i t adapted i t s e l f to new aims. These aims included the a s s e r t i o n of the independence of the Chinese i n t e r r i t o r y under the control o f 'foreigners' and the b u i l d i n g up of some kind of community organization to meet the needs of new settlements." A' furt h e r i l l u s t r a t i o n may be found i n a comparison of Crissman's and Freedman's observations on the major bases of s o c i a l cohesion i n overseas Chinese communities. Crissman's segmentary system o f f e r s the p r i n c i p l e s of l o c a l i t y , clan and speech group a f f i n i t y as the major pivots of s o c i a l organization i n migrant Chinese communities. The employment of the cross-c u t t i n g nature of these t r a d i t i o n a l l o y a l t i e s , Crissman argues, provided a "powerful agent of s o c i a l c o h e s i o n . F r e e d m a n on the other hand believes that f o r the case of Singapore i t was the secret s o c i e t i e s which cut across the more basic and conventional mainsprings of Chinese s o c i a l organization mentioned by Crissman. W.E. Willmott's study o f the Chinese i n Cambodia presents yet another v a r i a t i o n of l o c a l organizational behaviour, a type he ascribed to the "system of i n d i r e c t r u l e adopted by the French."^ Contrary to the Singapore s i t u a t i o n , the Chinese community i n Phnom-Penh was marked by a "paucity of associations, almost none of which included members from more than one speech g r o u p . T h u s , i t appears that s u f f i c i e n t modifications h> Freedman, M.V., "Immigrants and Associations: Chinese i n Nineteenth Century Singapore," Comp. Studies i n Society and History. _3_(l), Oct. I960, p. 33. 5. Crissman, p. 19^  _4-o f the m i g r a n t s ' s o c i a l exper iences occur t o make c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f i n t e r n a l needs w i t h i n any s i n g l e overseas Chinese community impor tan t t o the a n a l y s i s . W i l l m o t t ' s observa t ion a lso b r i ngs up a t h i r d v a r i a b l e which c i rcumscr ibes the Behaviour o f Chinese overseas •— t h a t i s the i n f l u e n c e o f the host government and t h e i r p o l i c i e s . S k i n n e r ' s comparison o f migrant Chinese s o c i e t i e s i n Tha i land and Java r e p o r t e d t h a t s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n r o l e and e x t e n t o f a s s i m i l a t i o n e x i s t between these two groups. Th is d i s p a r i t y , he argues, "cannot be accounted f o r by f a c t o r s i n h e r e n t i n the Chinese. They must f l o w , r a t h e r , f rom d i f f e r e n c e s among the r e c e i v i n g 8 s o c i e t i e s . ' That the host s o c i e t y does exerc ise a f o r c e i n de te rm in ing the r e s u l t a n t pa te rn o f overseas Chinese o r g a n i z a t i o n i s i n f a c t w e l l demonstrated by both W i l l m o t t ' s and S k i n n e r ' s f i n d i n g s i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e areas o f research . I n essence, t h e r e f o r e , major d i f f e n t i a l s a f f e c t the p a t t e r n o f development i n a migrant Chinese community. With a g iven core o f shared s o c i a l exper iences, the migrants shaped t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l communities i n response to i n t e r n a l changes and e x t e r n a l p ressures . I t may be assumed t h a t a process o f i n t e r a c t i o n e x i s t s beteeen i n i t i a l h e r i t a g e , i n t e r n a l change and e x t e r n a l demands. I t i s the purpose o f t h i s study to analyse the f o r c e s which a f f e c t e d the founda t ion and development o f Chinese communities i n the t i n mines o f n ine teen th century West Malaya. As f a r as patchy source m a t e r i a l w i l l a l l o w , i t aims t o demonstrate t h a t a network o f v a r i a b l e s operate to produce changes, adjustments and a d a p t a t i o n s . 6, W i l l m o t t , W.E., "Congregat ions and A s s o c i a t i o n s : the p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f the Chinese community i n Phnomh-Penh, Cambodia," CSSH, 2_(3)f June 1969, p. 283. 7. I b i d . 8» Sk inner , G.W., "Change and pers is tence i n Chinese c u l t u r e overseas , " J . o f South Sea Soc ie ty . Singapore, v o l . 16, i960, p. 87 -5-U n t i l r e c e n t l y , academic i n t e r e s t i n the Malayan Chinese was p r i m a r i l y focused on the impact of B r i t i s h r u l e on thegi, as well as the attempts which these r u l e r s made to cope with them. This view i s under-standable since the majority of these e f f o r t s had been d i r e c t e d towards a record of B r i t i s h p o l i c i e s and the enlightenment which these writers thought they imparted. Apart from t h i s t r a d i t i o n , straightforward records of Chinese a c t i v i t y i n Malaya were written, though with a d i s t i n c t bias towards the establishment of a d i r e c t cause and e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between B r i t i s h p o l i c i e s and Chinese a c t i v i t y . With the appearance of studies made by Freedman and Marjorie Topley, however, a new approach to the under-standing of Chinese i n Malaya and Singapore seems underway. Recent appraisals have been characterized by an i n t e r e s t i n the i n t e r n a l dynamism i n Chinese communities — a force, i t has been found, which generates within l i m i t s , i t s own momentum f o r growth and change. Thus, the method of study has changed, a n a l y t i c a l l y a t l e a s t , from t r e a t i n g the Chinese community as a dependent variable of the law-making process to one whereby the Chinese were a c t i v e , i f not equal, p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the evolution of t h e i r own community as well as the l a r g e r society. This trend i s c l e a r l y mani-fes t e d i n Clarkson's study of the Chinese farmers i n the Cameron Highlands."*"^ In t h i s study an attempt was made to understand the system of r e l a t i o n s h i p s that e x i s t between a farming community and i t s l a r g e r eco-system, both p h y s i c a l and c u l t u r a l . This changed dimension of enquiry i s evident from a v a i l a b l e studies and i s mainly a product o f empirical research, Such empirical enquiries give the d i s t i n c t advantage of a l e s s r e s t r i c t e d range of materials 9 . Topley, M,, "The emergence and s o c i a l function of Chinese r e l i g i o u s associations i n Singapore," CSSH. J2.(3)» A p r i l I96I , 10. Clarkson, J.D.., The C u l t u r a l Ecology of a Chinese V i l l a g e . Cameron  Highlands. Malaysia. Univ. of Chicago, Dept. of Geography, 114 (1968) -6-from which a more independent and balanced conclusion may be a r r i v e d a t . Can such a task be s i m i l a r l y accomplished by the use of h i s t o r i c a l data alone? This i s the c r u c i a l question i n the following pages as my study proposes to deal with Chinese immigrants to nineteenth century Malaya. Much of course depends on the a v a i l a b i l i t y of s u f f i c i e n t dats resources of the period, but the f a c t that Freedman's examination of "Immigrants and Associations" i n Singapore was done on a p a r t i a l h i s t o r i c a l base provides one with some grounds f o r confidence. Very l i t t l e s o c i o l o g i c a l documentation o f Chinese immigrants i n the nineteenth century e x i s t , as no records of t h e i r a c t i v i t y were kept by the Chinese themselves x nor by t h e i r Malay r u l e r s . B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l observations, aside form t h e i r strong administrative bias are scattered, destroyed, and d i f f i c u l t to locate where they s t i l l e x i s t . Occasional 12 travelogues by English v i s i t o r s were sometimes inaccurate and often 13 lacking i n depth. Whatever the documentary source, i t appears that much s i f t i n g and s e l e c t i n g has to be done. This process i s by no means complete, but e f f o r t s by Blythe, Khoo Kay Kim, Middlebrook, and Wong appear to have assembled some order from the chaos. In t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l studies, these scholars have presented a core of r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e data which may be tapped f o r f u r t h e r discussion and t h e o r e t i c a l constructions r e l a t i n g to Chinese s o c i a l behaviour and organizational forms. B l y t h e 1 ^ f o r example has worked through an extensive range of c o l o n i a l records and o f f i c a i l f i l e s f o r h i s data. His work i s valuable as i t contains r e l a t i v e l y unedited sections of primary d e t a i l s and data. Khoo's unpublished t h e s i s 1 5 i s 11. P u r c e l l , V., The Chinese i n Malaya, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, I967, p. 52 12. Wang Gung-wu's introduction to Cameron's work (Our t r o p i c a l possessions  i n the Malayan Indies) remarked o:n i t s lack of h i s t o r i c a l accuracy and i t s tendency to get c a r r i e d away by the novelty of the s i t u a t i o n to the detriment of a f a c t u a l report (Oxford U. Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1965) 13. P u r c e l l , op. c i t . , r e f e r r e d to "foreign impressions" of the Chinese i n these terms: "although i l l u m i n a t i n g they often s u f f e r from the f a c t that <<-t"v*-,> equally informative and particularly useful for the period prior to 1874. 16 Middlebrook's study of the Chinese in Selangor helps to provide further details missing in the other more general accounts. These works, together 17 with Wong Lin Ken w i l l form the mainstay of my factual resources. Personal interviews of Chinese t i n miners in Penang a,nd the Kinta area of Perak w i l l be used in forming the f i n a l conclusions and observations on Chinese behaviour towards the close of the nineteenth century. The appearance of an adequate supply of data is only a relative one and can be misleading. Scholars familiar with the f i e l d will agree with .18 Khoo that "the now available historical data provide no ready information."' In his attempts to reconstruct " a proper social framework into which the materials on wars and p o l i t i c s could be fitted", he remarked that the " d i f f i -culties are enormous. In the case of Chinese Secret Societies, t.for example*] the available historical records are more concerned with details of their 19 origins and conflicts than with that of their internal organization." Freedman's research produced similar sentiments regarding the lack of a 20 satisfactory account of the secret societies and their role. In view of these obstacles i t may not be possible to reconstruct those historical situations pertadning to the analysis to a satisfactory degree of detail. However, enough material exists for the emergence of a recognizable framework from which i t i s hoped, some insights into Chinese organization may be gleaned, the writer had to rely on a superficial acquaintance and had no intimate contacts assisted by a knowledge of the Chinese language." p. 9^-14. Blythe, W., The Impact of Chinese Secret Societies in Malava. a  Historical Study, Oxford U. Press, London, I 9 6 9 . 15. Khoo Kay Kim, "The Western Malay States, 1861-1873," unpublished thesis, University of Malaya, 1965-16. Middlebrook, S.M./'Yap Ah Lov'.' J. Malayan Branch Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 24, part 2, 1951. 17. Wong Lin Ken, The Malayan Tin Industry to 1914, Arizona U. Press, Tuscon, I 9 6 5 . 18. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 2, 19. Ibid, p. 1. 20. Freedman, p. 30« - 8 -Khoo observed that the i n t e r n a l organization of overseas Chinese secret s o c i e t i e s i s of c r u c i a l import to understanding the framework of s o c i a l a c t i o n within e a r l y Chinese settlements i n Malaya, This remrk i s s i g n i f i c a n t , as Freedman's study has shown. Secret s o c i e t i e s i n Singapore according to Freedman performed more central and s i g n i f i c a n t functions i n e a r l y immigrant Chinese groups than f i r s t meet the eye. In Freedman's terms, "they [secret s o c i e t i e s ^ set up mechanisms of 'law' within the Chinese community. They provided immigrants with an organized group i n which they could f i n d a place f o r themselves i n the absence of t r a d i t i o n a l t e r r i t o r i a l and kinship systems. They d i s t r i b u t e d p o l i t i c a l power among the Chinese i n such a way as to harmonize with the economic system which grew 21 up," Thus, secret s o c i e t i e s i n Singapore acted as the focus of p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and economic organization within e a r l y immigrants' communities. In the tin-mining areas of West Malaya i t may be argued that secret s o c i e t i e s performed a no l e s s important r o l e v i s - a - v i s the e a r l y migrants. By v i r t u e of t h i s i n i t i a l all-encompassing function, i t may be possible to view changes i n secret society function, structure and leader-ship as i n d i c a t o r s of s o c i a l change within the Chinese community. I t i s argued here that, i n i t i a l l y , secret s o c i e t i e s constituted a s o c i a l system f o r t h e i r members, one which f u l f i l l e d c e r t a i n needs and demands. As these needs changed, i t i s assumed that the bases of-group cohesion and a s p i r a t i o n s changed i n a commensurate manner. These adjustments would i n turn be r e f l e c t e d i n the structure, function and leadership of the secret s o c i e t i e s as these frameworks of s o c i a l a c t i o n and i n t e r n a l p o l i t y expanded to meet the new demands. In the a n a l y s i s that follows I s h a l l examine the h i s t o r y of migration into the tin-mining areas of West Malaya with a view to t r a c i n g 21, Freedman, op. c i t . , p. 35« how inc reased numbers and the accompanying complex i ty i n o r g a n i z a t i o n a f f e c t e d the s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s and how these s t r u c t u r e s i n t u r n m o d i f i e d and adapted t o such e x i g e n c i e s . I n s h o r t , I hope t o app ly these above assumptions t o a case-study o f the n ine teen th century Malayan s i t u a t i o n . I t i s known t h a t comparat ive ly more records o f Chinese secre t s o c i e t y a c t i v i t y , t h e i r dominance and even tua l d e c l i n e e x i s t than those o f every-day Chinese a c t i v i t y o r aspects o f t h e i r s o c i a l behav iour , o r g a n i z a t i o n and a d a p t a t i o n s . However, s ince changes i n secre t s o c i e t y dominance were d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o pressures generated by the community e i t h e r i n response t o i n t e r n a l growth o r e x t e r n a l s i t u a t i o n s , such records may indeed be o f use f o r the e l u c i d a t i o n o f i t s i n t e r n a l dynamics. The study w i l l concentrate on th ree major aspects o f sec re t s o c i e t y o r g a n i z a t i o n i n Malaya — i t s l e a d e r s h i p , s t r u c t u r e and f u n c t i o n . Changes i n each o f these f a c e t s r e f l e c t s i g n i f i c a n t t r ends o f development w i t h i n the community. N ine teen th -cen tu ry s e c r e t - s o c i e t y l e a d e r s h i p , f o r example, may be seen as an express ion o f the nature o f s o c i a l s t r a t i f i -c a t i o n i n the community which i t dominated. As such, changes i n the type o f l e a d e r s h i p o r the type o f men who rose t o be leaders may be i n d i c a t i v e o f new c lass c o n s o l i d a t i o n s w i t h i n the community. I n i t s s t r u c t u r a l aspect , the processes o f s e l e c t i o n employed by secre t s o c i e t i e s p rov ide f u r t h e r r e v e l a t i o n o f the p a t t e r n s and avenues o f s o c i a l m o b i l i t y e x i s t e n t 22 i n the s o c i e t y . Changes i n o r g a n i a a t i o n a l techniques may be s i m i l a r l y t r e a t e d . I f sec re t s o c i e t i e s de r i ved t h e i r mandate f o r dominance from t h e i r f u l -f i l l m e n t o f e s s e n t i a l needs w i t h i n t h a t community, then sudden o r unprece-23 dented r e v e r s a l s t o o v e r l y coerc ive methods o f s o c i a l enforcement may 23. Coercion had always been a f a c t o r i n secre t s o c i e t y c o n t r o l , bu t accord ing to Freedman, i n the e a r l i e r pe r i od o f se t t lement " p h y s i c a l f o r c e . .were e v i d e n t l y not the on ly means o f ensur ing adherence and l o y a l t y , " p. 37 -lO-be symptomatic o f a ser ious displacement i n t h i s bas is f o r power. Such a chal lenge cou ld r i s e from: one o f severa l a reas . There .cou ld be, f o r example, the emergence o f a l t e r n a t i v e and i n c r e a s i n g l y more a t t r a c t i v e bases f o r s o c i a l coherence w i t h i n the community. I t could a lso a r i s e f rom the es tab l i shment o f a l t e r n a t i v e bas is f o r pr imary l o y a l t i e s , such as those o f r e a l k i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s as opposed to f i c t i v e k i n s h i p t i e s propagated by sec re t s o c i e t i e s . I t i s ev iden t t h a t major adjustments w i t h i n e a r l y Chinese communities i n Malaya bore s i g n i f i c a n t repercuss ions f o r the sec re t s o c i e t i e s . Conversely one may say t h a t changes i n the e a r l y sec re t s o c i e t i e s had a d i r e c t re levance to the r a t e and nature o f develop-ment i n the n i n e t e e n t h century Chinese communities o f Malaya. I n s i m i l a r f a s h i o n , m o d i f i c a t i o n s i n the r o l e o f sec re t s o c i e t i e s w i l l be e q u a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t to one 's understanding o f the l a r g e r t rends o f change w i t h i n the group. There w i l l be no lack o f examples i n t h i s i n s t a n c e , f o r over the space o f a century Chinese sec re t s o c i e t i e s i n West Malaya moved from the peaks o f supreme dominance t o the t roughs o f out lawed and p e t t y e x i s t e n c e . Many w r i t e r s asc r ibed t h i s l a t t e r occurrence t o the d i r e c t i n t e r v e n t i o n o f B r i t i s h p o l i c y which out lawed secre t s o c i e t i e s f rom Singa-pore and the Malay States i n 1890, Though f u l l y r e c o g n i z i n g the p o t e n t i a l e f f e c t s o f B r i t i s h r u l e and l e g i s l a t i o n on Chinese s o c i a l behaviour and o r g a n i z a t i o n , I never the less t h i n k t h a t B r i t i s h p o l i c y i n t h i s ins tance merely hastened the process o f dec l i ne r a t h e r than generated i t . As the study proceeds i t i s hoped t h a t t h i s w i l l become man i fes t — t h a t overseas Chinese secre t s o c i e t i e s i n Malaya were p r o p e l l e d by t h e i r own i n h e r e n t f o r c e s , d e r i v e d from w i t h i n the s o c i a l f a b r i c o f the migrant Chinese community. -10a-Chapter I I THE WESTERN MALAY STATES AND THE ROLE OF THE HOST SOCIETY. Large-scale Chinese migration to Malaya was i n i t i a l l y a t t r a c t e d by the presence of r e l a t i v e l y accessible deposits of t i n , usually found i n the f o o t h i l l regions of the west coast states. Even h i s t o r i c a l l y , the states of Perak, Selangor, and Negri Sembilan had been known as the major t i n -bearing states of the Malay Peninsula. Armad with a "knowledge of ingenious techniques of water management and an a b i l i t y to mobilise a large and • industrious labour force", these migrants were able to e f f e c t " a more thorough e x p l o i t a t i o n of the a l l u v i a l deposits than had ever been achieved before". 2 As has been found elsewhere i n Southeast A s i a the a p p l i c a t i o n o f these techniques were best s u i t e d to the e x p l o i t a t i o n of t h i s type of mineral deposits. I t i s therefore to the states of Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Perak that they flocked when the opportunity arose. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the s i t u a t i o n i n the western Malay States seemed p a r t i c u l a r l y equipped to a i d and receive t h i s i n f l u x . That the equipment and the subsequent reception was not t o t a l l y one of deliberate or conscious choice by the Malay r u l e r s and t h e i r subjects w i l l be a matter f o r f u r t h e r discussion. At the moment, however, i t i s important to define the area of study as well as examine some of the major 1. Jackson, J.C., Chinese i n the West Borneo G d l d f i e l d s . U n i v e r s i t y of H u l l , 1970, P.31. 2. The Chinese had been mining t i n i n Bangka as e a r l y as 1720 and they were "." engaged i n gold mining i n Borneo around the mid-eighteenth century. (Jackson, p. 21. Also see Wong L i n Ken's study on the Malayan T i n Industry), -12-3 geographical and historical characteristics of this context. The Malay Peninsula commonly refers to the area hounded by the Thai border to the north, the Straits of Malacca to the west and the South China Sea to the east. It i s also distinguished by a cultural a f f i n i t y generally termed as Malayi^ Within the broad framework of overall unity however immense diversities occur. Geographically, the area i s divided longit-udinally by a range of h i l l s which run in a NNE-SSW direction. Since, as i Gullick observed "the Malay States, the major p o l i t i c a l units, were centred on river valleys, the central watershed was also a p o l i t i c a l boundary. The western Malay States l i e between the central ranges and the west coast."5 It i s this area that w i l l form the focus of the present study. West of the Main Range are the states of Perils, Kedah, Province Wellesley, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johore at the extreme south. Today only the settlements of Province Wellesley and Malacca bear distinct structural differences in p o l i t i c a l organization from the rest of these mainland states. At the beginning of the nineteenth century however, no such broad homogeneity i n structure and practice existed, Perlis in the north was, for example, under the nominal suzerainity of Thailand while her immediate neighbour, Kedah, led a precarious and often dubious independent existence,^ Perak was slightly more successful in asserting her independence while Selangor and Negri Sembilan managed to emerge almost unscathed from the t r i a l s of strength to the north,''' Johore, at the extreme south on the other hand was for some time incorporated in a larger Bugis empire removed from g the mainstream of Malay Peninsula activity. 3. The following section w i l l be based mainly on Gullick, His work i s f a i r l y comprehensive and detailed for my purposes. As Khoo's study demonstrates, there i s a general lack of any comprehensive work on this subject. (Khoo, op, c i t . , p. 59). 4 . Gullick, J.M., Indigenous P o l i t i c a l Systems of Western Malaya, LSE Monographs on Social Anthropology, 12, 1958-5. Ibid, pp. 3-4, 6. Ibid, p. 10. 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid. -13-The i s l a n d s o f Pen a ng i n the nor th -wes t and Singapore i n the south were ceded as co lon ies to the B r i t i s h and, as such were i n c o r p o r a t e d t e r r i t o r i e s o f the B r i t i s h Empire f a r removed from the pale o f Malay p o l i t i c s and p r a c t i c e . S i m i l a r l y , Malacca s ince her f a l l from her heyday, had been r u l e d by v a r i o u s European powers and was f i n a l l y t r a n s f e r r e d to B r i t i s h hands. Province We l les ley , a, s t r i p o f coas t land opposi te Penang was a l s o regarded as a B r i t i s h colony.9 U n t i l recen t decades, t h e r e f o r e these t e r r i t o r i e s were g e n e r a l l y termed as the S t r a i t s Se t t lements , separate and d i s t i n c t from the Malay S ta tes . Hence i t may be sdi-d t h a t Perak, Selangor and Negr i Sembilan made up the main core- o f the west coast Malay Sta tes a t the beg inn ing o f the n ine teen th c e n t u r y . I n a d d i t i o n t o a common a b i l i t y i n a s s e r t i n g t h e i r own c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l independence, o t h e r events were t o f u r t h e r emphasize the a l ready p e r c e p t i b l e convergence i n deve lopment . 1 ^ Thus i n t h i s s tudy , the term "western Malay s t a t e s ' w i l l main ly r e f e r to the s t a t e s o f Perak, Selangor and Negr i Sembilan unless o therwise q u a l i f i e d . Accord ing to G u l l i c k , " the n ine teen th century saw r a p i d changes i n the p o l i t i c a l [ a n d one may add economicJ s i t u a t i o n o f these th ree S t a t e s " . 1 1 Among o the r t h i n g s , i t w i tnessed the mass i n f l o w o f Chinese migrants t o the f o o t h i l l reg ions o f the a r e a . This brought w i t h i t not on ly new economic s i t u a t i o n s but even tua l p o l i t i c a l compl ica t ions as w e l l . As w i l l be seen these events were t o e f f e c t an even c l o s e r p a r a l l e l i n the development o f these S t a t e s . On the West Borneo g o l d f i e l d s Jackson's s tudy shows t h a t " the growth o f t h i s l a r g e wea l th -p roduc ing Chinese p o p u l a t i o n i n what had been h i t h e r t o an almost empty f o r e s t zone generated a new concept ion o f d e s i r a b l e 9 . I b i d , I n f o r m a t i o n was a lso gathered from genera l r e a d i n g , the re fe rences f o r which are not now a v a i l a b l e to me f o r a ccu ra te : c i t a t i o n . 10. I b i d . 11. I b i d , -14-12 t e r r i t o r i a l a u thority among the Malay r u l e r s . " As a consequence "disputes arose, such as that between Mampawah and Sambas over the lands between the 13 Doeri and Raja r i v e r s i n 1772." In the western Malay States, s i m i l a r redefinitions of power and authority were i n evidence by the middle of the nineteenth century. A proper understanding of the s i g n i f i c a n c e and poten-t i a l e f f e c t s of these changes however, necessitates a p r i o r appreciation of the o r i g i n a l basis and d e f i n i t i o n s of sovereignty, f e a l t y and l o y a l t y with-i n the Malay context. At the time of the Malacca Sultanate (1400-1511) each of the three western Malay States was organized along d i f f e r e n t l i n e s to serve d i f f e r e n t purposes within the l a r g e r empire of the Sultanate. With the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of that power bloc, the states were l e f t to t h e i r own resources, uncontrolled and uncoordinated. I t was at t h i s point i n hi s t o r y that a common experience i n the p o l i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n of the Malacca Sultanate helped to bring about converging s i m i l a r i t i e s i n structure and practice of west coast Malay 14 p o l i t i c s . Though they began at d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i n organization, the f a l l of the Sultanate l e f t them not only to t h e i r own resources but to the mercies o f l i m i t e d and more t r a d i t i o n a l apparatus of government. Given these means i t w i l l be seen how various circumstances and events were to a f f e c t i n d i v i d u a l courses of evolution u n t i l a growing p a r a l l e l i n structure occured. Negri Sembilan, meaning nine countries or states, began as a 15 c o l l e c t i o n of dependencies o f the Malacca Sultanate. J Each d i s t r i c t had i t s own appointed headman, "After the f a l l o f the Malacca Sultanate these headmen p e r s i s t e d and maintained formal r e l a t i o n s with the Sultans of Johore."^6 However removed from the e f f e c t i v e support of a cent r a l 12. Jackson, op. c i t . , p. 53. 13. Ibid . 14. G u l l i c k argues that "the l a t e r Malay States i n h e r i t e d from Malacca both a t r a d i t i o n i n which some of t h e i r major values were expressed ( c o -15-unifying authority, a general dispersal of p o l i t i c a l power took place within the c o l l e c t i v i t y . This trend was reinforced by the inflow of substantial numbers of Menangkabau settlers from Sumatra. According to Gullick, the • long-established ruling families became culturally assimilated to the matrilineal social system of the later arrivals from Menangkabau. "Negri Sembilan thus became a loose aggregate of independent minor states...ruled by chiefs whose lineages, like those of their immigrant subjects, were based on matrilineal descent".1''7 Another factor further contributed to this dispersion of power.. As Gullick observed "the immigrant population spread over a number of l o c a l i t i e s and earned i t s l i v i n g by mining and agriculture in contrast to the 'trade centre* pattern of settlement of the Malacca Sultanate. Dispersion of settlement made i t inevitable that there should. be a dispersed system of local control." A change in l i f e - s t y l e and livelihood of the population had taken place and these changes had in turn demanded a changed pace and form of government. In the other two states, Selangor and Perak, similar trends of evolution were in evidence. Substantial immigration of Sumatran Malays into Selangor led to the rise of petty Sumatran kingdoms in the region. In PeraJc, a parallel process of p o l i t i c a l decentralization set in as "the Malay 19 population increased and scattered." and also a pattern or form of p o l i t i c a l organization which i t was their pride to preserve," (p. 7). It w i l l become obvious that there were some very significant d i f f e r e n c e s between the p o l i t i c a l set-up of the Malacca Sultanate and those of the l a t e r western Malay States. A's-Khoo argues, the Sultanate was a centralized type of government while the Malay States were at best a loose collection of river settlements. As a result, the Mal-acca Sultanate formed a model only in the ideal and did not exert a comparable influence on the actual conduct of government, 15. Ibid., p. 9. 16. Ibid. 17. Ibid. 18. Ibid., p. 11. 19. Ibid. -16-I t was the t h r e a t o f f o r e i g n invas ions which f o r c e d a semblance o f u n i t y i n p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e on these s t a t e s . Hence f e a r o f the Bugis i n the e i g h t e e n t h century brought the major " s t a t e s " o f Negr i Sembilan i n t o a p o l i -t i c a l con federa t ion w i t h a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y p resc r i bed l e a d e r . A's a con-sequence, a weak but i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d focus o f c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y emerged. I n Selangor, the d i s u n i t e d Sumatran kingdoms were l e s s able t o r e s i s t Bugis i n v a s i o n . A f t e r a l ong s t r u g g l e the Bugis conquerors succeeded i n imposing a r u l i n g dynasty on the e n t i r e s t a t e . By so do ing , they brought a measure o f c e n t r a l i z e d r u l e t o a f o r m e r l y fragmented p o l i t i c a l u n i t . I n Perak, the Thai t h r e a t was an eve r -p resen t r e a l i t y . Fear o f i n v a s i o n t h e r e f o r e helped t o perpetuate a loose form o f u n i t y w i t h i n the s t a t e . E x t e r n a l ex igenc ies thus imposed a course o f u n i t y on each o f the western Malay States by the beginn ing o f the e i g h t e e n t h cen tu ry . However, as tbe very nature o f these bonds may suggest, t h e i r t i e s cou ld not be s u f f i c i e n t l y b i n d i n g as to e f f e c t i v e l y counterbalance the p r e v a l e n t c e n t r i -f u g a l t rends o f p o p u l a t i o n movement and a c t i v i t y . I n o t h e r words, c e n t r a l -i z a t i o n was a course c o n t r i v e d o f convenience w h i l s t d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n was one generated by popu lar s o c i a l dynamics. Hence seemingly d i ve rgen t t rends o f p o l i t i c a l e v o l u t i o n became locked i n t o a s i n g l e framework o f p o l i t i c a l exp ress ion . At tempts t o accommodate such c o n t r a d i c t i o n s were t o r e s u l t i n a p a r t i c u l a r concept o f sove re ign ty , f e a l t y and l o y a l t y w i t h i n the Malay S t a t e s . I n the case o f Negr i Sembilan, i t had been noted t h a t "a decen-t r a l i z e d system o f d i s t r i c t government had developed before there was any organ o f c e n t r a l government a t a l l ; as a r e s u l t the r o y a l r u l e r was no t o n l y powerless but he governed under a c o n s t i t u t i o n which was designed t o y i e l d t h a t r e s u l t . " 2 ^ By 1830 i t appears t h a t the Yam T u a n 2 1 "was u n a b l e . . . t o 20, I b i d . 21. Yam Tuan was the t i t l e o f the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r u l e r o f Negr i Sembilan a t the t i m e . make the authority of his office effective outside the limits of the royal 22 domain." With the recession in foreign threats, the various chiefs of Negri Sembilan resumed their former independence with regard to the central authority. Such then was the general view by which obligations of loyalty and fealty were regarded by the d i s t r i c t chiefs of Negri Sembilan. As each group of chiefs attempted to interpret i t s duty to the group above i t in similarly tenuous terms, one may well wonder what eventually constituted the basis of t e r r i t o r i a l authority in the western Malay States. What alternative bonds of cohesion, i f any, could have held together the ruling hierarchy within each state? The answer to this of course varies from one state to another in keeping with differences in detail of organ-ization and practice. Yet the principle of the issue remains at the crux of a l l traditional Malay p o l i t i c s in west Malaya. An examination of the p o l i t i c a l situation i n Negri Sembilan shows that kinship ties provided the primary focus of p o l i t i c a l cohesion within a community. Swift observed, that "in Negri Sembilan the primary basis of social organization was by matrilineal corporate kinship groups.,,.The Negri Sembilan chief exercises authority as the representative of a kinship 23 group." These ties which helped to secure bonds of allegiance within a single t e r r i t o r i a l unit nevertheless ran counter to larger interests of 24 inter - d i s t r i c t cohesion. Parochial unity thus directly mitigated the wider interests of the p o l i t i c a l system. This probably explains the relative ease with which the various chiefs of Negri Sembilan regained their independence from the Yam Tuan at the beginning of the nineteenth century. 22, Gullick, op. c i t . , p. 16. 23» See Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 18. 24, Gullick observed that "in Negri Sembilan the centrifugal forces were stronger. Each d i s t r i c t was a separate p o l i t i c a l unit in which ho s t i l i t y to neighbouring d i s t r i c t s was the normal state of affai r s . Intermarriage between d i s t r i c t s was not common." P. 7^ » -18-The example of Negri Sembilan serves to i l l u s t r a t e cedain common p r i n c i p l e s of Malay p o l i t i c a l organization. Though as w i l l be seen, neither of the two remaining Malay States under discussion operated under a t e r r i -t o r i a l l y defined kinship system, nevertheless, the r e l i a n c e on primary t i e s of allegiance was no l e s s r e a l . As a consequence claims to s u z e r a i n i t y could not sustain any wide range i n distances. Beyond a radius of r e l a t i v e l y accessible face-to-face i n t e r a c t i o n , a c h i e f ' s claim to suzerainty could be e a s i l y challenged. His authority could flounder p r e c i s e l y on the p r i n c i p l e of primary a l l e g i a n c e s which d i c t a t e d that subjects owed al l e g i a n c e f i r s t to t h e i r immediate r u l e r and only secondarily to a more remote though possibly higher authority. The strength of t h i s i s evidenced i n G u l l i c k * s 25 study by notes of contemporary observers who remarked that The s p i r i t of the clan i s also strong within him. He acknowledges the necessity of carrying out, even b l i n d l y , the orders of his hereditary chief, while he w i l l protect his own r e l a t i v e at a l l costs and make t h e i r quarrel h i s own. 26 the p o s i t i o n of the people to t h e i r chiefs i s that formerly occupied by a clan i n Scotland to i t s c h i e f . They w i l l do his bidding and take haarsh treatment from him more contentedly than from anyone else. 2'' 7 That these observations were made independently by two d i f f e r e n t observers was, according to G u l l i c k , s i g n i f i c a n t of the impact which "the sense of l o y a l t y to the c h i e f " i n Malay p o l i t i c s had on an outsider. ° Given these f a c t o r s , the concept o f sovereignty i n Malay p o l i t i c s could only be one of formal recognition and nominal c o n t r o l . I n i t i a l l y bound together e i t h e r by a need f o r c o l l e c t i v e defence or by the grant of a 25. G u l l i c k , J.M., op. c i t . , p. 13?. 26. Swettenham, F.A., Malay Sketches. Bodley Head, London, I895, p. 4. 27. C l i f f o r d , SSD, 15th Oct., 1887. See G u l l i c k , op. c i t . , p. 137. 28. G u l l i c k , J.M., op. c i t . , p. 137. -19-r o y a l c h a r t e r t o r u l e , these bonds were apt to d i s s i p a t e t o mere f o r m a l i t i e s w i t h the passage o f t i m e . Hence a d e l i c a t e balance o f p o l i t i c a l power ensued, one which s u r v i v e d on ly because c h i e f s w i t h i n each l e v e l o f the system r e f r a i n e d f rom e x t r a c t i n g a maximum e x t e n t o f subservience and t r i b u t e from t h e i r immediate dependencies. W i t h i n t h i s loose network o f o b l i g a t i o n s , cont inued membership i n a l a r g e r p o l i t i c a l system not o n l y became a t t r a c t i v e but i n f a c t o f f e r e d some r e a l and m a t e r i a l b e n e f i t s . For a land-based peasant economy, the ecorromLc advantages o f a l a r g e p o l i t i c a l u n i t were obv ious . Among o t h e r t h i n g s , the ex is tence o f a c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y f a c i l i t a t e d "a measure o f peace fu l in te r -communica t ion and t rade over the area o f a 29 r i v e r b a s i n . " 7 As G u l l i c k p o i n t e d o u t , i t would be " imposs ib le f o r people t o l i v e i n i n l a n d v i l l a g e s un less t r a d e r s se rv ing t h e i r need could ( a t a p r i c e ) pass the v i l l a g e s nearer the s e a . " ^ Apparen t l y , i n the absence o f d i r e ex igenc ies , the head o f s t a t e was needed more i n terms o f h is temper ing i n f l u e n c e on i n t e r - t e r r i t o r i a l r e l a t i o n s r a t h e r than i n h i s capac i t y as an abso lu te r u l e r . Lacking e f f e c t i v e means and machinery to a s s e r t t h e i r power o the rw ise , the Sul tans g e n e r a l l y succumbed to such a d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e i r r o l e . Hence, i t may be sa id t h a t t r a d i t i o n a l apparatus o f government both made i t poss ib le and necessary t o r e l y on p r imary bonds o f p o l i t i c a l a l l e g i a n c e i n the w o r l d o f e i g h t e e n t h century Malay p o l i t i c s . I n p r a c t i c a l terms, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l wor ld -v iew o f the Malays found express ion i n a h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c approach t o the maintenance o f power. As G u l l i c k suggested, i n s o c i e t i e s where l and i s scarce o r has a s p e c i a l va lue , the r u l e r who c o n t r o l s t h i s l and i n f a c t c o n t r o l s and commands W. I b i d . , p.133 30. I b i d . ; .. -20-31 i t s population. S p a t i a l control i n t h i s case leads to p o l i t i c a l power. However, i n the Malay States land was abundant, hence possession of t e r r i t o r y d i d not n e c e s s a r i l y e n t a i l commensurate p o l i t i c a l power. Rather, power was defined i n terms of the control of manpower,^ This c r i t e r i o n of strength could not help but place added emphasis on the personal c a p a b i l i t i e s of i n d i v i d u a l c h i e f s . G u l l i c k records that Malay chiefs frequently strained to the l i m i t s of t h e i r resources to maintain and where possible "augment the number of his dependents."-^3 Added to t h i s were the l i m i t a t i o n s of t r a d i t i o n a l apparatus of government and the consequent dependence on primary t i e s of allegiances, f a c t o r s which furt h e r helped to concentrate power into an even smaller o r b i t round the persorality of the c h i e f , S i t u a t i o n a l l y , i t may be seen i n the following terms. A Malay chief i n i t i a l l y depended on a following f o r his ascendance to p o l i t i c a l power. In the absence of more abstra.ct i d e o l o g i c a l bonds, primary t i e s o f personal a f f i l i a t i o n were resorted to ( t h i s was p a r t i c u l a r l y true of Selangor and Perak where not even kinship bonds could be substituted f o r them). The dependence on t h i s i n turn demanded the s i t u a t i o n of h i s subjects, peasants and r e t a i n e r s a l i k e within close reach of his seat of government. T r a d i t i o n a l means of communication furt h e r l i m i t e d the e f f i c a c y of h i s influence to a radius of r e l a t i v e l y easy face-to-face communication. Thus, with each s i t u a t i o n , the f i e l d of power became drawn inwards u n t i l i t rested l a r g e l y within the immediate countryside of a c h i e f ' s court, The dependence of the r u l i n g c l a s s on the populace as i t s basis of p o l i t i c a l power bestowed an important mechanism of p o l i t i c a l checks and 31. Ibid., p. 113. 32. Ibid., p. 125. 33. Ibid., p. 126. 34. There were, o f course, other e x t r a - p o l i t i c a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s of power such as the control of a r i v e r mouth which afforded that p a r t i c u l a r chief added bargaining power v i s - a - v i s h i s subordinates. In spite of t h i s , the r e a l e f f e c t i v e f i e l d , of personal power f o r any c h i e f was indeed l i m i t e d . -21-balances i n the hands of the common people. As expressed by G u l l i c k , " f l i g h t was a recognized response to h o s t i l e invasion or undue oppression, "3-5 j n another instance he commented more extensively thus, I t i s an e s s e n t i a l function of a p o l i t i c a l system that i t should a f f o r d to the community i n which i t e x i s t s a necessary minimum of i n t e r n a l order and of protection against external attack. I t i s not necessary or possible that there should be complete t r a n q u i l i t y . In many s o c i e t i e s the p o l i t i c a l order i s b u i l t upon the existence of groups which a.re themselves held together as groups p a r t l y by t h e i r opposition to each other,. .[Ivi\the Malay States, inter-group opposition was only one f a c t o r among several ....The s i t u a t i o n to be expected i s then a balance between order and disorder rather than a perfect state of order. I t was i n t h i s sphere of law and order that the Malay subject c l a s s was able to check an abuse or f a i l u r e of the exercise of power by i t s r u l e r s . Justice and order to a superlative degree was not expected. But i f i t dropped below a c e r t a i n minimum l e v e l the bases o f power were sapped away. 36 Expressed i n modern terms, the peasants' f l i g h t from t h e i r land represented a vote of no confidence i n t h e i r r u l e r , though not as d e l i b e r a t e l y d e l i v e r e d or as consciously conceived. These demands of the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n inadvertently deterred the Malay population from engaging i n large-scale commercial tin-mining enterprises. As evident from Wong Lin-ken's d e s c r i p t i o n of Chinese commercial tin-mining i n Banka,37 sustained and large-scale e x p l o i t a t i o n o f t i n required s u b s t a n t i a l i n i t i a l inputs of labour. Not only was prospecting a r i s k y proposition, but even when i t d i d y i e l d r e s u l t s there were s t i l l the f o r e s t to be cleared and the top s t r a t a of d i r t to be removed. A l l i n a l l such ventures would incur too heavy an i n i t i a l investment to permit a r e l a t i v e l y painless exodus when the circumstances so d i c t a t e d . Direct involvement of the general populace i n the p o l i t i c a l machinery of the state thus made them u n w i l l i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the 35. G u l l i c k , J.M., op. c i t . , p. 29. 36. Ibid., p. 113. 37. Wong, p. 47. -22-c o n s t r u c t i o n o f i t s economic f u t u r e . Beside t h i s l a c k i n i n c l i n a t i o n , the Malay peasants a l so lacked the t e c h n i c a l knowledge f o r l a r g e - s c a l e commercial t i n m in ing . T r a d i t i o n a l Malay methods o f min ing t i n i n v o l v e d the use o f f a i r l y simple implements such as the dulang t r a y used f o r washing depos i t s f rom a r i v e r bed o r a simple changkul f o r unea r th ing depos i t s found r e l a t i v e l y near the s u r f a c e . These methods were not s u i t e d to the economica l ly s p e c i f i c and f u l l - t i m e p u r s u i t o f t i n - m i n i n g . Wong, f o r example, reckoned t h a t an area o f a t l e a s t one hundred f e e t i n l e n g t h must be worked before the e f f o r t became economica l ly p r o d u c t i v e . Such a scale o f o p e r a t i o n was c l e a r l y beyond; the scope o f a s i n g l e changkul o r a s o l i t a r y du lang. Other compl i ca t ions such as problems o f drainage and water c o n t r o l as w e l l as economic methods o f o r g a n i z a t i o n and labour m o b i l i z a t i o n f u r t h e r made l a r g e - s c a l e min ing more complea: than the l e v e l o f t r a d i t i o n a l Malay technology could contend w i t h . Aside f rom the l a c k o f i n c e n t i v e and the l i m i t a t i o n s i n techno logy, i t was a lso not i n the i n t e r e s t o f the Malay c h i e f s to encourage t h e i r sub jec ts t o engage i n min ing opera t ions o f any permanence. As no ted , a c h i e f needed h i s r e t i n u e and h i s peasant sub jec ts w i t h i n a c lose rad ius o f h i s c o u r t . G u l l i c k a lso p o i n t e d out t h a t " the c h i e f s p r e f e r r e d to keep t h e i r sub jec ts i n compact groups f o r ease o f c o n t r o l . " ^ These a d m i n i s t r a t i v e requi rements were c l e a r l y incompat ib le w i t h the nature and demands o f l a r g e - s c a l e min ing o p e r a t i o n s . G u l l i c k observed t h a t "miners moved f rom one place to a n o t h e r , . , a t d i f f e r e n t t imes there were q u i t e l a r g e movements from Laru t and from Sungei Ujong t o Kuala Lumpur . "^ 7 Wong's d e s c r i p t i o n o f Chinese min ing methods a l so p o i n t e d t o the p r o v i s i o n s which "bo th the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the mine and the technique o f m in ing c a l l e d f o r r a p i d movement f rom one place o f r i c h 40 t i n l an d t o a n o t h e r . " M o b i l i t y was thus an essence o f economica l ly 38. G u l l i c k , op. c i t . , p. 29. 39. I b i d , p. 24. 4 0 . Wong, op. c i t . , p. 40 . -2> specially tin-mining. In prospecting procedures, for example, the miners had to be able to roam the countryside in search of rich t i n deposits. The release of his subjects to such occupations could thus weaken the very basis of a chief's authority. Furthermore, the choice of settlements in full-time mining operations was dictated by the presence of the ore and could not be administratively directed. This was again contrary to the main strength of a chief's control. Hence the Malay peasants were not mobilized for mining on any big scale even though t i n had been a commercial commodity since the Malacca Sultanate. Yet the fragile balance of internal power in each of the western Malay States made the possession of an added source of economic wealth important to the interest of the local chiefs. Developments in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were to make the opportunity both available to and desired by members of the Malay ruling hierarchy. The close of the eighteenth century saw the founding and subsequent development of Penang as a British trading post in the Malay Peninsula. This was followed closely by the establishment of Singapore as a British port of c a l l to the south of the peniBsula. By 1824 Malacca was permanently ceded to the British by the Dutch, thus making i t s future as a trading base less insecure and hence more attractive. The trade attracted to the Malay Peninsula, as a result, coupled with other industrial developments in Europe, made ti n "Increasingly an article of singular importance"^ in trade. This inevitably turned the attention of traders and financiers alike to potential deposits i n the western Malay States. The situation of the British settlements in easy reach of these deposits in turn helped to further their designs. Internally, nineteenth century conditions in the western Malay States were far from ideal. Wong observed that, "in the 19th century, Malay 41. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 59. - 2 4 -society i n the t i n states had become so degenerate and unstable that there w as no c e n t r a l authority i n any of them capable of c o n t r o l l i n g or powerful enough to control the whole t e r r i t o r y . In the contest f o r power, the control of armed men w as an absolute prerequisite to success," Granted that a complete d i s s o l u t i o n of the central authority occurred only a f t e r the penetration of Chinese miners who, a.s s h a l l be seen, brought unprecedented complications to the Malay p o l i t i c a l scene, i t i s nevertheless recognized that p o l i t i c a l conditions i n the Malay States were f a r from stable. As G u l l i c k observed, the uneasy balance of c e n t r i f u g a l and c e n t r i p e t a l forces i n these states d i d take i t s t o l l on the cohesion of the states. Thus "to a considerable extent the Malay States di d bre§k up into anarchy and c i v i l war with r e s u l t s i n terms of economic 4 ? chaos and depopulation which have been mentioned." J By the beginning of the nineteenth century a mixture of f a c t o r s f u r t h e r accentuated t h i s p o l i t i c a l propensity to anarchy and c i v i l war. As mentioned, fear of the Bugis i n the eighteenth century prompted the chiefs of Negri Sembilan to i n s t i t u t e a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l r u l e r who could be both a m i l i t a r y leader and a focus of unity to the state. "The f i r s t three r u l e r s were i n v i t e d over from Menangkabau to hold o f f i c e f o r l i f e only. According to the t r a d i t i o n each married the daughter of his predecessor."^ Gradually a r o y a l dynasty emerged and by the f i r s t quarter of the nineteenth century became s u f f i c i e n t l y powerful to oppose the major chiefs of the state f o r the r i g h t of hereditary succession to the r o y a l o f f i c e . This embroiled Negri Sembila.n i n a c i v i l war of some magnitude, J The r e s u l t a n t struggle f o r power d i r e c t l y prepared the way f o r a massive i n f l u x of Chinese miners to the region. This.was p r e c i p i t a t e d by the need f o r increased revenue i n the l o c a l c h i e f ' s 42. Wong, op, .c i t . , p. 21 43. G u l l i c k , J.M., op. c i t . , p. 133 44. i b i d . , p. 10 4 5 . Ibid., p. 16 -25-campaigns. The opening o f t i n mines thus , was seen as a much needed source o f wea l th as w e l l as a poss ib le l e v e r o f e x t r a ba rga in ing power t o the c h i e f s . Hence i t w a s a c o n s t e l l a t i o n o f f a c t o r s which developed a need f o r economic expansion w i t h i n the s t a t e a t a t ime when ou ts ide i n t e r e s t s were t u r n i n g an i n q u i r i n g eye a t i t s poss ib le p o t e n t i a l . I n Selangor, the p o l i t i c a l v i gou r o f the Bugis r u l e r s faded w i t h the death o f Su l tan I b r a h i m . S u l t a n Mohamed who succeeded him w a s an i n e f f e c t u a l r u l e r . ^ The weakening o f the c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y a l lowed even g r e a t e r leeway f o r ambi t ious c h i e f s to s t rengthen and b u i l d up t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l s t r o n g h o l d s . E n t e r p r i s i n g d i s t r i c t r u l e r s hence tu rned t h e i r a t t e n t i o n t o deve lop ing t h e i r t i n resources i n ea rnes t . This was the beg inn ing o f Chinese p e n e t r a t i o n i n t o Lukut , Klang and l a t e r Kanching i n the e a r l y n ine teen th cen tu ry . Perak ' s p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n had o f t e n been u n s t a b l e . Par t o f t h i s stemmed from the f a c t t h a t the S u l t a n ' s cour t was cent red on the more i n l a n d reaches o f the Perak e s t u a r y , ^ ? thus l e a v i n g the downstream c h i e f s r e l a t i v e l y 48 unsuperv ised and independent even economica l ly o f h i s presence. Fur thermore, Perak was a b i g s ta te and thus w a s more suscep t ib le to the development o f f a c t i o n & l u n i t s and s t r o n g h o l d s . I n f a c t the sta.te o f i n t e r m i t t e n t feuds w a s so ser ious t h a t i t a c t u a l l y d e t e r r e d the growth o f min ing a c t i v i t i e s i n t h a t s t a t e , ^ Never the less i t was p r e c i s e l y t h i s s t a t e o f open-ended p o l i t i c s which urged Long J a ' a f a r and l a t e r h i s son Ngah Ibrah im t o encourage the economic e x p l o i t a t i o n o f t i n i n L a r u t . Ngah Ib rah im, a t l e a s t , harboured ambi t ions o f one 46. I b i d . , p. 14. 47. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 12. 48. I t has been argued t h a t one o f the ways i n which a Su l tan main ta ined h i s power w a s through the economic c o n t r o l o f the main t h r o r o u g h f a r e o f h i s s t a t e through the c o n t r o l o f the e s t u a r y . 49. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 109. -26-day succeeding to the throne by virt u e of his wealth and consequent influence over the court.5® While these forces worked i n favour of Chinese economic involvement i n the western Malay States they however wrought d r a s t i c changes i n the balance of Malay p o l i t i c s . Chiefs who had s u c c e s s f u l l y opened t h e i r d i s t r i c t s with the help of Chinese enterprise and labour e i t h e r acquired p o l i t i c a l power way out of proportion to t h e i r status, or they became the focus of jealousy and resentment of t h e i r neighbours and nominal overlords. In e i t h e r case, a strength of personality and w i l l was required to keep the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n at an even k e e l . In Selangor f o r example, Raja Juma'at, the Raja of Lukut, attained a high p o s i t i o n of regard i n the s t a t e . 5 1 I t was, however, c o l l e c t e d statesmanship and a strength of p e r s o n a l i t y which kept the l e s s fortunate chiefs 52 from combining against him. In Negri Sembilan, on the other hand, the discovery of t i n i n Sungei Ujong excited the attention of Rembau Hho attempted to exert remote or imagined r i g h t s of overlordship over parts of the area.-53 T i n passing downstream from Sungei Ujong wa.s also subjected to extortions by chiefs i n control of the lower reaches of the r i v e r . In the t r i a l s and troubles of Sungei Ujong one may perceive a changed concept of t e r r i t o r i a l 50. G u l l i c k , op. c i t , , p. 13. 51. I t has been s a i d that, " i t i s currently reported that the Rajah of Lookut has been recently vested by the Sultan [Abdul Samad] with supreme authority over the whole of Selangor but no o f f i c i a l n o t i f i c a t i o n has yet been to the Government on the subject." SSR, R. 40 Singapore to Fort William, 16 May, l86l, (see Khoo, p. 199) 52. When Raja Bbt succeeded h i s father, Raja Juma'at, trouble threatened the d i s t r i c t . Khoo a t t r i b u t e d t h i s to the f a c t that "apparently Raja Bot d i d not measure up to h i s father f o r during the i n i t i a l years of h i s rule he encountered." Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 200. 53. Khoo, p. 63 and p. 193. 54. Ibid, p. 192. -27-a u t h o r i t y . " ^ Instead of accepting a nominal recognition of suzerainty, c h i e f s began to regard t h e i r sovereignty with more seriousness than the t r a d i t i o n a l mechanism o f p o l i t i c s could cope with. Consequently frequent eruptions of h o s t i l i t i e s ensued as "overlords" attempted to as s e r t t h e i r claims while "vassals" sought to r e s i s t them. Within the new d e f i n i t i o n of t e r r i t o r i a l authority, a s l i g h t negligence i n apportioning revenue could 57 r e s u l t i n renewed s t r i f e and warfare. At times, one c r i s i s was no sooner averted than another reared i t s head. In the midst of such a state of a f f a i r s , p o l i t i c a l apparatus of the state, which existed p r i m a r i l y to keep a f a i r measure of s t a b i l i t y i n the area became eroded away. The nineteenth century was thus a period of immense hardship f o r 58 the Malay subjects. Before long s i m i l a r troubles broke out i n Selangor and Perak. Malay peasants resorted to t h e i r one means of p o l i t i c a l p r o t e s t — f l i g h t . However such an avenue of a c t i o n was not f e a s i b l e f o r those Chinese miners who had invested a large amount of labour and perhaps c a p i t a l i n the mines. For purposes of self-defence therefore these Chinese groups sought refuge under the wings of secret society organizations. The p o l i t i c a l usefulness of secret s o c i e t i e s to Chinese miners w i l l become more manifest as one traces the o r i g i n s of small-scale Chinese mining and trading operations i n the Malay States. Middlebrook's research attested to the f a c t that i n d i v i d u a l Chinese traders or miners at the beginning of the nineteenth 55» In the case of Perak too, Khoo observed that i n the mid-nineteenth century "the desire to obtain p o l i t i c a l c ontrol over the economically a t t r a c t i v e northern t e r r i t o r i e s a f f e c t e d s e r i o u s l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s among members of the r u l i n g e l i t e . " Khoo, p. 222. 56. Ibid., p. 192. 57« The Penghulu of Rembau was provoked because Klana Sending of Sungei Ujong did not consult him when he met with other downstream chiefs to a r r i v e at a f i x e d duty on the r i v e r . I b i d . 58. G u l l i c k , op. c i t . , p. 29. -28-century often suffered exorbitant demands f o r l e v i e s from Malay chiefs and, 59 on occasion, were robbed and murdered by the Malays. Only when the "Chinese immigrated i n large numbers, were they able to protect themselves against the Malays." In addition, given the differences i n custom and language between these two r a c i a l groups, i t was found to be to mutual advantage to allow the 61 Chinese to "govern" themselves. Hence, while chiefs became i n c r e a s i n g l y preoccupied with squabbles and r e - d e f i n i t i o n s of r i g h t s , the Chinese were l e f t more and more to t h e i r own devices, thus allowing them to consolidate t h e i r secret society organizations i n the Malay States. Economically, Chinese secret s o c i e t i e s probably provided an i n t e r -vening framework f o r enterprise and. a c t i v i t y i n the midst of a chaotic p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n . The t r a d i t i o n a l subsistence economy of the Malays, frequently battered, by disruptions and anarchy, could not have been, at i t s best, vigorous enough to support the " i n d u s t r i a l " nature of Chinese mining a c t i v i t y . Consequently, c e r t a i n f a c t o r s i n t r a d i t i o n a l Malay society and p o l i t i c s d i r e c t l y encouraged the formation and subsequent employment o f Chinese secret s o c i e t i e s as vehicles of p o l i t i c a l and economic expression f o r t h i s group of migrants i n t h e i r midst. S o c i a l l y too, i t was convenient f o r the Chinese to seek "protection" from an a l i e n culture and language under the umbrella of the secret society. I t w i l l be seen how the o r i g i n a l composition of the migrant group gave r i s e to p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n organization and conduct of these secret s o c i e t i e s as well as how l a t e r developments both within the group and i n the host society l e d to changes and adjustments i n t h e i r i n t e r n a l organization, behaviour and. subsequent outlook on the host society. 59« Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 1 7 . 60.Ibid. 6 l . G u l l i c k observed that "whenever there was any considerable number of Chinese i t was found convenient to have a headman." p. 24. -29-I t ma.y be a p p r o p r i a t e to draw some d i s t i n c t i o n s between the Chinese migrants i n the S t r a i t s Set t lements and the Chinese i n the Malay S t a t e s . As t h i s chapter may show, the Malay States d i f f e r cons iderab ly from the S t r a i t s Set t lements i n mode o f government and i n o b j e c t i v e i n r u l i n g . These d i f f e r e n c e s arose p a r t l y from d i f f e r e n c e s i n c u l t u r e and i n l e v e l o f p o l i t i c a l s o p h i s t i c a t i o n between the B r i t i s h and the Malays. I t a lso arose p a r t l y f rom a d i f f e r e n c e i n r o l e , l o c a l i t y and scale o f the r e s p e c t i v e areas a d m i n i s t e r e d . As a r e s u l t , d i f f e r e n t a d m i n i s t r a t i v e methods and d i f f e r e n t frameworks o f p o l i c y and economy were e v i d e n t . These d i f f e r e n c e s i n i t a l l y r e f l e c t e d on Chinese b e h 3 v i o u r , a t the e a r l y years o f s e t t l e m e n t . However, phenomenal growth i n t h e i r numbers i n subsequent years somewhat i r oned out some o f these d i f f e r e n c e s as the Chinese migrants themselves began to generate n e a r - s i m i l a r pressures on t h e i r c o m p a t r i o t s . Of course, a f t e r the B r i t i s h i n te rvened i n the Malay States i n 1874, cons iderab ly g r e a t e r s i m i l a r i t i e s i n development emerged. I n c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f these f a c t o r s , I s h a l l no t i nc lude the Chinese communities i n the S t r a i t s Set t lements i n the mainstream o f my s tudy , but t h i s does not preclude re ference to them i n r e l e v a n t i n c i d e n t s f o r the support o f the genera l t h e s i s , e s p e c i a l l y towards the l a s t q u a r t e r o f the n i n e t e e n t h cen tu ry . -29a-Chapter I I I MOVEMENT OF CHINESE MINERS INTO THE MALAY STATES j Secret societies: their Role and Development from 1310-1360. -30-Both the se t t lements o f Penang and Singapore were founded w i t h a view t o p r o t e c t i n g the commercial and s t r a t e g i c i n t e r e s t s o f an expanding B r i t i s h t rade r o u t e . The i r development i n the n ine teen th century indeed r e a l i s e d t h i s v i s i o n o f t h e i r founders , f o r t rade remained the mainstay o f the p o r t economies. Given these aims i t may be i n f e r r e d t h a t once e s t a b l i s h e d , the se t t l ements became r a p i d l y " c o l o n i s e d " by B r i t i s h ent repreneurs and Agency Houses. I n 1 f a c t , as evidenced by Buck ley 's Study, t h i s was c e r t a i n l y t r u e o f Singapore, and j u d g i n g from accounts o f Penang's a c t i v i t i e s , i t may a lso be s a i d t h a t she 2 shared l i k e exper iences though on a much smal le r sca le . When Malacca was t r a n s f e r r e d to the B r i t i s h , t h i s se t t lement came to be regarded as an impor tan t 3 " feeder " p o r t to Singapore and Penang, Thus, the l i n k s which helped i n c o r -porate the economies o f these se t t lements i n t o a wider network o f B r i t i s h -commercial i n t e r e s t s helped t o create a de f i ned framework o f economic a c t i v i t i e s i n the p o r t a reas . Hence, when Chinese migrants s e t t l e d i n the p o r t , they i n i t i a l l y s e t t l e d w i t h i n a p r e - e x i s t i n g economic framework. I t may a lso be assumed t h a t the f i r s t o f these migrants were t r a d e r s and merchants who were a l ready 1 . Buckley, C.B. , An Anecdota l H i s t o r y o f Old Times i n Singapore, Singapore, 1902. 2. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 58, 3. I b i d . -31-f a m i l i a r w i t h , i f no t a c t u a l l y s e t t l e d i n an area i n Southeast A s i a . ^ T h e i r knowledge o f European t r a d i n g methods t h e r e f o r e equipped them to i n t e r a c t w i t h and be i n t e g r a t e d i n t o the B r i t i s h dominated economies o f the new s e t t l e m e n t s . T h i s , coupled w i t h a r e a l dependence on the B r i t i s h f o r t h e i r i n i t i a l economic o p p o r t u n i t i e s , made f o r a f u r t h e r re in fo rcement o f the e x i s t e n t economic framework. I t was t h i s presence and v i a b i l i t y as con t ras ted w i t h the i l l -d e f i n e d and c o n s t r i c t i n g subsis tence economy o f the Malays which accounted f o r some o f the i n i t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s between migrant Chinese behaviour a n d mode o f o r g a n i z a t i o n i n the S t r a i t s Set t lements and those i n the Malay S t a t e s . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y , the B r i t i s h had never been known f o r e x e r c i s i n g a c lose check over the a c t i v i t i e s o f the Chinese migrants i n t h e i r c o l o n i e s . I n f a c t t h e i r p o l i c y o f l a i s s e z - f a i r e e v e n t u a l l y gave these migran ts a v i r t u a l f r e e - p l a y i n the r e g u l a t i o n o f t h e i r own s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l conduct f o r the most p a r t o f the n i n e t e e n t h cen tu ry . Despi te t h i s l a t e r development, i t was never the less the es tab l ishment o f a B r i t i s h a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a u t h o r i t y on the i s l a n d s which, a t the ou tse t a t t r a c t e d Chinese s e t t l e r s who sought both a congenia l c l imate f o r t rade and measure o f l e g a l p r o t e c t i o n from abuse. Th is was t h e r e f o r e ye t another f a c t o r which made f o r d i f f e r e n c e s between i n i t i a l behaviour and o r g a n i z a t i o n o f migrant Chinese communities i n the S t r a i t s Set t lements and those i n the Malay S ta tes . 4. Song Ong Siang, One Hundred Years H i s t o r y o f the Chinese i n Singapore, U, o f Malaya Press, Singapore, 1967» p. 8, records t h a t "Chinese t r a d e r s who had before 1819 r e s o r t e d t o such places as Mani la and Brunei found i t sa fe r and more p r o f i t a b l e a f t e r t h a t date to v i s i t Singapore i n t h e i r junks and i n t ime to s e t t l e down h e r e , " For the case o f Penang, B ly the records t h a t "a Capitan China f rom Kedah, eager f o r an ex tens ion o f h i s power i n the new Set t lement , a r r i v e d w i t h a present o f f i s h i n g n e t s . . . Chinese from Malacca, Siam, the Dutch I n d i e s , Sarawak, and China were a l l drawn to Penang by the prospect o f t r a d e . " B l y t h e , op. c i t . , p. 40 . 5. Khoo records t h a t the S t r a i t s Chinese i n Penang, by v i r t u e o f t h e i r back-ground, commercial knowledge and p rev ious contac ts w i t h the B r i t i s h a t Malacca succeeded, i n the course o f t i m e , i n e s t a b l i s h i n g c lose business connect ions w i t h the Europeans and t h e i r f r i e n d s and thus became very i n f l u e n t i a l w i t h the l e a d i n g Europeans i n the S t r a i t s Se t t lements . Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 39. A survey o f both Buckley and Song's accounts o f Singapore appears to a t t e s t t o a s i m i l a r occurence i n t h a t i s l a n d . See a lso Khoo, pp.85-6. -32-A n a l y t i c a l l y , the s i t u a t i o n may be viewed i n the f o l l o w i n g te rms . I n the case o f the S t r a i t s Set t lements , i t was a combinat ion o f B r i t i s h c a p i t a l , e n t e r p r i s e and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e presence t h a t a t t r a c t e d the f i r s t Chinese s e t t l e r s t o the p o r t s . I n o t h e r words, the a t t r a c t i o n was the product o f a c rea ted s i t u a t i o n , the p r e s e r v a t i o n o f which was v i t a l f o r the fu r the rance o f the i n t e r e s t s o f these m ig ran ts . Hence, i t was to t h e i r advantage to suppor t and uphold these very source -sp r ings o f t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d — the mercan t i l e economy and the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a u t h o r i t y . Furthermore, i f the Chinese migrated f o r the very rea,son o f the B r i t i s h presence, economic and p o l i t i c a l , then there i s perhaps ca.use to b e l i e v e t h a t f o r the e a r l y years a t l e a s t , the c o l o n i a l framework p rov ided them w i t h s u f f i c i e n t economic o p p o r t u n i t i e s and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e safeguards to f u l f i l l some o f these needs w i t h i n the group. Given these c i rcumstances, i t i s argued here t h a t the i n i t i a l need f o r a l t e r n a t i v e frame-works o f economic and p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n was not as p ress ing o r as immediate as was f e l t by migrant Chinese communities i n the Malay Sta.tes. I n the Malay S t a t e s , Chinese migrants were drawn to the area by the presence o f n a t u r a l resources — t i n . T h e i r subsequent se t t lement w a s t h e r e f o r e determined by f a c t o r s independent o f and probab ly desp i te the ex tan t p o l i t i c a l and economic s i t u a t i o n i n these s t a t e s . Indeed f o r reasons mentioned, i t had been noted t h a t the p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c framework o f the Mala.y States o f f e r e d l i t t l e i f any o r g a n i z a t i o n a l prop t o the p a r t i c u l a r nature o f Chinese e n t e r p r i s e and a c t i v i t y i n these r e g i o n s . F a i l i n g t o de r i ve adequate o u t l e t s and safeguards f o r t h e i r energ ies from the t r a d i t i o n a l system t h e r e f o r e , migrant Chinese found i t i n c r e a s i n g l y necessary to cons t ruc t t h e i r own means o f p o l i t i c a l and economic r e g u l a t i o n w i t h i n t h e i r own communit ies. Hence Chinese sec re t s o c i e t i e s were p l a n t e d i n the Malay States from the ve ry f i r s t days o f mass Chinese se t t lements i n the r e g i o n . I n t h e i r new environment -33-t h e r e f o r e , these o r g a n i z a t i o n s were no mere s e c t a r i a n u n i t s but were v i t a l community s t r u c t u r e s which d e a l t w i t h r e a l s i t u a t i o n a l needs o f the group. Consequently, f o r the Malay States i t may be s a i d t h a t sec re t s o c i e t i e s s t a r t e d o u t , f rom the very beg inn ing o f mass Chinese se t t l ement i n the r e g i o n , as the medium through which the t o t a l economic, p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l needs o f the m i g r a n t groups were f u l f i l l e d . I t w a s from t h i s p o i n t o f concent ra ted c o n t r o l t h a t l a t e r d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n s i n f u n c t i o n and needs o f the community evolved toge the r w i t h t h e i r demands f o r d i f f e r e n t i a t e d c o n t r o l and s t r u c t u r e s . I n the S t r a i t s Set t lements , on the o the r hand, the presence o f a l t e r n a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s ( B r i t i s h a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and economy) which performed some impor tan t bas ic f u n c t i o n s f o r the Chinese community a t the o u t s e t helped i n e f f e c t , to d isperse powers o f c o n t r o l t o areas e x t e r n a l to the community. Furthermore, as no ted , the f i r s t immigrants were main ly those who h a d s e t t l e d o r t r aded i n o the r p a r t s o f Southeast A s i a . These m ig ran ts , g e n e r a l l y c l a s s i f i e d as ' S t r a i t s Chinese* i n the S t r a i t s Set t lements u n l i k e t h e i r compat r io ts from China, were f r e q u e n t l y born and bred i n Southeast A s i a . An even more s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e was t h e i r general o r i e n t a t i o n towards the r e g i o n , r e g a r d i n g t h e i r p lace o f s e t t l e m e n t as t h e i r u l t i m a t e home. T h i s , coupled w i t h the presence o f e s t a -b l i s h e d ' S t r a i t s Chinese' groups i n the r e g i o n , g r e a t l y f a c i l i t a t e d a s w i f t recon-s t r u c t i o n o f f a m i l y and k i n s h i p u n i t s i n the new se t t l ements o f Singapore and Penang. Thus, as d i s t i n c t from the l a t e r a r r i v a l s from China, no c u l t u r a l i n h i b i t i o n s o r fo rmidab le p h y s i c a l d is tances stood between the S t r a i t s Chinese and t h e i r f o rma t ion o f n a t u r a l s o c i a l groupings i n new environments o f recen t s e t t l e m e n t . The ex is tence o f these n a t u r a l s o c i a l groups among the S t r a i t s Chinese hence f u r t h e r served t o l i m i t the secre t s o c i e t i e s ' bas is f o r c o n t r o l - 3 4 -among the Chinese communities in these settlements. In the presence of family bonds and real kinship ties, the need for social fulfillment within the framework of the secret society and i t s structure of kinship ties became displaced. Thus, as evidenced in Khoo's study, secret society organizations among the Straits Chinese groups were not in evidence until 1 8 4 0 , when their economic survival became threatened by the sheer pressure of other Chinese groups.^ Even when the secret societies made their appearance within the Straits Chinese groups, they merely represented a partial fulfillment of the groups' needs as opposed to the total and monopolistic role performed by similar organizations vis-a-vis migrant Chinese groups in the mining areas of the Malay States. With regard to other Chinese groups in the Straits Settlements, secret societies possibly held more meaning and perhaps usefulness for their survival in the new environment. As opportunities within the existent economic framework became exhausted for example, these migrants were required to create Q their own sources of livelihood. In such an event, secret societies became useful foci of economic organization and management. Socially, too, they were more dependent on these societies for personal security and group order. However, as Khoo relates, economic success in the back-woods of the settlement invariably led to involvement in the commercial ac t i v i t i e s of the port area.^ This involvement then had the effect of drawing these men into the established port economies of the settlements. Thus through a system of mobility, economic dependence on the secret societies became transferred to that of the British mercantile economy. Consequently the pressure of competing structures of 6. Khoo observed, " i t i s significant...that Malacca-born Chinese who, until then, formed exclusively the wealthy class of the Chinese population in Malacca, did not, at this stage, belong to these societies [secret societies]. They had societies of their own which were, primarily, of a religious character as their chief object was to combine in offering sacrifices to the names of ancestors. Annual sacrifices were held outside the town and H e r e very much of the nature of picnics affording an agreeable relaxation to the families of the society members." (Khoo, op. c i t . , pp 4 4 - 5 ) 7. Khoo's study shows that in Malacca "the growth of Chinese Secret Societies was associated with the increase in Chinese immigration population. 1 1 (ibid. p. -35-economic and administrative organization in the Straits Settlements led to a mutation in the secret societies* role vis-a-vis the Chinese communities in the ports. As a result, the expression of v i t a l processes of internal change in these overseas Chinese communities became obscured. For these reasons, I propose to consider Chinese communities in the western Malay States as separate from the Straits Settlement communities. I shall argue that in the Malay States Chinese groups followed a relatively indigenous course of social development, one that was uninterrupted and un-obscured to any noticeable extent by=the presence of intervening forces and structures in the host society.' The rather passive and non-competitive role of the Malay host society thus helps to concentrate attention on the processes of social change as the expression of an interaction between internal growth and external demands rather than as a one-way response to external impositions. It i s hoped that the study of Chinese communities in the Malay States w i l l yield a sufficient case for the assumption that even the factor of British intervention and their impositions of policies after 1874 could be similarly viewed as just one more fa.ctor among a myriad of other determinants of social adjustments and growth within these communities. The rate and beginnings of Chinese migration into the Malay States ha1 both esca.ped accurate documentation. According to Khoo's findings, "as early as 1815, Chinese miners were already in Lukut," 1^ Even before this date, Blyth© believed that, "perhaps; a.-sprinkling..of-Chinese labourers" worked for the Malays while they were s t i l l in control of the production and marketing of ~» (continued) In the case of Penang, the Toa Peh Kong (the secret society of the local-born Chinese i n that settlement) was not founded u n t i l 1844, Khoo, p. 42, 8. Ibid., p. 36. 9. I b i d . 10. Ibid., p. 93. -36-11 t i n . By 1824, it,appears that "the e a r l i e s t r e l i a b l e f i g u r e s " of Chinese 12 economic involvment i n the Malay States were recorded. In that year i t was found that "some 400 Chinese were working i n Perak as mining labourers 13 and traders, and 200 were employed i n t i n mines at Lukut... 1' J Despite these f i g u r e s , the exact circumstances of settlement and the subsequent type of business arrangements made are nevertheless, not c l e a r . Various accounts of d i f f e r e n t forms of business arrangements with the Malay r u l e r s e x i s t and i t • i s from these that one may perhaps piece together some coherent picture of an evolutionary progression of types. Middlebrook, f o r example, observes that the f i r s t Chinese miners to the Selangor and Negri Sembilan regions were i n i t i a l l y based on Malacca. From t h i s centre they would t r a v e l to Sungei Ujong, Lukut and the mouth of the Selangor r i v e r . At times, they took c o o l i e s (labourers) with them with the i n t e n t i o n of working t i n f o r a few months. However, more usually, they only traded, advancing money to Malay miners or buying the t i n they had c o l l e c t e d . At t h i s stage of Chinese i n t e r e s t i n t i n reserves, the attitu d e of the Malay ch i e f s quite e f f e c t i v e l y smothered any intentions o f permanent settlement within the region. I t appears that i n the absence of s t r i c t checks from the Sultans, the chiefs constantly demanded heavier and heavier dues from the traders u n t i l they were eventually driven away. Sometimes they were even murdered f o r the 14 money they had on t h e i r persons* From the above account i t i s evident that the beginnings of Chinese involvement i n t i n mining mainly consisted of haphazard e f f o r t s made by i n d i v i d u a l traders of adventurers who were at t r a c t e d by the wealth o f the area. . However, with the passage of time and when r i c h t i n f i e l d s were discovered at Lukut and Sungei Ujong, Chinese miners began to migrate to the 1 2 . Ibid. 11. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 42. 1 3 . Ibid... 14. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 17, -37-regions in numbers, ""^  With the presence of a group, Chinese miners .became .-better able to protect themselves against the Malays. Under this new-found security, miners began to work t i n in earnest, an undertaking which involved, full-time excavations as well as considerable investments of time and labour. Settle-ment for periods of months or even years was inevitable. Economic and perhaps p o l i t i c a l arrangements with local Malay rulers thereby became necessary. Perhaps one of the earliest documented examples of such arrangements was that of Lukut in the early decades of the nineteenth century. According to Khoo, Chinese miners were found in Lukut a.s early a.s 1815. "In 1824, there were ...about 200 [of them there] under a Capitan China appointed by the Sultan of Selangor "^Ibrahim] , "" It appears that when Raja Busu opened up Lukut subsequent to that, he began to impose " a duty of 10% on a l l t i n exported from Lukut. As the industry grew, Raja Busu raised the duty from time to time."-'-9 This antagonised the Chinese miners, who attempted to obtain redress by negotiating directly with Raja Busu. One night, in September 1834, Chinese arrived at Raja Busu's house to try settle the question of .duty. They, found the v i c i n i t y stacked up with t i n . Jealousy got • the better of them. [.Tempers rose and there was a massacre of the Malays}. But on their ggtreat to Malacca, they were ambushed by the Malays," Similar troubles which erupted in Sungei Ujong around the same time seem to point to a parallel in type between Malay-Chinese economic relationships in Lukut and Sungei Ujong. In Sungei Ujong, Khoo notes that By 1828, there were nearly a thousand of them [Chinese] there. Even at this early stage, the seed of discord was sprouting, [between the Chinese and the Malays] prompted, by the desire for greater wealths in 1829, the Malays raided the treasure chest of the Chinese; in 1833« the Chinese ' p r e s u m i n g o n their numbers atta.cked the Malays, but were defeated, and had. to abandon the mines. 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid. 17. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 18. 18. Raja, as distinguished from Sultan, usually meant a prince or a close relative of the Sultan. Sultan is the t i t l e given to the paramount (cont.) -38-The above incidents serve to indicate the nature of i n i t i a l Malay-Chinese economic relationships which existed between early Chinese mining groups and their hosts in the western Malay States. From both these accounts, i t appears that originally Malay economic involvement in these Chinese group efforts was slight, hence their sole avenue of gain lay i n the exercise of their p o l i t i c a l privileges — the imposition of duty and other levies. As w i l l be evident, this mode of behaviour was later resorted to when Chinese miners recaptured these rights as sole entrepreneurs and financiers of their 22 ventures. Gullick has attempted to explain the latter occurrence in terms of a linear development in stages of organization. As he suggests, In the context of a study of the Malay p o l i t i c a l system i t i s more useful to divide Chinese mining communities into categories differentiated by the degree of Malay control. Large mining centres such as Larut, Kuala Lumpur and Lukut (in i t s heyday) were beyond the admini-strative resources of Malay chiefs to control.... In the smaller centres where there were only a few hyndred miners the local Malay chiefs might be able to exercise some general control and even to participate as sleeping partners i n the profits of the mines. Finally there were cases of Malay chiefs who employed Chinese miners in small numbers under their own management. In the last case Gullick explains that very often i t was not their own money which they risked on these ventures. Frequently European and Chinese financiers of the Straits Settlements, who were reluctant "to supply food and stores on credit direct to the Chinese headman of a small mine...preferred to go into partnership with the chief so that he would have an interest in 18. (cont.) ruler of a state. In this case i t appears that i n 1824, Sultan Ibrahim had direct control over Lukut, and thus he dealt with the Chinese and "supervised" their a f f a i r s . Meanwhile, the territory could have been granted to Raja Busu to rule, and thus heacame to "open up Lukut" as recorded in Khoo, It seems, too, that the Chinese had to deal with him rather than with Sultan Ibrahim after this point. 19. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 92. 20. Ibid., 21. Ibid., p. 60. 22. Ibid., p. 68. 23. Gullick, op. c i t . , p. 24. -39-supervising the mine and ensuring that i t was allowed to succeed," By this method, Gullick argues, the capitalists hoped to safeguard their investments from attempts at default or dishonesty by the Chinese headman as well as from extreme vacillations in policies from the local Malay 24 chief himself. From the above description i t may be gathered that when a mining venture was small or was in the process of be.ing established, this method was most frequently employed. By assumption, i t may be said that as the enterprise grew and as their numbers and commensurate economic standing increased, Chinese entrepreneurs became less and less dependent on their economic association with these local Malay chiefs. As a result, a general evolution of organization type took place, displacing the economic role of. the Malay chiefs in the process. Khoo's thesis appears to offer a similar explanation in the following observation: [Around 1840] the system of financial arrangement rela.ting to the mining enterprises in Sungai Ujong had undergone a significant change. Until the early 1830's, the Malay rulers received cash, opium and rice from the Malacca merchants which they in turn advanced to the miners at high prices. The miners were obliged to s e l l their t i n to the rulers at an agreed price and from the rulers, the Malacca merchants obtained the t i n for export....But by the 1840's, Malacca merchants were able to make advances to the miners directly. Yet, the two instances of early Malay-Chinese economic arrangements in Lukut and Sungei Ujong already mentioned do not appear to substantiate the above assumptions. In at least these two pioneer mining settlements, operations did not begin in economic partnership with the Malays. In Lukut especially, the Chinese were already in the d i s t r i c t before the Malay chief, Raja Busu, took over the d i s t r i c t . When he did, no recorded overtures were "W. Ibid., pp. 129, 130. 25, Khoo, op, c i t , , p. 68. -40-made to incorporate him as part of the economic establishment of the mines. In f a c t as noted, Raja Busu and the Chinese miners merely co-existed, each encased within a seperate sphere of preoccupation u n t i l the Raja attempted to extract the maximum possible l e v i e s from the miners. Though these examples constitute important variants to G u l l i c k ' s and Khoo's assumptions of a general trend of evolution i n organizational types, there are nevertheless other instances which support t h e i r conclusions. Later events of renewed development i n Lukut under the d i r e c t i o n of Raja Juma'at, f o r example, c l e a r l y manifest developments along l i n e s i n d i c a t e d by G u l l i c k and Khoo. Further the opening of the north Perak mines by Long Ja'afar followed a s i m i l a r pattern of growth. In other subsequent cases of mining development, a comparable path of organizations may be discerned. Hence, i n Kanching and Klang, mining settlements developed with the d i r e c t encouragement and involvement of these l o c a l princes or c h i e f s . I t must be mentioned, however, that t i n i n the .Kanching area was already worked by a group of Chinese miners "even before Raja Abdul Samad began to take an 26 i n t e r e s t i n tin-mining." I t may be assumed that at that time miners operated on a s i m i l a r f o o t i n g as miners i n Lukut and Sungei Ujong before the advent o f int e r e s t e d Malay c h i e f s . Perhaps the degree of economic s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and awareness of the l o c a l Malay chiefs helps provide a key to understanding the d i s p a r i t y i n development between the d i f f e r e n t pioneer mining settlements examined. I t i s evident from h i s t o r i c a l records that as soon as a l o c a l Malay c h i e f recognized the advantages which could, accrue from a d i r e c t economic involvement i n and encouragement of tin-mining i n h i s area, his p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the economic sphere then became an indispensable asset to i n c i p i e n t ventures and. t h e i r prospective f i n a n c i e r s . P r i o r to t h i s , 26. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 18. -41-i t may be argued, attempts to secure t h e i r cooperation were neither contemplated nor welcomed, Gould the variant s i t u a t i o n s then be seen as an i n i t i a l sta.ge of Malay-Chinese economic r e l a t i o n precedent to the progression o f types postulated by G u l l i c k , a stage not too unlike the f i n a l one of Malay-Chinese co-existence, where non-participation i n each other's spheres of a c t i v i t y became the order of the day? Or were they rather the expressions of i n i t i a l v a r i a t i o n s i n type and method of settlement? Given the state of l i m i t e d records, i t may be extremely d i f f i c u l t to determine an answer to these questions with accuracy. However, judging from examples of Lukut a.nd Kanching on the one hand and those of Perak a,nd Klang on the other, one may say that evidences for each proposition existed. Furthermore, records o f differences i n i n i t i a l organizational methods adopted by various Chinese mining groups i n t h e i r respective areas does seem to indicate that i n i t i a l v a r i a t i o n s i n type and method of settlement d i d e x i s t . The common assumption, f o r example, that pioneer mining settlements were s o l e l y founded under the shadow and mechanics of secret society organizations does not appear to be f u l l y borne out by some recorded instances of settlement and subsequent developments. This i s not to deny, of course, the ce n t r a l and commanding ro l e which secret s o c i e t i e s eventually came to play i n a l l these mining settlements with v i r t u a l l y no exceptions. I t merely argues that possibly d i f f e r e n t types of settlement i n i t i a l l y e xisted. In the case of Sungei Ujong, f o r instance, Khoo records that the secret society by the name o f Sung Pak Kun "had i t s headquarters at Sungai Ujong." 2 7 This leads One to question i f settlement i n t h i s mining d i s t r i c t had indeed preceded the formation of the p a r t i c u l a r secret society named, such that when a secret society d i d eventually emerge from the group, Sungei Ujong came to be i t s headquarters. 2?. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 51. -42-In the foundation of Kuala Lumpur the circumstances of i t s settlement and growth were more expl i c i t . Here Middlebrook records that two Chinese traders who had supplied goods to the newly developed t i n mines at Ampang were encouraged to settle in the area by a Malay trader, Sutan Puasa, Their response and consequent success "soon brought others, and within a short time Kuala Lumpur became a. thriving settlement." ° Rapid growth in population according to Middlebrook soon necessitated the 'election' of a Chinese headman, and "Hiu Siew was selected the f i r s t Capitan C h i n a . I n this case, i t i s evident that settlement began through the efforts of single individuals as opposed to mass engineering through an organization. As a consequence the formation of a cohesive order proceeded from settlement and growth rather than preceded i t . The existence of these and possibly other instances of uncoordinated i n i t i a l settlement coupled with the later and common adoption of secret-society organizations as the medium of internal social and economic coordination thus makes the role of the secret society that much more significant in the study of organizational behaviour and needs within these migrant Chinese communities. Perhaps i t may be asked what were the circumstances which prompted, in the f i r s t place, a need for organization? And, more significantly, what were the specific social and economic demands which favoured the institution of secret societies as the medium of social control within these communities? The need for some form of organization seems obvious enough. The presence of an alien cultural group, unincorporated into the host society and i t s social system, invariably required some measure of internal social regulation as well as a focus for general cohesion. As Robin Williams observed, " a l l social structures...developed out of nonstructures, as mere aggregates, 28. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 19 29. Ibid. -43-i gradually transform themselves into definite social groups or c o l l e c t i v i t i e s . The emergence of organization means that norms arise and consensus develops; 30 i t also means that internal differentia.tion occurs. n J An i n i t i a l l y loose aggregate of individuals possesses, as the a.bove quote implies, a potential to develop into a defined social group with i t s own organizational framework. Even more so, i t may he argued, wi l l a collection of Chinese migrants whose social well-being seldom evoked the concern nor the interference of the local Malay 31 authorities. Furthermore, as South Chinese these migrants belonged to a tradition of large-scale corporate lineages,^ 2one where interaction with outsdie authorities and internal units alike were conducted through a group structure as opposed to a fundamentally individualistic approach. In what 33 Wittfogel termed as "clan familism" , the family structure and i t s future perpetuation derived special preeminence, Ritually, for example, the family unit was regarded as the basic unit of the system; in ceremonial occasions of ancestral sacrifices, the subsequent distribution of meat was often made with respect to heads of households or to the eldest male child rather than 34 to individual males i n the lineage. In other internal p o l i t i c a l and economic matters, relations and settlements were conducted through the "chia-chang," heads of respective households who would in turn pass on the information to 35 their respective members. In these ways, we see how the individual migrant in his home environment was accustomed to the intervention of groups in the conduct of his day-to-day af f a i r s . Moreover, through the corporate lineage, an individual derived a sense of historical perspective and an appreciation of 30. Williams, R., American Society, a sociological interpretation, A.A, Knopf, New York, I97O, p. 507. 31. Refer to chapter 2 and Gullick, op. c i t . , p. 24 and p. 25. 32. Freedman, M,, Lineage Organization in Southeastern China, 1958, p. 104. 33» Wittfogel, quoted in Freedman, Ibid., p, 1, 34, Gathered from interviews with Chinese migrants. Also, Freedman, Ibid., p. 13f attests to the existence of such occasions. 35« Lin Yueh-hwa. See Freedman, p. 3^ » _ i l 4 -h i s own r o l e and meaning o f ex is tence on the u n f o l d i n g continuum o f t i m e . W i t h i n a. new environment removed from these t r a d i t i o n a l moorings o f meaning and permanence, i t can he app rec ia ted why a g iven c o l l e c t i o n o f Chinese migrants needed o r g a n i z a t i o n . I t i s f u r t h e r obvious t h a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n needed was no p r e l i m i n a r y s t r u c t u r e o f r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the midst o f chaos but r a t h e r a more s p e c i a l i z e d type o f organism t h a t could help r e c o n s t r u c t the f a m i l i a r i n s t i t u t i o n s o f the corporate l i neage group. I n t h i s , one sees the s o c i a l bas is o f the secre t s o c i e t y s t r u c t u r e i n p ioneer min ing camps o f western Malaya... A survey o f the nature o f s p e c i a l i z e d t i n - m i n i n g work, the p r e -dominant occupat ion o f Chinese migrants i n the a rea , may i n a d d i t i o n a f f o r d an a p p r e c i a t i o n o f the economic bas is f o r sec re t s o c i e t y ex is tence i n these s e t t l e m e n t s . Accord ing to Swettenham's and Jackson's d e s c r i p t i o n s , overseas Chinese min ing methods i n Southeast As ia r e l i e d h e a v i l y on the use o f l a b o u r . Jackson, f o r example, remarked t h a t "no th ing could emphasize more f o r c e f u l l y the f a c t t h a t wh i le the "waterworks" are the best-known Chinese c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the min ing i n d u s t r y , the p i l l a r o f t h e i r techniques was the i n d i v i d u a l l abou re r prepared to per form i n c r e d i b l y t ed ious and strenuous work f o r immensely long hours and d r i v e n o n l y by h i s personal i n t e r e s t i n the u l t i m a t e p r o f i t a b i l i t y o f the v e n t u r e , " - ^ I n another i ns tance , he .observed t h a t p a r t o f t h e i r success i n the West Borneo g o l d f i e l d s l a y i n t h e i r "knowledge o f ingenious techniques o f water management and an a b i l i t y to mob i l i ze a l a r g e and i n d u s t r i o u s l a b o u r - f o r c e . " - ^ Hence not on ly were Chinese miners o f the e igh teen th and n ine teen th c e n t u r i e s dependent on the i n d u s t r y o f i n d i v i d u a l mine workers but they were a lso dependent on the presence and subsequent o r g a n i z a t i o n o f a l abour f o r c e . T i e n ' s s tudy most empha t i ca l l y p o i n t e d out 36. Freedman, op. c i t . , p. 134. 37. Jackson, op. c i t . , p. J&, 38. I b i d . , p. 31. -45-that the survival and economic success of the overseas Chinese in Sarawak was in fact "a great tribute to their toughness, their tenacity and £ above i 39 a l l j their powers of organization." It may be argued that this remark was no less true for the t i n mines of western Malaya. In Swettenham's report, "the mine i s simply an excavation made in the form of a square, averaging an acre in extent and penetrating perpen-40 dicularly to the strata containing the t i n , " These tin-bearing strata, locally called "Te Kang," were in Speedy's estimation "generally found in the plains at a depth of from 20-50 feet, though at the foot of the h i l l s 41 i t l i e s within 6 feet of the surface." With the help of simple tools, which Speedy saw as "inefficient in the extreme," the labourers set to work, preparing the ground for mining. The ground, assuming the tedious and time-consuming processes of prospecting had proved f r u i t f u l , had to be f i r s t cleared 42 of the "huge primeval forest" which covers most of the region. Then the al l u v i a l strata, or the overburden, had to be "methodically removed. A"t this stage, the coolies, or labour force, of the mine were divided into two gangst one group would dig up the s o i l with a hoe (commonly termed Changkul) and shovel i t into small f l a t baskets made from cane. The Baskets, "not holding more than four pounds of earth," and the hoe were, according to 44 Speedy, "the only implements known to the Chinese coolie." When two baskets were f i l l e d , they were carried away by the second group of coolies. This was done in "regular order." As Speedy described i t , On a pair of baskets being f i l l e d , they are placed, one at each end of a stout stick, called a kandar. prepared 39• T'ien Ju-k'ang, The Chinese of Sarawak, a, studv of social structure. 1950, p. 6... 40. Speedy, T.C., "Blue Book of Larut Dis t r i c t of Perak," in F. Swettenham's Papers (loose documents), box one, Malaysian Archives. Material was read a number of years ago, and specific folio numbers were not available at the time. 4l.. Ibid. The section following i s primarily based on these documents. 42. See Wong, op. c i t . , p. 47. 43. Ibid. 44. Speedy, op, c i t . -46-w i t h grooves f o r the purpose, which i s balanced on a man's shoulder , and the basket having been c a r r i e d away and emptied they are brought back and r e f i l l e d . ^ ' Usua l l y a t the i n i t i a l steps o f t h i s s tage, the ass is tance o f a water -race was e n l i s t e d to remove the super f luous s o i l . This water was then d i v e r t e d away from the min ing hole by means o f a s l u i c e - g a t e i n t o a washing t rough where i t was t o be e v e n t u a l l y used f o r washing the p a y - d i r t excavated f rom 46 the o r e - b e a r i n g s t r a t a . As the excavat ions grew deeper, a t r e e t r u n k w i t h 47 notches rough ly hewn i n t o i t s s ides was employed as a l a d d e r . Normal ly , a t a depth o f s i x f e e t , seepage became a problem. I n sma l le r mines, t h i s water hp. was ba led out by hand, whereas i n l a r g e r mines a chain-pmmp c a l l e d " c h i n c h i a " was used. Th is was cons t ruc ted on the spot w i t h th ree l ong wooden p lanks , each measuring a hundred f e e t i n l e n g t h . When formed i n t o a t r o u g h , t h i s was lowered i n t o the mine, r e s t i n g a t an ob l ique p o s i t i o n w i t h one end a t the lowest p a r t o f the mine and the o t h e r a t the edge o f the bank. Then "a wooden chain w i t h smal l oblong p ieces o f wood p laced a t r i g h t angles t o the l i n e i s f i t t e d a c c u r a t e l y i n t o the above-named t r o u g h . The wooden chain i s end less , and i s passed round two wheels, a smal l one a t the lower end o f 49 the t rough and a l a r g e r one a t the upper e n d . " The l a r g e r wheel was a water wheel which was p r o p e l l e d by a constant stream f l o w i n g over i t . By i t s 45. I b i d . . . . 46. Jackson, J . C . , op. c i t . , pp. 33» Even though Jackson's account o f Chinese min ing methods r e l a t e s t o the west Borneo g o l d f i i e l d s , i t i s never the less poss ib le to d i s c e r n immense s i m i l a r i t i e s i n method and techn ique . As he h i m s e l f observed, " w i t h minor m o d i f i c a t i o n s , these techniques were used wherever Chinese worked a l l u v i a l m inera l depos i t s i n South-East As ia i n the e igh teen th and n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s , " p. 37. 47. See Wong, op. c i t . , p. 47. A lso Jackson, p. 36. 48. Gathered from i n t e r v i e w s o f Chinese miners i n Perak. Also P u r c e l l , op. c i t . , p. 101, a l l u d e d to the p r a c t i c e o f c l e a r i n g water from the mines by manual l a b o u r . 49. Speedy, op. c i t . -k7-revolving action the seepage water was brought to the top of the mine in the following manner, Round the axles of the water wheel are cogs, each of which in turn as the wheel revolves, draws up a joint of the endless chain through the trough, and as each joint f i t s accurately into the trough, they bring up in succession a quantity of water, which, on reaching the mouth of the trough, f a l l s into the channel by which the water which turns the wheel i s carried off, a,nd i s thus also taken away out of the mine, and conducted to the next, where the process is repeated.-' Jackson's account points to the fact that this water was f i r s t directed to the washing trough before i t was f i n a l l y released to the next mine. Consequently, in addition to the arduous work of clearing the ground and removing the overburden, an intricate process of water control and manage-ment had to be devised and constructed. According to Jackson, this frequently involved damming a neighbouring stream "to create a small reservoir; [from which] a canal was led to the intended mine site and f i t t e d with a sluice 51 at i t s lower end. A washing trough was then constructed and this, in Speedy's account, consisted of a long open trough made of planks measuring about "two feet broad, about thirty feet long, and one high. This i s placed on an incline of about twenty-five degrees." 5 2 Speedy also noted that small bars of wood, about three inches high were f i t t e d at intervals along the 53 bottom of the trough. These bars, being also nailed to the sides, thus created effective barriers to trap the heavier tin-ore from being washed away with the rest of the gravel. In Borneo, Jackson noted that the length and complexity of the washing trough varied considerably from small and medium 54 sized mines to large ones. This also appears to be the case in West Malaya 50~! ibid"! 51. Jackson, op. c i t . , p. 33. 52. Speedy, op. c i t . 53. Ibid. 54. Jackson, op. c i t . , pp. 33»34. -48-as accounts of early mining methods gathered from interviews shows that the lanchut or washing trough usually measured from seven to eight feet long in a small mine. This box was however built in a wedge-shape, broad at the top and narrow at the end. The box also sloped from the broad end to the narrow so that a certain volume of the water poured in at the top could flow off at the bottom carrying the light sand and gravel with i t . Meanwhile, a man, stationed at the side continually dragged the heavy t i n ore back in the opposite direction to the water flow. Except for the use of water for selected forms of motive power, the mainstay of Chinese tin-mining methods in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was manual labour. Irrespective of si%e or scale in operation, a heavy dependence on human labour was in evidence. Though in Swettenham's estimation, Chinese mining operations appeared simple, i t may be argued that about the only simple feature in these arrangements was their tools and machinery, or the lack of them. Otherwise, Chinese tin-mining works, as seen from the above account, were complex ventures exhibiting an ingenuity in planning and control, both with respect to water and human resources. It i s in the latter aspect, one may argue that secret society organizations came in useful as a medium of economic organization. It can be seen that i f a l l the arduous and dangerous processes of ground preparation, water sluicing and eventual mining and smelting were accomplished mainly through the use of manual labour, the need for a sizeable labour force became imperative. Indeed, Wong estimated that "in 1850, the number of coolies in a mine in Malacca worked out on an average of about 70-80 men, whereas in 1862, the number of coolies employed in twelve of the mines in Larut averaged 71 labourers per mine,"-^ 55. Wong, op, c i t . , p. 40. -49-The recruitment and transportation of these bodies of men into the i n t e r i o r where the t i n mines were located presented a large enough problem, not to mention those organizational ones which the subsequent mobilization, coordination, and control of these men on the actual mine s i t e would e n t a i l . An added d i f f i c u l t y r e s t s with the dangerous nature of the work involved. One may indeed say that each stage of the tin-min,ing process bore some r e a l or p o t e n t i a l hazard to l i f e . The dense equatorial jungles, f o r example, frequently posed immense d i f f i c u l t i e s and hardships. The tenacious and deep undergrowth often harboured snakes and insects which could attack the men while they cleared the area. In Middlebrook's account, when an Ampang mine was opened, eighty-seven coolies were brought i n to clear the jungle. Within one month the majority of the force died, mainly from fever. "Ry the end of the month only eighteen were l e f t , " - ^ More coolies had to be subsequently 57 transferred i n with "a f u l l stock of provisions."-^ Even with the jungle cleared and burnt, the threats to a mine labourer's l i f e and well-being were by no means completely abated. One can probably v i s u a l i z e some of the p h y s i c a l odds that beset a labourer attempting to manoeuvre his way up a roughly improvised ladder with about eight pounds or more of earth balanced p r e c a r i o u s l y on ends of a pole slung across h i s shoulder; or even some of the problems and hardships they encountered while attempting to construct sluice-gates, washing troughs and chain-pumps from the s o l i d deciduous hardwoods of the region. Given the l i m i t e d tools i n use, these men were not only driven to work hard but f o r i n c r e d i b l y long hours. In t h i s respect, Wong remarked thatr. the Chinese "entrepreneurs... had no scruples about working h i s men to death."-^ Seen against these circumstances, i t would indeed be somewhat i d e a l i s t i c to suppose that these mine labourers were motivated s o l e l y by "a 56"", Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 18» 57. I b i d . 58. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 40, -50-59 personal interest in the ultimate p r o f i t a b i l i t y of the venture." Granted that in smaller workings where a group of eight to ten men worked together on a share basis, this could be true, but in the average mining enterprise where from eighty to ninety men were employed, the prospects of deriving any direct profit from one's exertions must surely seem extremely remote. Further, given the almost inhuman limits of work to which they were driven, the chances of their very survival beyond the term of their indenture was even in question. It may therefore be argued that the mobilization of these men must have required some measure of force and coercion, such that i t s exercise would be seen by the labourer as more daunting than the fear of physical dangers or even those arising from his everyday work. It i s in such a situation that the secret society mechanism came in useful. Secret sects and societies, i n Blythe's terms, had been a deeply rooted tradition in the Chinese experience. The power which they possessed commonly rested on a "readiness to k i l l should their demands be refused or 60 their commands disobeyed, and over a l l was fear." Consequently, built into the secret society mechanism was a body of "fighting men" ready and swift'to mete out punishments or vengeance on i t s erring members or foes respectively. It was this claim and. ramification to power which seemed most suited to the above-mentioned conditions of economic control and vigilance in the inineteenth century Malayan t i n - f i e l d s . Furthermore, in the eyes of the migrant Chinese, the secret society framework represented a culturally familiar and commonly feared force of authority. To the mine worker, therefore, the ruthless and exacting demands of obedience were well within his social experiences and comprehension. A combination of these factors hence helped to secure a close and exploitative control over the economic energies of the labour force. 59* Jackson, op. c i t . , p. 36. 60. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 17. • , -51-The c o n t r o l and m o b i l i z a t i o n o f mine laboure rs was not the only-sec to r w i t h i n the genera l economic management o f a t i n - m i n e where sec re t s o c i e t y o r g a n i z a t i o n proved u s e f u l . The upkeep o f a labour fo rce i nva r ia .b l y presumed the supply o f p r o v i s i o n s and the min ing o f commercial ore meant t h a t i t had to be expor ted . Both these a c t i v i t i e s i n v o l v e d o r g a n i z a t i o n not merely on the spot but i n c o o r d i n a t i o n w i t h agents o r f i n a n c i e r s o f the S t r a i t s Se t t l emen ts . The t r a n s p o r t o f goods, sometimes over l o n g d is tances t o and from the mines, cou ld pose immense d i f f i c u l t i e s and dangers. P l y i n g a long unchar ted viaterways and t r e k k i n g through dense jung les were s u f f i c i e n t hard -sh ips i n themselves, no t to ment ion poss ib le a t t a c k s from r i v a l Chinese groups o r h o s t i l e Malays. I n view o f such c i rcumstances, i t can perhaps be a p p r e c i -a ted how backing o f an o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h i t s corps o f f i g h t i n g men wa.s u s e f u l f o r such o p e r a t i o n s . I n a d d i t i o n , hampered by d is tances and d i f f i c u l t con-d i t i o n s o f t r a v e l , communication and t r a n s p o r t were long-drawn processes. The maintenance o f a steady f l o w o f supp l ies thus i n a d v e r t a n t l y demanded a f a i r amount o f s k i l l , good p lann ing and o r g a n i z a t i o n . The d i r e c t i o n and execu t ion o f such tasks must s u r e l y be beyond the s i n g l e c a p a c i t i e s o f i n d i v i d u a l s . Group e f f o r t w i t h a s t r o n g emphasis on c l o s e l y coord ina ted and i n t e g r a t e d a c t i o n s was necessary. I n terms o f these r e q u i s i t e s , the most optimum o r g a n i z a t i o n a l medium appears t o have been the secre t s o c i e t y w i t h i t s e x t r a -economic bonds o f f i t t i v e k i n s h i p and l o y a l t y unto dea th . Through these o r g a n i z a t i o n s , men's e f f o r t s and a c t i o n s became more s t r o n g l y bound t o g e t h e r than would otherwise have been the case i n a l ess demanding and more economica l ly s p e c i f i c type o f o r g a n i z a t i o n . I n ye t another area s e c r e t - s o c i e t y membership proved to be a prac-t i c a l medium f o r the conduct o f economic t r a n s a c t i o n s . D i f f i c u l t c o n d i t i o n s o f t r a v e l , g i v i n g r i s e to se r ious lags i n communication chal lenged not on ly the m a t e r i a l and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l l i f e - l i n e s o f the mines but t h e i r f i n a n c i a l -52-aspects as well. The nature of tin-mining work, for example, presented i t s own particular problems in terms of capital returns. Preliminary preparatory work required meant that for a period, at least,- t i n could not be mined. Even after the actual mining of t i n had begun, the ore could not be immediately extracted and sold as a series of processing steps was required before i t reached a marketable state. Tin-bearing gravel carried from the mines had 6l to be f i r s t collected before the effort was economically profitable. 62 Finally, after a lapse of about a month, t i n was taken up from the washing 63 trough, smelted and moulded into ingots for export. A considerable delay therefore existed between the i n i t i a l establishment of a mine and the eventual realization of profit. Yet, during this time expenditure and the need for constant capital outlay was in no way abated. The workers must be fed, tools must be purchased and existing works must be maintained. Hence, while waiting for their capital returns to materialize, miners had to depend on external sources of finance. Such financial support frequently took the shape of supplies and provisions advanced to the miners on credit in return for a promise that the financier would thereby obtain monopolistic:control over the produce — in this instance, t i n . The form of security offerred in these credit transactions was therefore a mere promissory one. Although the high risks taken were well calculated into the profit margin and the interest rates charged, advancers and traders, in these cases stationed at the nearest Straits Settlement, nevertheless needed some intermediary basis of economic security over and above the concept of economic trust. I n i t i a l l y , as described, financiers operated through the Malay rulers or mines were located s u f f i -ciently close to Malacca to allow for the frequent and unobstructed flow of 61. Speedy, op. c i t . 62. Gathered from interviews. Also see Jackson, p, 34. 63. Speedy, op. c i t . -53-provisions and t i n . With the expansion of the industry, however, both avenues of operation became unsatisfactory. In such an event, i t is argued, the prin-ciple of common brotherhood within the secret society organization provided that important extra-economic link which made such financial transactions acceptable to either party. In T'ien's study of the Chinese in Sa.rawak, he too found that in the rural regions where communications were d i f f i c u l t and capital reserves scarce, Chinese economic relations were often structured on a.n "elaborate system of credit" which was in turn "tied into a. system of cla.n relationships." 0^ In the absence of "impersonal securities" such as property or other economically acceptable forms of mortgage, clan ties, T'ien explained, with their bu i l t - i n "mutual sentiments of clan relationship," provided an extra-economic basis for the founding of economic trust.^ 5 Thus, as he elaborated, "the rural peasant, having no property, has only his good name to offer a.s security, 66 But this personal kind of security w i l l only be accepted by his clansmen." Indeed the frequent use of intervening social and particularistic c r i t e r i a in the establishment and conduct of business relations i s a familiar and deeply embedded practice in Chinese economic behaviour"both in the past and present. 6? As Si l i n ' s study of Hong Kong's Kennedy Town Market demonstrates, "the market for those who work there i s more than a mere source of income, i t i s an important focus of social activity, a community to which each member owes support." It was also through the operation of these very social bonds that an expectation of f a i r dealing and regard for business ethics could be enter-64. T'ien, op. c i t . , pp. 37-41 65. Ibid., p. 42 66. Ibid. 67. Refer to Feuerwerker, S i l i n , T'ien, and DeGlopper 68. S i l i n , R.H., "Kennedy Town Market", unpublished ar t i c l e -54-tained. As S i l i n explained, business e t h i c s i n the market appears to be e x t e r n a l l y enforced by one's s o c i a l community (the market i n t h i s case), Once outside t h i s s o c i a l environment, one could dabble i n sharp practice and fraud, an allowance which S i l i n termed as a "permissible area of m a l p r a c t i c e , " ^ Attempts to explain such p a r t i c u l a r i s m i n Chinese economic practice have 70 hinted at the general la.ck of an i n t e r n a l i z e d code of economic et h i c s , a phenomenon which owed i t s existence, according to Feuerwerker, to the persistence of an overly r i g i d and overwhelmingly dominant Chinese imperial 71 p o l i t i c a l system and i t s Confucian ideology,' The o f f i c i a l p o l i t y not only sapped o f f the f i n a n c i a l strength o f the i n c i p i e n t c a p i t a l i s t s through 72 heavy taxation and other exactions but drained at the source roots of mercantile t a l e n t by coopting successful members among the ranks into the bureaucratic f o l d . Thus deprived of long-term continuity i n p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e , Chinese enterprise became t r a d i t i o n a l l y dependent on intervening socia.l structures f o r t h e i r operation. As early as the T'ang dynasty recorded evidences of economic operation through a defined socio-economic community were found. In t h i s respect Kato recounted that, The merchant who sold provisions to the f r o n t i e r army at the north f r o n t i e r of Shen-hsi, was given a sort of promissory note that was c a l l e d "chia.o-yin", and came to K'ai-feng, the c a p i t a l with i t . In case the merchant was a "hang-shang", the merchants who were purveyors to the monopoly bureau,..stood surety f o r him, upon which he was paid by the monopoly bureau f o r the provisions he had s o l d to the army,,,.In case the merchant was not a hang;-shang. no resident merchant would vouch f o r him, so that, unable to get any payment from the monopoly bureau of the government, he was obliged to s e l l the chiao-yln to some resident merchant, who i n turn s o l d i t to some tea, merchants. 69. Ibid., p. 91. ^ 70. T'ien, p. 62. Refer also to S i l i n and DeGlopper,' Doing Business i n Lukang," unpublished a r t i c l e . 71. Feuerwerker. 72. Kato, Shigeshi, p. 67. See also Feuerwerker. (Kato's a r t i c l e i s t r a n s l a t e d by H. Kodara as' On the Hang, or the Association of merchants i n China, Memoirs  of the Research Department of Tovo Bunko. 8_(1936). 73. I b i d . -55-The h gng as a merchant community in which both threads of social and economic interaction were inextricably intertwined continued to persist right through to the Ch'ing p e r i o d . ^ In Canton during the Ch'ing dynasty for example, Kato records that a merchant could not conduct his business unless he was a member of a hang and, to be accepted into a hang he needed theoretically two or three merchants who would stand surety for him. In actual practice however, Kato observes that " i t is d i f f i c u l t for a merchant to join a. hang unless he managed to purchase the good w i l l of a firm that belonged to some hang."75 Granted that these obstacles of hang membership were planted primarily for the control and protection of the hang's monopoly over i t s particular f i e l d of commerce, yet the emphasis and stipulations on personal ties and patronage cannot nevertheless be ignored. Furthermore, i t was not only in the area of membership where functionally non-specific characteristics were manifested. Eato records that "some of the influential hang built a hui-kuan... and assembling in the hall worshipped deities or held conferences."76 i n the T'ang period as well, such religious functions of the merchant hangs were alluded to.77 From historic times therefore, Chinese economic practice had been conditioned by a long and deeply embedded tradition of particularism and functionally non-specific methods of operation. Against this background, secret society organizations or clan associations, with their respective ties of f i c t i v e kinship or clan relationships thereby f i t t e d into a culturally prescribed slot within the economic workings of pioneer overseas Chinese groups. As T'ien suggested, where a community was relatively well-developed economically "the elaboration of the division of labour produces occupation organizations, such a.s guilds and tra.de unions."^ But where such development was in i t s rud-imentary. stage, "kinship bonds and dialect similarity" served in their stead as 74. Ibid.. 75. Ibid. 76. Ibid. 77. Ibid. 78. T'ien, op ...cit., p. 38. -56-bases f o r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p o l a r i t y — both s o c i a l and economic.'"' In the r u r a l communities of Sarawak, clan t i e s , as evidenced by T'ien's study, were widely employed as the basis of socio-economic r e l a t i o n s . In nineteenth century mining settlements of the Western Malay States however, secret s o c i e t i e s predominated as t h e i r medium of socio-economic organization. The occasion f o r t h e i r existence i s apparent enough — stemming as discussed, p a r t l y from a long t r a d i t i o n of Chinese economic practice and. p a r t l y from the nature of a r e l a t i v e l y undeveloped and therefore u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d economic system within the new environment. Yet, given these basic s i m i l a r i t i e s , what were the disparate f a c t o r s which l e d to the adoption of one type of socio-economic organization i n Sarawak as opposed to the employment of another i n the t i n mines of nineteenth century Malaya? Differences i n time and era .of existence may help to account f o r part of t h i s d i s p a r i t y , but i t would, seem that the more fundamental issues l i e i n a basic difference i n economic pursuits between the two communities. In r u r a l Sarawak, the main occupation of the Chinese was commercial a g r i c u l t u r e — small rubber planters or smallholders of other commercially marketable products 80 such as pepper, coconuts and o c c a s i o n a l l y dry r i c e . The essence of smallholdings as opposed to large estates l i e s i n t h e i r diminutive scale. I t was a unit of economic operation well within the capacity o f a smallholder and. h i s family 81 with perhaps the hired, help of one or two labourers. With no demand f o r large scale commercial labour forces, t h i s mode of economic operation appreciably favoured a process of s e l e c t i v e immigration. By t h i s I mean that such communities could a f f o r d to be s e l e c t i v e i n t h e i r recruitment of new members from China — a low demand f o r labour thus making possible the s e l e c t i o n of only close k i n or a d i s t a n t " r e l a t i v e " f o r immigration into the existent f o l d . Hence a gradual 79. Ibid., p. 38. 80. Ibid., p. 37. 81. Ibid., p. 40. -57-emergence of clan localization occurred.^ 2 With the existence of a cash crop economy, these clan relationships did not merely act as social ties but as networks for economic relations e.s well. Thus, i t may be said that in a. small and close-knit overseas Chinese community, clan associations and relationships bec?„me employed as intermediaries of economic transactions. In the west-Malayan t i n mines of the nineteenth century, however, mass g labour requirements led to a less discriminate process of recruitment from China. This, plus the high mortality rate in the mines, i n i t i a l l y mitigated the develop-ment of strong primary social groups such as clan or kinship groups within the community. Consequently some other principle of social coherence had to be employed — in this instance the principle of f i c t i v e kinship within a secret society organization. Also, the nature of economic operation in the mines differed markedly from the working of a smallholding. In the t i n mines, economic organization meant more than the mere presence of a community for the enforce-ment of a code of business ethics; rather, i t constituted the very structure of economic operation within each mine, the nerve centre, so to speak, which dealt with tasks of organization, control and direction —functions that would demand a more r i g i d control over the organism than clan ties could afford. In addition, the dependence of these mines on external markets as well as on imported supplies of food and. labour made the employment of a series of inter-connecting economic units inevitable. In the area of labour recruitment, for example, Chen Ta records that i t was the usual practice for prospective employers to make their requirements known to agents or brokers stationed in the nearest Straits Settlement port. These agents would in turn contact their 82. Ibid., p. 35. 83. Freedman remarked that "to get the numbers of emigrants demanded by the labour market in Southeast Asis the recruiters scoured, the rural area; the urban concentrations of poor people were too small to act as adequate reservoirs." Freedman, "Immigrants and Associations," p. 26. -58-agents i n China who " i n many cases p r a c t i c a l l y made contracts..with the cooli e s , so that [on t h e i r a r r i v a l ] the formal contracts were signed within a day or two, and the coolies taken at once to the estate or mine where they were to 84 work." Such time-saving e f f i c i e n c y could not he obtained unless close contacts, probably through organizations, were frequently maintained. I t i s argued here that i n the absence of commercial companies, i n the Western sense of the term, secret s o c i e t i e s took t h e i r place. Furthermore, located i n the i n t e r i o r , i s o l a t e d from supply centres, the mines were often required to conduct t h e i r own arrangements f o r the marketing of t i n and the purchase of food and n e c e s s i t i e s . This, as already discussed, made the secret society machinery even more indispensable because common secret society membership provided, as hang membership did i n Kato's discussion, a basis f o r t r u s t and business cooperation. Like the hangs, secret s o c i e t i e s had control over sanctions that could be applied should the more persona.1 t i e s of re l a t i o n s h i p s be betrayed. Hence, these organizations, unlike the clan asso-c i a t i o n s of Sarawak, could command a more binding l o y a l t y from t h e i r members. I t may be sa i d therefore, that a, difference i n s o c i a l composition and economic needs i n e f f e c t helped to produce, as between Malaya and Sarawak,different intermediary structures of socio-economic organizations even i n the face of a roughly s i m i l a r stage of economic development. I t has been seen how i n pioneer conditions, secret s o c i e t i e s were v i t a l economically to the management and operation of tin-mining enterprises i n the e a r l y decades of overseas Chinese involvement i n the area. I t has also been suggested how secret s o c i e t i e s could help to bridge the gap caused by a d i s -p a r i t y between the s o c i a l experiences of the migrants at home, and the anonymity of t h e i r existence i n the new environment. To the i n d i v i d u a l , f o r example, bonds 84. Chen Ta, Chinese Migrations, with s p e c i a l reference to labour conditions, B u l l e t i n of U.S.Bureau of Labour S t a t i s t i c s , No. 340, T a i p e i , 1967. -59-of sworn brotherhood, solemnized through elaborate and mystical religious rituals could represent, in the midst of strangers, a partial but valuable reconstruction of his own corporate lineage group in the home village. The significance of these ties may appear minimal when assessed solely on their own merits, but when seen as a part of a tradition of Chinese culture and values, one can perhaps begin to appreciate their meaning and import to Chinese migrants abroad* Conditioned by a pattern of social behaviour at home which stressed the import-ance of kin ties and "familial" obligations, i t can be visualized how significant group structures were to the migrant's existence in his new environment. In addition, programmed to interact in terms of kin bonds and obligations, i t may be seen how even the slightest semblance to a reconstructed fragment of such ties could help to lend meaning to the immigrants' relationships in the new environment. In consideration of these faxtors, i t has been found that "a propensity to form groups for mutual support and the attainment of common 85 objectives has long been a characteristic of the Chinese social pattern." Probably stemming from a similar source, sworn brotherhood as a viable form of relationship has been employed from antiquity. As Blythe observed, "sworn brother relations are s t i l l a common fea/ture of Chinese l i f e , even in the comm-ercia l world, and whenever the oath i s taken i t supercedes a l l other ties and 86 i s binding until death." Not only does such a relationship reconstruct for the individuals involved familiar bonds of kin ties but also embodies in i t s practice a l l the traditionally upheld virtues of "Yi" (justice, or right-conduct, between men) and "Chung" (loyalty to the group).^ In addition to appealing in the abstract to the migrants' sense of honour, ideals and virtues, secret society membership also had i t s practical 85. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 14, 86. Ibid., p. l 6 . 87. Definitions quoted from Blythe, p. 17. -60-usefulness. In Freedman's words the "secret society provided the sin-kheh, the greenhorn, with something equivalent to a local community. It furnished him with assistance when he was in need, organized funerals, defended his rights, and established a. focus for loyalty in a social setting far removed in i t s structure Q O from the kind, of.society he had known at home." P o l i t i c a l l y the secret society acted as a buffer between the individual migrant and the "alien" administration whose customs and language were equally foreign. It has been seen also how secret societies have actually helped to defend the lives of the migrant Chinese from the vacillations of policy of some local Malay chiefs. Internally, the societies acted as "mechanisms of 'law' vrithin the Chinese community."^9 A l l in a l l therefore, in the early years of overseas Chinese settlement in the western Malay States, the secret society organization f u l f i l l e d for the individual migrant the role of a local community and. i t s entire machinery of social organization. Although the measures of "social" enforcement employed by the secret societies were by no means a l t r u i s t i c nor humane, i t can nevertheless be appreciated how a promise of r e l i e f in times of sickness and of a decent burial in case of death could, be of immense practical value to a helpless, uprooted, new migrant faced with an environment where conditions were harsh and the chances of survival slim. As Blythe remarked, " a Chinese attached great significance to the funeral rites which enabled the spi r i t s of the dead, to pxcceed on their way with decorum. To the labourer working away from home and family i t was a great comfort to know that provision had been made for his funeral and that his body would not be abandoned in a hole or thrown into the river like that of a dog, and his spi r i t s l e f t to howl bewildered in space."9® Consequently while death, sickness and injury posed ever-present threats, and while strangers of different 88. Freedman, M., Immigrants and Associations, p. 37 • 89. Ibid., p. 35. 90. Blythe, op, c i t . , p. 14. -61-dialect groups and at times of different ethnic groups continued to live around them, the social and. cultural insulation which the secret societies could provid.e for the individual in the i n i t i a l years of settlement cannot be lig h t l y dismissed. Furthermore, even though the society headmen were callous in the treatment of their members and often ruthless in extracting the last drops of sweat and. blood from their labourers, the secret society organization was nevertheless significant in the l i f e of a new migrant, i f only by serving as a convenient rallying point where fellow migrants like him were gathered. This, thereby provided him with much needed, comradeship in a situation of isolation and with ha\p and support in times of hardship. Finally, through the secret society structure, each migrant could nurse hopes of achieving the status of economic success and leadership along roughly the same routes marked out by his leaders, for, as Freedman observed, "a f l u i d and. commercialized society threw up men who united p o l i t i c a l and. economic power by controlling their fellows through the secret societies."91 The high premium placed on valour and fighting a b i l i t y in a society where might made right must have made such prospects both feasible and attainable in those early decades of Chinese mining settlement in the western Malay States. Backed, by these social ramifications of power, secret society organ-izations became the keystone of Chinese supremacy in the early years of the mining industry. As Wong elaborated, "Chinese entrepreneurs.,-, ruled, their labourers with an iron hand through the secret societies, which gave to them the means to get the necessary labour for the mines and to the Chinese as a community the organization to govern and protect themselves,"92 Significant though their role was, i t i s nevertheless evident that the very n ature of their dominance contained within i t s e l f the seeds of their eventual downfall. In the area, of 91. Freedman, M., "Immigrant and Associations", p. 38. 92. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 40, -62-economic domination, for example, the adoption of f i c t i v e kin relationships and the employment of the secret society organization as a focus of economic operation was, as suggested, prompted by an absence of concentrated localiza.tion of primary social groupings such as clan or kinship groups and. by tbe special demands of tin-mining enterprises at that time. Their continued supremacy would therefore depend on the continued, absence of strong localized primary social groups as well as on the consistency of economic needs and conditions in the mines. But the very essence of economic success i s development and change. Prolonged settlement meant the consolidation of some ties, and. economic success could f a c i l i t a t e the establishment of families and. the recruitment of kin from China. The emergence of wider primary social groups seems inevitable and, a.s shall be discussed, this weakened, the very roots of secret society dominance in the mines. Similarly, with development, the economic system differentia.tes, so that the basis for particularism in economic practice shifts from more diffuse principles of primary social bonds, real or f i c t i v e , to more specialized ties of occupational identity and contract. This, too, would undermine the very raison d'etre of the secret societies' economic stronghold. Furthermore, i f the organization, through the criteria, of might and fighting a b i l i t y promoted men from the ranks to military leadership f nan g l i mas'), i t s persistence and relevance would, indeed become questionable in more settled times. Besides, such strong m i l i t a r i s t i c emphasis on personal distinctions would tend to make for an insecure and. possibly unstable leadership as aspiring men from the ranks sought to advance themselves. In settled conditions such problems became magnified, as drastic losses of men and consequent turn-overs in military leadership grew less frequent. As leaders became more entrenched, and their positions more consolidated, a system of patronage was to evolve together with i t s attendant problems and weaknesses. Hence, within those special -63-circumstances of the secret societies' economic and social stronghold one finds the very elements of their future disintegration. P o l i t i c a l l y , too, changes in the host society, developing alongside these internal social and economic differentiations further helped to undermine even the p o l i t i c a l relevance of the secret societies vis-a-vis their members. The effects of these changes were slow and gradual, however, working almost imperceptibly through many decades, eroding and wearing down the foundations of secret-society power. In the following chapters, I shall trace the slow and only occasionally perceptible momentous processes of change in overseas Chinese secret society organization, role and significance in. the western Malay States of the nineteenth century. -63a-Ghapter IV SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE MINES, I83O-I87O. -64-Th e establishment of a fair-sized mine usually involved the importation of considera.ble numbers of men recruited from China and funnelled into the interior through the Straits Settlement ports. This mode of mining, as most sources agree, was however not. widely adopted u n t i l some time in the mid-nineteenth century. Prior to that, mines were more often started by small groups of men attracted by the prospects of "quick profits." As Blythe observed, Cantonese and Hakka settlers in the Straits Settlements were quickly drawn to a mining area once mines began operating, as they often preferred "the gambler's chance of quick profits (they worked on a share system) should they strike a rich patch. In shared-system workings, the profits were generally equally divided among a l l the miners in a venture. By the very nature of such arrangements, operations were invariably limited in scale, normally involving not more than a handful of men. Through this way, small groups of men spread into the western Malay States at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Not only did these ac t i v i t i e s furnish the men with means of livelihood but also provided them with avenues of quick gains should their efforts prove successful. The f e a s i b i l i t y of such ventures, howeve.r, depended on the presence of favourable conditions and circumstances, among them a ready accessibility to market outlets and supplies. This meant that new workings developed further inland from the 1, Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 44 -65-existent ports must, as a matter of course, have required more sophisticated planning, coordination,,and general organization than an informal "kongsi" of men could muster. Indeed, i t i s argued that with expansion of extant share workings and the establishment of other new workings, a changed scale of operation in fact occurred, giving rise to a changed mode of organization as well as a new pace of production. With this change, mass importation of la.bour became necessary and with growth in numbers, structures of migrant Chinese social organization began to take shape and acquire prominence in the western Malay States. In consideration of this, an inquiry into the course of social change in these migrant Chinese communities must take for i t s sta.rting point the beginnings of such average-sized mine operations in the western Malay States. In Wong's estimation, "the important period of Chinese penetration into Selangor, Sungei Ujong, and Perak began from about the 1840's. Blythe went further in suggesting that the 1850's saw an important turning point in mine development as "the enterprise of some Malay chiefs...brought increasing 3 numbers of Chinese into the Malay States...and from then onwards floods of 4 male Chinese immigrants poured into the country," Though both the above quotes are agreed that the mid-nineteenth century witnessed the important beginnings of Chinese involvement in the mines of the western Malay States, they nevertheless appear to have brought up two distinct stages of development in their claim. Wong, for example, alluded to the very beginnings of mass Chinese penetration into the mining areas which he placed at about the 1840's while Blythe referred to one of the actual phases of increased inflow into the Malay States, namely that encouraged and f a c i l i t a t e d by the enterprise and i n i t i a t i v e of some of the Malay chiefs-. Perhaps one of the earliest instances 2. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 21. 3. My own i t a l i c s . 4. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 42. -66-of organized and large-scale penetration of Chinese miners into the Malay States may be foundiin the "discovery and subsequent exclusive exploitation of the t i n mines at Kesang by members of the Hai San [from 1834-48} . Here one sees an example of a secret society controlled and directed penetration of labour forces into the mines as opposed to the f i l t e r i n g in of small groups of men supported and sustained solely by individual i n i t i a t i v e and backing. The former mode of t i n exploitation, as mentioned, sas to acquire increasing importance and currency in the subsequent decades. Judging from the available historical information, i t may be possible to regaxd this ascendant trend of mine organization and operation as the result of two convergent strands of development. One of these consisted of a wholesale movement into newly discovered t i n areas monitored and controlled either by secret society organizations based in the Straits Settlements or by Malay chiefs "employing" the services of similar" secret societies. The other consisted of the expansion of successful share system workings. According to a miner's s.ccount,^ a share-system working was usually-started by one or two people who had capital while the others contributed their Labour. When such ventures proved successful, the "capitalists" especially stood to gain financially. Through supplying the capital they were entitled to a. double share in the profits, one presumably for money put out and the other for their personal involvement in the mine, usually in the role of overseer or manager. In addition, while a mine was yielding well, the labourers were often encouraged to take out cash advances, at a monthly rate of 10%, from those partners financing the endeavour. Some of these advances were in turn spent on the purchase of opium or on gambling, both of which means of release were again provided at a high profit by the financier of the mine. Hence, from the i n i t i a l control of a small capital these men were able, through share system workings, to build up their reserves. With these beginnings, expansion of 5. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 45 6. Gathered from personal interviews of Ipoh miners, Malaysia. - 6 ? -existent workings or the establishment of new ones became possible — the now better-equipped financiers being in a position to incorporate a corps of wage labourers into expanded workings or even to develop a new mine with an entirely new force of hired labour. 7 In this way, therefore, a new method and scale of mining evolved from i n i t i a l l y small-scale cooperative efforts. Since i t appears that the beginnings of a. new style of mine organization and control in the western Malay States, that wa.s to dominate in later decades, actually occurred in the 1 8 3 0 ' s / i t may be relevant a.nd useful to examine some aspects of the day-to-day organization of the mines at the time as well as the nature of relationships that existed between organizers and labourers, between the Malay chiefs and mine owners, and in cases of Straits Settlements directed enterprises, of the relationship between fiancier-director in the Straits Settlements and the overseer-cum-manager in the actua.1 mine site. It was from these original arrangements, relationships and obligations that later changes and developments were to stem. This thus makes an understanding of their i n i t i a l state and status a valuable pointer in the establishment of change and concurrent assess-ment of their effects on the social organization of these mining groups. As suggested, relations with the local Malay chiefs as proprietors of the land were inevitable. It has also been mentioned what the varying types of arrangements and relations were that had been entered into between Chinese mining groups and different Malay rulers. Mso, both Gullick and Khoo's ideas of an evolutionary development of such relationships have been briefly examined and g exceptions to the general trend were shown to exist. Originally the Malay chiefs merely exercised their rights as owners of the land as well as controllers 7. Ibid. Though the account referred to share-system workings towards the end of the nineteenth century, the development nevertheless could not have been drastically different in the earlier but extremely similar type of cooperative effort. Indeed i t seems as though, with the establishment, towards the lat t e r decades of the nineteenth century, of supply centres i n the mining centres themselves, a reversion to share system workings took place, 8 . Discussed in chapter two. -68-of the arteries of communication, in those days the river system. The fre-quently high, and what must have appeared to the Chinese miners as unprecedently exorbitant, rates of levies led to frequent clashes between the Malay chiefs and the miners in their respective terr i t o r i e s . Possibly stemming from such mutually injurious experiences, the economic involvement of the Malay chiefs became increasingly solicited. This trend was also undoubtedly spurred on by a. growing expansion in the "industry" which helped to concentrate funds and attention on the establishment of new mines. Hence arose arrangements in which Chinese financiers "advanced the necessary capital to Malay chiefs who worked the mines with Chinese labour on the understanding that they received a l l the t i n produced."9 Though Wong maintained that "such was the arrangement between the Malacca capitalists and 10 the Klana of Sungei Ujong when the mines were f i r s t worked," Blythe's study published since then reports that clashes which occurred between the Chinese miners and the Malay chief at Sungei Ujong as late as 1828 arose primarily over the issue of revenue collected on the export of t i n and the import of 11 supplies. It would surely seem that such an issue could not have arisen has the Malay chief held the financial control of the mines and the economic possession of their products at the time, as Wong appears to suggest. This becomes more apparent as one examines the provisions of the arrangement between the Malacca capitalists and the Klana of Sungei Ujong. According to Wong, "the Malacca capitalists advanced 2,500 Spanish dollars 1? per month to the Klana, who undertook to consign a l l the t i n to them," From this i t may be surmised that the Klana, under this arrangement, undertook to secure control of the t i n before i t reached the stage of export. Indeed, as Wong elaborated, the Klana proceeded to buy, at fixed prices, during the % Wong, op, c i t , , p. 19. 10. Ibid. 11. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 62. 12. Wong, p. 19. -69-smelting season "three bahara of t i n of three pikuls each...from each bangsal. or shed, either for smelting or for housing the labourers." The other additional source of income was derived from the levy of 6 Spanish dollars a 14 month as rent from each mine. ' Furthermore, i f the Klana at that point had been directly involved in advancing capital to the miners, i t would certainly not have been in his interest to disrupt their a c t i v i t i e s by f i r s t raiding their treasure chest and subsequently dealing a te&ling defeat on them so that they were forced to abandon their mines."'"5 In fact, i f one recalls that one of the primary reasons for securing the cooperation of the Malay chief was so that "he would have an interest in supervising the mine and ensuring that i t 16 was allowed to succeed," then i t may perhaps be f a i r l y conclusively argued that at least some mines in Sungei Ujong were not worked in economic partnership with the Klana. Yet on the other hand, Khoo records arrangements where "until the early 1830's the Malay rulers received cash, opium, and rice from the Malacca 1 7 merchants, which they i n turn advanced to the miners at high p r i c e s . " ' This seems to suggest that ventures involving a partnership with local Malay rulers existed sid by side with others during the years of the 1830's. It merely serves, one may argue, to demonstrate the diversity of types of organization and mode of exploitation that prevailed at the beginning of large-scale t i n -mining enterprises in the Malay States. However despite differences, the important common elements were f i r s t l y a need to come to some terms or settle-ment with the local Malay ruler as the proprietor of the s o i l and as the controller of arteries of communication and transport, and secondly, the need to supply some of the basic needs of the mine labourers once they were trans-ported to the mines. As I have dealt briefly with the f i r s t of these above, I shall now concentrate attention on the latter. 13. Ibid. 14. Ibid, p. 20. 15. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 59. 16. Gullick, op. c i t . , p. 130. 17. Khoo, p. 68. -70-The maintenance of a work force, normally averaging seventy to eighty men, i n an environment isolated'.from, centres of supply by great distances and d i f f i c u l t conditions of t r a v e l would i n e v i t a b l y bring with i t attendant problems. Primary of these was perhaps the supply of food and the provision of housing on the s i t e . Indeed, within such mine s i t u a t i o n s , labourers were more dependent on t h e i r employers f o r the supply of t h e i r everyday needs than would o r d i n a r i l y h ave been the case i n more s e t t l e d and populated centres, Consequently s p e c i a l arrangements arose between labourer and organizer, arrangements which involved economically d i f f u s e d functions and o b l i g a t i o n s . In a. mining camp, f o r example, dormitories were provided f o r the l a b o u r e r s . ^ These usually consisted of one or more long wooden sheds, roughly constructed with trees f e l l e d i n c l e a r i n g the jungle. The walls' were made e i t h e r with attap ( d r i e d palm leaves attached together) or with wood hewn from the trees. In these sheds the entire labour force.'.was housed, frequently i n f a i r l y packed and 20 squalid conditions. Bedding i n the form of mats was provided. Food w as also provided and served i n communal meals, the s t a f f of a mine often counting a cook i n i t s midst. In addition, the advancers supplied the mine with opium, o i l , and l i q u o r , commodities f o r which the labourers had to pay exorbitant p r i c e s as the advancer reserved the r i g h t to be the sole s u p p l i e r of such goods.2"'" Hence besides being a miner, the advancer and organizer of the mine acted as trader-monopolist and even money-lender, 2 2 In t h i s l a s t capacity, the mine owner frequently handed out petty cash adv ances to the labourers at the end of each month, i n lieu,:of pay, which was s e t t l e d only once yearly or at the most twice yearly. For these advances the labourers were charged i n t e r e s t , c a l c u l a t e d at a monthly rate which, according to Wong, could range from 10% to 18. Gathered from interviews. 19. I b i d . 20. I b i d . 21. Wong, op. c i t , , p. 81. 22. I b i d . 30%, As he elaborates, The interest rates for loans were graduated to exploit the position of the labourers. Thus, the tribute workers, who were relatively more independent, were charged 10% per month, while the nai-chang and wage coolies were charged according to a graduated scale, ranging from 30% in the f i r s t three months of employment to 10% in the last month before wage settlement. 3 Oftentimes these debts accumulated to sizeable sums unti l the labourer had, in effect, "'very l i t t l e , i f anything' l e f t at the time of ?k wage settlements." Indeed, more often than not, the labourers, especially those on indenture, were unable to clear the total amount owing by the end of the year and were thus forced to continue working under the original terms rof their contract until these debts could be paid off. As i t was in the direct interest of the mine owners or organizers to prolong the period of indenture or secure added bargaining power vis-a-vis other more independent wage labourers, 2- 5 their usual policy was to encourage indebtedness. Besides the customary advance of $1 per month for incidental expenses, the labourers were further encouraged to gamble and smoke opium on credit, the employer-doubling as opium purveyor and gambling master. Often the strenuous and hazardous nature of mine work lent inducement to indulge so as to escape from the miseries and drudgery of long hours and scent rewards. The labourers were also charged for every conceivable service rendered to them. The mine clerk, employed by the organizer to keep the books, was, for example, entitled to charge each labourer ten cents per month (commonly called pen-rent). The advancer or organizer in turn charged 10 cents per labourer for "book-rent," a fee for maintaining a record of his wages until the time of wage settlement. Bedding was again rented out for 23- Ibid., p. 75« The duties of the nai-chang. or contractual labourer, are explained on p. 72. 2k. See Wong, p. 76. 25. Wong, p. 7k, points out some of the measures adopted by advancers to keep the labourers perpetually i n debt so that they could be kept on the mine over-long periods of time. -72-ten cents a month^ and not infrequently, the labourers were made to pay for the food which they were entitled to get free according to the terms of their 27 contract. In Middlebrook's account of Yap Ah Loy, one finds that even the mine cook was entitled to receive "a few cents extra [from each of the mining 28 coolies] whenever they received their wages." It can thus be seen how the already small wages of a mine labourer could be rapidly dissipated through these designs of the employer and their relative defencelessness at that time. Probably the question that comes to mind is why did the labourers stay and accept those obviously exploitative conditions of work? In part, they had very l i t t l e choice in the matter once they had committed themselves to be transported overseas on the sole security of their labour, because in the mines they were under the surveillance o f a secret society, an organization to which 29 they were "compelled to become members...on ar r i v a l " 'and through which Chinese merchants and entrepreneurs controlled "an insturment for coercing Chinese 30 labourers into the t i n mines." Also, there i s truth in Wong's suggestion that "seen against the Malthusian environment of their origins, i t | T l i f e in the mines] ...opened to the labourers new opportunities which made the tin states a 31 veritable 'El Dorado' to them."-' As a labourer expressed i t , "I like being here (Perak) because I make m o n e y . P e r h a p s in this one statement are summed up the dreams and aspirations of an entire corps of indentured mine workers as well as those who came with their own money to seek a livi n g in the tin mines of the western Malay States. The real i t y of being housed and fed, however meagrely, undoubtedly lent endurance to otherwise near inhuman hardships. 26. Gathered from interviews. 27. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 74. 28. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 14. 29. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 42. 30. Ibid. 31. Ibid., p. 76. 32. Ibid. -73-But surely a sustained endurance of such conditions could not be inspired by these rewards alone. Indeed, one may argue that i t was rather the hope for some future economic success that kept the labourer alive and made otherwise unbearable conditions tolerable. It was also this hope which drove him in the f i r s t place to accept and endure immense hardships, and as one shall see, i t was the achievement of this success, moderately by some and spectacularly by a few that was to change the labour situation in the mines as well as affect the type of community organization that prevailed, in the mining areas a.t the time. Before he could come remotely near to the realization of such aspirations, however, a penniless pea.sant from China had. f i r s t to unde3.-go a l l manner of privation as a.n indentured labourer for this was his sole m&ans of escape from the "Malthusian environment" of his home area in South China. The desire to emigrate and make good overseas probably helped, to provide the f i r s t foundations of the indentured labour system commonly known as the piglet system. As Wong suggests, the trade in a.ll likelihood, developed i n i t i a l l y from the individual enterprise of private merchants or junk owners who undertook to transport those who were poor and destitute to the Nanyang, on credit, in the hope of recovering their expenses and obtaining profits from employers who would advance the "cost" of their passage in return, for their labour. The 33 growth of the market for such labour, around the mid-nineteenth century, eventually transformed the individual init i a t i v e s of private merchants into a 34 "well-organized speculative business" often involving the assistance and direction of powerful secret society organizations. Despite a change in scale of operation, the "principles of the trade had not changed. The Chinese immigrant s t i l l came on credit and mortgaged his labour for a period to some 33- Freedman, "Immigrants and Associations", p. 25. 34. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 66 -74-employer who advanced the cost of his passage."35 Labourers destined for the mines of the Malay States were landed in one of the three Straits Settlements — Singapore, Penang, or Malacca. Prom these depots, prospective employers collected their work forces for the mines. Judging from recommendations submitted by a Commission on indentured labour in I876 and the ensuing legislation one may gather that "malpractices" had already begun a.t the points of disembarkation."^ j_ n fact reports of maltreatment at depots in China and of serious overcrowding on board junks and Later coolie boats seem to point out that abuses and malpractices were long i n existence before the labourers ever reached their destination,37 On arrival, indentured coolies were again housed in depots unt i l their employers arrived. Expenses incurred during this brief stop were often l i b e r a l l y computed into their "cost of passage" to be pnid by the employer. The employer in turn sought to recover the advance from the labourers by extracting as much work as he could from them on a da/y to day basis, by extending their period of indenture, or even both. In this way therefore, the labourers' hardships had only just began at the port of embarkation. In fact as Wong suggests, "the abuses in the coolie trade were less than those i n f l i c t e d on the labourers during the duration of their contract."-^ Once in the mine, the labourers were "encouraged" to work hard by a system of fines and "inducements". Wong discusses the system as follows, Even the method of computing wages was designed to benefit the employer. Thus, the so-called wage labourers were paid according to a graduated scale, which combined inducements for hard work with fines for tardiness and neglect. There were, apparently, two variants of the same principle. Under one system, they earned a larger average wage per day i f they worked 26 to 30 days per month than 21 to 25 days, and almost nothing i f they worked less than 18 days. Under the other system, they were given a fixed monthly wa.ge for a 24-day 35. Ibid. 36. Ibid., p. 69. 37. Refer Cameron, Freedman and Chen Ta. 38. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 70--75-working month, but would only be paid for the actual number of working days i f they worked less than 24 days, in addition to forfeiting their right to free food for each day of absence and their normal six days' free time per month. Under this second system of payment, the labourer would not earn enough to pay for his food unless he worked more than 20 days in a month. In summary, the workers under any system of payment would earn nothing unless they completed a minimum number of working days per month.--'7 Though technically the indentured labourer was to work eight hours per day, with provisions that time put in outside these hours would be reckoned on an overtime basis at the rate of 10 cents per hour, Wong remarked that until as late as I89I "the labour laws were honoured more in the breach than in the observance."^ Thus in a l l likelihood, the indentured labourer was required, in reality, to work at least ten hours per day, that, from most sources, being the average length of a work day in a nineteenth century west Malayan t i n mine.^1 Though at their face-value the system of fines and inducements may not sound unduly harsh, one must remember that the physical conditions posed a constant threat to the labourers' fulfillment of these terms, while the stipulation of a f u l l 24-day attendance on the other hand made no such allowances for them. Already weakened by a long and arduous seas journey where they were i l l - f e d and. \mcomfortably confined, the labourers had further to adjust to a 42 hot and humid climate^.to which they were not accustomed. On top of i t a l l they were required to d.o hard, physical labour for at least eight i f not ten hours a day. It is indeed a small wonder that the mortality irate in the mines was so high. Constitutionally thus weakened., the labourers were particularly vulnerable to fever and/or malaria. In fact the Sinkheh's (new-comer's) code of hygiene included an elaborate r i t u a l with innumerable numbers of cold-water baths a day to drive the heat out from hi3 body. If he did not adhere to these rituals, Ibid., pp. 75-6. 40. Ibid., p. 74. 41. Ibid., p. 72. Also Purcell, op. c i t . , ppl01-2. 42. T'ien, op. c i t . , pp.5-6 • -76-43 i t was said that he would f a l l i l l from fever-- To f a l l i l l was disastrous. As no provisions were made for sick leave, the labourers were frequently-made to keep working. As Wong's study shows, "as late as I898, i t was 'by no means infrequent 1 for employers in Ulu Selangor to work their sick labourers to the point of death and then throw them out of the mines to die by the 44 roadside." The conditions of indentured labour described above prevailed, as can be gathered from the evidences quoted, u n t i l the f i n a l decade of the nine-teenth century. Indeed i t was only through the studies of government-sponsored labour commissions conducted subsequently to British intervention in the Malay States that such sondtions came to be recorded for the scrutiny of posterity. In reconstructing the terms and treatment-,of indentured labour in the 1840's, therefore, i t was necessary to refer to these records for data. In a l l l i k e -lihood, the contractual demands and nature of treatment experienced in the 1840's differed immaterially from those found by the Commission in the 1870's. If any difference did indeed exist, i t was l i k e l y to be for the worse in these earlier decades when no attempts at a l l were made, at supervision or regulation of excesses, by the Malay rulers. Under such conditions, the climb up the economic ladder of success was by no means easy. Many-had despaired and wasted their lives through opium smoking and unsuccessful gambling. Many others lost their lives from sheer hard labour and adverse circumstances. Yet despite the sombre picture, one ma,y indeed argue that the situation would have been worse i f i t were not for the a b i l i t y of these labourers to form organizations through which a tradition of mutual help was fostered. As Wong suggests, the secret societies, besides being an instrument of control for the mine entrepreneur, further provided the 45 miners with the organization to govern and protect themselves. In another 43. Gathered from interviews. 44. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 74, 45. Ibid, p. 41. -77-instance, he commented that, "unlike Indian coolies, Chinese labourers could take care of themselves after some days in the settlements and were often 46 aided by their clansmem." In this statement one may perhaps find the key point to Chinese social organization in the mining settlements of the 1830's and 1840's. In those f i r s t decades of mass migration into the mining areas, there was a general willingness, among members of a community, to come to each other's aid. This in fact formed the very basis of Chinese community and social organization in the early mining settlements. Surrounded, as seen, by alien peoples of different ethnic and dialect groups, the proffer of help was by no means given indiscriminately nor unreserve_d.ly. However, within limits, the principle of differentiation may be said to. have been broadly based. Lacking a true reconstruction of traditionally prescribed kin and localized clanship groups in those early years of settlement, the boundaries of such groupings, for example, were often extended, to include fellow-workers in the . same as well as fellow-countrymen bearing a like surname. These relationships were commonly cemented either r i t u a l l y be secret-society bonds or socially by a shared sense of mutual solidarity,. Within these broadly based, terms, therefore, miners working and li v i n g together in one settlement or strangers bearing a common surname could feel entitled to c a l l on the help and support of their comrades in much the same way that a member of a kin or clan group could on the loyalty and support of his relatives. The sense of a community was thus also interpreted in broader terms than in a s t r i c t l y localized and t e r r i t o r i a l l y bound one as was the case in China. By this I mean that fellow "clansmen" regardless of their t e r r i t o r i a l location in China or in the new environment began to look upon themselves as a single solidary group, furnishing i t s members with a l l the ~k6. Ibid.,, P ; 69 . 47 attendant ties and obligations which characterized such relationships in China. Hence, one finds repeated instances of help being given to one clansman by another or even by men of a similar dialect or t e r r i t o r i a l group to compatriots in distress. These offers of aid were by no means restricted, to those l i v i n g in close t e r r i t o r i a l proximity at the time of need, as one often finds cases of help being given to fellow clansmen or to secret society members located in another or at times i n a different country altogether. The history of Yap Ah Loy's early career, for example, manifested several examples of such clan and even secret-society solidarity. Before discussing the characteristics of Chinese social interaction in the newly established, mining settlements of the western Malay States, i t i s perhaps important to establish a brief chronology of their penetration into the different regions. It was recorded that the Hai-San society discovered and. subsequently secured an exclusive exploitation of the t i n mines at Kesang, 48 around 1834. Miners were recruited directly from China and according to accounts, their numbers increased from two thousand in 1848 to four thousand 49 i n 1850. By I85I, there were "between 5000 and 6000" miners in the area, thus forming a sizeable community. Attracted perhaps by stories of the Hai-San success, local Malay rulers of various d i s t r i c t s in Selangor began to scour their territory for t i n deposits. In the 1840's, t i n was reported to have been discovered in Lukut "in paying Q u a n t i t i e s , I n addition to encouraging "Chinese miners and 51 prospectors" to come to Lukut on their own i n i t i a t i v e , i t appears from documentary evidence that Raja Juma'at also obtained advances of capital from Malacca merchants so as to start mines cf his own in the area. The process 47. For a. more explicit discussion of this, please refer to T'ien, op. c i t , , p. 25 48. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 45. 49. Blythe, p. 73 and p. 74. 50. Middlebrook, p. 14. 51. Ibid. 52. Khoo, p. 202, quotes a letter written by the British authorities to the Sultan of Selangor in which mention was made of the considerable claims which certain resident Malacca merchants had. "against,..the Rajas of (cont.) -79-seems to have been better documented in the case of the development of Klang around the 1850's, as Middlebrook was able to record the different stages by which Raja Abdullah, in partnership with Raja Juma'at, his brother, transferred coolies and provisions into Klang for the opening of a t i n mine. Hence, i t i s apparent that by the 1840's the Chinese mining population in Lukut was developing into substantial numbers both through the na.turai' course of expansion of already extant mine settlements, and through the encouragement and involvement of Raja Juma'at. In 1844, following Raja Juma'at's example, Raja Abdul Samad, ruler of the Selangor River district,began to take an interest in developing the resources in his territory. Through the efforts of his own endeavours and those of a 53 Chinese prospector, Kanching soon developed into a mining centre. Also, as mentioned., in I853i Raja Abdullah initiated the development of Klang and before long converted, i t into a thriving mining d i s t r i c t . While the Selangor princes were opening up their territories to Chinese miners, growth was also in evidence in other longer established settlements such as those at Sungei Ujong. In spite of repeated troubles and skirmishea with the Malay rulers, Chinese settlements in Sungei Ujong and. Linggi had increased greatly in numbers since their earliest beginnings in 1828, In a major outbreak of h o s t i l i t i e s between the Chinese and the Malay rulers in i860 i t Was recorded, that the Chinese community numbered about 14,000 miners in that area. To the north of Selangor, Chinese mining activity was also a s t i r in the Larut valley of Perak. In about 1848, the discovery of t i n by Long Ja'afar led to an introduction of Chinese miners into the area and from thence their numbers 52. .. Lookoot [Lukut] and Kallang [Klang] on account of aclvances made to those Chiefs to enable them to work the t i n mines in their respective d i s t r i c t s . " 53. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 17. 54.. Blythe,op. c i t . , p. 118. -80-increased r a p i d l y . F 0 r several decades, however, the Chinese miners merely worked as a.gents of Long Ja'a.far, for i t was his policy not to allow self-financed miners into the area. This stipulation was to continue right up to the time of his death, after which his son and successor, Ngah Ibrahim began to find i t necessary to revoke the order' under increasing pressure from Penang capitalists eager to obtain control of a share of the rich deposits."'0 Consequently, while the founding and rapid development of Chinese mining settlements was an almost universal happening in the western Malay States between the 1840's and 1850's, the conditions by which they were allowed to settle varied considerably from d i s t r i c t to d i s t r i c t . Noticeable at one extreme was perhaps Long Ja'afar's policy which he held firm u n t i l 1857. At the other, that of the ruler of Sungei Ujong who had been pressed into abdicating his financial foothold in the mines as early as the 1840's. That these i n i t i a l differences were to be important determinants in the rate and direction of organizational and financial development in the mines w i l l be a subject of further discussion, but f i r s t l y i t w i l l be a necessity to piece together (as far as records w i l l allow) a more complete picture of some factual aspects of the natute of social relationships, firtcncia.l arrangements, and general organizational set-up in these newly established mining settlements. In the record.s of Yap Ah Loy's career, as mentioned, one finds some informative examples of migrant Chinese social behaviour within the pioneer conditions of early overseas Chinese mining camps in the Malay States, As trade was bad, Yap Ah Loy l e f t Durian Tinggal, where he had stayed for four months after coming from China, and. went to Kesang, There he "found work in the shop of a relative named Yap Ng.~^ After a year (1855 or 1856)^ Yap Ng decided to 55. Ibid., p. 120. 56. Swettenham's records-57. In the records, Yap Ng was described as Yap Ah Loy's uncle, but i t was not indicated how closely or distantly related, these men were. Judging however, from the offer of a sizeable sum for his return to China, one may speculated' that some possible blood relationship existed between them. It i s important to esta.blish the true nature of such relationships as i t was a common custom among overseas Chinese to address their fellow clansmen by kinship terms. 58. In the records the exact date of the event was not stated. Judging (cont'd.) -81-send Ah Loy hack to China. With some money given him by Yap Ng, Yap Ah Loy set s a i l ' f o r Singapore. However, while the ship was in port, Ah Loy lost his money at a. gambling house and had to return to Malacca. Not wishing to return to Kesang, he set off on foot to Lukut, in company with "one Yap Fook, a. cousin of Yap Ng's ." 5 9 In Lukut, Yap Ah Loy found employnent in a mine with a. Fei-Chew Hakka where he worked for three years as a petty coolie and cook. There he was able to save up some money, for his position as cook allowed him sources of income that were not open to the regular mine labourer. He received , for example, "a percentage |c-ver and aV?ove his regular wages] on a l l the vegetables, fis h and meat which he bought on behalf of his employer."^ In addition, he was given a "t i p " of a few cents per coolie at times of wage settlement. With these earnings, he f e l t equipped, at the end of three years, to go into business on his own, Yap Fook apparently helping him at this point with a loan. Yap Ah Loy thus "set himself up as a pig dealer." 6 1 With his capital he bought pigs and brought them round to the mines to s e l l . In exchange, he collected t i n ore and sold i t in turn to the dealers. In this|aay he was able to compound his profits and as his "business prospered he extended his area padding"} pa.rts 62 of Sungei Ujong which lay inland from Lukut, in his c i r c u i t . " It was perhaps on this newly extended route that he came to become a regular v i s i t o r to Seremban, which Middlebrook thinks was really Rasah, asv*Seremban was not named y e t . " 6 3 In this town was a sizeable Chinese community, led by the Capitan China of Sungei Ujong, Shin Kap* Under him were two panglima (head fighters) 58. (cont.) ..however from the approximate year in which Yap Ah Loy arrived at Lukut, and the year he l e f t Macao, i t i s possible to place the occurence of the above. 5 9 . Middlebrook, p. 13 , Again one has to be careful of the kinship term used here, as i t may just mean that Yap Fook was known to Yap Ng and, by virtue of a shared surname, became regarded as a, cousin. 6 0 . Ibid., p. Ik. 61. Ibid. 6 2 . Ibid., p. 15 . 6 3 . Ibid. -82-who were in charge of the fighting men in the community. As Wong comments, "many of the mining labourers were also tough fighting men, who had fought in 64 the great Taiping Rebellion of 1851 to 1864," Hence, they could be easily 65 "turned into fighting men at short notice." On his v i s i t s to Seremban, Yap Ah Loy frequently stayed at the house of Liu Ngim Kong, a Fei-Chew Hakka and panglima to Capitan Shin Kap, The other panglima was another Fei-Chew man by the name of Yap Ah Shak. It was recorded that partly as a result of the influence of Liu and possibly Yap Ah Shak, Yap Ah Loy became appointed an assistant panglima to Liu. From this point, i t seems that Yap Ah Loy "began to rise in the world, Shortly after his appointment, fighting broke out between Shin Kap's 67 men and a splinter Chinese group in the region, each nominally fighting for one of the two sides in a local Malay jurisdictional dispute as a means for expressing their own long-harboured i l l - f e e l i n g s and r i v a l r i e s . Being the relatively unprepared party, as the history records, Shin Kap's men vrere defeated. Liu, the panglima. was wounded and had to find shelter in Yap Fook's kongsi house. Capitan Shin Kap met his end at the sword of an adversary. Meanwhile, Yap Ah Loy took refuge with a family of charcoal burners in the jungle. His enemies, the followers of the opposing Malay chief, were hot on the pursuit and attacked Ah Loy's sanctuary, wounding him in the process. Though incapacitated, he managed to crawl away to a hiding place where his friends found him early the next day, weak and dangerously i l l . There they attended to Ah Loy's condition u n t i l i t was safe to journey to Lukut, In Lukut the refugees were welcomed by Raja Juma'at as well as by the Chinese miners — for the majority of these Chinese shared similar t e r r i t o r i a l origins 64. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 41. 65. Ibid., p. 40. 66. Middlebrook, op, c i t . , p. 15. 67. The following section i s primarily based on Middlebrook's account of the Sungei Ujong disturbances i n i860. -83-(Fe i Chew) and secre t s o c i e t y a f f i l i a t i o n s w i t h the men from Sungei U j o n g . ^ F i g h t i n g e v e n t u a l l y d i e d down, War-weary, bo th the Malays and Chinese were ready f o r a s e t t l e m e n t . I t wa.s decided t h a t a new Capitan China should be appo in ted and the man chosen was Yap Ah Shak, the gambling farmer and former panglima t o Capitan Shin Kap, A f t e r h o l d i n g the p o s i t i o n f o r a sho r t w h i l e , he stepped down i n f avou r o f Yap Ah Loy. A t the i n v i t a t i o n o f the Chinese o f Sungei Ujong, t h e r e f o r e , Ah Loy r e t u r n e d f rom Lukut and took up the appo in t -ment as Capitan China, I t appears t h a t f o r the year t h a t he was Capitan " t he re 69 wa.s no recur rence o f f i g h t i n g . " Meanwhile, L i u , Shin Kap's o t h e r pangl ima, had moved t o Kuala Lumpur and become the pangl ima t o Hiu Siew, headman o f the Chinese p o p u l a t i o n i n that t . r a p i d l y deve lop ing town. W i t h i n l e s s than a year o f L i u ' s a r r i v a l , H iu Siew d i e d and L iu managed t o succeed him as the new Capi tan. I t was on L i u ' s ascension t o power t h a t Yap Ah Loy rece ived an i n v i t a t i o n t o j o i n him i n K lang. " A t t r a c t e d by accounts o f the weal th o f the new s e t t l e m e n t , j_Yap Ah Loy"] 70 a c c e p t e d . " I n 1862, t h e r e f o r e , Ah Loy l e f t f o r Kuala Lumpur where he was "pu t r 71 i n charge o f [ L i u 1 s ^ m i n e s . " I n the years t o f o l l o w , Yap Ah Loy "prospered 72 and soon became a r e l a t i v e l y weal thy man." By I865, he was owner o f two mines and manager o f severa l o the rs f o r L i u . I n a d d i t i o n , he opened a d r u g g i s t shop i n Kuala Lumpur, With success, Ah Loy was r e q u i r e d to cons ider the ques t i on o f mar r iage . Th is appa ren t l y was suggested and e v e n t u a l l y ar ranged by L i u , who se lec ted a daughter o f an i n f l u e n t i a l Baba f a m i l y . Ah Loy cont inued as L i u ' s " r i g h t - h a n d man" and p layed a l e a d i n g p a r t i n the a f f a i r e s o f the community. Through the years the se t t l ement grew and 68.Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 46, p o i n t e d out t h a t the Hai San moved i n t o Sungei Ujong, Lukut , and Klang i n l a rge numbers. 69. Middlebrook, op. c i t , , p. 16. 70. I b i d . , p. 20, 71. I b i d . 72. I b i d , , p. 21. -84-the d i s t r i c t ' s t i n resources became extensively developed. Other d i s t r i c t s in Selangor were also being opened up, notable among which was Lang&t in about 1866, Meanwhile already-developed areas such as Ranching and Lukut continued to grow and the Chinese population became more entrenched. As mines spread out along the valleys, the question of space and new land began to generate new problems. This was to lead to a new phase of competition and s t r i f e , under the gathering clouds of which Yap Ah Loy was to succeed to the Capitanship of the dying Liu Ngim Kong, Before examining the new era of social and economic relationships that had increasingly made i t s e l f manifest since the early 1860's, i t i s probably appropriate to analyse some of the characteristies that one has just seen in Yap Ah Loy's early career and in the organizational set-up of Sungei Ujong, Much of the a c t i v i t i e s and relationships that f a c i l i t a t e d his rise to power may be seen, i t i s argued, as indicators of more general characteristics of the early period of migrant Chinese social organization and interaction in the western Malay States, With respect to Yap Ah Loy's success, Middlebrook comments as follows, In a brief period of six or seven years Yap Ah Loy rose from being an obscure immigrant to become the headman of a Chinese settlement with several hundred inhabitants. Such success was unusual even for that period, and his sudden rise must have been due in a large measure to his fortunate association with his clansman Yap Ah Shak.73 Indeed, repeated instances of fortuitous associations with and assistance from clansmen appeared to mark Yap Ah Loy's career. At Kesang even when times were bad, for example, he managed to find work with an uncle and at Lukut, he was given a job by a fellow Fei-Chew Hakka. When he was contemplating going into business he obtained a timely loan from a clansmen and, in Seremban (or Rasah), he secured a position in the secret-society hierarchy Through his connections with Liu and Yap Ah Shak. With the help of clan ties 7T. Ibid., p. 16. -85-again he was made Capitan in Sungei Ujong and f i n a l l y through his friendship and ties of t e r r i t o r i a l a f f i n i t y with Liu he obtained f i r s t an economic foot-hold and subsequently a p o l i t i c a l position in Klang. Perhaps from these instances and from the willingness of many clans-men and friends to lend a helping hand to Ah Loy, one may observe just how-important a place clan and friendship ties occupied in the social interaction of the early migrant Chinese communities. In a i.i.me when new mining lands were relatively plentiful and accessible and when entrenched personal and familial interests had not yet taken a tenacious hold, mutual help and cooperation among clansmen and friends or even among fellow-workers in a mine were given f a i r l y ungrudgingly. This characteristic was not limited to a personal level alone, but was also in evidence in intercommunity relation-ships. Thus Hai-San secret-society members from Kesang could find a welcome 74 among the Hai-San tin-miners at Sungei Ujong, Lukut, and Klang. Again when Sungei Ujong was sacked by the Malays in 1828, "most of the refugees 75 went south to Lukut where the mines could absorb them." In i860, i t has also been seen, friends and clansmen sheltered the wounded and the dispossessed miners from Sungei Ujong in their kongsis in Lukut, 7^ Even as late as I865 when personal interests and rivalry had begun to efface clan solidarity as a motivation for action, an example of inter-community cooperation on the basis of ties of t e r r i t o r i a l a f f i n i t y can s t i l l be found in the invitation given by Yap Ah Loy to the defeated Fei Chew of Larut to move to Klang. Perhaps part of the solidarity f e l t among clansmen in an early migrant Chinese settlement in the western Malay States stemmed from the relatively undifferentiated nature of the community. As Wong points out, 74. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 46. 7 5 ' Blythe, op. c i t . , p, 6 2 . 76.. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , pp. 15 and 16 . - 8 6 -"in the early days, practically a l l the Chinese Labourers were imported under the indentured system."?''' The rather indiscriminate methods of labour recruitment could further help to cement bonds of fellowship f e l t among men thrown together in a common environment. Lacking the competition of primary kinship ties, men with shared t e r r i t o r i a l or clan a f f i n i t y became drawn into a closer and more intimate circle of relationship than would otherwise have been the case. In this respect, the organizational apparatus for the recruitment of migrant labour came in useful in bringing about concentrations of men from similar t e r r i t o r i a l origins.? 8 Consequently, in a mining settlement where the majority of men were labourers, and indentured ones as such,v.a sense of identity and solidarity could be cultivated relatively unhampered, by barriers of social distinctions and rank. Under these circumstances therefore, clan, dialect, and t e r r i t o r i a l a f f i n i t y formed, as T'ien describes i t , "the fundamental basis on which the social relations of the overseas Chinese are regulated, and by which the sense of mutual solidarity i s made very r e a l . " ? 9 The relative absence of social stratification among the ranks also helped to f a c i l i t a t e a rapid rise in;, social status for those who could achieve economic success or paramilitary distinctions. In the case of Yap Ah Loy, his success was aided by the added advantage of being a non-indentured labourer. In this way, he was entitled to a cash wage in addition to the free food and lodg-ing normally provided by a just employer. With a small sum of savings obtained from his wages and with perhaps some financial or other assistance from a well-meaning clansman or friend, an ambitious immigrant was a.ble to set up a business of his own. From a point of small-scale enterprise, he could, then progress, 77. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 7 2 . 7 8 . Freedman, op. c i t . , p. 30-79. Tien, op. c i t . , p. 17 . -8?-should. conditions prove favourable, into a larger-scale business and from thence to maybe a working of financial partnership with a big-time mine financier. Economic conditions during those pioneer stages of development were such that once a business had managed to become established there existed l i t t l e i f any restrictions in scale to i t s growth. As Wong observes, "an advancer who started financing the mines in a new d i s t r i c t usually ended up by con-80 t r o l l i n g the whole area." With this control, the entrepreneur also came to acquire a strong basis for p o l i t i c a l power. Thus once an aspiring migrant has achieved sufficient economic success to bring him to the notice of an advancer, p o l i t i c a l privileges in the shape of secret society office or even membership in the leadership echelons came to be available to him.. This appeared to have been the pathway of Yap Ah Loy's success. Once admitted into the ruling hierarchy of the secret society in Sungei Ujong, his rise to power became unprecedented — paramilitary distinctions and business acumen standing him in good stead in the consideration of his superiors. Although the course of social mobility mapped out above was much 82 more accessible to "paid immigrants" as opposed to indentured ones, there i s , nevertheless, evidence of the latters' success, Wong, for example, points out that while "in the early days, practically a l l the Chinese labourers were imported under the indentured system. But in the course of time, there grew up a reservoir of labour, comprising ex-indentured, labourers who had. not 83 returned to China." Also, in time, there was found to be a rapid "increase in the numbersof immigrants who could pay their own passages, either because they were helped by friends and. relatives who had already made some money from the mines,...or because they were Chinese labourers returning to the 80. Wong, op. c i t , , p. 76. 81. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 16. 82. Wong, p. 66, explains that the terra was one "applied to those who paid, their own passage either with their own money or loans from relatives or friends." 83. Wong, p. 72. - 8 8 -Straits to make more money,""' Even allowing for the fact that there were some "paid immigrants" among the Chinese arrivals i n the mines in the "early days," most were not. Therefore the change in pattern of immigration must have stemmed primarily from a proportion of indentured labourers who had become prosperous enough to be able to advance, in their turn, passage money for their friends and relatives in China. Generally with success, a Chinese migrant preferred to set up a business, or trade, or even a mine of his own. As Purcell observed, even "to this day i t remains the ambition of the coolie or servant to set up in Q C a shop of his own." Given the consuming interest in achieving a state of economic independence as defined above, i t can be seen how changes in the nature^f social stratification were bound to take place with the passage of time. As a settlement became more established, those who were able to, distinguished themselves from the others through either their hardiness or their industry. As mentioned, t i n mining frequently claimed a heavy t o l l on the labour force. Even when a labourer did manage to survive that hazard, he was further exposed to the snares of unwise gambling and of uncontrolled opium smoking. Wong records that many were ruined by excessive indulgence in opium smoking, not to mention those who were kept perpetually at the grind by 86 their sheer i n a b i l i t y to refrain from a l l such activity. Nevertheless, should an indentured labourer survive these odds and eventually succeed in working off his debt, then his chances of upward mobility were good, given 85, Purcell, op. c i t . , p. 65. 86. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 78, describes the practice whereby mine financiers "supplied chandu to their workers at truck prices the moment these had wages to their credit, and at reduced attractive rates as the date for wage settlement approached, in order to keep them in the mines by allowing them to run into debt...,In time, the smokers became unfit for work through physical deterioration, and, eventually, could not even earn sufficient to buy the drug. Inevitably, he 'was dismissed; he could not get any employment elsewhere because other towkays would not take him on, and having no work he had to l i e down by the roadside',... In more remote areas 'the coolie generally died by the roadside or in the jungle.'" - 8 9 -the pioneer economic conditions of the time. For example, as gathered from interviews, should a mine f i n a n c i e r decide to expand h i s present workings or e s t a b l i s h new ones, he often chose an able labourer from the ranks to be his new overseer i n e i t h e r the new section of an already established working or i n the newly established one. From t h i s stepping-stone, the labourer could then acquire both the c a p i t a l and the experience f o r entering into a future partnership or even beginning a new venture of h i s own when the chance presented i t s e l f . In the e a r l y period of growth there could have been l i t t l e lack of opportunity as mines p r o l i f e r a t e d throughout the Malay States. Consequently, with growth and expansion, greater d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n terms of a b i l i t y and achievement ensued. For those who survived and made good, new opportunities provided them, the means to "import" t h e i r r e l a t i v e s and f r i e n d s to the Malay States. New ventures meant new employment opportunities. These could i n turn be s u i t a b l y d i s t r i b u t e d to one's kinsmen when they a r r i v e d i n the Malay States. For those who chose to set up r e t a i l stores or enter into a small-scale trade ( i n the nature of Yap Ah Loy's i n i t i a l e f f o r t s ) , the help of a trusted kinsman was e s p e c i a l l y valued. Thus with economic success, s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n developed i n complexity and with the ascendant trend i n s o c i a l mobility, a rapid increase i n the number of "sponsored immigrants" was to r e s u l t . A second and p a r a l l e l trend of development, d i r e c t l y l i n k e d with the issue of r a p i d s o c i a l m o b i l i t y within a pioneer migrant Chinese community, was the establishment of f a m i l i e s by those who succeeded i n a t t a i n i n g to p o s i t i o n s of economic and/or p o l i t i c a l power. Yap Ah Loy, f o r example, was advised to marry. L i u Ngim Ke»ng, Ah Loy's employer and predecessor, was probably married and ha.d a family. D e f i n i t e records e x i s t of Hiu Siew (Kuala Lumpur's f i r s t Capitan) having had a family, as Middlebrook c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e d that Hiu Siew had. a son who should r i g h t f u l l y have i n h e r i t e d the -90-property which Liu so freely appropriated to himself together with the office 8? of Capitan. In the case of Yap Ah Sze, an influential businessman in Selangor, records exist that he l e f t behind a widow at the time of his death. Chong Chong, a contender to Yap Ah Loy's office and relative to Liu, was also reported to have a wife and a small son. Hence, marriage and the establish-ment of a family in the new environment appeared to have been characteristic of those in possession of economic power or p o l i t i c a l authority in the migrant Chinese communities of the western Malay States. There are several possible explanations for this trend. Economic success, for example, had brought marriage,and the financial responsibilities i t involved, within the means of those so favoured. This, coupled with the frequently-held belief among the Chinese that having a wife acted as a desirable stabilising influence on a single male, made the decision to marry 8 8 a well-favoured i f not an actually anticipated one. In normal circumstances, the choice of a spouse and the subsequent arrangement of a marriage were l e f t to the discretion of one's parents in China. However, the i n a b i l i t y or unwillingness to leave the scene of control and activity for the settlement of one's matrimonial affairs in China might have influenced the particularly successful migrants to set up a family in the new environment instead. This certainly appeared to have been one of Yap Ah Loy's major considerations 89 when advised to contemplate marriage by Liu. Furthermore, the establishment of a liaison with a local Straits Chinese family offered distinct advantages 90 in cementing existent business connections.' Judging from Middlebrook's account, i t did seem as i f Liu Ngim Kong had such thoughts in mind when 91 trying to arrange a possible match for Yap Ah Loy. 87. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 20. 88. Gathered from interviews. 89. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 21, 90. Crissman, op. c i t . , p. 188. 91. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 21. ^ -91-This growth of primary kinship groups either through the direct "importation" of one's kinsmen to the Malay States or through the establish-ment of new families was to add a new dimension to the nature of social interaction in these migrant Chinese communities. However, before analysing i t s consequence and effects, i t i s imperative to comment on the changes, especially in wider financial and working arrangements between the Malay chiefs and the financiers, that helped to make a large measure of the above developments possible. It i s evident that some areas in Sungei Ujong were f i r s t worked with the active economic participation of the local Malay ruler^s. In the 1820's, for example, "the Malacca capitalists advanced 2,500; Spanish dollars 92 per month to the Klana, who undertook to consign a l l the t i n to them." During this time, the "tin trade down the Lingii River was handled by several Malay merchants."^^ By about 1831, changes in these arrangements were made whereby Malay rulers obtained an even larger share in the control and manage-ment of the profitable t i n trade as well as of the enterprises. Under the new terms, the mines became financed by these Malay chiefs "who jointly obtained their capital from the Malacca merchants. In return, the Chinese miners undertook to buy their provisions and opium from the Malay chiefs at above market prices and to s e l l them their t i n at a much lower level than that at which the Malay chiefs had agreed to s e l l to their Malacca financiers. By this change the Malay chiefs had in effect exchanged their roles as mere agents of the Malacca financiers to active entrepreneurs. If their monopoly had continued unchecked, the opportunities open for Chinese capital and enterprise would have been extremely restricted. This would in turn have made the flourishing of Chinese economic activity in the Malay States, with i t s attendant social implications, a virtual impossibility. 92. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 19. 93. Ibid.., p. 2.0. 94. Ibid. -92-Probably a resentment against such heavy-handed control over a lucrative sector of the economy eventually prompted the Malacca financiers to force the f i e l d open for "free enterprise". In any case by the 1840's, Malacca merchants won the right "to make advances to the miners d i r e c t l y . 5 From this point, Chinese commerce and enterprise were able to spread their wings. The right to make advances directly to the miners also.meant the right to the produce of the mine. Furthermore, given the intricate system of Chinese credit transactions,advances were only made in the form of supplies — food, opium, and perhaps tools, thus securing for the advancer an additional area of control. Under the shadow of these transactions, a. host of smaller secondary services were to emerge. It has been seen how, as mining ventures spread farther afield, secret societies had been found useful in regulating the behaviour and well-being of an already existent community of settlers or miners. As development got underway, for example, i n i t i a l l y individualistic enterprises (such as those which began as share basis workings) coalesced to form secret societies for their own protection. Newer workings on the other hand were becoming increasingly launched under the direction of established secret societies in the Straits Settlements. The supreme example of this trend may be the workings in Larut where Long J a'afar directly negotiated, with the Hai-San headmen and in effect 07 "farmed." the mines out to them as representatives of a secret society. y 1 Despite the need, for secret-society protection, one must not however be under the mistaken impression that a rigid, regimentation was required and maintained in a l l spheres of activity. In the area of indentured mine labourers and farm rights perhaps, a s t r i c t surveillance and discipline was deemed necessary, but in the conduct of ordinary business and the commonplace routine of social interaction there was probably very l i t t l e imposition of 95' Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 68. 96. T'ien; op. c i t . , p. 42-97. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 120. -93-r i g i d regulation nor of a constant observance of hierarchical rights and privileges. By this i s argued that in the area of ordinary business contacts and transactions, a secret society member probably did not have to consult or depend solely on his headman either in the local community or in the far away Straits Settlements for the creation of his opportunities or for his finances. That i s , within the framework of the community and secret society, channels for individual i n i t i a t i v e and enterprise were open. It was these channels, one may argue, that directly gave rise to the boom in Chinese economic activity soon after the Malay monopoly over the entire t i n trade and enterprise was relaxed. Equally,without relative freedom for personal endeavours, the aspiring and the enterprising might not have had. the same chanqes for their success 3 s they did. Yap Ah Loy, for example, did not begin his business under a secret society 98 directive or finance, but was merely aided, by a personal loan from Yap Fook, Similarly, when Hiu Slew and. Yap Ah Sze f i r s t moved to the Klang d i s t r i c t , they went a t the invitation and. support of a private Malay trader, Sutan Puasa. Undoubtedly, being Hai San men, these traders could, count on their society in major issues such as the protection of their goods and persons from attacks by r i v a l secret society members, but within these limits of security, the personal exercise of i n i t i a t i v e was given free play. In fact, T'ien's observations on the c u i i t arrangements in Sarawak may well find s n interesting parallel in the early phase of Chinese economic activity in the Malay States. According to T'ien, Lack of capital in the rural shops often me»«vs that the cash actually borrowed by rural Chinese has passed, through the hands of at least three different money lenders, the rate of inteijst increasing a t each step....In Siniavan and. elsewhere one can find several examples of comparatively well-to-do money-lenders who have been, able to borrow money from the banks at 2f% per month, proba.bly aginst mortgage: from this they have lent to the shops at about 3 _3l$ VeT month, while the shops in their turn are lending to the peasants at h% or 5% per month.99 98. 99. Refer to p. 80 above. T'ien, op. c i t . , p, 42. -94-Loans of a size that would not i n t e r e s t important money-lenders were thus broken down into sums within the reach of poor pe asants. As may be gathered, the l i f e l i n e and workability of such c r e d i t systems depended on the existence of intermediaries who could stand surety,as i t were, f o r the debtors immediately below them. Through a chain o f debtor-creditor r e l a t i o n s , r e i n f o r c e d a t every step by extra-economic bonds of t r u s t , the b i g time advancer was able to obtain a guarantee f o r a loan which was to eventually reach someone t o t a l l y unknown to him and who might not otherwise f e e l constrained by any personal or s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s to honour the debt. Since the p r i n c i p l e s of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s as well as the a v a i l a b i l i t y of c a p i t a l i n the nineteenth century mines of Malaya, d i f f e r e d more i n d e t a i l than i n concept from those i n Sarawak, there are reasons to believe that s i m i l a r arrangements might have been employed. One can perhaps even v i s u a l i z e the roughly s i m i l a r channels through which c a p i t a l i n the form of cash or, more usually, of provisions, t r i c k l e d down from the advancers i n the S t r a i t s Settlemenents to the ambitious but poor labourers i n the mine areas. Through such a c t i v i t i e s each man i n the chain was able to make a l i v i n g from the services rendered. Hence with the removal of Malay control, a c e r t a i n l a t i t u d e of economic freedom set i n , a f a c t o r which fostered a burst of entrepreneurial a c t i v i t y i n the mining areas of the Malay States,. Under the umbrella of expansion, the hierarchy of money-lender cum trader-middleman began to swell, a b s o r b i n g in i t s wake the up-and-coming into i t s ranks. This therefore was the event that sparked o f f the rapid emergence of primary kinship groups within the migrant Chinese communities i n the Malay States and thereby brought a new dimension into the nature of t h e i r s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . Undoubtedly such profound changes i n the economic structure l e f t t h e i r mark on the p o l i t i c a l scene, which i n turn bore f u r t h e r repercussions on the s o c i a l organization of the migrant communities. Meanwhile, the growth -95-of primary kinship groups together with the r e a s s e r t i o n of such t i e s created i n the communities a new p r i n c i p l e of s o c i a l dependence which could' e x i s t independently of the bonds of brotherhood or clan s o l i d a r i t y which the sense of an e a r l y Chinese migrant community and i t s secret society symbolized. Hence, not only the strength and control of the secret s o c i e t i e s , but also the e n t i r e foundations and r a t i o n a l e of an era of s o c i a l cohesion were threatened by the coming-in of a new order, From t h i s point, too, personal jealousies and commercial r i v a l r i e s began to acquire an a d d i t i o n a l edge to t h e i r s t r i f e — that of succession. Perhaps the most dramatic and important issue of succession was that to secret society leadership, and with i t to community leadership. As evidenced by various instances, such issues were often determined, i n the e a r l y phase of settlement, on the basis of personal d i s t i n c t i o n s and valour. Although .Yap Ah Loy's a s s o c i a t i o n with Yap Ah Shak resu l t e d i n h i s nomination to the Capitanship of Sungei Ujong, i t was n e v e r t h e l e s s believed that Ah Shak "would not have chosen Yap Ah Loy i f the l a t t e r had not displayed courage as a f i g h t e r and been well able to control the miners and maintain order, Hence patronage, though already a feature at that time, was nevertheless only given to men with merits. A f t e r a l l the choice of Ah Loy was one well approved by the community, as they were the ones who i n v i t e d him from Lukut to be t h e i r Capitan, Therefore up u n t i l I860 at l e a s t , the migrant Chinese communities of Sungei Ujong, Lukut, Klang, Kanching, and Larut s t i l l manifested c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a ' f l u i d and commercialised society which threw up men who united p o l i t i c a l 10' and economic power by c o n t r o l l i n g t h e i r fellows through the secret s o c i e t i e s . " In about i860 again, Hiu Siew,' the founder trader at Kuala Lumpur and a prosperous businessman by that time, was selected to be the f i r s t Capitan China of Kuala Lumpur,apparently with the support and approval of the general populace, in c l u d i n g the l o c a l Malay population, 100, Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 16. 101. Freedman, op. c i t , ("Immigrants and Associations"), p, 38, -96-As a community became more established and stable, i t s " f l u i d i t y " was bound to abate. F i r s t the creation and then the defence of a hierarchial order of administration aas apt to mitigate opportunities for late-comers seeking to i n f i l t r a t e i t s ranks. The high risks and dangers of an era of settlement which once helped to ensure a f a i r l y rapid turnover i n leadership and other positions of rank had ceased to exist. With settled conditions, increasing stability, and burgeoning numbers, even some of the more natural enemies of the early settlers got under control. As numbers amassed, for example, and as settlements grew into towns, concerted action on planned sanitation and a better standard of hygiene began to show favourable results 102 against the mortality rate. Also the old dictum of safety in numbers was to work in more ways than one. The presence of a wealth-producing community of Chinese with perhaps even greater promise of growth as time went on, must have helped to restrain more impulsive and devastating attacks on the group 103 by the local Malay chiefs. Secondly, the threat'of tigers subsided as greater numbers of people congregated i n a l i v i n g area. With increasing security and prosperity, as seen, successful migrants began to send for their relations and friends. These new "sponsored" migrants in turn benefitted from the store of survival experiences known to their sponsors, thus giving them a greater chance of adapting to the climate and conditions of the new environ-ment. Being better provided for by their kinsman in terms of employment, the mortality rate of this new group of migrants was also decidedly lower than that of those working' in exposed conditions at the mines. As a result, there emerged a reservoir of men who had a distinct i n i t i a l advantage over the other aspirants to wealth and power. 102. Captain MacPherson witnessed in i860 the development of the town of Lukut. He wrote, "the (as yet) only (street of Chinatown i s uniformly built of brick and t i l e d roof, kept scrupulously clean and well-drained," See Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 14. 103, Khoo, op. c i t . , p, 197. -97-Situationally the cireumstances may be seen as follows. With more 104 indentured labour being imported alongside the "paid immigrants," a backlog of ambitious but poor ex-indentured labourers was bound to build up. These men, not content merely to return to China as free men, eagerly awaited an opening for the further development of their energies and enterprise. Among their numbers might be men who came in the ea.rlier years of development but who had taken a somewha.t longer time to arrive a.t the stage where they could strike out on their own. Already the settled and less taxing conditions in the mining areas had drastically rdduced chances of a sudden and rapid short-cut to success through para-military service, by greatly prolonging the life-expectancy of leaders and their fighting men. On the economic front also their ambitions were seriously circumscribed by the presence of close relatives who were trained and ready to step into the roles of their patrons. As these kin groups proliferated, i t can be seen how they could begin to monopolize in time, not only a business but a large sector of the particula.r trade or industry in which they were i n v o l v e d . T h i s in fact was to lead to an entrenchment of class interests in the communities. However while these forces were yet coalescing, the situation within the community could prove to be explosive as those who were deprived, of their chances clamoured for consideration. Amid.st the tides of change, therefore, the development of primary kin groups in the migrant Chinese communities in effect constituted an additional force in i t s wake, generated by and. in turn generating changes in i t s course. As ties with and commitments to larger solidarities such as secret society, clan (in the overseas definition of the word) and t e r r i t o r i a l or dialect groups began to weaken in the face of such fundamental shifts in social composition, kin loyalties and interests were thereby better able to assert themselves thus creating potentially dangerous polarizations within an already tense situation. 104. Wong, op. c i t ( , p. 68 1 0 5 . Song, op. c i t . , records many instances of successful Chinese passing on their business and. financial interests to their sons who in turn sought to expand a n d finlaWP t h e s e n n r l e y t n t r i n o - c ; _ T T n y s w n f i f r p f p r p n n e p , T p - f e T n n . 1 7 Q & LlOfi. The migrant Chinese communities thus appear to have evolved to a stage of organizational c r i s i s . Evidently, increasing numbers and greater concentrations of people had placed untold strains on the existent organizational apparatus, held together as i t was by shared bonds of brotherhood, a common belief in mutual aid and, above a l l , by an indefatigable ideal of unlimited upward social mobility should a sinkheh succeed in overcoming and surviving his f i r s t few years of hard labour and harsh conditions. Consequently, when these bonds and beliefs were.surplanted by kin ties and loyalties, and when the channels of upward social mobility were blocked by entrenched interests, then the entire rationale for wider cohesion had virtually come into question-. Of course one way in which such pressure could be resolved was through the economic 'colon-ization" of new territories and the establishment of new\ communities where the f l u i d i t y and adventure of pioneer conditions could be once again reconstructed to accomodate the aspiring and the successful with opportunities commensurate to their hopes and efforts. However, such avenues of expansion, once so effective in relieving tension and diverting s t r i f e , were fast being crowded out as a l l known deposits with the span of Chinese methods of transportation and communication were becoming exploited. In addition, oldersworkings such a.s Lukut and even Kanching had passed their prime, deposits becoming rapidly depleted. As Khoo remarked, in the case of Selangor, "the days of the Kanching and Lukut mines were numbered. In the ensuing years, the really productive mines were those centred along Sungai Klang, The repercussions... of this were 1 0 6 serious." This was indeed so, for.as miners from exhausted workings crowded into Klang, the pressures generated, on extant resources became even more intense. Instead of a release, therefore, the Klang situation was to become increasingly competitive. In Larut similar conditions were in evidence. Since Long Ja'afar's death in 1857 Penang merchants had been allowed, to invest directly in the 106, Khoo, op. cit.,, p. 108. -99-opening and working of m i n e s . W i t h this privilege, economic developments began to acquire momentum. Indeed, a rapid establishment of new mines by the late-comers soon led to the growth of a whole new d i s t r i c t named Klian Bahru as opposed to Klian Pauh, the stronghold of the original group. As both groups pushed out to new frontiers, a n t e v e n t u a l meeting of boundaries became inevitable. Beset with diminishing resources, the Hai-San group at Klian Pauh were casting eyes on the potentials at Klian Bahru. However, unlike Selangor, the two groups belonged to opposing secret societies, the Fei-Chew Hakka at Klian Bahru being predominatly Ghee Hin members. Consequently, a fierce competition for mining lands was engendered, complicated, in this instance by secret society r i v a l r i e s and animosities. Hemmed in by an increasing shortage of new lands, the economic, energies of both groups must have experienced, s i m i l a r f r u s t r a t i o n s in finding, as mentioned, inadequate outlets. Thus tension mounted until a 108 dispute "over a water-course so necessary for the working of the mines" between a Hai-San man and. a Ghee-Hin miner delivered the f i n a l spark in 1861 to the explosive situation. Despite the dominance of Hai-San men in most areas, Selangor was nevertheless not free from such problems. In f a c t , Hai-San control of Sungei Ujong, Lukut, and. Klang, three roughly contiguous areas of mining activity was to eventually complicate rather than help the situation in Klang. While develop-ment was on the ascendant, the proximity of these three areas wa.s useful as they formed, a formidable bloc of Hai-San domination, intimidating i f not actually repelling any serious offers of competition, economic or p o l i t i c a l , by other-major secret society groups. In fact, repeated records of conflict within the Chinese communities in Sungei Ujong exist. These instances may be interpreted as evidences of the struggle for power between the Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakkas, members 107. Wong, op. c i t . , p, 26' 108. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 229. 109. Blythe, op, c i t . , p, 62 and p. 74, -100-of the Tsung Pak Khun,11^ and the Fei-Chew Hakkas, members of the Hai-San society. That the struggle should be most fierce in Sungei Ujong i s understandable as, judging from records, Sungei Ujong was at one time the stronghold of the Tsung Pak Kun, 1 1 1 However, with the passage of time, i t was probable that the Hai San 112 gained the ascendancy, and by the 1850's Sungei Ujong was clearly an area dominated by the Hai Sans, as one finds their men installed, in positions of ] 13 economic and p o l i t i c a l power., The majority of Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakkas, ousted and probably relegated to an ineffective minority, l e f t the area in 1844 for Ka.nching where the opening of new mines in the d i s t r i c t by Raja Abdul Samad of 114 Selangor offered them a chance of a new start and new lands. In this one may find an example of how the opening of new areas could offer r e l i e f to an area beset by tension, but i t can also be argued that i f the Kah Yeng Chew had not f e l t that the situation at Sungei Ujong was as good as lost, they proba.bly would not ha.ve been the ones.'to move. Hence, in those decides prior to the 1860's, the bloc of Hai-San power served them in good stead. Their proximity also helped, then, to bolster each other's strength and morale, especially at times when one of the settlements met with a disastrous defeat or reversal of fortune. Thus when the community at Sungei Uj.ong was defeated in i860, the nearby Hai-San settlement at Lukut furnished the refugees with food, shelter and medical attention until peace was restored and their strength in the home settlement was replenished. Even a s early as 1828 when the Chinese in Sungei Ujong were routed and driven out by the Malays, they were able to find a. refuge and a l i v i n g in Lukut where, as Blythe remarked, "the mines could absorb them." 1 1 5 This gradually established and 110, As a result of this secret society's connection with the Ghee Hin in Singapore, i t has often been mistakenly classifed a.s Ghee Hin. Thus Middlebrook records that the Hai San clashed with the Ghee Hin in Selangor. Khoo however, believes that they belonged to the Tsung Pak Kun (p. 219). This latter view appears more logical as the Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakkas of Selangor were recruited from Sungei Ujong, the one-time headquarters of the Tsung Pak Kun. 111. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 50, records that the Tsung Pak Kun had their headquarters at Sungei Ujong. -1 -I 2 Mn r l r i l Q-K-V^^TJ- „ ^ -,4 4- „ 1 C -101-accepted practice of moving to the next settlement in times of ha^ship ^ nd privation was a l l very well in times of prosperity. However, as the nineteenth century wore on^ i t was to become an obligation that grew increasingly burdensome and detrimental to the host community as one has seen in the case of Klang. In fact, as frustrated mine developers from Lukut and Sungei Ujong poured into Klang, there arose an additional area of potential tension in the community. With established economic interests staked out by members of the host community, the newcomers were unlikely to find sufficient scope for their expertise. Consequently a new line of division was to emerge, that between the established leadership and the outside challengers. Hence, while within i t s e l f the community wa.s already s p l i t between the esta.blished order and the aspirants, the arrival of more Hai-San men wa.s to add one more factor of competition that had to be reckoned with, While domestic problems were increasing, Klang's troubles were being rapidly compounded by the development of d i f f i c u l t i e s in i t s external relations. As mention**, to/ the north of Klang was Kanching, worked by Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakkas, members of the Tsung Pak Kun, As Middlebra-ok observed, When the two settlements were in their infancy the men were f u l l y occupied in their own areas opening up the land and prospecting. Then, with each side extending i t s f i e l d of operations, they found themselves working the same ground... fights were frequents the friends and relatives of the injured swore revenge and ultimately i t became a common pr actice to stage small attacks on public festivals wheq the mines were closed. Though competition, for mine lands was a frequent and real enough issue for inter-society feuds, the above account nevertheless appears to have overlooked some finer facets of the origins to the dispute. One of them was the acquisition by Yap Ah Sze of a large financial interest in the mines at Kanching. This arose 113. Ibid, p. 16-114. Khoo, op, c i t , , p. 101-115. Blythe, op, c i t . , p. 62. 116. Middlebrook, op, c i t . , p. 2?. - 1 0 2 -as a result of a quarrel which Chin Ah Chan, an influential mine-owner and revenue-farmer, had with his fellow Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakkas in Kanching. Disgruntled, 117 he sold a l l his. interests and l e f t the area. The new 'proprietor' Ah Sze, thougi a good-natured pacifist was nevertheless seen by the Kanching men as an 118 outsider, a Fei Chew and a Klang man belonging to the Hai-San society. Even given the fact, as Khoo argues, that animosity between the two secret societies 119 was not as deeply-embedded or as bitter as Middlebrook stated i i to be, ' there i s nevertheless rea,son to believe that relationships bet-ween men from these two groups were not a l l that different from the ssitua.tion at Larut where i t had been remarked that "though cordial enough, they were clearly mindful of their ] 20 differences." Thus, the extension of Hai San economic influence into Kanching was to introduce a sensitive issue into Klang-Kanching interactions, — one that could be easily sparked off into a. major conflict by the slightest aggravation . . . , . 121 or instigation. The situation was indeed to increase in gravity as further pressure on Klang resources prompted i t s leaders to plot the extension of grea.ter Hai-San domina/tion over the Kanching .mines. In fact, Ah Sze's decision to invest in Kanching was probably prompted in the f i r s t place by a growing shortage i n opportunities for large scale economic expansion in Klang, caused, a,s noted, partly by internal factors and partly by the inflow of men from near-exhausted workings in Sung.ei Ujong and Lukut. It has often been overlooked that this additional burden which the Kl ang corrimunity had to bear on the batls of their secret society aff«li 3 tions directly contributed to a greater paucity in opportunities, a situation that wa,s to lead in turn to further aggravated relations with Kanching. This may be seen in one of the steps taken by Liu Ngim Kong to 1 1 7 . Ibid. 1 1 8 . Ibid. 1 1 9 . Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 2 1 9 . 120. Ibid., p. 228.. 1 2 1 . Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 4 9 , 122. Ibid., p. 28. -103-alleviate the problem. By 1868, knowing that he was a very sick man, Liu attempted to persuade Yap Ah Sze to succeed to the Capitanship. Through this move he had hopes that " i t might be possible to bring the two Hakka clans under one leadership," ^ a Fei-Chew leadership that i s , together with a l l the advantages that that would accrue to the Fei-Chew community. In this he was encouraged by the fact that the "Capitanship of the Kah Yeng Chew had lapsed. "^-^ Yap Ah Szev however, declined the offer, but in their subsequent, plans for the heir to the office, the two men devised a strategy of winning the support of the Sultan and a l l the economically powerful Malay chiefs of Klang with the exception of Raja Mahdi, in anticipation that he would eventually be defeated thus leaving, as they hoped, the Kah Yeng Chews at their mercy.-L25 These plans were thwarted however, by an unexpected turn of events. On hearing of Liu's death, a l l his clansmen and relatives from Lukut and Sungei Ujong rushed to Kalng "with the hope that they might receive the succession after the funeral," When they l e a r n t of Yap Ah Loy s appointment a s the next Capitan and of the support which he commanded from the local Mala.y headman, Sutan Puasa, they were silenced though bitter and resentful.-'-2? From this corps of dissatisfied clansmen and relatives was to emerge the leaders of opposition to Yap Ah Loy both in and out of Klang. Once again , therefore, the intrusion of kinship groups, loyalties and expectations as well as the declining prosperity of Lukut and Sungei Ujong was to generate problems that besieged the internal 128 situation in Klang and endangered i t s external relations. As seen, tension between the Hai San society in Klang and the Tsung Pak Kun in Kanching was ca.used by Ah Sze's investment in the Kanching mines in 123. Sbid. 124. Ibid, 125. Ibid., p. 19. Kanching in the d i s t r i c t of Ulu Selangor sras then ruled by Raja Musa, the Sultan's son. By allying with the Sult an, the Fei Chews did have a Vbeis to hope that they also had the alliance of Raja Musa, and through him control over the Kah Yeng Chew. 126. Ibid., p. 31 127. Ibid. 128. One may indeed speculate that i f the economic situation in Sungei Ujong and Lukut had remained viable, Liu's kinsmen might not h ave been as anxious or determined to succeed to Liu's position, as there would have been ample (cont'd, - 1 0 4 -186?. However, the establishment of a Kan Yeng Chew settlement i n Langat, south of Klang, by Chin Ah Chan (the d i s s i d e n t Kanching man) was a scant source of 129 comfort f o r the Fei-Chew Hakkas i n Klang. y Hence, the two groups had begun to regard each other warily. Added to that, the Kah Yeng Chews i n Kanching suffered from the i n s e c u r i t y of being leaderless and a,s seen, the Hai-San men already had designs to e x p l o i t the s i t u a t i o n . In the midst of such growing uneasiness, Chong Chong, the most determined and f i e r c e s t contender f o r the Capitanship of Klang, a r r i v e d i n Kanching and o f f e r e d to lead the Kah Yeng Chews i n t h e i r opposition to Yap Ah Loy. Though a Fei-Chew Hakka and therefore • not wholly acceptable to the Kah Yeng Chews, Chong Chong hoped that a common cause against Ah Loy would rouse the Kah Yeng Chews into supporting h i s attack ] 30 against the Capitan." In. t h i s expectation he was proved- r i g h t as he succeeded i n i n s t i g a t i n g the Kah Yeng Chews against the most immediate representative of Yap Ah Loy i n Kanching, Ah Sze. Not only was Ah Sze an irksome intruder into the Kanching economy, he was also an important power behind the Capitan of Klang, 1 Consequently an attack on him would amount to s t r i k i n g a r e a l material blow at Yap Ah Loy. Through the leadership and. promptings of Chong Chong therefore, the Kanching men murdered. Yap Ah Sze i n February, 1369, while he was attempting to make a quiet getaway from the area. This was to spark o f f a. protracted war i n Selangor between the Fei-Chew and Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakkas, the developments o f which were to become extremely interwoven with Malay struggles f o r p o l i t i c a l power i n the various d i s t r i c t s of Selangor at that time. Indeed, i t i s argued that i n some ways, a break-down i n the Malay p o l i t i c a l machinery l e n t f u e l , l i t e r a l l y and otherwise, to these 128. (cont'd).,.opportunities f o r them i n t h e i r home bases to a t t a i n to p o s i t i o n s of economic success and p o l i t i c a l leadership. However, the s i t u a t i o n being as i t was, they had l i t t l e to lose and everything to gain by challenging Ah Loy's succession, even to the point of taking up arms against him. 129. Middlebr. ok, op. c i t . , p. 28 130. Ibid., p. 34. I3.I. I b i d . -105-internecine feuds. In the course of the Klang war this was to become especially apparent. In 1868, Liu Ngim Kong and Yap Ah Sze were already trying to take advantage of the insecure position of Raja Mahdi to further their plans agadnst the Kan Yeng Chews. In 1866, Raja Mahdi, a minor Malay prince who originally ruled a small d i s t r i c t in the neighbourhood of Klang, succeeded in ousting Ra.ja Abdiillah (then ruler of Klang) and his men from power thereby assuming control over Klang. The conflict was apparently touched off by a disagreement over revenue dues, the revenue collection of Klang d i s t r i c t having been recently (I865) farmed out to the Read-Tan Kim Cheng syndicate of Singapore, a purely economic concern that was no respector of princely exemptions or p r i v i l -eges. Perhaps the more fundamental cause to this outbreak of conflict was the death of Raja Juma'at which l e f t , as Middlebrook remarked, "two weak and in-effective sons...to inherit Lukut and unofficially keep peace in Selangor. "^ -33 While Raja Juma'at was alive, his long-standing reputation for a b i l i t y and integrity had won him the confidence of his c r e d i t o r s , T h r o u g h his influence, Raja, Abdullah, Raja Juma.'at's brother and ruler of Klang, was able to obtain substantial advances for his development of Kl ang. At Raja Juma'at's death, however, the creditors probably f e l t no longer obliged to or secure in prolonging these credit terms. As a result, a ye ar after Raja Juma'a.t's death Raja Abdullah was called upon to honour his debts, an occasion which probably led directly to the farming out of the Klang revenues to Read and Tan Kim Cheng which 135 in turn brought about the beginnings of conflict in Klang. But, of even more crucial import3nce to Selangor's well-being than his role as Abdullah's financial guarantor was Juma'at's part' in holding the p o l i t i c a l machinery of Sel angor together. For the same reasons that he commanded the 132. See Khoo, op, c i t . , p. 265. 133' Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p, 25. 134. Khoo, op, c i t . , p. 201. 135. Ibid, p. 202. -10 6-respect of his creditors, he was able to command the p o l i t i c a l respect of his peers. It ha,s been said that "he was the most prominent and forceful of the t e r r i t o r i a l chiefs "^ -36 j_ n Selangor. Prom his control and. subsequent development of Lukut he obtained the necessary financial and economic basis for his p o l i t i c a l strength. This, in combination with a wise statesmanship, was to win him effective authority over the other major chiefs of Selangor. Thus unofficially Raja Juma'at coordinated the actions and a c t i v i t i e s of the Selangor chiefs, tempering their excesses, advising caution and removing as far as possible major causes for grievance and. potential strife.^ 3 7 j n effect therefore he provided the offices of an able Sultan and. a. central authority. With his death the entire machinery of central control collapsed, leaving the weak and ineffectual Sultan Abdul Samad in a quandary. In normal circumstances (that i s , in the days before Chinese commercial mining) the Sultan often controlled, the richest d i s t r i c t in the state or the most strategic and commanding position in the area, thus allowing him a certain bargaining advantage vis-a-vis his major chiefs. 1-38 However, with the development of commercial mining, this was changed, placing the Sultan on an equal or sometimes even an economically less advantageous footing tf&ri his other chiefs. With this turn in events, the premium of p o l i t i c a l authority began to rest increasingly on a personal a b i l i t y and a strength of personality, both of which c r i t e r i a depended too heavily on individual capabilities as opposed to institutional safeguards to guarantee any long-term continuity or s t a b i l i t y . As seen, the central authority in the Malay p o l i t i c a l system was by no means strong even at i t s best, but, in the face of fast-developing changes, a breakdown of even those tenuous bases of centralization was to occur leaving the Sultan in an extremely exposed position, where his survival rested solety on the strength of his individual 13'6". Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p, 23. 137. Ibid. 138. Gullick, op. c i t . , p. 21. -10?-c a p a b i l i t i e s . In t h i s way, therefore, the authority of the t r a d i t i o n a l Malay p o l i t i c a l apparatus became so s e r i o u s l y undermined that the stage was set f o r anarchy and chaos.- While a capable man wa,s yet at the helm, the process wa.s only delayed but not averted. I t was t h i s d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of power that gave the Chinese miners the opportunities and the l a t i t u d e to s e t t l e t h e i r own scores on a b i g scale. Through w e l l - c a l c u l a t e d strategems of p o l i t i c a l alignment and a l l i a n c e s with warring Malay c h i e f s , the Chinese entertained hopes of obtaining an eventual and t o t a l mastery over t h e i r erstwhile commercial r i v a l s . From these a l l i a n c e s too, the Chinese miners were able to obtain men and arms from the Malay c h i e f s i n support of their cause. Consequently, as the Hai San i n Klang, under the leadership of Yap Ah Loy and supported by the Viceroy, Tengku Kudin, were preparing f o r t h e i r attack on the Kah Yeng Chews i n Kanching, a l l i e s of Syed Mashhor,"'-^ s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n s and circumstances were threatening to draw the Hal San of Sungei Ujong into open c o n f l i c t with t h e i r r i v a l s the Ghee Hins (probably Tsung Pak Kun) who were beginning to reassert themselves i n the area.^''^ While a. break-down i n Malay p o l i t i c a l control p r e c i p i t a t e d the magnitude and tenacity of Chinese internecine struggles i n Selangor, Larut and possibly Sungei Ujong, i t must however not be overlooked that the many incidents of s t r i f e leading up to the major outbreaks of h o s t i l i t i e s may indeed constitute equally important pointers to a growing i n e f f i c a c y i n secret society organization and control. That i s , as the settlements grew, the secret society organization became in c r e a s i n g l y inadequate f o r the s i t u a t i o n s and problems o f a more complex community. While mining settlements were i n t h e i r infancy, the alignment of economic and other i n t e r e s t s within the community may be regarded as f a i r l y simple and monolithic. Labourers, f o r example,were s o l e l y concerned with mining, t h e i r overseers with supervising t h e i r e f f o r t s , and f i n a n c i e r s (or t h e i r on the spot 139. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 48-140. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. I88-9. -108-j representatives) with collecting the t i n and moving in supplies of rice and opium for the mines. A l l these a c t i v i t i e s and interests revolved around mining and while this was the case the secret society served their need competently. As the settlement grew, other interests ,and needs were bound to emerge. In the area of supplies, for example, a rapid increase in numbers resulting in a commensurately heavier flow of t r a f f i c was apt to encourage the establishment of intermediary trading bases between the port and the mines. On the one hand these were made possible by an increased capacity in the commercial t r a f f i c to support and absorb permanent feeder centres that would distribute supplies and collect the products in turn." On the other, rapid expansion,being a good index of economic success, was i t s e l f yielding up men with small capital or sufficient ambition to f i l l the entrepreneurial openings within the developing system.-*-^2 As a result, the expansion of each settlement l e f t scope for diversi-fication in sources of livelihood as the system padded i t s e l f out to include the provision of more and more services. In this process middlemen became esta,blished, specialty trades found their niches, and from such a base greater differentiation was to occur. With growth, even the i n i t i a l l y monolithic structure of advances (from Malacca financier directly to mine organizer) was to undergo differentiation, traders and middlemen being quick to step into the role of petty advancers, thus giving form to the well-known chain of debtor-creditor relations. While differentiation was developing on a local scale, changes were also happening to the lines of control ensuing, originally, directly -from Malacca to the mines. As trading ba.ses grew into significant towns, local concentrations of financial power and. interests emerged, leaders were created and increasing 141. In the development of Klang, for example, i t was recorded that Hiu Siew, a miner in Lukut, used to supply goods to a Mandeling trader in Kallang (Sutan Puasa). When mines were being developed a,t Ampang in the Klang d i s t r i c t , Hiu Siew was persuaded to go and trade there. It was recorded that within "a short space of time, [Hiu Siew and. his friend) were doing excellent business importing necessities for the mines and. exporting t i n " . (Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 19) 142. Yap Ah Loy(who was a good case in point, started out as a pig-seller. -109-development of local independence, economic and p o l i t i c a l , became inevitable. With expansion therefore, a chain of economically interdependent units evolved in the place of an originally unitary system of control. This differentiation in leadership and p o l i t i c a l authority as expressed in the emergence of local units of secret societies, a f f i l i a t e d to but independent of the larger secret society in Malacca,was symptomatic of the way in which the secret society apparatus had to be constantly stretched and strained to incorporate wider frontiers into i t s framework. While this was accomplished with a f a i r degree of success at the overall level, the secret society ma.chinery were however much less able to cope with the differentiations that were taking place in interests, relationships and occupations on a local level. With the emergence of occupational differentiation in the community a process of horizontal differentiation into trade groups and vertical one into class proclivities resulted. This in turn generated finer economic principles of cohesion and shared interests in the wider society, offering inevitably a positive competition to secret society bonds of shared brotherhood. Added to that, the growth of primary kinship groups and ties further mitigated the significance and ideal of f i c t i v e kin relationships. Also, with greater increase in population, the concentration of men from a like village, clan, dialect, or provincial origin was l i k e l y to increase, thus introducing yet a third principle of social cohsion that could distract from secret society loyalties. With these developments therefore, i t became inevitable that the basis of a wider solidarity within the secret society framework would be gradually eroded away. Indeed, an alliance of two or more of these newly arisen principles of social cohesion had. begun effectively to supplant secret society bonds and loyalties. The overlapping of class and. kin interests had already helped, to create a strata of entrenched economic interest in the community. With this development, secret society membership undoubtedly lost much of i t s attraction, for i t had -110-ceased to be the organization through which the aspirant could hope to blaze his way to the top. Furthermore, lacking the former solidarity and close-knit interdependence between members, a newcomer could scarecely hope to find, through the secret society, the same type of help or the same degree of concern that had spurred earlier members on to their success. A l l in a l l , the secret society ma.chinery, as an effective apparatus of community organization,had. been undermined. Yet, in the midst of general disintegration, the secret society possessed a last stronghold of enforcement and control — the exercise of force, an instrument of discipline that had succeeded through the ages in i n s t i l l i n g fear into many otherwise recalcitrant members. At the outset, although "the sanctions at the disposal of the societies for coercing men into membership and holding them to the rules once they had joined seem to have been drastic,..physical force and self-interest were [nevertheless] not the only means of ensuring adherence and loyalty."1^3 with their usefulness, as far as internal organization and cohesion was concerned, a.t a virtual end, the secret societies became forced to rely increasingly on the use of coercion in the imposition and continuation of i t s rule on the community. The beginning of a process where the societies were to change from "communities" to purely criminal 144 a.ssociations i s , one may argue, already in evidence. However, in the processes of this transformation, the secret societies' tottering domination became temporarily strengthened, by the outbreak of inter-society h o s t i l i t i e s as they helped to divert attention from their internal inefficacy to their yet v i t a l role as protector and champion of the rights and interests of the entire community. Consequently, as the 1860's drew to a close, the overseas Chinese communities in these western Malay States were characterised by a marked internal 143. Freedman, op, c i t . , p, 37. 144. Ibid., p. 3 8 . - I l l -i n s t a b i l i t y which necessitated conscientious v i g i l a n c e — i n the nature of those measures adopted by Yap Ah Loy when he beca.me Capitan of Klang i n 1868. According to records, i t apoears that "his f i r s t step was to r e c r u i t more f i g h t e r s f o r 345 his bodyguard being determined to rule with an i r o n hand." ' J He also set about augmenting his f i g h t i n g force by r e c r u i t i n g men from Singapore and encouraging 146 migrants from h i s home d i s t r i c t i n China. That t h i s fervour i n gathering new-r e c r u i t s was not a new phenomenon prompted s o l e l y by the development of open h o s t i l i t i e s with the Kah Yeng Chews i s evidenced by the readiness with which L i u welcomed the dispossessed F e i Chew miners from Larut i n I865. I t was recorded that they were welcomed "as persons experienced i n t i n mining and fighting".-'-"1'? Indeed from these instances, i t may be argued that i t w as an incr-eased dependence on force that had made i t imperative f o r the secret society leaders to maintain a better and a l a r g e r body of f i g h t i n g men. A general break-down i n secret society control was also i n evidence i n the mining settlements of Larut. In I865, trouble again erupted i n Larut as the r e s u l t of a quarrel over a. gambling table between a Fei-Chew Hakka and a Chin-Sang Hakka. Though secret-society r i v a l r y was undoubtedly a fa c t o r , Khoo nevertheless cautions against over-emphasizing the importance of such consider-ations as motivating actions. Other considerations could well be involved, such as those of personal i n t e r e s t s and perhaps one may add. those r e l a t i n g to needs f o r release from the mounting tensions within one's own s o c i a l system, represented by one's secret society. A f t e r a l l , judging from the close intermingling between the two /roups, i t would not be too fax-fetched to believe that quarrels over gambling tables had occurred, before but without perhaps quite those explosive consequences. Again i n the f i n a l outbreak of h o s t i l i t i e s i n La<-ut, the occasion was sa i d to have been engendered by the upsurge of s o c i a l c o n f l i c t , t h i s time 145. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 31. 146. Ibid., p. 44. 147. Ibid., p. 21. -112-occurring between a. Chin-Sang Hakka and a Cantonese man (the Cantonese having moved i n to replace the Fei-Chew Hakkas, who l e f t K l i a n Bahru i n large numbers a f t e r t h e i r defeat i n the second Larut w a r ) . A c c o r d i n g to Swettenham's report, A Si-Quan (Hakka) woman, the wife of a headman, l i k e d a Goh-Quan man better than her husband, the husband discovered-t h i s , and i n c i t i n g h i s men, they took the C-oh-Quan man, and the woman of t h e i r own t r i b e , and put them each into a basket (one of those Chinamen carry pigs about i n ) , they c a r r i e d them to t h i s old- mine, threw them into the water and then held the basket u n t i l the unfortunate wretches were drowned. ' When the Qoh-Quan men came to know about i t , they were incensed, but were however momentarily appeased by the promise of a money settlement. This being not forthcoming at the appointed time, f i g h t i n g broke out between the two f a c t i o n s . 150 Although i n f i d e l i t y i n a woman was regarded very s e r i o u s l y by the Chinese, there was nevertheless an element of lawlessness i n the Si-Quan men's actions as they should have consulted and conferred with the headman of the other secret society before meteing out such d r a s t i c punishment. That they were apparently i n the wrong was evidenced by t h e i r agreement to pay a "money settlement" to the aggrieved Goh-Quan men. Their subsequent .failure to honour that agreement was to lead, to the t h i r d Larut war. Again i n t h i s instance therefore, a personal grievance became converted into an issue of i n t e r - s o c i e t y c o n f l i c t . The development of these occasions of s t r i f e i n Larut as well as i n Selangor does lead, one to question whether there was not, indeed, a deeper malaise i n the society; namely, that the apparatus of secret society control had become stretched too t h i n by the ra p i d growth of the communities. 148. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 220. 149. Swettenham's papers. 150. In t r a d i t i o n a l China, an e r r i n g couple were frequently drowned i n s i m i l a r fashion, but only with the sanction of the v i l l a g e e l d e r s . -113-Chapter V DEVELOPMENTS FROM 1870 TO I.89O. -113a-In the discussion of economic expansion and the accompanying changes which this brought to the nature of control and f i n a n c i a l arrangements extant between the Straits Settlements and the mining areas, attention has hitherto been only focussed on the relationships that obtained, between merchant-financiers of Malacca and the mines of i t s hinterland, that i s , Sungei Ujong, Lukut, Klang and Kanching. The other ma.jor group of financiers and miners, based on Penang and Larut respectively, being at a different stage of economic development, was not say included in the analysis. One may that Larut, to begin with, had a relatively late start compared to the other mining areas (with the exception, perhaps of Klang, which only began operations i n 1857). Hovrever, unlike Klang and indeed the rest of the mining areas in Selangor and Sungei Urjong, Long Ja'afar followed an i n i t i a l l y cautious and rather restrictive policy in introducing Chinese miners into the area. As Swettenham recorded, "in the days of the Man t r i ' s father [Long Ja'afar] , no papers in the shape of grants of land were given at a l l , but that certain Chinamen, chief of them Ah Quee, were allowed to go and work mines, Che Long Ja'afar providing the money necessary for the work.""'' Khoo reports that after discovering t i n the area, Long Ja'afar opened up mines and "successfully p accumulated sufficient capital by about 1848 to invite Chinese miners to Larut"." 1, Swettenham Papers, 2, Khoo, op. c i t . , p, 121. -114-It i s evident that Long Ja'afar was determined to keep f u l l control over the mining enterprises in his d i s t r i c t . This i s further substantiated by Blythe's account, which relates that "Long Ja'afar appointed one Low Sam, from Penang, to be his agent."3 From this evidence, i t may be seen that expansion in Larut was i n i t i a l l y s t r i c t l y limited by the amount of supplies or funds that the efforts of a single man could muster. Until his death in 1857, Long Ja'afar persisted in his policy of being the sole financier of mining works in his d i s t r i c t . This markedly different approach affected economic developments in Larut in two ways. In the f i r s t place, i t seriously restricted growth until the late 1850's, when Ngah Ibrahim succeeded his father as ruler of Larut. Only then wa.s Larut thrown open to private financiers and to the rate of growth which such a brisk inflow of capital was to engender. Secondly, Long Ja'afar's installation of a Penang merchant as his sole agent in the distribution and subsequent overseeing of a l l the operational rights in the area inevitably lent i t s e l f to linking the economics of Larut too closely to those of Penang and of the interests and aspirations of these Straits capitalists, A continued maintenance of this close liaison with Penang merchants by Ngah Ibrahim had the effect of forcing even the nevr enter-prising s p i r i t to conform very much to their interests. A combination of these factors thus sets the development of Larut apart from the rest of the mining areas in the Western Malay States, By comparison i t may be said that the economic growth in Larut was yet in i t s infancy, with control by Straits merchants and financiers at i t s most direct and. viable stage. Mention has been mad.e of the various outbreaks of h o s t i l i t i e s among the Chinese in Larut and of the immediate causes of such feuds. By the 1870's, however, these local conflicts had developed in magnitude as warring Malay chiefs began to al l y themselves with one or the other of the Chinese factions. According 3. Blythe, op. c i t . , p, 120. 4, Refer to discussion in preceding chapter. 5. Khoo, op, c i t . , p. 255 - 1 1 5 -to Khoo, this was indeed taking place a l l over the tin-mining areas of the Western Malay States.5 Before an appraisal of the events and their significance can be made, i t i s perhaps necessary to ascertain the conditions within and composition of the Chinese communities in the opening years of I87O. In the case of Larut, after the second outbreak of h o s t i l i t i e s between the two Chinese groups in 1865, the Fei-Chew Hakka were expelled from the area^ 7 and, as mentioned, "their pl aces were gradually taken over by Sun-Neng people,"' Before their expulsion, these Fei-Chew miners were largely financed by Cantonese , . and Chin-Chew Hokkien merchants, who were mainly members of the Penang Ghee Hin. Prior to the outbreak of h o s t i l i t i e s in June I865, the "composition of the Chinese population in Larut" was recorded as follows, In Klian Pa.uh where there were 100 shops, 70 to 80 belonged to Chin Sang,, about 7 belonged to Fee Chew, 3 to Eng Teng Hokkien, 3 to Kah Yeng Chew, 2 to other Hokkiens and 2 to Hailam. There were close to 4 ,000 people in the village of which about 3 i 0 0 0 were miners and gardeners. In the neighbourhood, there were about 20 minese belonging to Chin Sang, 3 to Fee Chew, 3 to Chin Sang and Fee Chew in co-partnership. There were also Chinese engaged in burning charcoal and other occupations.9 Klian Bahru was very predominantly a Fee Chew village. A l l the shops there, about 40 to 50 i n number, belonged to them., .population of 2 , 2 0 0 of whom a.bout 2,800 were engaged in mining, gardening and other occupations. In the neighbourhood, there were about 20 mines, of which 15 or 16 belonged to Fee Chew, 3 to Chin Sang and only one to Hokkien.10 The Chin-Sang Hakkas, being then pioneers of the t i n industry in Larut, predominated in Klian Pauh, location of the original mining sites in Long Ja'afa.r's days. However, by virtue of their i n i t i a l headstart and their influence over the Malay ruler of Larut, the Chin-Sang Hakka had, "since l86l..,, clearly demonstrated that they were the most powerful group in Larut and as such they 11 became intolerably arrogant." Hence, when the Sun-Neng Cantonese moved into 5. Khoo, op. c i t . , p, 255. 6 . Many of the Fei-Chew miners eventually fled to Kla.ng where they were absorbed, by the existent community of Fei-Chew Hakka. 7. Khoo, op. c i t . , p, 299. 8. Ibid., p. 367 9 . CO 273/15. Evidences of Oh Wee Kee, I865, and Affidavit of Loh Chong, I865, quoted, in Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 242. 1 0 . Khoo. on. c i t . . n. ?4^. (-e—+—cont'd) - 1 1 6 -Larut, they not only became he i r s to the abandoned mines of the F e i Chews but also to t h e i r long-standing r i v a l r y with the Chin-Sang Hakka. Since the F e i Chew predominated i n K l i a n Bahru, i t may be surmised that the Sun ^eng eventually gravitated to that settlement, However, as may be gathered from the immediate cause of the t h i r d l a r u t war, a f a i r amount of intermingling between the Sun Neng and the Chin Sang took place, just as had happened during the F e i Chews' time. But, i n the course of auch i n t e r a c t i o n , i t was recorded that the Chin Sang, as a r e s u l t of t h e i r greater numbers (some 1 0 , 0 0 0 of them 3s opposed to about 2 , 0 0 0 Sun Neng), i n v a r i a b l y obtained the upper hand OA^er the Sun Neng whenever a c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t s occurred. This l e d to a build-up of i l l - f e e l i n g among the Sun-Neng Cantonese and was eventually to e f f e c t an a l l i a n c e between them a.nd the Ghee-Hin secret society i n Larut, The Sun-Neng Cantonese, according to the account, belonged to the Ho-Hup-Seah secret society led. at t h a t time by Ho Ghi Siu. I t i s not clear, however, who the Ghee Hin were. When the Fei Chew were i n control of K l i a n Bahru, they were the main-stay of the Ghee-Hin society i n Larut, but a f t e r t h e i r expulsion, t h e i r places were taken by the Sun-Neng Cantonese, who were members of the Ho Hup Seah. Nevertheless, i t may be conjectured, that, since the Ghee-Hin secret society consisted of a. m u l t i p l i c i t y of units, i t s members i n Larut could, have been made up of, perhaps, r e s i d u a l Fei-Chew elements, Puntei Cantonese traders, Teochew a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s and Chin-Chew Hokkien traders e i t h e r resident i n Larut or commanding a su b s t a n t i a l share of f i n a n c i a l and mining i n t e r e s t s i n the area-. In f a c t i t i s recorded that the Penang f i n a n c i e r s from the Puntei C antonese, the Chin- Chew Hokkien-.and even the Sun-Neng Cantonese groups who made advances to the f i r s t Fei-Chew 13 miners i n Larut were " a l l l a r g e l y members of the Penang Ghee Kin." - These Ti~ Ibid., p. 299. 1 2 . Munshi Ibrahim, quoted i n Khoo, p. 299 (text i n Malay). 1 3 . Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 367. -117-men, i n view of the close nature of commercial r e l a t i o n s maintained between Larut and Penang, would undoubtedly have personal agents and representatives stationed i n Larut thus i n e v i t a b l y introducing the Ghee-Kin influence i n the a.rea. In a d d i t i o n to them, there were .other traders at the coastal regions of Larut serving the settlements of wood-cutters and charcoal burners i n the region. Some of these traders also belonged to the Ghee-Hin society, as accounts of the 14 progress of the Larut disturbances of the 1870's were to show. Moreover, f a r t h e r north i n the Krian D i s t r i c t was the established commercial headquarters 15 of Khaw Boo Aun, a. Teochew and an important leader of the Penang Ghee Hin, J Taking these into account, i t i s evident that the Ghee-Hin secret society continued to wield a considerable influence i n Larut even a f t e r the F e i Chew exodus. The Hai San, however, were not without t h e i r a l l i e s . As seen, t h e i r members, predominantly, Chin-Sang Hakka, occupied a commanding p o s i t i o n i n K l i a n Pauh and i n many ways K l i a n Bahru (ever since they succeeded, i n routing the F e i Chews from the area). Commercially, they had a long period of close economic r e l a t i o n s with the Hokkien merchants^ i n Penang, who were members of the powerful Toa-Peh^Kong s o c i e t y , 1 7 Hence when t h e i r positions were threatened by the a l l i a n c e between the Ghee Hin and the Ho Hup Seah, the Toa Peh Kong of Penang together with t h e i r representative i n L a r u t ^ moved i n on the side of the Hai San, On top of i t a l l , they had the Mantri, the Malay r u l e r of Larut, on t h e i r side, This ha.d l e n t immense weight to t h e i r cause against the F e i Chew i n 1865, as the Mantri mobilised h i s forces against the F e i Chew instead of remaining n e u t r a l . 1 ^ In the i n i t i a l t r i a l of strength between the Ghee Hin - Ho Hup Seah f a c t i o n and. the Mantri - Hai San a l l i a n c e i n July,1872, however, the Hai San were 14. I b i d . , pp. 303- 314. 15. Ibid., p. 359. 16. I t i s believed that these were " l a r g e l y local-born Hokkiens" who considered themselves d i s t i n c t and separate from other Hokkiens who migrated to the S t r a i t s Settlements at a l a t e r date. (Khoo, op, c i t , , p. J66). 17. I b i d . , p. 367. 18. According to Khoo, "the Toa Peh Kong had been established i n Larut probably among the few Hokkien people present there, since l86l" (p. 303)« 19. Ibid, p, 251. -118-l e s s fortunate, f o r they were defeated and were temporarily dri.ven out. I t was at t h i s point that the Toa Peh Kong, together with t h e i r a l l i e s , the Ho-Seng secret society, came to the rescue of Hai San. From then onwards, the struggle was to become more complicated as an ever widening c i r c l e of i n t e r e s t s were drawn into the f r a y . At t h i s juncture, i t i s important to appraise the meaning and s i g n i f i c a n c e which such combinations held f o r an understanding of the compositon and d i s t r i b u t i o n of the Chinese population i n L a r u t and north Perak, I t i s apparent, f i r s t of a l l , that the two major mining centres of Larut, K l i a n Pauh and K l i a n Bahru, were not the only settlements i n north Perak where a, sizeable Chinese population h a d c o l l e c t e d . According to Khoo, "although the Chinese population were concentrated l a r g e l y i n these two v i l l a g e s , there were also other important v i l l a g e s i n Larut which had Chinese residents," One of them was Tupai which, according to Khoo, was also a mining v i l l a g e . Another w as Telok Kertang, a v i l l a g e on the estuary of the Sungei Larut "which from a l l i n d i c a t i o n s 21 was also densely populated by Chinese," " In addition, a.long the Larut coast were large settlements of Teo Chews who, since the 1850's had supplied a great proportion of the firewood needed i n Penang f o r both i n d u s t r i a l and domestic 22 purposes. From furt h e r records of the disturbances, one learns that a Chinese was also i n the process of developing the i n t e r i o r of Sepatang " f o r the purpose of c u t t i n g and sawing timber into planks and other house b u i l d i n g materials f o r 23 Penang." y In the northernmost d i s t r i c t of Perak was yet another pocket of Chinese s e t t l e r s , p r i m a r i l y a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s who worked on the sugar plantations of the i n f l u e n t i a l Ghee-Hin leader, Khaw Boo Aun.~ Also evident from the 20. Khoo, "The Chinese i n Larut, the e a r l y years I1 Unpublished seminar paper. 21. I b i d . 22. Khoo,"The Western Malay States, Unpublished t h e s i s , p. 3111 23. Ibid,, p. 308. 24. Ibid., p. 359. - 1 1 9 -progression of the Larut war i s the fact that, interspersed in these settlements of miners, wood cutters or sugar planters, were traders and capitalists who were in the main residents of Penang and who belonged to one or other of the powerful secret societies of that settlement. Greater economic development had meant the introduction of increased numbers of commercial interests into the d i s t r i c t together with their differing secret society a f f i l i a t i o n s . The development of the Sepatang timber resources, for example, brought with i t the extension of the Toa Peh Kong influence and. 2 5 foothold in Larut. A growth of trade similarly attracted an inflow of traders with diverse secret society loyalties into a particular a^ea or town in the d i s t r i c t . As each secret society acquired a greater economic stake in the region, an overlapping of interests became unavoidable. It wa.s this resultant increase of frequent intermingling among such secret society groups in Larut in general and in specific l o c a l i t i e s in particular that aggravated and accentuated the subsequent development of the Larut war. The intrusion of r i v a l secret society groups into areas that had hitherto been controlled by a single secret society also proved prejudicial to the basis of that secret society's authority over i t s men as well as over the area. The latter i s perhaps apparent as the presence of r i v a l groups inevitably challenged the supremacy of the established society over the region. The former ma,y be explained as follows. In the preceding discussion on the weakening effects which economic growth had on secret society control, i t was noted that the strength of the secret society's power in the mining settlements lay in the exclusive nature of i t s control. The intrusion of traders and financiers belonging to a different secret society into an established settlement thus represented not only the creation of an alte.ma.te and competitive focus of economic power but also a threat to the monolithic nature of the established secret society's control over the economic ac t i v i t i e s of the settlement. 25. Ibid., p. 308. -120-An Illustration may be obtained from the mining ac t i v i t i e s of the Hai San at Klian Pauh. Originally, the Hai San were, as seen, the sole group of miners in Larut. In.that period, they had close commercial relations with the Hokkien in Penang belonging to the Toa-Peh-Kong society. The operation of such a partnership directly reinforced the H a i San's control over their men a s the Toa. Peh Kong, in consideration of their own interests, which were aligned with those of the Hai San, were apt to support the Hai San in their enforcement of law and order in the settlement. However, when financiers from the Ghee-Hin society entered the scene in the late 1850's, they not only carved out a sector of the mine economy over which the Hai San had no control, but they were also l i k e l y to challenge the Hai San's authority a s they (the Hai San) were the commercial partners of the Ghee Hin's rivals in Penang, the Toa Peh Kong. Hence, the presence of the Ghee-Hin capitalists in the mining settlements of Larut posed a positive threat to the to t a l i t y of Hai-San control over the processes of economic production in the mines, for they provided, an alternative source of funds for rebellious or recalcitrant Hai-San members. Through such cross-secret society arrangements, the Hai-San secret society could no longer maintain an effective hold over a l l i t s members, which as I ha.ve indicated, was one of the keystones of secret society supremacy and authority in the t i n states of western Malaya, Furthermore, the presence of powerful members of a r i v a l secret society in a settlement was bound to introduce an area of tension and. a potential rallying point for' opponents to the established hegemony. From the above discussion, i t can be seen how similar occurrences of encroachment by one secret society into another's preserve which appeared to be also taking place in the other Chinese settlements in Larut and Krian (north Perak) 2° W3.S to lead, to a build-up of intense resentment, animosity and bitterness 26. From accounts given in Khoo, i t appears that the Ghee , Hin we .re not always the intruders as records of the coa.stal settlements show/^Toa-Peh-Kong traders also made inroads into Ghee-Hin controlled territory. Similarly in north Pera.k, the Hai San and Toa Peh Kong were attempting to make 3. break-through in Khaw Boo Aun's monopoly over the region. -121-that eventually became unleashed in the form of alliances and atrocities in the development of the Larut war. At this point in time, succession disputes in Perak had prompted the various powerful Malay chiefs to seek a l l i e s among the feuding Chinese parties in La,rut and north Perak. By the offer of trade concessions and revenue farm rights, the Malay chiefs hoped to attract the powerful Penang merchants, who were also backers of the Larut Chinese conflicts, to support their respective 2? causes. In the subsequent development, therefore, the Mantri of Larut, Ngah Ibrahim, was, except for a brief period of deviation, the stauch a l l y of the Hai-San, Toa-Peh-Kong and Ho-Seng faction. Raja Abdullah, the contender to the throne, on the other hand, sympathised with the Ghee-Hin, Ho-Hup-Seah cause. Along this line of division the other Malay chiefs of Perak became aligned, up to and including the newly elected Sultan, Sultan Ismail. The chiefs of Lower Perak ( H i l i r Perak), entered the fray on the side of Raja Abdullah, who himself was a downstream chief. They supported Raja Abdullah's contention for the throne, occupied at that time by Sultan Ismail, an upstream chief and successor by default, as Raja Abdullah had failed to present himself as required by custom, at the burial of the dead. Sultan, Sultan A l i . Sultan Ismail, being an upstream chief and an enemy of Raja Abdullah, undoubtedly sided, with Ngah Ibrahim, who was also a prominent leader of the upstream group. Thus, around this axis of alliances, the major Malay chiefs of Perak became divided into two camps, each camp supporting and in turn being supported by one of the two warring Chinese factions in larut. However, the nature of the struggle was such that as the test of strength proceeded, a l l i e s began to accumulate on either side, for those who f e l t threatened by the strength of one faction immediately joined the other for 2?. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 277. 28. Gullick, op. c i t , , p. 12. -122-their own self-protection. A c ase in point was Khaw Boo Aim's enlistment in the Raja Abdullah side when he f e l t threatened by the Ngah Ibrahim-Hai S an alliance. But the f i e l d of potential a l l i e s was not just limited to the state of Perak. It was recorded that some Perak chiefs were on the verge of "offering material assistance" to Raja Mahdi of Selangor when a sudden turn of events "prevented the plans from being f u l f i l l e d . This, however, did not mean that the Perak chiefs were thereby kept out of Selangor p o l i t i c s and vice-versa but that the tables were turned in such a way that intended a l l i e s of Raja Abdullah went over to Sultan Ismail's side 30 instead. To recover from his disadvantage arising from the new development, Raja Abdullah offered to a l l y with Tengk* Kudin of Selangor, who was the p o l i t i c a l enemy of Raja. Mahdi. Hence as the struggle for power in Perak proceeded, further entanglements in the form of alliances and counter-alliances were to result. Neither was such a state of events peculiar to Perak, for Selangor, and to a. lesser extent Sungei Ujong and Rembau, were undergoing similar disturbances. In fact, Khoo states that the affairs of Selangor appe ar to provide " a useful unifying theme for the very turbulent history of these Malay States a t this period [as] the Mahdi-Kudin struggle eventually became the one issue in Malay po l i t i c s which touched the interests of several Malay leaders outside the country of Selangor."-^ The beginnings of the Selangor ¥ ar in 1866 have been 32 alluded to. As was seen in the ca.se of Perak, the struggle inadvertently, developed in magnitude and complexity with the progress of time. The f i r s t complication to arise was the appointment of Tengku Kudin, a Kedah prince and therefore an outsider in the eyes of the Sel angor princes, as the Viceroy of Sel angor. He was empowered to act from the date of his appointment (26th June, 1868) as the representative of the Sultan with "the f u l l authority 29. Khoo, op, c i t , , p. 267, 30. Ibid., pp. 267 - 2?5. 31. Ibid., p. 255. 32. Refer preceding chapter. -123-33 of the Sultan. H^ To him was entrusted the task of settling the Klang war. Instead of applying his power and authority as Sultan for the control of the Selangor chiefs and the maintenance of the general pea.ce in the State, J Sultan Abdul Samad had in fact introduced am issue of contention in Selangor by delegating his authority to Tengku Kudln, a. Viceroy much resented, by the Selangor aristocrats "who were set on getting r i d of outsiders,"35 Around, the figure of Tengku Kudin therefore was to revolve much of the conflict, complications and. bitterness of the Selangor war. Alongside this tussle for power, the Chinese miners in Selangor were also involved in a struggle for economic supremacy in the mining areas. However, la.cking the immense backing, p o l i t i c a l and financial, which close commercial connections with Penang merchants afforded for the Larut miners, the Chinese in Selangor were somewhat more dependent on alliances with the Malay princes. Hence arose a situation in which the developments of the Selangor war were closely followed for po s s i b i l i t i e s whereby advantages in the Malay conflict could be harnessed for their own cause.3^ Consequently, by the beginning of the 1870's, both factions of the Chinese conflict, the H a i San and the Kah Yeng Chew were attempting to align their military fortunes with one or other of the contesting Malay P a r t i e s , Prior to that, Yap Ah Loy, the lead.er of the Hai-San group, appears to have merely bided his time by courting the approval of both sides without "committing himself [ i f he could help i t ] too overtly" to either party.3? This Middlebrook attributed to the relative weakness of his position around the closing years of the 1860's, However, the moment of decision for Yap Ah Loy appears to ha.ve arrived with the siege of Klang by Raj*.Ismail, who was aided in turn by Tengku Kudin, the Sultan's 33- Middlebrook, op. c i t , , p. 30 34. Ibid., p. 25. 35. Gullick, op. c i t , , p. 15. 36. Refer to Middlebrook, p. 30. Also see preceding chapter. 37. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 45 Viceroy. As Yap Ah Loy watched the proceedings, i t became clear to him that "nothing could save Mahdi's garrison unless the Fei Chews were prepared and strong enough to help him."39 With this turn in fortunes, Yap Ah Loy was quick to bridle the ascendant power of Tengku Kudin for his cause. It was thus recorded that in November, I869, Yap Ah Loy "visited the Sultan at Langat to explain matters and to ask for help against the Ka Yin Chius of Kanching."^ From thence, i t was said that "the relationship between Kudin .and Ah Loy was particularly c o r d i a l . " ^ His decision was also rewarded in the short-run for the Sultan provided Ah Loy with ammunition, gunpowder, money and opium for his proposed expedition against the Kah Yeng Chews. The expedition against Kanching, said to have been undertaken some time between Febru ary and June, I87O, ended in a ma.ssaCre of about one hundred 4 l a Kah Yeng Chews. This incident was to mark the beginning of armed conflict between the two groups of Chinese in Selangor, Middlebr.o-ok aptly sums the situation up in the following, He [Yap Ah Loy-] started with potentially hostile Ka.h Yeng Chews to the north and south of him: he finished with those to the north, a t least with good reason for taking up arms against him at the earliest opportunity. It is significant that though the f i r s t attack on Kuala Lumpur was made from the east, most of the subsequent fighting was in the area north of the town. It was in Ulu Selangor, not Ulu Lang at, that Chong and Sayid Mashhor gathered, the majority of their men. ^ Hence, by 1 8 7 0 , "the fighting which had begun on the Klang River [_had} spread to other parts of the State."^3 N Qt only h%d i t spread in terms of ro^gnitude but the issues of contention had also broadened. As Khoo remar&ed, "I87O-1 8 7 1 , therefore, saw the beginning of a merger of interests between Malay leaders and Chinese headmen in wars T-fhich were originally not related to each other,' 3 8 . Blythe, op. c i t . , p, 7 3 . 3 9 . Middlebrook, op. c i t , , p. 4 4 . 4 0 . Blythe, op, c i t . , p. 173. 4 1 . Khoo, op, c i t , , p. 256. 4 l a . Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 4 8 . 4 2 . Ibid., p. 4 9 . 4 3 . Ibid., p. 4 8 . 4 4 . Kbnn. m i . nit.. r>. 2^6. Similar to the Larut war, as the conflict develooed, wider and wider issues and interests became involved together with their inevitable chain of alliances and counter-alliances. Among the f i r s t dissatisfied element to support the Kah Yeng Chews against the Kudin-Ah Loy alliance was Syed Mashhor. Originally a "noted Malay warrior" under Tengku Kudin's command, Syed Mashhor f e l l out with the Sultan and Tengku Kudin s s a result of the murder of his 45 brother, Abdullah, at Langat. According to Middlebrook, he had reason to believe that Raja, Ya'akob, the son of Sultan Abdul Samad and f u l l brother of 46 'Arfah, Kudin's wife, Was responsible for the deed. Angered by the state of affairs, he l e f t his assignment at Kuala Selangor and went to Kuala Langat. It was at Langat he agreed to join forces with Chong Chong, the leader of the Ka.h Yeng Chews against the Kudin-Ah Loy group. A combined attack on Kuala Lumpur-was subsequently carried out (September to October I870), but the Chong Chong-Syed Mashhor men were successfully repulsed by a; joint force of Fei Chew Chinese and Mandeling Malays (the latter under the command of Raja Asal, a Mandeling Malay who had a l l i e d with Yap Ah Loy against the Kah Yeng Chews in his earlier expedition to Kanching), Defeated, Syed Mashhor was forced to retreat to Ulu Selangor where i t appears he made common cause with Mahdi who was then in control 47 of Kuala. Selangor. 1 Some time in May or June of 1871, Chong Chong: and. Syed Mashhor made another attack on Kuala Lumpur, but were disastrously routed a t Rawang, and Syed Mashhor had. to retire to Ulu Selangor again. Around this time, a case of piracy in the mouth of the Selangor River brought the wrath of the Colonial government at the Straits Settlements on the heads of the culprits. Though 48 the issue was far from that of a simple punitive expedition, the occasion gave the British the chance to shell and destroy the fortifications at the mouth of kj. Cowan. CD. Nineteenth Century Malava. O.U.P., I961, p. 76. 46. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 52. 47. Cowa,n, op. c i t . , p. 76. 48. The British government a t Singapore had been partial to Tengku Kudin a,s early as I87O and. had sough o give him in irect support in his dealings nd clashes with th  Selangor chiefs. (K oo, p. 212) In fact Khoo questio s i f t "colo ial authori ies hod. n t capitalized on the Kim Sens Ch o g (cont'd.) -126-the Selangor river. The British mission also succeeded in extracting a formal statement from Sultan Abdul Samad reaffirming the grant to Kudin of complete authority over a l l those d i s t r i c t s of Selangor that were not under the direct rule of the Sultan/^ This development substantially threatened the future position and. power of Raja. Muda Musa, heir apparent to the throne of Selangor. Consequently, he a l l i e d with Mahdi and Syed Mashhor in the hope of expelling Kudin. As the scope of interests represented by the struggle widened, the field, of contestants was to spread .even to beyond, the borders of Selangor i t s e l f . The involvement of the Perak chiefs and their motivations have been discussed. This occurred in the early half of 1871. The intervening a c t i o n of the Br i t i s h in favour of Kudin has been seen, and so has the involvement of Kudin himself, a Kedah man with his force of Kedah followers.^ The bombardment of Selangor struck at Mahdi's stronghold and he soon l e f t to recruit men and. requisition arms from Sumatra, and Singapore. The Maharaja Abu Bakar of Johore was clearly in sympathy with Mahdi.^1 Raja Mahmud, the other outstanding w arrior in Mahdi's faction, took temporary shelter in Sungei Ujong, the Klana of which furnished him with right of way and. other assistance. On the other side, Tengku Kudin was able to secure the backing of Uan Ahmad., the Bendhara of Pahar.g and. bitter enemy of the Maharaja of Johore, He also obtained the support of the Penghulu of Rembau, a state adjacent to that of Sungei Ujong. Also involved on either side of the contest were Chinese miners and powerful merchants and financiers, predominantly Chinese residing in the Straits Settlements. A s i m i l a r pattern of outside interest and involvemt was exhibited in the Perak conflict and subsequently in the one to develop in Sungei Ujong. It therefore seems' apparent that the disturbances were not merely localized and 48, (cont'd) a f f a i r Xname of the boat that was plundered] to enable Kudin to gain control over Sungai Selangor" (Khoo, p. 258) 49. Cowan, op. c i t . , p. 91. 50. Cowan explains this succintly in p, 71. 51, Khoo, op. c i t , , p. 2?4, -127-petty inte;cn3.1 wars but that a wide spectrum of interests, motivations and issues Was at stake. Each of the actual scenes of strife was thus only a convenient battleground for the settlement of wider differences. Such outside intervention in what originated as internal succession disputes and economic squabbles over mining rights could not help but have prejudicial effects on the a r©as involved. The injection of outside aid, for example, often in the form of financial and material backing, moral support, and f i n a l l y the offer of refuge in cases of temporary set-backs, undoubtedly helped to exacerbate the tenacity end scale of the conflict. It has been said for instance that " i t was the merchants who 52 provided the sinews of war. Thus externally prolonged beyond the usual course and capacity of a succession dispute or a common faction fight between two mining groups, the negative effects on the socia.l and physical environment could be immense. What effect did this have on the nature of overseas Chinese social organization in the western Malay States? In the ca.se of Selangor there were three major sieges of Kuala Lumpur in which Chinese fighting men were employed on either side. Subsequently, there were campaigns by Yap Ah Loy to retake Kuala Lumpur and later attack the town of Kanching. In the second siege of Kuala Lumpur where Yap Ah Loy's men were reported to have emerged victorious, 1 their casualty rate over the entire period of the siege was calculated in the region of "25% of the men enga.ged, of whom 53 about half were k i l l e d and half wounded.." Bearing in mind, the massive armies used in the type of warfare in the 54 western Malay States at that time, i t i s obvious that "constant recruitment was essential even fo"" the victors. " 5 5 The a b i l i t y of the Chinese headmen in 52. Gullick, see Khoo, p. 328. 53« Middlebrook, notes on the text, p. 110. 54. In e ach of the battles, i t was recorded that forces on either sidle from 1,000 to 2,000 men were usually involved. Middlebrook,pp. 66, 59» 67, and 7^ . 55. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 110. -128-the warring Malay States to perpetuate such a practice stemmed in part from alliances with the Malay chiefs hut more directly from financial hacking which the Straits merchants were prepared to offer to ,both the Malay chiefs and the Chinese headmen. As a result, prolonged conflict among the Chinese "seriously depleted the labour available for working the mines, in addition to stopping a l l work when 56 lighting was i n progress in neighbourhood." An even more important long-term consequence was that pointed out by Middlebrook; these campaigns could, only be continued by bringing men i n from outside the area. Inevitably this led. to the introduction of men f i t t e d more for fighting than mining, Much of the rioting and other troubles that occurred, after the conclusion of the c i v i l war i n Sslangor, and the clan wars in the other mining di s t r i c t s , was undoubtedly due to the recruitment of persons selected for characters not well suited to peaceful conditions. 57 This probably i s one of the more serious and signal effects on Chinese social organization in the post-disturbances period in the Malay States, This, more than the temporary hardships of economic dislocation and. scarcity, was to influence the course and nature of Chinese social organization in the Malay States.. The need, to contend, with a restless population composed predominantly of fighting men whose s k i l l and energies had no place in times of peace could prove problematic. In turn, the measures and steps adopted to handle them might themselves generate cyclical effects. Another potentially significant development that was to influence post-disturbance social organization was the loss of prominent military leaders in the course of skirmishes. Did depletion of men at the top of the secret-society echelon result in the alleviation of the tense social situation whereby these ranks had become clogged, through lack of turnover? Or did the exigencies of war eventually mitigate against i t s effects? "W. Ibid. . 57. Ibid. 58. Teng Sam and Tung Khoon, two import ant military leaders under Ah Loy's regime were killed, in the war. Also in Larut, So Ah Cheong, one of the leaders of the Chinese community was recorded k i l l e d in the course of that war. (Refer Middlebrook, p. 20, and, Khoo, p. 249, respectively) -129-In Selangor's case, of which more comprehensive records exist, the latter seems to have obtained. In these large-scale and long-drawn out conflicts, quite unlike localized fights between r i v a l secret societies in the preceding decade, massive forces were involved and the question of loyalty could no longer be taken for granted, betrayal and defection increasing in probability. Consequently a, necessity to forestall i t s occurrence arose. This took shape in the appoint„ment of trusted men who were either personally known to or connected through clan or real kinship ties with the Capitan. This was particularly evident in Yap Ah Loy's following. At the start of the disturbances, he had his two most trusted nanglimas. Hiu Fatt and Chung Piang, in charge of the guards. As the war developed, Teng Sam and. Tung Knoon, two men who accompanied him to Kuala Lumpur from Sungei Uijong and who according to the records were Ah Loy's close friends, were appointed oanglimas in additon to Chung Piang and Hiu Fatt, It was in the further progression of the Selangor war that this trend, became increasingly evident. At the second- siege of Klang, i t wa,s recorded, that one of the Capitan (Captains) of his troops was Yap Voon Lung, a name that had not been mentioned in the records before then.59 One would, suspect that he was one of the men recruited from Yap Ah Loy's clansmen in China and who had. subsequently distinguished, himself in service. Meritorious promotions i t seems were s t i l l practised, only this time with probably an added, principle of selection in tow, that of personal relationship and ties with the Capitan. Even at the beginning of the f i r s t attack on Kuala Lumpur, Yap Ah Loy had started to surround, himself with his own kin and clansmen. According to the records, his brother, Yap Tet Fong, ranked as significantly as Chung Piang and Hiu Fatt in their capacities as recruiting agents for the Capitan.^ At the end of the third and f i n a l attack on Kuala Lumpur, when i t f e l l to Yap Ah Loy's opponents, Teng Sam and Tung Khoon were recorded to have been k i l l e d in battle. It i s of interest to note the new group of military leaders 59. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 6l. 60. Ibid., p. 53. - 1 3 0 -appointed to replace these two men and also to strengthen the entire corps of fighting men. Ah Loy, i t was recorded, divided his men into eight groups in the campaign to retake Kuala Lumpur. Each group of men w.?s placed under a leader, Hiu F?,tt P n d Chung Piang (jointly in ch arge of one group), Yap Kwee, Yap Yeng Onn, Yap Fa Tho, Ng Ki, Yap Tong L i , Loh Ah Seng and Hiu Lok (each in charge of a group).°^ The preponderance of Yaps in the new group of appointed leaders i s apparent. Thus indirectly, a system of patronage had been born out of the exigencies of war. As a result of this system, a further consolidation of the entrenched leadership wa.s to occur as these men were l i k e l y to protect and defend their patron with great zeal, for he had become the sole author of their rise in social stmding within the hierarchy. The effects of the war thus effectively removed the f i n a l rationale for maintaining even a semblance of contact between the leaders- and the l e d , ^ 2 A further development was to lend i t s e l f to a. greater consolidation of the established leadership. The massive recruitment of fighting men necessary for the continuation of the struggle l e f t i t s legaey in times of pea.ce as mentioned. To deal with problems of law and order engendered by the presence of such tough and dissatisfied, fighting men in the community, the Capitan was thus provided, with a basis, even in times of peace, to perpetuate a close circle of trusted panglimas around himself. A necessary corollary of this was the perpetuation of the recruitment pattern whereby only men related to the leadership in some personal capacity were admitted to the ranks of military or administrative leadership. The result could only be a greater entrenchment of the established ruling clique. 6iu Ibid., p. 79. 62. The gradual withdrawal of secret society leadership from grass-roots support was evident even at the time of Yap Ah Loy's succession as Capitan, but i t was not un t i l the outbreak of disturbances that the severance became complete. -131-This course of transformation certainly appears to have taken place in the Fei Chew community in the Klang mines of Selangor. The wider implications and consequences of these trends for the social organization and st a b i l i t y of the settlement w i l l be the subject of later comment. Meanwhile, i t i s essential to ascertain how far the two other major Chinese settlements in the western Malay States, Sungei Ujong and Larut, shared in these trends as the result of similar disturbances, Sungei Ujong, i t was seen, was a declining mining area even before the outbreak of the Selangor war in the 18D0'S. Increased pressures on Klang's resources had in fact been partially generated by a. general exodus of able (So and ambitious men from Sungei Ujong who eventually found their way to Klang. J However, at the outbreak of conflict between the two antagonistic Chinese groups in Selaigor, some time in I87O, a reverse in flow of refugees could have taken place, a flow which probably increased in the ensuing years as the attacks and counter-attacks on the mining areas increased in ferocity. By I873, i t was said that "the real grievance [in a. fast-developing hostility between Kudin and the Dato Klana of Sungei Ujong] was that the Chinese miners who had been driven out of Klang, had come to work in Sungei Ujong and Tuanku Kudin wished to drive them back. ' , f c l5 In an earlier postulation, i t was argued that the Fei-Chew Hakka, belonging to the Hai-San society, probably gained an ascendancy over the Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakka, members of th<- Tsung Pak Kun, in the 1850's and from then onwards were able to secure the leader-ship of the area, except perhaps for a brief interruption in i860 when the Hai-San Ca.pitan China of Rasah was temporarily defeated. That the days of Rasah's prosperity were numbered as early as i860 63. A case in point was Liu Ngim Kong's relatives who took the excuse to go to Klang and some, prominent among them Chong Chong, stayed on to contest the position of Capitan to the Last, 64. Middlebrook gives a good, account of the progress of the war. 65. Shaw (Lt, Governor of Malacca), see Khoo, op, c i t . , p. 319. - 1 3 2 -was evidenced by Yap Ah Loy's .decision to relinquish his post as Capitan China in Sungei Ujong and leave for Klang, Perhaps through a progressive depletion of the ranks of the Hai-San society by their migration to Klang, a reassertion of the Kah-Yeng-Chew power in Sungei Ujong took place, for by 18?4 the Kah Yeng Chew were a group to be reckoned with. Reports indicated, for example, that bitter rivalry between the Fei Chew and the Kah Yeng Chew was in evidence in 1874.^ The numbers on both sides were probably augmented by miners from Klang and. Kanching respectively. By I 8 7 4 , i t was estimated that the Chinese population in Sungei Ujong numbered "just over 10,000" and that they were probably divided into several groups as "the names of at least five headmen are on record." c^ a Despite this fact however, there were really two major factions lined up against each other in that year, the Fei Chew against the Kah Yeng Chew-Cantonese faction. In addition, except for the record of one incident in which the Fei Chew "attacked the Kheks^^ and burnt a l l t h a t remained of Rassa",^? Chinese rivalry in Sungei Ujong did not flare up into any massive conflict to the extent that obtained, in Larut and. Klang. That a disturbance was averted has been accredited to the timely intervention of the Bri t i s h in the matter. As Pickering wrote, I am quite persuaded that the man [Bandar] did. not think of fighting after he saw us in force, and. especially after he could, not hope for Chinese assistance, That the Chinese would have joined, i f we had. not come and. explained things to them I have evidence from themselves, and the result would have most l i k e l y been a general disturbance. But another probable explanation could, well be that there was comparatively less wealth at stake in the mining areas in Sungei Ujong, This, coupled with the relatively broken history of settlement, may have played, a role in warding off 6*6"] Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 372.-6 6 a . Ibid.., p. 3 7 2 . 6 6 b . The Kheks were most probably Kah Yeng Chew, refer Khoo, p. 3 7 1 . 6 7 . Dunlop's report, Dec. 1874, see Khoo, p. 3 7 1 -68. Pickering's report, 14th Oct., 18?4, see Khoo, p. 3 7 3 . -133-a protracted struggle similar to those which occurred in the other two states. After a l l unsettled p o l i t i c a l conditions in the nature of those in Selangpr and Perak were also found in Sungei Ujong e s p e c i a l l y at the end of 1872. Yet the Chinese had. not taken advantage of succession skirmished for their aggrandisement, a quiescence which certainly could not he accounted for by Br i t i s h action as they had. not come on the scene at that point of time. It i s argued that the economic stakes in the area were small enough and the length of stay sufficiently abbreviated, that developments in the scale of entrenched class and family interests, as well as of p o l i t i c a l consolidation such as had. occurred in the other settlements, did not occur in Sungei Ujong. One may take as an example, the man identified a.s "probably the richest of the Chinese [in Sungei Ujong]" , Wong Ying,^9 who according to Khoo had been in Sungei Ujong; since the 1840's. Despite the length of time he had. been in Sungei Ujong and. the economic standing which he had. acquired by 187^, his name Was not even mentioned in records of earlier decades. In fact, when referring to the l860's, Middlebrook singled out Yap Ah Shak as the leading trader and gambling farmer in Sungei Ujong.?^ It i s not clear what happened to Ah Shak in the interim period between being the le ading trader in Sungei Ujong in the 7 1 l860's and a leading mining employer in Kuala Lumpur in 1874. Judging from the account he must have been in Kuala Lumpur for some time prior to that as he had become ''the biggest t i n miner [in Selangor] after Ah Loy himself."? 2 Indeed., scant data on Chinese a c t i v i t i e s in Sungei Ujong has nosed a 7 ° persistent problem in the piecing together of i t s h i s t o r y . D e s p i t e this and despite the i n i t i a l existence of close connections between the miners in Sungei Unjong and the merchants in. Malacca, there exists sufficient evidence to assume 69. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 373. 70. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 16. 71. Ibid,, p. 91-72. IbixL, p. 73. 73. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 369. ?4. Ibid.., p. 45. -134-that by 1874 the Chinese settlement in Sungei Ujong had developed into a. f a i r l y independent economic entity. Hence, when the Dato Klana of Sungei Ujong decided to institute an opium farm in his d i s t r i c t and. to let i t out to a Malacca, man, there was considerable "restlessness" among the local Chinese headmen. Subsequently, the Klana had to change his mind, and offered, i t to the local Capitan China instead.. The picture was vastly different in the case of Larut. Khoo has remarked, that "the available data [on the Chinese in Perak] are [considerably] more s u b s t a n t i a l . T h o u g h the proximity of Larut to the Br i t i s h colony of Penang has often been thought to have given rise to this, i t nevertheless seems that- the close documentation of events in L arut could, be more directly attributable to the active participation of actual Penang residents in the frequent conflicts of the area. This may be gathered from Raja, Abdullah's plea for assistance in dealing with the Larut conflict. He said., Now we have got sufficient power to go to L^root and stop the fighting, but among the men who are making the disturbances are a great number of our Friend's subjects from Penang, and. so we are much troubled in mind how to put a stop to this by ourselves without our Friend's taking a part with us.76 Unlike Selangor and S Ungei Ujong, where Straits merchants merely supplied the war capital, the stuggle in Larut was much more closely welded to the machinations of the penang merchants, who were involved, not only in the financing, recruiting and eguippingjaf the fighting men, but were also involved in the active direction of the entire struggle. As a, consequence, in order to compare the effects of the L arut disturbances on trends of development in the Chinese communities involved, i t w i l l be necessary to take the Chinese population of Penang into consideration. 75. Ibid., v. 350. 76. SSR, 07, 2nd April, 18?3, see Khoo, p. 314. -135-As far as Larut was concerned, the creation and subsequent perpetuation of an entrenched economic and possibly p o l i t i c a l leadership within the d i s t r i c t was probably already inherent in the system of mining grants adopted by Long Ja'afar. As seen, La.u Ah Sam was give sole rights to mining in the d i s t r i c t , and i t was only through him that an allotment of land and rights could be obtained. Lau was in turn represented on the spot by Chang Keng Kwi to whom was entrusted, the responsibility of overseeing the actual mining operations. A l l works in Long Ja'afar's d. -s were of course financed by Long Ja'afar himself, which meant that the only substantial profits which Lau Ah Sam and. Chang Keng Kwi could derive from the system were through the provisioning of their men and the manipulation of their wages. Such a system unmistakenly induced the Chinese managers to limit their recruitment to men who were already subject to their control within the Hai-San secret society, as their economic success depended v i t a l l y on their a b i l i t y to maintain and enforce a r i g i d economic domination over the labourers. Hence the creation and perpetuation of an entrenched, economic leadership in Larut became built into the i n i t i a l cession of mining rights. Although Ngah Ibrahim, Long Ja,'afar's successor, followed less stringent lines in the granting of mining concessions, he nevertheless continued his father's policy of dealing through Lau Ah Sam. This was evident from his statement to the British. He remarked, "La.u Ah Sam used, to make the distribution 77 of the allotment at the mines."' He also testified, that Lau Ah Sam i s head of Hysan Congsee and farmed the ti n mines at Larut from me. He i s the representative of the original settlers at the mines and he has as farmer 7 8 management of them. I have always protected, this man.'" This therefore ensured, for Lau Ah Sam and. Chang Keng Kui even after Long Ja'afar 1 s death, the perpetuation of their economic hegemony in Larut. 77' See Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 241. 78. Ibid. -136-In tbe case of Penang, economic leadership had always been concentrated in the hands of the local-born Hokkien in that settlement. In fact, the many riots and inter-society feuds that occurred throughout the early decades of the nineteenth century were often attributed to the jealousy of other groups of Chinese, comparative late-comers to the scene, who were anxious to establish themselves. Hence the long-standing feuds between the Ghee Hin and the Toa Peh Kong (representing the local-born group) were interpreted as attempts by the Ghee Hin to challenge the Toa Peh Kong leadership.^ In a similar strain, Blythe comments "in Penang these riots CAugust,I867] marked the culmination of the struggle between the Kien Tek fwhich he thinks was synonymous to Toa Peh Kong} and the Ghee Hin." 8 1 The C-hee-Hin challenge for a. share of the Toa Peh Kong's leadership and economic power, though centred on the arena, of Penang was by no means confined to i t . Hence Khaw Boo Aun, a sugar planter in Province Wellesley and Krian took up arms against the Toa. Peh Kong in an attempt to prevent "the ambitious and 3 0 resourceful Penang Hokkien from further monopolising new field_s of commerce." ' In similar s p i r i t , the Ho Huo Seah of Larut took on the Hai-San and Toa-Peh-Kong backed, mine owners and financiers in that d i s t r i c t . Consequently the situation in Larut and Penang, both before and during the disturbances of the 1870's, was somewhat different from that which existed, in Selangor, While the Selangor disturbances were actually used to consolidate the position of an emrgent economic power in the mines, the Larut war on the contrary was essentially an attempt to dislodge an already strongly established and entrenched economic hegemony in the area, These differences in long term aspirations, expectations and eventual achievements notwithstanding, the immediate effects of the disturbances were 80~ CO 273/3, Resident Councillor of Penang to Blundell, 1859, see Khoo, p. 39, 81. Blythe, op. c i t , , p. 98. 83. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 367. -137-f a i r l y similar. The emphasis on military skills, manoeuvres and defences meant that the p o l i t i c a l prestige and power of leaders were greatly elevated in the short-run. The need to amass large fighting forces could not help but inspire awe. The c r i s i s situation of a war, coupled with a desperate need for protection, further ensured for those leaders.the command of their people's support and cor-operation. A l l in a l l , the disturbances made for a consolidation of p o l i t i c a l leadership, though with very different end results in the two states — Perak and Selangor, In Selangor, the ascendancy gained by Yap Ah Loy served, him in good, stead, as he was to subsequently win both support for and confirmation of his position from the British when they intervened, in Selangor's p o l i t i c s and. administration shortly after the end of the war. That he was able to so successfully harness his gains was in no mean d.egree a result of his having supported the victorious British-backed. Malay faction in the Selangor war, Tengku Kudin's actions immediately after the end. of the war appear to provide substantiation to this claim. It was recorded that shortly after securing his own control over Selangor, Kudin hastened, to bestow his public recognition of Ah Loy's position vis-a-vis the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur and Klang. '' But perhaps of greater significance to Ah Loy's interest and the securing of his own undisputed leadership ove3_" the Chinese community in Kuala Lumpur was the fact thfet his military partner, Tengku Kudin, won the war with the aid of external a l l i e s (for example, the Bendahara, of Pahang), a l l the major chiefs of Selangor having joined, forces with the faction that opposed him (Kudin). D This thus ensured for Ah Loy that no other major chief of Selangor could, claim for his own Chinese supporter a similar share in the honours awarded to Ah Loy, as none of these chiefs numbered among the victorious party. Consequently, the events of the Selangor W, Middlebrook," op. c i t . , p. 83. 85. Khoo, op. c i t . , p. 278 and 281. -1.33-war effectively helped Ah Loy in the elimination of any real and potential r i v a l to his power. It Is significant that Chong Chong, the most determined challenger to Ah Loy's position, fled the country after Ah Loy re-took Kuala Lumpur, For the Chinese leaders in Larut the outcome of that war was vastly different. In the f i r s t place the struggle w?s not brought to an end by any decisive victory. Rather, the proceedings were halted, by the forcible intervention of the British, Consequently neither faction (that i s the respective Malay chiefs and their Chinese a l l i e s ) could lay claim to the spoils, of the war. These were therefore duly divided, between the two warring Malay parties, and. their Chinese a l l i e s , the terms of which were respectively embodied in the Pangkor Engagement and the Pangkor Agreement. Only the lat t e r w i l l concern us here. In this settlement, the British Commission, set up to arbitrate the Chinese conflict, divided, the mines in Larut by a line drawn across the d i s t r i c t , those to the north of the line to go to the Ho Hup Seah and those to the south 86 to be retained, by the Hai San. In effect this was to give the Ho Hup Seah in . . 87 Larut equal rights with the Chin-Sang men (Hai San) in the area. Thus, on an individual level, the eventual outcome of the Larut disturbances enabled each Chinese leader in the area to retain the personal advantage which he had. gained in terms of the consolidation of his own leadership vis-a-vis his supporters during the war. But on an overall level, where leadership and domination within the entire d i s t r i c t was at stake, the termination of the war did. not give rise to the ascendancy of any one group over the others. Nor was even the slight supremacy which the Hai San-Toa Peh Kong faction obtained, during the w ar over the Ho Hup 88 Seah -Ghee Hin alliance given practical expression in the f i n a l settlement. In 86. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. I 8 7 . 87. Ibid. 88. In September, 1873> the Hai San managed to secure the support of the Br i t i s h B r i t i s h government, through their alliance with the Mantri, From thrn on, they began to gain ground on the Ho-Hup-Seah faction. Refer Blythe, 0 , 182-4. this respect, the close of the Larut war differed significantly from that which existed with regard to Chinese leadership in Selangor. One may say that this disparity stemmed, in a way, from an i n i t i a l difference in circumstances and objective. It would also seem as i f the intervention of the British at the time they did in the course of the Larut war helped to arrest and accentuate the differences mentioned between Selangor and Perak, This refers specifically to the way in which British intervention, and subsequent'.arbitration, in the Larut dispute acted for the reinstitution of the Ho-Hup-Seah group in their mines, with equal economic rights and status to those of the Hai-San society. This externally imposed settlement may, indeed., lend i t s e l f to the interpretation that British intervention in the course of the Chinese conflict in L a r u t , a s compared to a seeming absence in Ah Loy's campaigns, directly resulted in the difference in situations. As Blythe pointed out, the terms of the agreement were not really acceptable to the Hai-San headman who had. hoped that his position could, be improved "by their [his and. the Mantri's] supporters on the ground." - It was only the administrative presence of the British in Larut that effectively foiled, the Hai San's designs.^ Consequently Br i t i s h intervention in no small way helped in the establishment and eventual perpetuation of a dual leadership with the Chinese community in Larut. If the role of the British in influencing the development of the Chinese communities in 187^ - and after can be established, beyond, l i t t l e doubt, their responsibility in generating disparate situations in Perak and Selangor through the apparent pu rsu i'tof divergent policies, i s nevertheless open to question. Although the results of British action in Larut appear to be more readily evident, the consequences of their policies with regard to the Chinese in Selangor did not, 89. Blythe, op, c i t . , p. 188. 90, Swettenham recorded that "during the early part of the year [ l S ^ + l several petty outbreaks occurred, but this was entirely owing to the machinations of a few fighting chiefs of the Goh-Quan [Hai San] faction whose occupation, now that peace was proclaimed was gone. Nine of these men, however, were, by my advice, deported by the Mantri on the 23rd. July and. since then every-thing has been as satisfactory as could be desired." (Swettenham's Journal). -140-as a matter of fact, d i f f e r a l l that materially from those in Larut, Perhaps i n i t i a l discrepanceis in circumstances of intervention distract from basic underlying similarities in effects. The establishment of indirect B r i t i s h rule in Perak served, for example, to affirm and maintain the authority and power of the established Chinese leaders in the d i s t r i c t , very much as i t had done in Selangor. Indeed, this common feature of British indirect rule was to have some far-reaching repercussions on the general nature and relevance of Chinese leadership within the mining communities of the western Malay States, British Intervention, 18?4 In Perak, the Larut was was tentatively ended by an agreement signed in January, 1847, which submitted the dispute over mining lands to the arbitration of a Commission composed of "one or more officers of the Colony Government with 91 one Chinese from each side". Among the provisions for the observance of the truce was the stipulated disarmament of both parties and the destruction of their stockades, As an additional safeguard, " a l l future arrangements as to water-supply" were to be l e f t solely to the decision of a Bri t i s h Resident who would 92 be stationed at Larut. The Commission mentioned was duly appointed and a tour of the Larut mines began. Among the objectives of the Commissioners were the determination of the legal basis for claims to mine lands and the supervision of a thorough destruction of stockades, as well as the total surrender of arms. By 20th February, 1874, the major tasks of the Commission had been deemed satisfactorily accomplished and an award, of lands was made. This award (referred to earlier) established a definite boundary between the Hai-San mines and. the Ho-Hup-Seah 93 mines. To set a seal to their work, Speedy was immediately appointed, as 9T. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 186. 92. Ibid. 93« This referred, only to extant workings; new workings could be started by either party in both sectors, subject of course to the issue of proper leases by the Assistant Resident, -141-Assistant Resident, with special charge of Larut. The role of the Resident was never clear-cut. As Cowan remarked, "the treaty gave the Rejident no executive powers, but i t stipulated that his advice '-must be asked and acted 94 upon on a l l questions other than'those' touching Malay Religion and Custom.'" However, since "the collection and control of a l l Revenues and the general administration of the country [was to]be regulated under the advice of these-Residents," the office, in reality, carried with i t , as Cowan pointed out, the effective control of the country.95 The Assistant Resident was to be under the general control of the Resident, In Perak's case, however, the appointment of a Resident was somewhat' delayed, and Captain Speedy was said to have "ruled Larut himself, without 96 reference to any other authority." Speedy, nevertheless, took swift measures to organize a strong police force, incorporating the Mantri's Malay police force into his own following of Indian recruits. With regard to the Chinese he acknowledged the authority and leadership of the secret-society headmen, Chang Keng Kwee (Hai San) and Chin Ah Yam (Ho Hup Seah), consulting 97 with them and communicating through them to the miners, Working on the foundations l a i d by the government Commission which broke the military arm of the secret societies' power, Speedy wa.s able to secur e the acceptance and acquiesance of both secret society headmen, to his rule and to their own mutual 98 co-existence. With their co-operation and approval, so Speedy claimed, he prohibited secret societies from Larut'and dealt with Chang Keng Kwi and Chin Ah 99 Yam as i f they were merely "the wealthiest and most influential men in Larut." This rather n a i v e 1 ^ yet diplomatic non-recognition of the headmen's bases of power by no means eliminated the secret-society ^esence from Larut, but i t did succeed in limiting the opportunities for the establishment of new 94. Cowan, op. c i t . , p. 183. 95. Ibid. 96. Ibid.', p , 217. 97. Ibid. 98. Refer to earlier footnote regarding Br i t i s h action in relation to the Hai-San bid for a comeback. -142-lodges in the area. The policy of prohibition, for example, empowered the administration to deal with new, and therefore plainly evident, secret society a c t i v i t i e s . As i t was also in the interest of the established leadership to stamp out possible challengers to their hegemony, information and heln were quite readily volunteered. As Speedy recorded, "two attempts have been made during the ye sr [_1874J to establish lodges in Larut, but having received timely information, I have happily been enabled to crush each a.ttempt in the bud."^~ 102 The informers undoubtedly were Chinese. Inconsequential though this particular piece of communication may seem, the readiness with which Chinese leaders in Larut now turned to the British presence and power for support against any perceivable threat to their domination cannot but be seen P s the addition of an important new factor in the maintenance of the Chinese power structure. This appeal to Br i t i s h action was not only sought in relation to potential rivals but also, at times, with regard to control over their own men. In the area of indentured labour, for instance, legislation in the Straits Settlements provided for a formal written contract of the terms of indenture. This measure, adopted apparently for the mitigation of abuses i n f l i c t e d on the labourers by crimps who sought to kidnap the men for work in the East Indies, in fact afforded greater protection to the coolie-brokers and 10 ° employers," ' •* With the terms of servitude clearly written down, an employer became eligible for police assitance in tracking down a. runaway coolie. As Wong observed, "from 1877 onwards, a l l labourers under advances for mining had 104 to sign a contract before leaving- the Straits ports," As part of i t s terms, 99- Cowan, op, c i t . , p, 217, 100. Ibid. 101. Blue book of Larut d i s t r i c t in Perak (Swettenham's Papers) 1 0 2 . Ibid. 1 0 3 . Wong, op. c i t , , p, 7 0 . 104. Ibid., p. 71 . -143-the coolie was held liable for " a l l expenses of recapturing him" should he leave 105 his employer before paying back the amount owing. This clause appears to have anticipated not only the eventuality of desertion* which was common enough, but perhaps even envisaged the involvement of external parties in his recapture. With B r i t i s h administration committed to the actual policing of the western MaLay States, much of such work would l i k e l y involve them. That the possibility i s real enough i s evidenced by the following report, On my arrival in this Colony I found, that cases have occurred in the Native Protected State of Perak in which Chinese prostitutes, who have sold themselves or been sold, by others to the brothel keepers and have sought to escape, h?;ve been given back to them by the police under magisterial direction, to work out their debt by prostitution. Mr. Low reported unon such a case so long ago as 18?8. 1 0 6 The establishment of a court of Justice along the lines of the British judicial system must also have been regarded, by the recognized Chinese headmen, as one more convenient instrument for the maintenance of their own power. Speedy had referred, to "the readiness with which the people, especially the Chinese, avail themselves of the power of appeal to a European decision," in 107 the f i r s t year of his service as Assistant Resident in Larut. ' Although the general enthusiasm for, and. resort to, British method.s of justice could be exaggerated, the fact that a British court was able to function at a l l in their dealings with Chinese offenders must, nevertheless, be interpreted as 108 a definite concession from the secret-society leaders, " That such a concession was made in the f i r s t place may indeed suggest a. new vested interest in the operation of the British-administered judiciary. The question that comes to mind is - why did. the secret societies' leaders in Larut co-operate (to an extent) with the Br i t i s h law-keeping processes 105. Ibid. 106. Gov, Weld (Singapore) to Kimberley, 1880, in Swettenham's papers. 107,. Blue Book of Larut, 1874. 1.08. In the early days of the Straits Settlement history, the cause of justice, as the British o f f i c i a l s saw i t , was often thwarted by secret society interference. Milne, for example, observed in 1818 that "they ["secret society members] engage to defend each other against attacks from Police officers-, -144-while t h e i r compatriots, at a s i m i l a r phase of B r i t i s h rule i n the S t r a i t s 109 Settlements, did t h e i r utmost to frustrate them? Perhaps the key to an understanding l i e s not with any particular phase of B r i t i s h rule hut rather with the timing of i t s introduction. The esta/blishnent of i n d i r e c t B r i t i s h rule i n L a r u t came at a time."" when the secret-society leaders i n the area had achieved a degree of economic success and standing. Chin Ah Yam's statement that "some ten years ago, there were at Galien Pow [jKlJan Pauh] a large number of Goh-Quans with Ah Quee (not thena r i c h man) for t h e i r head""'"'''^  attests to the fact . Hence, these secrete society headmen, at the time of B r i t i s h intervention, were no longer ooor, desperate men i n positions of leadership, whose sole interest and avenue of success lay i n opposing, at a l l costs and to a l l ends, the established authority and hierarchy i n the area, To the contrary, having attained to positions of economic power themselves, t h e i r interest became aligned with that of the wider p o l i t i c a l authority whose role was the maintenance of order and the suppression of troublesome elements. In the execution of these duties, the wider administration could only lend support and affirmation to the headmen's own positions on the one hand and a s s i s t i n the elimination of l i k e l y contenders to t h e i r hold on the other. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that i t was these "Chinese headmen i n the country ^LarutJ who one and a l l concur' i n saying that they jsecret societies are but productive of e v i l and never of good" and therefore the future establishment of "any lodge of t h i s kind i n L a r u t " should be made penal."''"''"1* Increased association with the B r i t i s h administrative processes thus had. i t s advantages. But what might have seemed a most opportune move on the 108. (cont'dj to hide each other's crimes; to a s s i s t detected, members to escape from the hands of Justice." For further accounts, re f e r Blythe, on, c i t . , P. ••'?. 109. Refer to oreceding footnote. 110. Swettenham's Papers. By 187^, Ah Quee had become a r i c h man i n Larut. 111. Blue Book of Larut, 1874. -145-part of the Chinese secret-society leaders in the mining settlements also brought with i t significant hazards to the very authority which they had hoped to safeguard. Acting in concert with the B r i t i s h administration, for example, meant a continued exposure to i t s expectations and censure of Chinese behaviour and a c t i v i t i e s . The v i a b i l i t y of such a partnership thus dema.nded. some adjustments and accomodations, on the part of the Chinese leaders, to many of these objections. Possibly the joint denunciation of secret-society a c t i v i t i e s in La.rut, issued by Speedy and the Chinese leaders in the d i s t r i c t , was one manifestation to that end. Freedman's study of the Chinese in Singapore demonstrated that when compulsory "registration and. supervision" of secret societies in the settlement was effectively c a r r i e d out, the i n t e r n a l authority of the secret-society leaders became cons iderab ly undermined., as "the super-imposition of an outside power weakened the headjrian vis-a-vis their followers and. [thus]] affected, their "I "I 2 a b i l i t y to keep order within their own ranks.""' A growing effectiveness in British administrative surveillance of secret-society a c t i v i t i e s , in Freedman's terms, brought on the fast culmination of the headmen's power. But whether the road, to their decline did nor- spring from a more remote source, or even from a longer history of steaxly erosion, is yet to be determined, In the case of the Malay States, the super-imposition of externally-heId values and standards of social respectability in the Chinese communities might well have constituted the v i t a l f i r s t stages in the eventual downfall of secret society leadership. And yet, in the f i n a l analysis, was the British government or the introduction of such methods of administration totally responsible for the f a l l of secret-society leadership and with i t the very secreVsociety institution i t s e l f ? Were the secret-society headmen altogether oblivious of the inherent p i t f a l l s 112. Freedman, op, c i t . , p. 32. -146-i n their increasing reliance on.and. acquiesance with British rule? The introduction of B r i t i s h rule in the Malay States infused a new factor into the extant situation and, even i f that was i t s only contribution, would no doubt require some measure of response and adjustment to i t s presence. However, more than being a mere unobtrusive presence, the British administration took active measures in disarming the Chinese and in enforcing i t s rulings. In the process of the Commission's work to settle Chinese claims to mine lands in Larut, for example, the uncooperative Hai-San leaders were f i r s t arrested. and one of their men was subsequently flogged i n public for refusing to comply with i t s orders. In a parting speech, the same Commission assured, or cautioned the Chinese with the statement that "the country was now under the advice and control of a government which would not only issue just laws for the benefit of 11 °> i t s inhabitants, but would enforce them to the lett e r . " J Those who were dissatisfied or i l l at ease with the new order were categorically advised, to leave, as the slightest move to counteract the new measures would, not be tolerated. The C o m m i s s j _ o n e r s further prescribed, that Speedy, the Assistant Resident, "leave a sufficient force at the mines under an able officer...and. we would, beg that the slightest appearance of opposition on the part of either faction may be visited, in the severest manner, as we are assured that that peaceful settlement which we are so anxious to obtain can be secured by no other means,""''1"4' Although the actual administration was far from able to enforce a l l i t s laws "to the very letter", especially in areas that were removed from the hub of government, the British authorities had, nevertheless, established the fact that they were serious in restoring peace and. in keeping i t . These were the new elements in the situation which the secret-society leaders in the Malay States had to contend, with. Also, differently from their Straits-Settlements' 113. Swettenham's Papers. 114. Ibid. -In-experiences, or perhaps because of them, the British were much better able to detect and eradicate attempts at founding: new secret-society groups in the protected Malay States, Consequently, the extant secret-society groups in the area were not placed under nearly as much strain to defend, by their own efforts, their acquired positions against contenders, as the Penang secret societies ha.d been in earlier decades under British rule. It would seem that Br i t i s h intervention was responsible for removing a prime rationale for secret-society operation and ferocity in the Malay States and, by so doing, had therefore condemned the institution to obsolescence. The contribution of the British government to secret-society decline in the Malay States appears clear, but perhaps what i s less obvious, should one accept the view above, Is the motivation which seems to have steered the secret-society headmen themselves to choose the path of their own undoing, Perhaps i t was because their military strength was quite permanently crippled, or because they had reached such a state of stalemate that an outside authority became welcomed.. Yet In the earlier years of Chinese economic exploitation in the Straits Settlements and the Malay States, such stalemate situations had arisenaadd the severe crippling of each other's military strength had taken place, with no evident attempt to come to terms, to the extent that was occurring, with the 1 1 "5 British authorities. x J Instead, temporary set-backs were rapidly put right as best they could, and before long they were back in the fray, British injunctions against such a c t i v i t i e s notwithstanding, These pa.st events appear then, to suggest that a deeper transformation had come over the secret-society organizations in the Straits Settlements and. the Malay States, changes which cannot be explained or even properly gauged by the spate of surface changes activated by British intervention. Perhaps more 1 1 5 . Refer to Blythe's account of secret-society ac t i v i t i e s , especially in the Straits Settlements. -148-important, in this respect, than Br i t i s h policies and their demands for accomodation wa.s the slow process of evolutionary development within the individual secret society. As Blythe observed, "in China r i t u a l i s t i c societies existed for centuries born of social needs, based on a combination of self-protection and spiritual satisfaction. Once established, such societies frequently deteriorated through the easy profits of power into tyrannical groups of bullies and extortioners." . Morgan's study of Triad societies in Hong Kong also finds similar-cycles of rise and f a l l in secret-society groups. In one of his observations, he wrote, "societies rise and f a l l frequently and the turn-over i s great. New society nav.es are always appearing and some of the older names have fallen into 117 disuse." Secret societies, Morgan continued to explain, beg?n by f u l f i l l i n g a real need among their members, be It p o l i t i c a l resistance (e.g., Nationalist groups against the communist government in China) or minority-group solidarity (such as new immigrants from certain parts of China defending themselves : 1 1 8 against the local citizens and'their secret-society groups). Secret-society organization, in i t s i n i t i a l stage, thus, served a definite cause. It was a means to "bind everybody together" 1-^ in a shared commitment to the achievement of certain goals. The p o l i t i c a l cause appears to i l l u s t r a t e this most prominently, but even in the pursuit of lesser objectives, such as the survival of one's minority group, and thereby one's self, the concept of shared interest in the common objective must be no less real. i A case in point seems to be the South Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, whose i circumstances of settlement threatened to make them easy prey for the local Triad societies. These refugee's banded together and formed their "own conso-lidated Triad group," a solidarity that was extremely v i t a l to their survival 116. - Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 1. ' 117. Morgan, W.P., Triad Societies in Hong Kong, Gov't. Press, p. 90. 118. Ibid., pp. 79, 88. 119. Ibid., p. 79. 1 in the f i r s t stage of settlement. 1'^ It was only in solidarity that they could derive strength, and with strength, survival a.s a group and as individuals. From these events and instances, i t appears that each secret society's v i a b i l i t y depended on the existence of a defined focus of cohesion. Given that* the secret-society apparatus provided an apt structural expression through which greater energy, discipline and. commitment could be harnessed and marshalled. The disappearance of a common interest in the eventual objectives of the organization thus could bring dissipation of i t s strength. This might occur in one of several ways. The leaders, for example, could,'as a result of personal successes, lose sight of or interest in the original "aims of the organization. Or conversely, the rank-and-file, distracted by easy gains and profiteering which membership afforded, could cease to be guided by the i n i t i a l motives of service and group achievement that brought the coll e c t i v i t y into existence. Finally, the secret society's strength could 1 2 1 dissipate through the disappearance of the very cause for which i t existed. Whatever the reason, the decline of a secret-society group was generally followed by a perceptible dissociation of the leaders from the rest of their men, as may be seen in the following example. According to Morgan, in 1945 the Nationalist Government of China made use of "Eiad societies for the organization of resistance to the Communists. -When the Communists succeeded in taking over China, these secret societies fled to Hong Kong. They were patriotic societies to begin with but later degenerated into criminal organizations. At the death of Lieutenant-General Kot Siu Wong, the more determined branch leaders embarked on a campaign of extortion and intimidation, the ruthlsssness of which shocked not only the local societies, 1Z0~. Ibid. 121. This i s especially relevant to resistance movements of a p o l i t i c a l nature, such as the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty or the attempt to repulse communist domination in China in their early idays of take-over. For details, refer Morgan, p. 65. In the Malay States this also occurred, though to a much les;er extent.. -150-but also so~ne of the olde-" 14K o f f i c i a l s and branch leaders. Unable, or unwilling, to adopt similar ta,ctics, certain of the sub-leaders retired from the scene and their followers were absorbed into the more forceful branches.122 In the a,bove ca.se, some of the leaders, unable to identify with the new line of ac t i v i t y adopted by the men, opted out of the system and, thus, dissociated, themselves from the organization as well as i t members. In the mining settle-ments of the western Ma.Lay States, i t i s argued that such a process was i n fact in progress at the time of British intervention In the area... The i n i t i a l aim of most migrants to the Malay States was the acquisition of material success through involvement in the production of t i n . This common hope for fortune and success bound the men together in the face of advedfse od.ds 123 and jntold oppression. J The leaders, though exploitative, nevertheless needed the men in their own quest for wealth and gain. Thus, in aspirations, at least, i f not in the means of i t s achievement, the leaders and the led. were agreed. Around this central focus of cohesion, the strength of the sec::et-society structure was built, reinforced, no doubt, by the uncertain conditions of the times which opened up opportunities of upward social mobility for the general rank-and-file. c ' Consequently, d.es'ite harsh exploitation, the ordinary mine labourer, through these faint but real glimmers of hope, was able to identify with the a c t i v i t i e s and objectives of the secret society in the early mining settlements in the western Malay States. Furthermore, as seen, in a pioneer mining society, the secret-society apparatus provided "some kind of community organization to meet the needs of new settlements. "^5 j n -t^ e performance of this role, therefore, each secret society became even better equipped to secure the energies and loyalties of i t s members. Hence, a combination o J factors, 122. Morgan, op. c i t . , pr>79-82. 123. Refer to preceding chapter. 124. Discussed in an earlier chapter, 125. Freedman, op. c i t . , p. 33« -151-including that of mutual defence against external threats, be they from the host society or other r i v a l ,secret societies, f a c i l i t a t e d the rise of these societies to supreme positions in the pioneer mining communities of the Malay Stales, For reasons discussed, however, these i n t i a l bonds of mutual advantage, and therefore of shared interest, were fast becoming.annulled by. development and also by the spread, of Chinese settlements in what began as hostile enylron-ment. c For example, with the gradual alleviation of external threats, save that from each other, the need to cling together as a group became comnensurately less. Hence, solidarity and the survival of the organization became open to question. It has been suggested that just prior to the introduction of indirect British rule i n 1374, secret-society leaders were i n fact attempting to divert attention from the flagging internal situation be concentrating 127 their men's attention on probable external threats and sources of i r r i t a t i o n . It has also been argued that the very frequency with which eruptions of petty inter-society skirmishes occurred was a further index of the waning control which the leaders had over the societies. The f i n a l outbreak of a f u l l -scale internecine war in both Perak and Selangor may well bear overtones of a desperate attempt by the leaders to recover sufficient elbow-room for their respective members, so as to re-establish to some extent the original basis of cohesion and mutual commitment to a set of shared goals. Despite these hopes and efforts, the development of such wars, for reasons discussed, made for a greater alienation between the leaders and the 128 led. • The establishment of peace and, with i t , the new demands of dealing with huge forces of Sighting men, liable to turn into troublesome elements for want of profitable occupation, led, as seen, to a redoubled effort by 126. Discussed in preceding chanter. 127. Ibid. 128. Refer to earlier section in this chapter. -152-leeders to surround thenselves with t r u s t e d and selected proteges, a trend that began at the'commencement of the disturbances end which became furth e r developed as f i g h t i n g progressed. This i n v a r i a b l y r e s u l t e d i n a. f u r t h e r removal of contact between the secret-society leaders and the members. However, while i n t e r - s e c r e t - s o c i e t y h o s t i l i t y and r i v a l r y remained an e,ctive f a c t o r , the bonds of inter-dependence between leader and members, though g r e a t l y strained, could not as yet be e n t i r e l y severed. The leaders, on the one hand, needed, men f o r the defence of t h e i r p o s i t i o n s against r i v a l s e c r e t - s o c i e t y heads, and the men, on the other, stood the r i s k of being overrun by t h e i r opponent, should they Lack organized resista-nce. B r i t i s h intervention helped to remove the leaders' fears. By s e t t i n g up a more regulated and b e t i e r - s t a f f e d administrative machine, the B r i t i s h Residents and th6ir A s s i s t a n t s were able to impress upon the established secret-society leadership i n t h e i r respective states th?t the threat of r i v a l secret-society headmen could, be, and indeed was, dealt with. This was c e r t a i n l y the case i n Perak and, i n the support, which the B r i t i s h administration gave to Yap Ah Loy i n Selangor, was to prove to be the ca.se i n that state as we l l . In Sungei Ujong, too, the three Chinese Catitans were made to "enter i n t o a $10,000 bond (to be f o r f e i t e d to His Excellency i n case of offence) to keep 129 the oea.ce amongst themselves and to obey and a s s i s t the Klana always." ~ 7 By removing t h e i r fear of each other and., indeed, of any possible and p o t e n t i a l threats to t h e i r supremacy and economic domination, B r i t i s h i n d i r e c t r u l e i n the Malay States broke one of the l a s t v i t a l bonds which held the leaders to an active partnership with the very i n s t i t u t i o n that once f a c i l i t a t e d t h e i r r i s e to power. This i s probably a more plausible explanation f o r the seemingly sudden about-face of Chinese secret-society leaders at the introduction of 129. Pickering's Journal, from Singapore to Sungei Ujong. -153-B r i t i s h i n d i r e c t r u l e i n the Malay S ta tes . Post-1874 - The Af te rmath o f B r i t i s h I n t e r v e n t i o n . The p e r c e p t i b l e d i s s o c i a t i o n o f the w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d leaders f rom a c t i v e s e c r e t - s o c i e t y a f f a i r s i n no way meant t h a t secre t s o c i e t i e s were no longer needed, nor t h a t they had ceased t o f u n c t i o n a l t o g e t h e r . As B ly the • persona l p r o t e c t i o n , death b e n e f i t s , and a p leasurab le f e e l i n g o f importance and strength,"130 cou ld no t be done away w i t h a t an i n s t a n t ' s n o t i c e . But the new development d i d mean t h a t , wh i le sec re t s o c i e t i e s cont inued t o f u n c t i o n , t h e i r leaders had ceased t o i d e n t i f y w i t h t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s and o b j e c t i v e s . Though m a i n t a i n i n g contac t w i t h and u t i l i z i n g , whenever convenient , the s e c r e t -1Q1 s o c i e t y apparatus i n the p u r s u i t o f t h e i r own g o a l s , -'' the leaders had, neve r the less , e f f e c t i v e l y detached themselves f rom the bu lk o f s e c r e t - s o c i e t y a c t i v i t y . I n the contex t o f the genera l s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the mine communit ies, one may say t h a t a d e f i n e d c lass s t r u c t u r e had taken shape and s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n had acqu i red new l i n e s o f demarcat ion. The progress o f i n t e r - s o c i e t y wars i n the Malay Sta tes i n no smal l way a ided i n t h i s even tua l outcome. The system o f patronage, so vr idely and u n s t i n t i n g l y p r a c t i s e d d u r i n g the war, helped to b u i l d up w i t h i n each sec re t s o c i e t y a corps o f men who were t o t a l l y dependent on the headman f o r t h e i r p o s i t i o n . Being mere appo in tees , as opposed to successors by m e r i t , these men were g e n e r a l l y devo id o f r e a l con tac t w i t h members a t the g r a s s - r o o t s l e v e l . The headman, whose p o s i t i o n and l i f e had been o v e r l y pro longed (by s e c r e t -s o c i e t y s tandards) as a r e s u l t o f s e t t l e d c o n d i t i o n s o f the t i m e , was even f u r t h e r removed from the a s p i r a t i o n s o f the masses. I n fa.ct , the economic successes which he had been a l lowed t o ga in as a r e s u l t o f h i s l o n g term o f 130. B l y t h e , op. c i t . , p. 191 . 131. Refer Khoo, chapter 6-observed, "a deep ly - roo ted s o c i a l h a b i t which prov ided them - 1 5 4 -leadership, transformed him from a champion (of sorts) of the masses' causes to an arch-opponent of them. Given the situation, about the only channel of conta-ct which could be maintained between the members and their leader was through the 132 intermediate ranks in the hierarchy, -; ' men who, in "normal" times, would have risen from the grass-roots level through some merit of personal distinction or valour. However, with the outbreak of h o s t i l i t i e s a.nd the change in pattern of recruitment on this level, the isolation of the headmen from their members appears to have been complete. In this way, therefore, the development of inter-society wars in the Malay States directly fa.cilitated the maintenance of an even more enhanced gulf between secret-society leaders and their men. The perpetuation of such recruitment patterns in times of peace, on the assumption that only trusted and loyal men could deal with the problems presented by large forces of idle fighting men in the community, helped to carry through the ever-widening gap into the post-war era. Hence, the wars created both the opportunity and the mechanism for a more rapid breakaway between leaders and. the -main body of the secret-society organizations. In so doing, the wars contributed to the entrenchment of a defined class structure, in which each class and. i t s interests became distinct and. different from the next. The changed pattern of recruitment for positions of rank In the secret-society hierarchy also brought with i t other far-reaching changes in the social organization of the mining communities. It has been seen how a system of patronage based on particularistic c r i t e r i a of selection resulted i n the appointment of men who, in effect, had l i t t l e i f any real contact with or support from the masses. As the leaders became less interested and. less concerned in secret-society affairs, the dependence on his intermediate ranks for information about and practical dealings with the general rank-and-file 1 3 2 . Yap Ah Loy, for examole, mainly dealt through Ch nig Piang (his military aide) and Voon Siew (his adisor in c i v i l matters). -155-becarae commensrately greater. Yet, unlike pre-disturbance days these men were as out of tune with the general membership as the very author of their own privileged positions. Given these factors, an effective maintenance of control can hardly be expected. Middlebrook frequently stressed the importance of Voon Slew's role in the perpetuation of Yap Ah Loy's regime in Kuala Lumpur . It was Voon Siew who took care of ''drawing up rules and improved terms of service for ^Ah . Loy'sJ fighting men." It i s he who "explained them to the troops...After most of the battles i t was he who calculated the sums due to the participants, and 133 saw that they.received them." Much of Voon Siew's shrewd judgements and perceptive reforms must hrv«been born of long contact and interaction vith the ordinary men i n the society, as his actions, alluded to s.bove, seem to betray s. certain insight or feel for the people he dealt with. The strong ~ersonal element in his relationships with his men also shows an understanding of their lo t and an a b i l i t y to emjathize with their d i f f i c u l t i e s . These characteristics, i t i s argued, could best have been derived from actual experiences as a member of the rank and f i l e . After the end of the Selangor war, Voon Siew apoears to have been displaced by Yap Ah Shak who, in 1875, was seen as Ah Loy's 134 "right-hand man.? It i s also significant to note that, since the appointment of a. Br i t i s h Resident in Selangor, Yap Ah Loy, together with Yap Ah Shak, increasingly employed the B r i t i s h system of justice — t r i a l by courts of law. As Middlebrook observed, "Ah Loy and Ah Shak sat as magistrates to try minor cases. Until I878, serious cases were remitted for t r i a l in Klang; between I878 and 1380 the Resident and a magistrate came up to Kuala Lumpur 135 once a, month to hold a s ssion of the High Court and th Magistrate's Court." 133. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 52. 134. Ibid., P . 91. 135. Ibid. -156-Despite these a c t i v i t i e s of the leaders and their new mode of operation, certain community needs remained in existence and hence the secret societies were able to operate, albeit temporarily, un t i l other structures emerged to displace them, The introduction of British rule in the Malay States had no doubt taken care of some larger outstanding matters in the various Chinese communities, and. thereby restored peace and a general environ-ment that was conducive to the resumption of productive work. But this could scarcely take adequate care of the many day-to-day problems, needs and. hard-ships of the ordinary Chinese miner in the various settlements. Also, questions of organization, of moving supplies to more remote regions, s t i l l remained and these, as seen, had been "traditionally" managed by secret-society organizations. In a similar wa£, the men continued to look to secret societies for the promise of proper burial rites, and for help should they f a l l sick. In fact, many of the x-relfare services of a normal community were dealt out by the secret-society organization in the early years of British administration in the Malay States. For these reasons, the secret societies continued to f u l f i l l a v i t a l role in the lives of the miners and as a consequence subjected them to much of the secret societies' dictates. A change had nevertheless come over the secret societies' leader-ship (as discussed). The new de fa.cto headmen, more apt as proteges and personal followers than leaders or representatives of the men they now had charge of, were devoid of experience in managing them, a.nd, perhaps one can understand, of any depth in perception or identification with their needs and demands. Thus handicapped., the new leadership must have f e l t hard-pressed in maintaining communication and discipline. Neither could these attempts have been helped by the presence of fighting men, quick to rebel, and the general disillusionment and. apathy of the rest towards the secret society as a whole. -157-The consequent impasse wss to lead to a greater dissatisfaction, disillusionment, and revolt, countered on the part of the leaders by harsh suppression, and ruthless measures designed at intimidation of the populace into blind submission and obedience. But the forces of change were rapidly moving in contradiction to the aims and ambitions of the leaders. As Blythe observed, "the introduction of the Residential system led to the adoption of an increasingly B r i t i s h administration throughout these States." This British administrative apparatus, in turn, brought in i t s wake a number of innovations and general conveniences for the population. Among these were the construction of roads and the founding of towns. Prior to British inter-vention, for example, Larut could boast of only two roads — one which 137 connected Kota to Hujong Tembok, "the landing place on the Larut," and the other which led along the Kota-Hujong Tembok passage to Simpang and branched off from there to Bukit Gantang. Both these roads, according to Speedy, were "in need of entire repair or rather remaking" at the time of 133 his appointment in 1874. These roads had been very simply constructed with trunks of trees sunk into the swamp and subsequently covered over with clay and.sand. As the wood decayed, "large holes or rather immense pits 139 were formed." Undoubtedly they were inconvenient, i f not actually unsafe for travel. With the extension of British administration into the interior, these conditions were vastly improved. In addition, new roads were cut into previously near-impenetrable areas. An example was one that linked Kota to the towns of Taiping (Klian Pauh) and Kamunting (Klian Bahru). An idea of the immense d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered may be gained from the following report, 136. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 249. 137. Blue Book of Larut D i s t r i c t in Perak, 1874. 138. Ibid. 139. Ibid. -158-the road to Kamunting, which i s in the centre of the new-mining d i s t r i c t , has been cut principally through the spurs of the Assam Kumbang range. In this road in the short spa.ce of Z-j miles i t has been necessary to con-struct no less than ten bridges, owing to the numerous streams which ca.me down from the h i l l s and are u t i l i z e d for mining purposes. From the description, i t i s possible to gain an appreciation of some of the problems, dangers and work that were involved in the transportation of supplies into and t i n out of the mining areas before the advent of the road. Perhaps one can then appreciate the role and the need for a secret society organi-zation to man such hazardous and uncertain operations. The varied terrain involved also seems to demand specialized knowledge of the area and special s k i l l s in negotiating one's way through the dense jungles. A l l these require specialization and the maintenance of a separate class of men well-versed i n the work. The demand, in the days of pioneer settlement, seems best f u l -f i l l e d in a secret-society structure where the responsibility for the support of a specialist group of fighting men was, in any case, forced on the less fortunate masses. The construction of roads along the essential supply routes, however, changed the picture considerably. The clearing of a defined track through the dense jungles and the bridging;, where necessary, of streams and other waterways helped to simplify travel by minimizing former hazards. In this way, the monopoly of secret-society men over knowledge of the route and s k i l l s of manoeuvring' through i t no longer remained effective. An entre-preneur, for example, could now arrange small-scale credit and supplies to miners f a i r l y independently of the entrenched, secret society's expertise and support. Consequently, yet one more stronghold of the secret societies' ba.sis for sole domination over the various mining settlements in the western Malay States was overrun. 140. Ibid. - 1 5 9 -Nor was t h i s the only outgrowth which was to prove p r e j u d i c i a l to t h e i r once-undisputed supremacy i n these mine communities. Less complicated conditions of t r a v e l eventually meant a l a r g e r flow of t r a f f i c . In the case 141 of Larut, the much-depleted Chinese population at the end of the wax was r a p i d l y replenished to f u l l pre-war strength as soon as peace was established. Over and above t h i s , new enterprise and miners began to pour into the d i s t r i c t as s e t t l e d conditions continued to p r e v a i l under B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l supervision. This was evidenced by the ferment of prospecting a c t i v i t y which 142 took place i n 1874. According to the report, prospecting p a r t i e s both of Malays and Chinese have sunk p i t s and dug trenches at i n t e r v a l s not only along the base of the h i l l s , but throughout the country LLarut] i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s and almost i n v a r i a b l y have found the sand which contains the metal. J Rapid increase i n numbers meant greater concentration of population within a given mining d i s t r i c t . The r e s u l t i n g economic development and pros p e r i t y engendered, i n turn, new needs f o r l i v i n g area,s, trading f a c i l i t i e s and l i n e s of communication and access. This :.:lourish of economic a c t i v i t y thus l e d to "the l a y i n g out of new towns" and the planning of more roads 144 and bridges. Also, the esta/blishment of p o l i c e stations, as found by the B r i t i s h administration of the Malacca T e r r i t o r i e s i n 1852, q u i c k l y l e d to the 145 growth of towns i n t h e i r v i c i n i t y . B l u n d e l l reported, "good houses and shops were r i s i n g around the p o l i c e s t a t i o n , " traders and residents a l i k e 146 being swift to take s h e l t e r under the wing of B r i t i s h s u r v e i l l a n c e . As the mining areas became more hea.vily colonised, economically and p o l i t i c a l l y , the establishment of more p o l i c e s t a t i o n s became necessary, and with i t the growth of towns spread. As the Chinese population increased i n numbers and 141. During the course'of the Larut war, the Chinese population i n the area was reduced to only 4000 f i g h t i n g men (Blythe, p. 191)• 142. Blue Book of Larut, 1074. 143. I b i d . 144. Cowan, op. c i t . , p. 217. 145. See Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 75. 146. I b i d . -160-i n d e n s i t y , a l t e r n a t i v e p r i n c i p l e s o f s o c i a l coherence began t o acqu i re an even g r e a t e r anch.ora.ge w i t h i n the migrant Chinese communities than was the case immediate ly p r i o r to the outbreak o f d is tu rbances i n the d i f f e r e n t min ing d i s t r i c t s . The r a p i d development o f towns saw the r i s e and c o n s o l i d a t i o n o f a c lass o f middlemen and sma l l - sca le t i n ore dea lers who had begun t o e n t e r i n t o e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l p a r t n e r s h i p s w i t h mine p rospec to rs and even tua l miners . The B r i t i s h s t i p u l a t i o n on the issue o f l e g a l t i t l e s before min ing cou ld beg in had the e f f e c t o f r e l e a s i n g many a s p i r a n t . s m a l l - s c a l e mine owners from a se t o f power-maintenance f a c t o r s which had f o r m e r l y made the m o b i l i z a t i o n o f the entrenched s e c r e t - s o c i e t y machinery mandatory. The concept o f l e g a l r i g h t s w r i t t e n i n t o the issue o f a lease had exchanged l e g a l safeguards and s u r v e i l l a n c e f o r the once- ind ispensable powers o f s e c r e t - s o c i e t y p r o t e c t i o n — the so le means by which r i v a l s f rom o t h e r s e c r e t - s o c i e t y o r g a n i z a t i o n s cou ld be i n t i m i d a t e d i n t o r e s p e c t i n g the owner 's p r o p e r t y r i g h t s , wh i le a s p i r i n g cha l lengers f rom one 's own s o c i e t y could be bound, by common membership and a shared code o f e t h i c s , t o r e f r a i n from menacing each o t h e r ' s p r o p e r t y o r r i g h t s . A l l i n a l l , the sec re t s o c i e t y represented t o the miners , i n p r e -B r i t i s h i n t e r v e n t i o n days, the h ighes t a u t h o r i t y f rom which p r o t e c t i o n and safeguards f o r t h e i r p r o p e r t y r i g h t s and investments could, be o b t a i n e d . As such, an a c t i v e membership i n these o r g a n i z a t i o n s was v i t a l f o r success. With the new mode o f a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and the growing e f f e c t i v e n e s s i n i t s imp lementa t ion , however, s e c r e t - s o c i e t y membership was no longer as e s s e n t i a l t o the e s t a b l i s h -ment nor c o n t i n u a t i o n o f a mine work ing . A h igher a u t h o r i t y had, indeed, s u c c e s s f u l l y supplanted i t s r o l e . As a consequence, the new wave o f economic a c t i v i t y saw the emergence o f a new group o f independent mine o p e r a t o r s , whose work cou ld be i n i t i a t e d ou ts ide the dominant s e c r e t - s o c i e t y s t r u c t u r e i n the - l 6 l -area. Alongside t h i s , the new c l a s s of middlemen, brought into being by the vast improvements i n communications, was to acquire increasing economic strength and numbers as, more and more, they took over the task of supplying and f i n a n c i n g these small-scale miners. With increase i n numbers and a growing ease i n communication, a new sense of c l a s s consciousness and s o l i d a r i t y began to emerge. The r i s e of new towns also a s s i s t e d i n f o s t e r i n g such awareness, f o r a town inadver-t e n t l y brought with i t demands f o r service i n d u s t r i e s , and therefore greater congregation of men from one trade or c r a f t i n an area. The increasing numbers of towns also made possible a greater contact and communication among men of s i m i l a r s o c i a l standing, thereby generating an enhanced sense of s o l i d a r i t y . These new l i n e s of coherence could not help but d i s t r a c t from the demands of secret-society l o y a l t y , based as i t now was on the sole bond of f i c t i v e k inship. Consequently, while, i n the e a r l y years of B r i t i s h administration i n the Malay States, secret s o c i e t i e s . p e r s i s t e d as a f a i r l y v i a b l e force i n the migrant Chinese communities, t h e i r continued dominance over the community as a whole was, nevertheless, s h o r t - l i v e d . The general d i s a f f e c t i o n of the new group of s e c r e t - s o c i e t y leaders or t h e i r right-hand men has been r e f e r r e d to. The mass of membership, r e a l i z i n g that the leadership lacked i n t e r e s t i n and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with t h e i r needs, a s p i r a t i o n s and welfare soon began to t r a n s f e r t h e i r a t t e n t i o n and energies to the cementing of bonds that held b e t t e r promise of r e a l i z a t i o n . As a r e s u l t , t i e s among members o f s i m i l a r occupational groups became strengthened. The dispossessed s e c r e t - s o c i e t y organizations, desperate i n t h e i r b i d to regain control, were forced to r e l y more and more on methods of sheer i n t i m i d a t i o n , e x t o r t i o n and oppression. The need to r e s i s t these onslaughts, i n turn, helped to r e i n f o r c e rather than d i s s i p a t e the newly forged bonds of -162-class interests and survival. A group of middlemen, threatened, for example, by secret-society excesses, were more apt to stay together and present a united resistance to i t s intimidation. In fact, this solidarity was to become the future basis for group organizations along occupational lines. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, a spate of formal occupational A 147 associations, generally termed clubs ( ' A c a m e into being. Meanwhile, in the 1870's, the groupings were only in their formative stage and the alignment of interests was less clear-cut. It could also be possible that finding inadequate redress or protection from the existent British authorities, these groups actually operated i n i t i a l l y as trade secret societies (as opposed to later-date trade associations), so as to effectively counter the threats of the older established Triad groups. As diversification of interests and economic activity proceeded, more and more sub-groups came into being in defence of their particular interests from encroachment by the others, tilth this development, the domination of any single secret-society organization over the entire community came to be more of a myth than a reality. The bulk of the mine labourers, unable to support and maintain a specific organization for the representation of their needs, however, began to f a l l back on the long-standing dialect and d i s t r i c t associations for the fulfillment of these demands. By regularly contributing to a common pool, over and above the small charge of a membership fee, the mine labourer could also build up for himself a sure source of funds for the execution of appropriate burial r i t e s at his death. But perhaps of more immediate relevance to his interests was the f a c i l i t y which such services provided for the expression of traditionally prescribed and accepted concepts of mutual assistance, as exercised through groupings based on recognized 147, Gathered from interviews and from a review of literature published by Chinese Associations in Penang. -163-principles of social coherence. As solidarity within these voluntary associations grew, with Increased numbers and a greater sense of commitment on the part of their members, they began to be an increasingly significant force within the Chinese community. Hence, with the once-dominant secret societies' f a l l from supremacy, a myriad of smaller and more specific organizations arose to take their place. The secret society nevertheless continued to assert i t s presence 148 through intimidation, extortion and criminal a c t i v i t i e s . Partlj'- because a meticulously built-up structure of force could not be expected to disintegrate when i t s usefulness had ceased, and partly because these societies were indeed powerful reservoirs of a potential for violence, their existence was indeed 149 prolonged. "In the end," as Morgan observes, " i t must be the public [the communityj that w i l l have to bring about i t s destruction [[forj i t i s the public i t s e l f that encourages Triad growth." 1^ Ultimately, therefore, social conditions and pressures justify and sanction the continued existence 151 or the doomed extinction of social institutions. What then were these forces, conditions, a.nd pressures that continued to give secret societies cause for existence and power? One should r e c a l l that the now-detached headmen of the secret societies, and to a lesser extent even the common man, wielded the power (in both Larut and Selangor) to inform on these organizations and thus cause the deportation of their "leaders" and the disruption of their continuity. That there were no forthcoming informers appears to be evidence of the hold which the secret societies continued to have on.the community. For 148. See Freedman, op. c i t . , p. 33. 149. See Morgan, op. c i t . , up. 79-82. 150. Ibid., p. 88. 151. ' Ibid. -164-the general masses, long-schooled in an avoidance of direct contact with any form of administrative authority, the demand for forthright and face-to-face dealings with the new British authority could appear forbidding. Also, even i f the entrenched secret societies had ceased to serve the interests of the general masses, their powers of intimidation, over their lives and livelihood had by no means abated. In fact, having lost much of their real involvement in the economic act i v i t y of the area, the secret societies began to depend more and more on extortion, blackmail and protection rackets for their survival.. Just as in Hong Kong, where a spate of violence and ruthless intimidation normally followed i n the wake of a secret society's loss of real 152 power and justification for a viable solidarity, a similar situation seems to have obtained both in the Straits Settlements and in the western Malay I 5 3 States towards the latter decades of the nineteenth century. Perhaps to fend off the increasing menace ( i t may not be too far-fetched to speculate), trade and craft groups began to match these secret societies' violence by 1S4 employing equally violent means of defence. Consequently the secret-society syndrome of these migrant Chinese communities became perpetuated as the new network of trade groups, guilds and associations resorted to increas-ingly violent measures of self-defence, and perhaps even of coercion, this last factor being prompted by a growing need for numbers and funds in the execution of their a c t i v i t i e s . Given the new balance of power, i t i s no surprise that the common tradesman or dealer failed to exercise his legal privileges by bringing an end to the secret-society menace. 152. Morgan, op. c i t . , pp. 79-82, 153* Blythe reports that by 1880, discipline within the secret societies in the Straits Settlements had fallen sharply owing, he seems to think, to the new "generation" of leaders, whom he describes as of a "different stamp" from the old headmen. These new leaders, he maintained, had l i t t l e influence over the disorderly elements of their societies. (Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 21l) Also Freedman pointed out that by 1889 "the unruliness of the Chinese in the Straits Settlements had grown to a point where the authorities would no longer tolerate i t . " (Freedman, op. c i t . , p. 28) 154. Freedman, p. 39. -165-Yet i n "both Larut and Selangor, the respective headmen (Chin Ah Yam and Chang Keng Kwee f o r Larut and Yap Ah Loy f o r Klang) had cooperated with B r i t i s h a u t h o r i t i e s by volunteering information regarding the attempted 155 establishment of new lodges i n the d i s t r i c t . How was i t that they d i d not inform on the new trade groups which were f a s t developing into centres of power through the use of methods which were not too unlike those employed l>y f u l l - f l e d g e d secret s o c i e t i e s ? What unseen l i n e of d i v i s i o n governed the preservation of some and the condemnation of others? Perhaps the f a c t that the voluntary associations and trade groups answered more to the d e s c r i p t i o n of benevolent organizations acted as the c r u c i a l d i s t i n g u i s h i n g fa.ctor between them and the hard-core T r i a d groups, which were regarded as serious "mischief-makers." Or was i t because the former, as r e a l or p o t e n t i a l f o c i of economic and p o l i t i c a l power, i n e f f e c t constituted an i n t e g r a l part of the power structure of the community, while the l a t t e r presented unwanted competition to the established order? Skinner's study of the structure of leadership i n the Chinese community of Thailand observed that these leaders exercised t h e i r control through a hierarchy of intermediate organizations. Each l e v e l o f leadership within the structure was made responsible f o r the s o c i a l control of t h e i r immediate followers. By securing control over these channels, a mar. succeeded i n r a i s i n g himself to the top echelons of leadership within the community; f o r leader status, as defined by Skinner, "depends on the exercise of a high 1 6^ degree of influence." The possession of t h i s condition or q u a l i f i c a t i o n of leadership was e s p e c i a l l y e s s e n t i a l i n the context of an overseas Chinese community, as the leaders lacked more t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l sanctions and support f o r t h e i r power. In the China context, f o r example, scholarship was a 155« Discussed e a r l i e r i n the chapter. For Selangor, r e f e r Blythe, p. 193' 156. Skinner, G.W., Leadership and power i n the Chinese Community i n Thailand, Cornell U n i v e r s i t y Press, Ithaca, I 9 6 I , p. 79. -166-c r i t e r i o n o f l e a d e r s h i p , and through such d i s t i n c t i o n s , the p o l i t i c a l leaders acqu i red an aura o f respec t t h a t was not e a s i l y cha l lenged o r undermined by the genera l r a n k - a n d - f i l e , I n o t h e r words, the bas is o f t h e i r dominat ion was founded on a more arduous process o f s p e c i a l i z a t i o n t h a t could n o t be e a s i l y equa l l ed w i t h i n a s h o r t space o f t i m e . I n the overseas Chinese con tex t , on the o t h e r hand, success fu l l eade rsh ip and dominat ion were s o l e l y measured by the degree o f e f f e c t i v e i n f l u e n c e which a man cou ld exe rc i se over h i s com-p a t r i o t s . Consequently, t o secure a h o l d over the means t o power, i t was e s s e n t i a l f o r community l eaders o r a s p i r a n t s to come to some arrangements w i t h the ex tan t power b locs i n the community. Short o f t h i s , the l e a d e r would e i t h e r run the r i s k o f l o s i n g h i s p o s i t i o n o r o f hav ing to take on h i m s e l f the enormous task o f e x e r c i s i n g a persona l and d i r e c t c o n t r o l over the e n t i r e community. I t i s argued here t h a t the l a t t e r s t a t e p r e v a i l e d i n the e a r l y phases o f secre t s o c i e t y dominat ion i n the min ing se t t l ements o f the western Malay S t a t e s . Through the economic c o n t r o l o f m in ing , s e c r e t - s o c i e t y leaders i n i t i a l l y , h e l d complete j u r i s d i c t i o n over t h e i r men, who i n any case were members o f the sec re t s o c i e t y as w e l l as the community. But as the community grew and the economy expanded i n keeping w i t h i t , the m o n o l i t h i c s t r u c t u r e o f power became untenab le . More s p e c i f i c i n te rmed ia te o r g a n i z a t i o n s were needed t o cope w i t h i n c r e a s i n g l y d i v e r g e n t needs and i n t e r e s t s . Hence growth, the essence o f economic success, i r o n i c a l l y he lped i n d i s l o d g i n g the sec re t s o c i e t i e s ' m o n o p o l i s t i c ho ld over the e n t i r e community. With p rog ress ive expansion, f u r t h e r i n t e r v e n i n g pockets o f power became formed. As Freedman observed, " the a s s o c i a t i o n s which i n a sma l l - sca le and r e l a t i v e l y undeveloped se t t l ement express s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l l i n k s i n an u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d form tend , as the scale and complex i ty o f s o c i e t y i nc rease , t o separate i n t o a network o f a s s o c i a t i o n s which are compara t ive ly s p e c i a l i z e d -167-157 i n t h e i r functions and the kinds of s o l i d a r i t y they express." I t was as indispensable parts of a wider power structure that the various trade groups and other voluntary associations were v i t a l to the very i n t e r e s t s , e f f i c a c y and continuity of even the most i n f l u e n t i a l and powerful community leader i n the mine settlements of the p o s t - B r i t i s h i n tervention era. Secret s o c i e t i e s , voluntary associations and trade groups, as seen, contributed to a d e l i c a t e network of s o c i a l forces which helped to sustain the power of the established leaders i n the community. Yet, having r i s e n to p o s i t i o n s of great wealth and success, i t hardly seems l o g i c a l that these very men should v o l u n t a r i l y choose to subject themselves c o n t i n u a l l y to the uncer-t a i n t i e s and possible r i s k s involved i n courting the backing of r u t h l e s s secret-society groups and perhaps equally troublesome "voluntary a s s o c i a t i o n s . " This appears even more e s p e c i a l l y incomprehensible a f t e r the way the headmen had sought to d i s s o c i a t e themselves from secret-society a f f a i r s and turned to B r i t i s h methods of administration and judicature f o r t h e i r guides i n dealing 156 with t h e i r oira men. Nevertheless, the f a c t that these headmen, despite apparent advantages to the contrary, continued to regard the above organi-zations as i n i m i t a b l e authors and custodians of t h e i r power suggests deeper-underlying s o c i o l o g i c a l reasons f o r t h e i r existence. F i r s t and foremost, " i n a s o c i e t y based economically on business and r e c r u i t e d l a r g e l y from peasant China, s o c i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n was geared very c l o s e l y to the d i s t r i b u t i o n of wealth. Men who made money moved up i n 159 the s o c i a l scale, and those who l o s t i t declined." Nevertheless, placed i n the context of an open economy where the c r i t e r i o n f o r upward s o c i a l m o b i l i t y was p l e n t i f u l , ' w e a l t h could not have appeared a s u f f i c i e n t or s a t i s f a c t o r y basis of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n the eyes of those who haxl succeeded. Freedman, f o r 157- Freedman, op. c i t . , pp. 47-8. 158, The d e t a i l s f o r Larut are known. Even i n Selangor, i t was reported that Yap Ah Loy and Ah Shak " s a l as magistrates to t r y minor cases Qand] remitted " more serious ones f o r t r i a l i n Klang before the Resident or a B r i t i s h Magistrate. (Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 91) 159. Freedman, op. c i t . , p. 28. -168-exaraple, records the rather contrived harriers and observances which the wealthy members of the Singapore community sought to adopt as marks of dis-tinction between themselves and their compatriots of humbler circumstances. It was probably this overwhelming feeling of impermanence, generated by the criterion of wealth as the sole accepted basis of social differentiation in the overseas Chinese communities, which spurred the rich and the economically dominant to seek further validation of their position and attainments through the control of p o l i t i c a l leadership, In the Malay States, prior to British intervention, this was achieved through secret-society leadership, which concentrated both economic and p o l i t i c a l domination in the hands of the same men. But with internal develop-ment and the coincidence of British intervention, the situation became more complica.ted. Secret-society leadership no longer carried with i t the "automatic" office of economic and p o l i t i c a l leadership of the community: hence, the noticeable dissociation of the top leaders from the main body of secret-society activity. But secret-society organizations, in combination with other groups and associations, also represented the base of the entire population, and in that capacity helped to subtend the leaders' position of power and success. Consequently, in a migrant Chinese community where alter-native forces and mechanisms to the rather transitory mandate of wea.lth were lacking for the validation of the " e l i t e s ' " hold over the positions, these leaders were forced to rely on the interplay of violence between the constituent organizational bodies within the community for the perpetuation of their strength and power. In other words, where more permanent and. staid social guarantees for the confirmation of elite-status were absent, the continuity of any one leader's regime thus came to rest on the rather grim and. uneasy network of force and violence within the community. -169-The "speculative nature of business" i n which the r i c h men i n overseas i /in, Chinese communities engaged also served to make a heavy-handed rule a l l the more imperative. As Freedman continued, such businesses "did not ensure f o r them a safe Place at the ton of t h e i r society, nor was wealth so r e g u l a r l y and securely transmitted down the generations as to procure a cla.ss system based on descent. The clas«,of r i c h and influential Chinese established i t s e l f e a r l y i n the h i s t o r y of Singapore, but i t was a class the personnel of which 1 6 l appears to have teen subject to constant change." Tin mining i n the Malay States was also an extremely speculative enterprise during the period under discussion. Based on a heavy r e l i a n c e on labour with a minimum of f i x e d c a o i t a l investments, the operation could not ensure f o r the entrepreneur a steady source of long-term p r o f i t s accruing from c a p i t a l invested. The very nature of the venture consequently thrived on the r e a l i z a t i o n of quick and. l u c r a t i v e turn-overs, derived from the outlay of short-term c r e d i t or ready cash. This wa.s mainly achieved t h r o u g h advances of supplies and.opium to the men at work. The r i s k s involved were no doubt immense, as these advances were e s s e n t i a l l y short-term loans to penniless men whose s u r v i v a l , or indeed trustworthiness, was i n question. Nevertheless the p r o f i t s , should the entrepreneur succeed i n keeping a hold over h i s debtors, were equally l u c r a t i v e . As Wong remarked, "the Chinese towkay {employer} owning a t i n mine can o f t e n ' a f f o r d to run i t at an apparent l o s s , by reason of the enor ous p r o f i t s he makes out of the food-stuffs and other n e c e s s i t i e s which the coolie can obtain from him alone; out of the gambling, the opium-smoking, the pawnbrokin?, the l i q u o r t r a f f i c , and other r i g h t s which he farms; and o f the usurious rates he imposes f o r advances and s i m i l a r transactions with h i s c o o l i e . " 1 6 2 160. Freedman, op. c i t . , n. 28. 161. I b i d . 162. Wong, O P . c i t . , p. 81. -170-Glven the nature of operation,, the means of profit-making were extremely tenuous. Where so much speculation and so few solid investments were involved, i t i s hardly surprising that the dependence on force became amplified. The need to outwit one's riva l s and subordinates for continued economic survival could hardly preclude the use of ruthlCssness, coercion and violence. Hence the economic structure of migrant Chinese act i v i t y in the Malay States lent further justification for the continued existence and employment of a network of force. An additional ramification of the leaders' economic stronghold was the control of revenue farms in the Malay States. Prior to British inter-vention, rights to individual farms were arranged between the Chinese leader and the Malay chief who controlled the respective d i s t r i c t . In this way, considerations of possible p o l i t i c a l alliances and a f f i l i a t i o n s with the Malay chiefs tended to obscure the deeper, underlying currents of secret-society polarisation and interests in these farms. With Bri t i s h intervention, a l l rights to the revenue farms in the western Malay States had to be applied f o r through the Residents in the various states. Consequently, as Blythe observed, "the interest of secret society leaders in the revenue farms throughout the Malay States becomes clearer after the appointment' of British R e s i d e n t s . T h e rights, privileges and workings of these farms are described as follows, The successful tenderer for a farm had the monopoly for the supply of opium or s p i r i t s or tobacco for a certain area, but the protection of his interests against smuggling was primarily a matter for him and not for the Government, though investigations would be made i f he complained. To protect his monopoly the members of a secret society were invaluable. They were the eyes and ears of the underworld and were quick with information to protect their own group and to collect the resultant reward. They formed a force ready to hand for policing the area on the farmer's behalf, Without the support of I63. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 250. -171-sueh a force the farmer was l i k e l y to f a i l , for his rivals , would undermine his business by smuggling, conducted by members of their own societies., Again, without secret-society assistance, these extremely remunerative but speculative ventures would not yield the expected profits. Hence, from yet one more area of important economic activity, secret societies were to derive a continued lee.se of l i f e . The need for secret-society support may be further appreciated should one examine the distribution of revenue farms in the individual states,. In Persic, the revenue farms were divided along d i s t r i c t lines. To the north was the Krian and Kurau farm, south of i t was the farm for larut. Towards the coast were a series of "coastal farms" and in the interior was the Perak River farm. In Selangor, after the reinstitution of the Kah-Yeng-Chew Hakka in. their mines in Ka.nching, the revenue farms were s p l i t into the Kanching, Klang and Langat areas (the latter being another Kah-Yeng-Chew dominated area). In Sungei Ujong, the farms were i n i t i a l l y jointly undertaken by the representatives from the different groups of Chinese 166 in the area. Each farm was put up for bids after the end of every three-year term. Though i t was known that "while every influence that could possibly be brought to bear came into play £in competing for the farmsJ , i t was necessary to see to i t that by agreement between possible tenderers the f i e l d of competition should be reduced to avoid paying to the Government any more l67 than was unavoidable." But despite these informal prior arrangements, competition could be fierce and the eventual outcome uncertain. Added to that, the close juxtaposition of the farms provided scant comfort to one 164~ Ibid. 165. On the subject, the Recorder of Penang (in 1835) observed as follows, "the revenue derived at Singapore from the opium farm has increased very remarkably of late and the solution I have generally heard of i t has been that some Chinese connected with the Hooeys or Fraternities in the Island have become the Farmers, and have been able to afford a much larger rent than their predecessors, from the additional power which this connection gives' tb^m of detecting any smuggling. In short, they gain the advantage of having^their establishment of peons an irregular body of spies (cont..) -172-'farmer should the one directly contiguous to his he let to a leader or member of a r i v a l secret society. In view of this, a command over a corps of spies and fighting men became a l l the more v i t a l in the maintenance of his own position and monopolies. The situation in. Perak was particularly complex in this respect, as different secret-society groups dominated different areas in the state, with the result that a new farmer could meet with severe armed opposition i f he should belong to a secret opposed to the dominant one in the area (or worse, i f he had no backing at a l l from any-secret society). From the period between January, 1877» to December, 1879i for example, Ghee-Hin men were in control of the revenue farms in the Krian-Kurau d i s t r i c t and in the south Larut d i s t r i c t (outside of the mining area). The powerful secret society group along the coastal regions was, however, the Ho Seng, arch-enemies of the Ghee Hin. Thus the Ghee Hin "intrusion" was strongly resented and attempts at undermining and even forcibly repelling the 168 Ghee-Hin farmer's control over the region was resorted to. In circumstances like these the employment of a balance of force was crucial for continued survival. While the system of revenue farms continued, secret societies also performed a useful role in relation to the commercial interests of the local Chinese leaders. The British policy of attracting outside capital into the Malay States led to the frequent practice, in the 1880's, of offering revenue farms in the Malay States to Straits Chinese merchants in Penang, Malacca, and Singapore. In 1879i for example, Low, the British Resident in Perak, was on the verge of letting the farms in the Perak d i s t r i c t to Straits merchants. No tenders for these farms were, however, forthcoming, 165. (cont.) and intelligencers scattered in great numbers over the Island." See Blythe, p. 56). 166. Pickering's Journal, from Singapore to Snngei Ujong (Swettenham's Papers). 167. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 55 168. -. See Blythe, p. 250. -173-because "the Chinese miners at Gopeng and Batang Padang would never allow I69 them to be introduced." Along similar lines, the Resident at Sungei Ujong attempted to offer the farms of that area to Malacca merchants i n 1882-3 a n d again in 1888, when Lister f i n a l l y succeeded in letting out the farms to Singapore and Malacca merchants. In 1884, the Resident of Selangor l e t out those farms to Penang traders, but the experiment fa i l e d and "caused much 170 i l l - f e e l i n g . " Neither could the Malacca-Singapore syndicate who held the Sungei Ujong farms from 1888-1891 bring off the success and economic development that the British anticipated. In fact, for the duration of their lease, they "had had a very bad effect" on the area. As Blythe has analysed, "in a l l such cases the attitude of the local secret society was of major importance to any intruding financier tendering for the farms. Invariably the existing holders of these monopolies (usually the local mining advancers) were the leaders of the local secret society and relied on i t to protect their interests. Unless the outsider could come to terms with these men he faced the opposition of the society with a l l the 172 intrigue and smuggling which that implied." In these cases, then, the local secret societies helped to hold off e, possible wholesale intrusion of outside, and potentially more powerful, economic interests in the local economy. If the Straits ventures had been allowed to succeed, their greater economic resources and power could well have jeopardized or overwhelmed the local leaders' supremacy in their own areas. Even as things stood, the local leaders' hold and control did not always remain unchallenged from these Straits merchants. Ah Loy's "awards in mining cases jfor example] l69~i Ibid., p. 252. 170. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 254. 171. Ibid. 172. Ibid. -174-were o f t e n d i spu ted by l i t i g a n t s from the S t r a i t s Set t lements who denied h i s 173 j u r i s d i c t i o n over B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s . " ^ I t may be v i s u a l i z e d how much more insecure the l o c a l l e a d e r s ' economic p o s i t i o n s would have been i f i t were not f o r the suoport which the l o c a l sec re t s o c i e t i e s cou ld g ive i n the form o f harrassments t o those i n t r u d e r s who a t tempted ' to- .usurp the l e a d e r s ' economic domina t ion . A m u l t i p l e o f s o c i a l and economic f a c t o r s i n these overseas Chinese communities t h e r e f o r e gave the secre t s o c i e t i e s , and t h e i r web o f o t h e r organ-i z a t i o n s , the l i c e n c e f o r cont inued s u r v i v a l . How, i t may be asked, could secre t s o c i e t i e s cont inue as such an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f Chinese s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n when, as had. been d iscussed, a f a i r p r o p o r t i o n o f a d m i n i s t r a t i v e changes and improvements i n t r o d u c e d by the B r i t i s h a u t h o r i t i e s s ince 1374 had g iven r i s e to s u b s t a n t i a l changes i n the way o f l i f e o f the migrant Chinese i n the western Malay States? I t i s indeed argued here t h a t measures i n t roduced by the B r i t i s h Residents , such as the vas t improvements i n communications, the es tab l ishment and maintenance o f a b e t t e r s t a t e o f law and o rder , as w e l l as the i n s t i t u t i o n o f l e g a l r e c o g n i t i o n t o raining r i g h t s , helped to f a c i l i t a t e an a l r e a d y imminent break-away o f v a r i o u s segments and groups w i t h i n the community f rom the o v e r a l l c o n t r o l o f the then entrenched and a l l - p o w e r f u l sec re t s o c i e t y o r sec re t s o c i e t i e s i n the area^ I n o t h e r words, B r i t i s h i n t e r v e n t i o n h e l p e d ' t o f r e e these grouos from the l a s t remnants o f the entrenched sec re t s o c i e t y ' s power tha.t wa.s once c r u c i a l t o s u r v i v a l and l i v e l i h o o d . But g iven the nature o f s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and the sta.te o f economic ope ra t i on d u r i n g the p e r i o d under d i s c u s s i o n , the s e c r e t - s o c i e t y i n f l u e n c e was by no means complete ly e r a d i c a t e d from the Chinese communit ies. Indeed wh i le B r i t i s h a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o l i c y a ided i n the l i b e r a t i o n o f c e r t a i n groups and segments o f the popu la t i on f rom the dominat ion o f one p a r t i c u l a r 173. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , pp. 91 and 9 3 . -175-secret society, they c e r t a i n l y d i d not e x t r i c a t e them from the g r i p of secret-soci e t y apparatus as such, Eapid economic development nevertheless continued under the encour-174 aging and h e l p f u l watch of the B r i t i s h administration. Meanwhile B r i t i s h ,v administrators, benefitting-from experiences gained by t h e i r counterparts i n the S t r a i t s Settlements, were acquiring a better i n s i g h t into ways of dealing with the Chinese. A combination of these two f a c t o r s was to lead to f u r t h e r and far-reaching changes i n the s o c i a l organization of the Chinese communities i n the Malay States. As each community expanded and grew i n numbers, the Chinese headman's a b i l i t y to a c t u a l l y and e f f e c t i v e l y control the population grew i n c r e a s i n g l y problematic. Records of Kuala Lumpur's development bear witness to the claim. According to Middlebrook, His [Yap Ah Loy's^ very success i n r e s t o r i n g the pros-p e r i t y of Kuala Lumpur was the cause of h i s being d i s -placed from h i s p o s i t i o n as administrator of the town. In the middle of 1879 there began, an i n f l u x of miners s u f f i c i e n t to increase the population by 2>Q% i n twelve months. Ah Loy's system of administration could not cope with the s t r a i n . . . . I t was i n e v i t a b l e that the centre of government should be moved to Kuala Lumpur {jfrom KlangJ . A B r i t i s h o f f i c e r was stationed i n Kuala Lumpur f o r the f i r s t time i n September, 18791 and the Resident moved there i n March, 1880. S i m i l a r l y i n Perak, e s p e c i a l l y i n the Kinta d i s t r i c t , where B r i t i s h i n tervention progressively removed many of the c r i p p l i n g impediments to mining p r o f i t a b i l i t y , population f i g u r e s rose r a p i d l y . At the same time, t i n reserves a t Larut were approaching exhaustion, thus making mining more and more uneconomical. Hence a 'shift of Chinese c a p i t a l and labour from 176 Larut to Kinta" took place. As Larut men spread into the Kinta area, the Larut Chinese leaders were at a los s i n maintaining e f f e c t i v e control over them. Yet, unlike the i n f l u e n t i a l merchants i n the S t r a i t s Settlements i n WT. See Blythe, p. 254. 175. Middlebrook, op. c i t . , p. 94. 176. Wong, op. c i t . , p. 92. -176-earlier decades, these headmen were held directly resposnible by the B r i t i s h 177 administration for the good behaviour of their aen. As a result ox this commitment, and given the change in circumstances, Chinese leaders of the Malay St ates (as had happened in Selangor) had to appeal increasingly to Br i t i s h intervention and Br i t i s h structures of peace-keeping for help in the fulfillment of their legal obligations. That the action was not altogether out of character with reactions of Chinese leaders in this regard may be seen from the precedent set by the Penang Ghee-Hin leaders when they were hard-pressed in keeping order among their own men during the riots of 1867.1'^ In appealing for British help, the headmen in turn precipitated a series of chain-reactions that led to some far-reaching developments in overseas Chinese organization in these areas. As the British became more deeply involved in actual peace-keeping within the Chinese communities, their scope of administration vis-a-vis the Chinese was commensurately widened. In other words, 3.0 theii duties with regard to the Chinese communities increased, simil3.rly also would their knowledge of ani contact with the people. These newly-acquired s k i l l s and insights could then f a c i l i t a t e an even greater penetration of the Br i t i s h administrative machinery into the Chinese communities. Possibly a culmination of the process came with the appointment of a Protector of Chinese, f i r s t in Perak in 1884, followed by the appointment of a second officer for Kinta in I 8 8 7 . By I896, the federation of the states of Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, and Pahang led to the appointment of an over-a l l Secretary for Chinese Affairs i n the Federated Malay States, His 179 headquarters were in Kuala Lumpur. " 177> In the Larut Proclamation made in January, 1874, Swettenham stressed that " i f hereafter there should be the slightest disturbance with regard to this settlement [the settlement of mining claims decided upon by the Commission) , Captain Speedy would at once c a l l upon the headman to answer for i t . " At a later date, in the case of Sungei Ujong, Pickering wrote, "I am going to make them [the three Chinese 0Caoitans3 enter into a bond (to be forfeited to his Excellency in case of offence; to keep the peace amongst themselves and to obe5r and assist the Klana always". See Swettenham's papers. 178. See Blythe, p. 132. 179. Ibid, p. 259. -177-The establishment of a Protectorate indeed constituted a significant landmark in Br i t i s h administrative understanding of migrant Chinese communities under their rule. The Protectorate was a specialized branch of government, comprised ideally of men who could speak the predominant dialect used by Chinese under their supervision. The staff were to concern themselves solely with Chinese affairs in the region; the routine of the Chinese Protector in Perak included, for example, v i s i t s to mines to explain government legislation to the miners as well as to check on their observance of government regulations regarding conditions of employment, of work and of 180 organization. That the operation, of the Protectorate lent i t s e l f to a more accurate understanding of migrant Chinese communities may be seen from Captain Schultz' experiences during his term in office as Protector of Chinese in Perak. In 1884, when Schultz took up his position, he was f a i r l y strongly convinced that there were no secret-society organizations in Perak. He even interviewed "the Capitans and other leaders" to confirm for a fact 181 that no secret societies operated or existed in the state.. "During the next three years" in office, however, he "was able to dig deeper and discover the existence of widespread ramifications of the 182 Triad root system." In. 1887, he was to report that a number of riots which took place that year i n Perak were a l l "due to the pernicious influence of secret societies." At Salak (near to Kuala Kangsar) the riots occurred, according to Schultz' findings, as a result of clashes between men from the Ho-Seng society and those from the Ghee-Hin society. From this information, the administration was able to take the necessary punitive action by banishing the leaders of both societies and sentencing others to terms of imprisonment. 180. Wong, op, c i t . , p. 95. 181. Blythe, op. c i t . , p. 256. 182. Ibid. 183. Ibid. -178-Although i t i s doubtful i f these leaders were in fact the real leaders of the secret societies, i t was nevertheless a significant demon-stration to the actual secret-society leaders that, increasingly, the British were gleaning more useful and relevant knowledge of their organizations and a c t i v i t i e s . With that, the British could then strike more and more t e l l i n g l y at the secret societies' strength. In being able to trace any r i o t directly to the engineering of specific secret societies, the authorities could deal effectively with the men at the base of the problem, instead of with mere scapegoats which the societies had often offered in the past to mislead or placate the o f f i c i a l s . Also, as the office of the Protector acquired more details of the secret-society set-up, conditions for those leaders, now elevated to positions c£ influence and wealth, could prove increasingly uncomfortable. These men, looked on by the British authorities 134 as respected and influential leaders of their respective communities stood to have their hard-won positions jeopardised should they be found to be secret-society leaders. As seen, their relations with the main-stream of secret-society activity had grown increasingly remote, and a continued control over these societies was only maintained in consideration of the economic support which these groups could give to their business interests. Balanced on the other side of the scales, was the much sought-after admini-strative and p o l i t i c a l recognition T\rhich the British administration accorded to these leaders,, together with the e l i t e status which only leadership and p o l i t i c a l office could bring. With these new developments, the influential community leaders were less and less able to maintain, without risk of eventual discovery 184. Swettenham (then Resident of Selangor), for example, wrote that "the most respectable and intelligent members of the Chinese community possess a valuable influence over their countrymen and exert i t to support the Government, which they regard as the cause of law and order." (See Blythe, p. 259) -179-and retribution, the last remnants of their active association with secret societies. From then on, these leaders' connections with secret societies, though useful, could only prove increasingly irksome. But while revenue farms remained, and while their sale continued to furnish an open channel for the intrusion of outside capital and competition into the community, the tool of secret-society sabotage was as yet too crucial to the leaders' economic survival. However, the break-through for these leaders came with 185 the abolition of the opium farms, f i r s t in Negri Sembilan in I892, then in Selangor in 1894 and f i n a l l y in Perak in 1895* Although farms for 'spirits, gambling and pawnshops" were retained, these were in no wa'^  as productive economically or as easily undermined by external interests as the opium farms were. Farms for gambling and pawnshops, for example, were mainly concerned with loca.lized service a c t i v i t i e s . This meant that gambling houses and pawnshops had to be set up on the site of the mine settlements themselves and the revenue derived depended very much on the actual frequency with which these f a c i l i t i e s were made use of by the mine workers. The nature of their operation thus made i t possible for local mine-owners, on their own, to apply sufficient sanctions against outside interests should those succeed in obtaining these farms. By refusing permission to an outside farmer, to erect gaming houses and pawnshops on his mine, the owner could, without involving secret-society aid, successfully undermine the farmer's profits. By jointly cooperating in such a "boycott" and by successfully with-holding their men from patronising any shops that did get established, the local mine-owners could sink the farmer's profits to a dangerously low level. The new factor that had entered in the maintenance of their economic power was mutual cooperation. This trend, which had been 185. Negri Sembilan i s a federation, of nine states among which are Sungei Ujong and Rembau. -180-on the ascendant since the l880's,w3s to acquire greater prominence in the growing effort to displace the secret society apparatus with economically more acceptable methods of competition and protection. A f i n a l and complete reJection. of the secret society apparatus in the direct and actual maintenance of their power, however, could not be achieved without coming to terms with t** major problems of organization. The f i r s t was the question of supervision and surveillance of mine labourers of and those revenue farms which continued to function. In this area, perhaps, the preceding discussion supplies the clue, for in the absence of secret society protection, a. solidarity of mine owners became v i t a l to mutual survival. With concerted action, rivals could be repulsed and their economic sphere of influence preserved from external threat. Through such cooperation and the growth of a sense of mutual vested interest in such solidarities, even the element of undercutting one another's businesses might be minimized. That such cooperation had been employed to advantage was seen in the handling of increasing shortages in labour in the early 1880's. Due to competition from other Southeast Asian markets and the implementation of more effective control on emigration in China, the arrival of new Labourers for mine work began to f a l l off. This, coupled with poor treat-ment, made absconding frequent and profitable. The escaped labourer could often find employment in other mining settlements and, by running away, he also benefitted, by not having to pay off his debt to the original advancer. To arrest the process, the Discharge Ticket system was introduced in Selangor and subsequently adopted in both Larut and Kinta. The system essentially attempted to prevent the hiring, by one employer, of labourers who had absconded, without f u l f i l l i n g the full-term of their contract, from -181-another. The issuance of a discharge ticket at the end of a contract was aimed at helping prospective employers in identifying those labourers who were eligible for employment. Except for this aid, "the successful operation of the Discharge Ticket System depended largely on employers ..186 cooperating among themselves and on their observing the regulations. In the mines of Larut a.nd Selangor, the system worked effectively. In Selangor especially, this cooperation and solidarity led eventually to the' building of the Shiah Mee Kong Sze which took charge of a l l the processes involved i n importing, housing and f i n a l l y discharging the labourer at the end of his contract. From such cooperation thus had emerged a new breed of associations, functionally specific organizations which more and more were to assume a leading role in Chinese economic organization. Though i n i t i a l l y the Shiah Mee Kong Sze had only five members in i t s committee, who were "described as the most important employers and the most influential 187 Chinese among their own clansmen," their ranks grew in subsequent years to nine members, A significant point to note was the small beginnings made by the association at cutting across clan a f f i l i a t i o n s and at placing the ba.sis of i t s '.membership on primarily economic considerations. A new ordering of the social structure had taken shape, an order where the secret society was to have less and less part. The second problem with which the emerging community leaders had to reckon was that of popular representation. Secret-society members had constituted a part of the ba,sis df influence and power of Chinese community leaders among the people. Should the leaders reject the employment of the secret-society apparatus in the direct maintenance of their power, a sizeable gap in the p o l i t i c a l hold on the community could be created. However, in this area, as in the economic sector, the policies of the British government 186. Wong, op. c i t , , p. 9 6 . 187. Ibid., p. 107. - 1 8 2 -had unwittingly paved the way. Frequent denunciations of secret-society activity by the British authorities had given the community leaders the excuse to take action even before the need actually arose. One of the expressions of this appears to be the foundation of the Kwangtung Association in Taiping in I887. Among the aims of the organization was that of solidarity amongAfrom Kwangtung Province. Taken at face-value,'this seems an adven-turous departure from the general current of organizations! effort, as i t attempted to bring together men of diverse dialects — Cantonese, Hakka and Teochew — under one Association.. But in terms of a. wider context of develop-ment one may perhaps begin to perceive i t s possible objective — the creation of a "respectably" organized and widely-based structure of power that could be acceptable to the increasingly more discerning British authorities. That this was not totally unfounded may be gathered from the immense pride which the Association placed on evidences of p o l i t i c a l recognition and compliments sent by the British authorities in Larut and by a successful candidate of the Chinese Imperial examination who was himself a native of Kwangtung- Province.-^8 Also, the construction of the building was evidently planned to impress, with most of i t s materials fashioned by craftsmen i n China and imported from that country at great expense. Hence new types of Chinese associations which came into existence towards the end of the nineteenth century were by no means limited to those born of economic necessity. A changed mode of organization indeed seems to have entered into every sphere of associational activity, undercutting and replacing the more general functions of the secret-society organizations of an earlier era; A change, therefore, had definitely come over the Chinese 188. At the foundation, of the Association, the f i r s t Protector of Chinese of Larut presented the Association with a motto, the evidence of which has since been framed and put on display on a wall of the Association. Also, the signboard of the Association was said to be written by the successful candidate of the Chinese Imperial examinations. His name wasi^r $ 1 • Gathered from interviews of the secretary of the Association. -183-communities in the western Malay States by the end of the nineteenth century. The slow disappearance of the secret-society organization from the centre of power was maybe made complete with the passing of the Societies Enactment, in 1899• This legislation not only prohibited the establishment of new secret-society groups but also the continuation of any extant ones in the western Malay States. The order was accompanied by a Chinese Affairs Enactment which gave powers to "the officer to arbitrate in disputes" and, with a third Enactment, the power to banish undesirable elements from the I 8 9 Malay States. That this legislation came as a, f i t t i n g end to an endogenous process of decline and growing obsolescence i s , however, probably generally overlooked. I89. Blythe, op, cit.,. p. 260. Chapter VI CONCLUSION -184a-The new pattern of social 'behaviour, largely external to the secret societies, had become an established way of l i f e by the end of the nineteenth century. The British insistence on written deeds and t i t l e s to land and properties was soon incorporated as an accepted part of the business l i f e of the community. Merchants and financiers adapted quickly to settling, and avoiding, disputes without resort to displays of force. More and more, trade and enterprise had come to be governed by economically rational considerations. No doubt the change was hastened by natural a t t r i t i o n of the old leadership. Those experienced enough to be in positions of power during the wars of the 1860's and 1870's were growing old (Yap Ah Loy, for example, died in 1885). Those who had been sponsored by that leadership took over from them on the merit of their p o l i t i c a l & M lity rather than of their personal strength. As a consequence of the changed demands in leadership, new channels of p o l i t i c a l bargaining and diplomatic accomodation with the B r i t i s h administration were bound to emerge with the new leadership. Alongside this, as the economy became more broadly based, the leaders devoted, themselves more to their business interests than to the increasingly irrelevant secret societ' es that they s t i l l led. A combination of factors thus made for the rise of new Chinese e l i t e , the' parallel of which may be seen in Thailand where, according -185-to Skinner, the "abolition of vice-farms {at the beginning of the twentieth centuryl knocked the economic "props from under the secret society leaders.""'' From that point a new Chinese economic elite emerged, one which derived i t s wealth "from productive enterprise". Also, with "economic power divorced from the monopoly of farms and rackets,, their commitments to the secret societies 2 were nominal or n i l . " . This, according to Skinner, was a manifestation of "the transition to a new era for the Chinese in Siara."-^ Perhaps such an event was not s t r i c t l y peculiar to the experiences of the Chinese in Thailand, for equally perceptible changes were also taking place, around the same time, in the Chinese communities of the Straits Settlements and the western Malay States. Indeed, by the beginning of the twentieth century, most overseas Chinese settlements in Southeast"Asia were caught up in the tides of major reorganization. Among the common characteristics of this development was a growing awareness of a Chinese identity (as opposed to more parochial lines of division such as clan, dialect or t e r r i t o r i a l a f f i n i t y ) . This was frequently given expression in the emergence of "new kinds of Chinese associations", following the weakening of formerly dominant secret society organizations as well as in the establishment of Chinese schools and of Chinese newspapers.^ Developing alongside these innovations was a growing interest in events in China, particularly in the course of the revolutionary movement led by Dr. Sun Yat Sen, The movement and i t s appeal for financial help and moral support frcm the Nanyang Chinese had the effect of forging a more intense sense of unity and identity among the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. The sense of being directly involved i n the shaping of the p o l i t i c a l future of China afforded the disparate T~. Skinner. G.WV Leadership and Power in the Chinese Communities in Thailand, Cornell University Press, 1961. p. 12 • 2. Ibid. 3. Skinner, G.W., Chinese in Thailand, p. 155 4. For details refer E. Wickberg, The Chinese in Philippine Life, 0. Willmott, The Chinese of Semarang and W.E. Willmott, Chinese Society in Cambodia. 5. Skinner, op. c i t . , p. 155--186-groups of Chinese overseas with a new-found focus of purpose and cohesion. In 19111 the adoption of Mandarin, as the National Language of China f u r t h e r gave the Chinese at home and abroad an added t o o l of u n i t y . In the schools that were being r a p i d l y established by overseas Chinese leaders i n t h e i r respective communities, Mandarin became i n c r e a s i n g l y employed as the medium of i n s t r u c t i o n . A growing mastery over t h i s f a c i l i t y f o r c r o s s - d i a l e c t communication i n turn sustained and i n t e n s i f i e d the new awareness of a n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y . That these changes which bore such immense impact on the organi-zation and ideology of overseas Chinese communities i n Southeast A s i a should have taken place simultaneously i n most migrant Chinese settlements i n the area, with few c r o s s - l i n k s between them, and with very d i f f e r e n t host s o c i e t i e s , heightens the f e e l i n g that governmental (however constituted) decree played, at best, a small part i n the development of the various communities. One must seek a wider explanation, With Crissman, the i n c l i n a -t i o n i s to look to t h e i r common background i n China. Ties with the home-land were always strong! large homeward flows of money to f a m i l i e s s t i l l there, the constant renewal and increase i n manpower by new migrants, the smaller homeward return (the p h y s i c a l expression of much longing i f not always the means), and the sense of belonging to a structured, somehow changeless c u l t u r a l group such that, however long h i s absence, the migrant always had a home where he belonged and where others would recognize h i s place there. But there i s also the f a c t o r of i n t e r n a l change, i n the needs and a s p i r a t i o n s of the overseas communities. Widely separated, they were often roughly contemporaneous i n establishment or development. Individual di f f e r e n c e s could and d i d occur to hasten or delay t h e i r evolution, but the general trends appear s i m i l a r . The d i f f i c u l t i e s faced were broadly the same. A niche had to be found, marked out, established, and expanded when -187-i t could. Needs changed as conditions grew .more settled. Surely, one must conclude with Skinner that "changes came in response to new situations 6 both within and without the Chinese community." Indeed, Freedman places considerable emphasis on the effects of change and differentiation within a community. Age-old Chinese apparatus of organization were, for examole, adapted to new demands and uses in the new environment. One may well question i f the process of transformation under examination was not in fact one of a slow but gradual modification of traditional goals, aspirations and f i n a l l y of structures of organization to cope with the new situations. Early migrants went overseas to make money in times of hardship at home, or to enhance their social standing there. The intention was always to return to China, to their own village, and resume l i f e within the familiar social system. While overseas, their organizations, however essential to l i f e and state of mind, need be only transitory. They would, after a l l , be there but for a short time. Relatively few of the migrants actually did go back. Most sent money, some never achieved the success they sought, s t i l l others did succeed, but with success found themselves heavily committed to maintain i t . They found they could not leave and risk losing the hard-earned basis for their wealth. Money was ploughed back into expansion and into consolidation. Kin-folk were sent for from China and from this point the successful migrants began to look for social validation of their positions within the overseas community rather than in their home d i s t r i c t of China. A similar sort of process occurred with regard to the Straits Chinese in Malaya. Their length of stay, as a group, and their means of livelihood meant that they developed roots in the Malay States before the era- of mass migration. When business interests or fortune-seeking led them 6. Skinner, G.W., op. c i t . , p. 166, -188-to remote spots i n the Malay States, one eye was always on a speedy return to Malacca, Penang, or Singapore. But the same forces at work In other overseas communities were a,t work here too. While p h y s i c a l l y easier, the return was always of short duration i f undertaken at a l l . As the outlook of the Chinese became l e s s China,-orientated, more permanent bases of s o c i a l organization were introduced to cope with changing expectations. Schools were set up, community-consciousness grew, and more care was taken of the l e s s f o r t u n a t e T e m p l e s f o r worship were s a n c t i f i e d l o c a l l y , rather than r e l y i n g on others i n China. In e f f e c t , more serious e f f o r t s were made to reconstruct the s o c i a l f a b r i c of China i n the overseas s e t t i n g . Where once the secret s o c i e t i e s , as p r a c t i s e d outside China, functioned adeqtiately i n f u l f i l l i n g the material and a l b e i t simple s p i r i t u a l a s p i r a t i o n s of t h e i r members as they were conceived to be, these s o c i e t i e s could no longer, i n the wake of such changes, p e r s i s t i n t h e i r former r o l e . In the new order the more conventional d i v e r s i t y of so c i a l l y - s a n c t i o n e d groupings and associations of China ( i n c l u d i n g the hang 4 * T and faui-kuan ^0 ' f l f ) came cl o s e r as embodiments of the s p i r i t of the community. Families became established, clan t i e s l i n k e d f a m i l i e s and businesses. The o l d order gave way to the new, or more t r u t h f u l l y , the older order had been s u c c e s s f u l l y transplanted i n the overseas environment once conditions grew s e t t l e d . That i s why a study of the secret s o c i e t i e s ' r i s e and decline i n the western Malay States i s u s e f u l . In the absence of records, they r e f l e c t forces and needs within the Chinese communities of the time that are e a s i l y overlooked or underestimated i f one thinks only i n terms of outside pressures. The secret s o c i e t i e s were an expression of s o c i a l organization at the bare minimum. Their recession i n the l a s t decadea of the nineteenth century was not so much the r e s u l t of B r i t i s h p o l i c y , but rather the v i s i b l e sign of . - 1 8 9 -more sophisticated needs within the Chinese community, needs which were beyond the capacity of the secret societies to settle. It i s not denied that host governments (native or colonial) did affect the development of Chinese communities, but i t s consideration should not be allowed to obscure perception of the inherent dynamics of evolution within those communities themselves. Colonial authorities seldom understood the organizations of the Chinese f u l l y , yet i t i s on them that much of our records are based. Ho wonder a direct causal effect between government actions and social change i s so often invoked. To be sure, the establish-ment of a Chinese Protectorate in the kalay States led to better British understanding of Chinese affairs, and eventually ena.bled them to deal directly with individual Chinese rather than with headmen alone. Yet such contacts were generally limited to the specific matters at hand, The social system within which the Chinese moved was in large measure ignored. Even 7 in studies of overseas Chinese such as that by W. Willmott, the impression i s that they may have passed over the developmental aspects of the Chinese community too l i g h t l y and placed correspondingly heavier emphasis on the actions of the host government than i s f u l l y warranted. As regards to the Malay Peninsula, there were undenied differences between the interaction of the Straits Chinese and their hosts, and that which occurred in the western Malay States. It i s the contention here that they were primarily the result of their being two different types of migrants, whose economic aims and pursuits were not the same. The Straits Chinese were a small, trade-oriented group, very much along the lines of Wertheim's 8 "functional group" type. They did not constitute a self-sufficient community by nature of their economic pursuits, and so were drawn to a host 7. Willmott, W.E., ;The P o l i t i c a l Structure of the Chinese Community in  Cambodia. - LSE Monographs on Social Anthropology, 1970, Also see Willmott, op. c i t . i ( 8. Wertheim, W.F.," Trading Minorities in Southeast Asia, in Wertheim, 'East- West Parallels,'" Chicago, 1965. p. -^3. -190-society which could provide those other needs. They could not remain apart, hut had to form contacts with the larger society around them and establish themselves within i t s framework. The Chinese in the Malay States, on the other hand, were forced by conditions to form enclaves largely separate from their host society. If not self-sufficient, they were at least self-reliant communities. And so the two groups responded differently f i r s t because of their innate difference in nature and only secondly because of the policies of the hosts. Perhaps in the f i n a l analysis, one must look again to the social history of China. Migration ha.d been a common phenomenon over the ages. Peasants driven by natural disasters had moved en masse to more promising land un t i l , plagued in turn by natural calamities, they were forced again to move on. Supplementing this type of geographical mobility was the geographical mobility consequent to social mobility. The institutuion of the examination system as the sole principle of selection for the c i v i l service of China had made unlimited upward social mobility a po s s i b i l i t y for even the poorest peasants. Though unimpeded social mobility on the strict'basis of achievement remained more of an ideal than general practice, the odd success of some poor, talented peasant had. never ceased to attract and tantalize the entire population of China. In this way, the structure of Chinese social aspirations became firmly annexed to the pull of o f f i c i a l status and bureaucratic membership. Such upward social mobility was pursued in different ways by different groups in traditional China. Although the ultimate goal was the attainment of o f f i c i a l recognition and status, the channels to attain i t were diverse. There were scholars who attempted the arduous imperial examinations, there were rich peasants who attempted to fraternize with the -191-bureaucrats, hoping eventually to acquire a bureaucratic niche for themselves. There were also traders and merchants who hoped with commercial success to gain a foothold in the bureaucratic echelon. Except for- the single-minded scholar, the rest of the aspirants attempted to work their way in through the accumulation of wealth. Wealth became a means to the attainment of the much cherished and culturally ingrained goal. Much of the emigrant Chinese' aspirations and behaviour were i n i t i a l l y guided by similar motivations. Urged on by tales of rags-to-riches experiences of a few- isolated e i G r a n t s , the Chinee* :i£»nts l e f t China in search of wealth. Often driven from their homes by necessity or poverty, the Chinese -rijrf-vts were, however, comforted and pushed on by the ever-present hox.e that they might be the ones to become rich overnight and i n that way attain the much coveted rise in social status. The hope of gaining o f f i c i a l status through bribery, or of realising that dream in the next generation, could not have seemed too remote to the imaginations of the migrants. With these goals in view, i t i s apparent that the migrants' attitude and reaction to their new environment were ones of ..exploitation rather than construction. In these terms, too, the overbearing emphasis on economic functions of the reconstructed' ;social system of the migrant Chinese may be better appreciated. T'ien related that "whenever the overseas Chinese are being considered, attention must always be turned to questions ofeconomic significance. If we consider the actual a c t i v i t i e s of the various dialect Associations we can see at once that, without exception, their most important function i s in connection not with dialect, l o c a l i t y or clan matters, as such, but with the economic interests of the occupation which i s -i 9 followed by the majority of i t s [ s i c j members." 9. T'ien, op. c i t . , p. 17. -192-The predominant role that economics played in i n i t i a l overseas Chinese social organization may be explained by yet another element within the traditional structure of Chinese economic behaviour. Skinner's study explains i t very competently. He observes, Another feature of Chinese society that appears to set i t apart from most agrarian societies i s that whereas an ambitious man was l i k e l y to leave his local community to work or study elsewhere, his family's residence normally remained unchanged. Here I am distinguishing residence from abode. Residence was maintained in one's native place, and one's native place was in the short run of generations virtually an ascribed characteristic. Abode by contrast was an exigency of the moment, though the moment could easily stretch to decades. A man's abode varied; his residence perdured. A manAs class membership might change; his membership in his native local system persisted. We can now perceive the outlines of a society in which upward mobility did not involve estrangement from one's native place. {Thus whenj the opportunity structure prevailing during the dynasty's heyday led to high rates of up- -ward mobility...[thatlmobility i n no sense undermined the integrity of a successful man's local system but rather increased i t s resources and improved i t s competitive position. The "remarkably open structure of rural communities" to social mobility led to the system whereby an "upwardly mobile Chinese in either the trader or the scholar track l e f t his own loca l i t y to serve in other local systems, 1 1 which in turn were plundered for the benefit of his own." Herein lay what i s probably the crux of the issue. The structure of the Chinese rural communities had long been tailored to accommodate individual geographic mobility. In addition to a passive acceptance, the social system had generated values which would ensure that the maximum benefit from such movements would be returned to the home community instead of being irretrievably lost to i t . Hence developed social foundations which continually pulled migrants back to their native place. 10. Skinner, G.W.,''Chinese Peasants and the Closed Community," CSSH, vol. 13, no. 3, July, 1971, p. 275 and p. 277. 11.. Ibid. -193-The temporary social system that a migrant i n i t i a l l y reconstructed to serve his needs at the place of his temporary abode was therefore regarded by him as no more than an extension of his own local system, not a complete reconstruction of i t , The new community organization was not meant to be socially sufficient in i t s e l f . Consequently there existed defined and formal economic controls but by no means as well laid-out measures for the community's social and moral regulation. Perhaps the responsibility for such duties was s t i l l regarded as within the preserve of the migrants' own local systems in China whereas economic structures, on the other hand, were necessary for dealing with the rather immediate and non-traditional elements in the new environment. In the course of settlement and growth, however, these original aims of the migrants underwent significant modifications. Today overseas Chinese communities are no longer mere extensions of the Chinese social system. They exist in their own right, buttressed, perhaps, by the indigenous socio-political system. I have tried to trace this very gradual shift from a system of economic convenience to a, full-fledged community with i t s base firmly planted in the local situation. Chinese communities, as evident from anthropological studies, are undergoing or have undergone the throes of such changes. Indeed today the overseas Chinese communities may be entering into yet another phase of change, that of voluntary or involuntary assimilation into the indigenous societies. Although this phase i s beyond the scope of my thesis, the slow but sure establishment and growth of the family system in the overseas settlement, the hesitant but now full-blown involvement in local p o l i t i c s as opposed to the involvement in the p o l i t i c s of China are a l l signs that perhaps today overseas Chinese have in effect transplanted their roots to foreign soils. This transfer was a long drawn-out process, one that olid not occur at the time of migration, not in fact u n t i l modernization - 1 9 4 -with some of i t s beneficial and harmful processes had l e f t i t s mark on the overseas Chinese as well as on the Chinese in China. The overseas Chinese then may be seen in terms of an extension of the merchant tradition of traditional China. They strove for wealth and riches not entirely as ends in themselves. Their ultimate goal was a rise in social status, a place i n the o f f i c i a l hierarchy. Against this bulwark of traditional goals and social experiences, the pressure and forces of the new overseas environment acted. The gradual erosion f i r s t affected the material culture of the migrant groups; i t wa.s then extended to re-directing the material goals themselves. That i s , instead of aspiring to enter the Chinese bureaucratic hierarchy, overseas Chinese, when the opportunities arose, were lured into striving for positions within the indigenous or colonial ruling hierarchy. These were steps in the gradual re-direction of the aims and goals of overseas Chinese vis-a-vis the local environment overseas. These changes i n i t a l l y eroded the material aspirations of the migrants and made no significant inroads in their ideology as such. Making only small gains in the f i r s t f i f t y years of overseas Chinese settlement in Malaya, the process of erosion was greatly speeded up by the development of transport and communication. Paradoxically, the f i n a l ideological change only began with the modernization of China.. The logical transference of new idea.s to the overseas communities gave the f i r s t impetus to the slow detachment of the overseas Chinese communities from their traditonal social bonds with the social systems of China. The f i n a l break was precipitated by the communist take-over of China.. This drastic p o l i t i c a l , social and economic change destroyed most of the traditional values of family ties and extended family loyalties. The transformation in China thus removed the structural basis for the former -195-continuity with the migrant's home s o c i a l system. 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