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Educational policies in a changing society : Singapore, 1918-1959 Wilson, Harold Edmund 1975

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EDUCATIONAL POLICIES IN A CHANGING SOCIETY: SINGAPORE, 1918-1959 by HAROLD EDMUND WILSON B.A., University of British Columbia, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department of History We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 1975 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f H i s t o r y The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l umbia Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 A b s t r a c t T h i s t h e s i s i s a c o m p a r a t i v e s t u d y of the e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c i e s o f s u c c e s s i v e governments o f S i n g a p o r e , and o f t h e i m p a c t o f t h o s e p o l i -I c i e s upon the e t h n o - l i n g u i s t i c a l l y complex, u r b a n s o c i e t y o f t h e i s l a n d . Whereas i n o l d e r , more homogeneous S o u t h e a s t A s i a n communities t h e s c h o o l f u n c t i o n e d t o c o n s e r v e and t r a n s m i t t h e s o c i e t y ' s c u l t u r e , i n S i n g a p o r e — w h i c h l a c k e d a s i n g l e c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n o f i t s o w n — e a r l y e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s were o p e r a t e d by i n d i v i d u a l p h i l a n t h r o p i s t s , p r i v a t e t e a c h e r s , and a v a r i e t y o f o r g a n i s a t i o n s s u c h as C h r i s t i a n m i s -s i o n s and groups o f m e r c h a n t s , and t h e s c h o o l s n a t u r a l l y r e f l e c t e d t h e d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l a f f i n i t i e s o f t h e i r managers. S u b s e q u e n t l y , s c h o o l s came to be used t o promote s p e c i f i c , p o l i t i c a l l y d e t e r m i n e d ends, b u t i n t h e a c h i e v e m e n t o f t h e s e , t h e s c h o o l s p e r f o r m e d an i n n o v a t i v e r 6 1 e w i t h s o c i a l consequences n o t a l w a y s i n t e n d e d by p o l i c y m a k e r s . The s t u d y r e l a t e s t h e n a t u r e o f the governments t o the k i n d s o f p o l i c i e s a d o p t e d , and a s s e s s e s p o l i c y i n terms o f t h e achievement o f o f f i c i a l g o a l s , s o c i a l harmony, and r e l e v a n c e t o the needs o f t h o s e b e i n g e d u c a t e d . The p e r i o d s e l e c t e d p r o v i d e s f o r an e x a m i n a t i o n o f the p o l i c i e s o f f o u r t y p e s o f government, each o f w h i c h d i f f e r e d i n s i g n i f i c a n t r e s p e c t s f r o m the o t h e r s . The p r e - P a c i f i c - w a r B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l r e g i m e was c o n c e r n e d w i t h the p r o d u c t i o n o f a group o f p e r s o n s l i t e r a t e i n E n g l i s h and a b l e to f i l l c l e r i c a l and j u n i o r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s i t i o n s i n government and com-merce, the c o n t r o l o f p o l i t i c a l l y o b j e c t i o n a b l e a c t i v i t i e s i n p r i v a t e l y -r u n C h i n e s e s c h o o l s , and t h e p r o t e c t i o n o f M a l a y s f r o m t h e e f f e c t s o f i i i i i c o n t a c t w i t h a l i e n c u l t u r e s . The p r e p a r a t i o n o f s o c i e t y f o r u l t i m a t e s e l f - r u l e was n o t g i v e n s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The Japanese O c c u p a t i o n e f f e c t i v e l y d e s t r o y e d t h e p a s s i v e a c c e p -t a n c e o f S i n g a p o r e ' s c o l o n i a l s t a t u s , and h e i g h t e n e d p o l i t i c a l a w areness. The e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y o f t h e p e r i o d was d e t e r m i n e d p r i m a r i l y w i t h the demands o f Japan's c o n t i n u i n g s t r u g g l e w i t h t h e West i n mind, b u t t h e new emphasis p l a c e d upon t h e a c q u i s i t i o n of m e c h a n i c a l and t e c h n i c a l s k i l l s c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n the i s l a n d ' s t r a d i t i o n a l r d l e as an e n t r e p o t and f o s t e r e d a b e l i e f i n t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f S i n g a p o r e ' s t e c h n o l o g i c a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . D u r i n g the f i n a l phase o f o v e r t c o l o n i a l i s m i n t h e i s l a n d , t h e p o s t - w a r B r i t i s h a d m i n i s t r a t i o n p u r s u e d an e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y w h i c h tended to f o r g e c u l t u r a l l i n k s between B r i t a i n and an i n c r e a s i n g l y l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n o f t h e i s l a n d ' s s c h o o l - a g e p o p u l a t i o n . Those l e f t o u t s i d e the E n g l i s h - m e d i u m s c h o o l s f ound t h e m s e l v e s i l l - e q u i p p e d t o t a k e advan-t a g e o f e x i s t i n g employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s , and d i s e n c h a n t m e n t w i t h the s y s t e m was i n c r e a s e d by f e a r o f c u l t u r a l a l i e n a t i o n . R a d i c a l e l e m e n t s o p e r a t i n g i n C h i n e s e m i d d l e s c h o o l s and t r a d e s u n i o n s j o i n e d f o r c e s , t a k i n g a dvantage o f communal f e a r s t o c r e a t e a s o c i a l l y e x p l o s i v e s i t u a -t i o n . T h i s p r o v e d t o be one o f t h e m a j o r c h a l l e n g e s t o the a u t h o r i t y o f the- government, w h i c h a t t e m p t e d to d e a l w i t h t h e p r o b l e m by r e s o r t i n g t o r e p r e s s i v e measures. The d i s t r u s t w h i c h the C h i n e s e - e d u c a t e d d i s p l a y e d towards t h e government p e r s i s t e d , and became th e most i n t r a c t a b l e s i t u a t i o n f a c i n g t h e L abour F r o n t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n — S i n g a p o r e ' s f i r s t m a i n l y d e m o c r a t i c a l l y iv elected government—which took office in 1955. The new government, acutely sensitive to popular pressures, sought an educational policy that would remove the causes of communal tension and promote a Malayan or Singaporean loyalty. In this they were only partly successful. The work concludes with a discussion of the socially s i g n i f i -cant characteristics of the educational policies of the various govern-ments, and places the study within the wider context of education i n plural societies elsewhere. Contents Page LIST OF TABLES v i i Chapter INTRODUCTION 1 I. THE EMERGENCE OF A DIVIDED SOCIETY 10 II. EDUCATIONAL POLICY PRIOR TO THE PACIFIC WAR . . . . 42 The System of Schools 48 P o l i t i c a l Considerations 71 Higher and Technical Education 82 Personalities and the Decision-making Process 93 III. THE IMPLICATIONS OF JAPANESE EDUCATION POLICY IN SINGAPORE 105 IV. FAMILIAR PROBLEMS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT . . . . 138 V. EXPERIMENTS IN DEMOCRACY 210 CONCLUSION 273 NOTES 291 BIBLIOGRAPHY 351 APPENDICES 374 v v i Appendix Page A. STRAITS SETTLEMENTS: EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION AS A PERCENTAGE OF- TOTAL ANNUAL' GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE, 1918-1938 375 B. SINGAPORE: REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION, 1918-1938 377 C. DESPATCH, SIR CECIL CLEMENTI TO THE COLONIAL SECRETARY, OCTOBER 12, 1931 380 D. SELECTED MINUTES AND MEMORANDA BY PERMANENT OFFICIALS OF THE COLONIAL OFFICE ON THE SUBJECT OF THE APPOINTMENT OF A DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION IN THE STRAITS SETTLEMENTS AND FEDERATED MALAY STATES, 1931-1932 385 E. SINGAPORE: REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE ON EDUCA-TION, 1946-1960 402 F. LETTER FROM NAN CHIAU GIRLS' HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS' AID SOCIETY, DATED SEPTEMBER 16, 1954 (TRANSLATED) 4Q5 L i s t of Tables Table Page I. Population increase in Singapore, 1871-1921 16 II. Pattern of Employment among Chinese, Indians and Malays in 1931 27 III. Distribution of Students in Government and Aided Schools in 1919 62 IV. Local-born Chinese as a percentage of the Total Chinese population of Singapore, 1921, 1931 and 1947 143 V. Singapore Schools and Students, 1945-1954 170 VI. Pupil Enrolment: Registered Schools by Lan-guage of Instruction, 1955-1959 215 VII. Distribution of Educational Expenditure, 1955-1957 inclusive 264 VIII. Grants-in-Aid to Singapore Schools, 1955-1958 inclusive 265 IX. Straits Settlements: Expenditure on Education as Percentage of Total Annual Government Expenditure (Straits Settlements Dollars) 376 X. Singapore: Revenue and Expenditure on Educa-tion, 1918-1938 (Straits Settlements Dollars) . . . 378 XI. Singapore: Revenue and Expenditure on Educa-tion, 1946-1960 (Malayan Dollars) 403 v i i Acknowledgement I acknowledge w i t h deep g r a t i t u d e the h e l p r e c e i v e d f r o m many p e r s o n s , b o t h h e r e i n Canada and, d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f my f i e l d w o r k , i n S i n g a p o r e and M a l a y s i a . I n p a r t i c u l a r i t i s a p l e a s u r e t o r e c o r d my i n d e b t e d n e s s t o P r o f e s s o r B r i a n H a r r i s o n f o r h i s encouragement and g u i d a n c e , and f o r t h e many v a l u a b l e s u g g e s t i o n s made f o r t h e i m p r o v e -ment o f t h i s work. I must a l s o make s p e c i a l m e n t i o n o f the u n f a i l i n g l y f r i e n d l y a s s i s t a n c e p r o v i d e d by t h e s t a f f o f t h e I n s t i t u t e o f S o u t h e a s t A s i a n S t u d i e s , t h e s t a f f o f the L i b r a r y o f the U n i v e r s i t y o f S i n g a p o r e , and the s t a f f o f t h e R e f e r e n c e D i v i s i o n o f the N a t i o n a l L i b r a r y o f S i n g a p o r e . My th a n k s a r e due a l s o t o the New S t r a i t s Times P r e s s ( M a l a y s i a ) Sdn. Berhad f o r p e r m i s s i o n t o make use o f t h e S t r a i t s Times l i b r a r i e s i n b o t h K u a l a Lumpur and S i n g a p o r e , and t o B i s h o p D r. Yap Kim Hao, Th.D. f o r l e t t i n g me have a c c e s s t o the a r c h i v e s o f the M e t h o d i s t Church o f M a l a y s i a and S i n g a p o r e . T e a c h e r s , c i v i l s e r v a n t s and f o r m e r government m i n i s t e r s gave g e n e r o u s l y o f t h e i r t i m e t o s h a r e t h e i r s p e c i a l knowledge o f t h e problems o f e d u c a t i o n i n S i n g a p o r e , and t h i s s t u d y i s e v i d e n c e o f my i n d e b t e d n e s s t o them. The p r o j e c t was sup-p o r t e d by generous g r a n t s from t h e Canada C o u n c i l . F i n a l l y , h e a r t f e l t t h a n k s t o my f a m i l y — J e a n n e , J u l i e and A l e x — f o r t h e i r h e l p , p a t i e n c e and u n d e r s t a n d i n g . v i i i EDUCATIONAL POLICIES IN A CHANGING SOCIETY: SINGAPORE, 1918-1959 INTRODUCTION T h i s t h e s i s i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f e d u c a -t i o n a l p o l i c i e s a dopted by s u c c e s s i v e governments of S i n g a p o r e i n t h e r e c e n t p a s t . I t i s i n t e n d e d t o be a c o m p a r a t i v e s t u d y and f o r t h i s r e a s o n a p e r i o d has been s e l e c t e d w h i c h a l l o w s f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n of t h e e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c i e s o f f o u r t y p e s o f government, each d i f f e r i n g i n s i g n i f i c a n t r e s p e c t s f r o m t h e o t h e r s . The t y p e s of government, and t h e p e r i o d i t s e l f encompass t h e f i n a l s t a g e s of B r i t i s h r u l e i n S o u t h e a s t A s i a , a phase o f c o l o n i a l i s m i n w h i c h e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y can p r o v i d e a v a l u a b l e i n d i c a t i o n of t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h c o l o n i a l r e g i m e s endeavoured t o adapt t o changed c i r c u m s t a n c e s and t o meet u n f a m i l i a r c h a l l e n g e s . D u r i n g t h e i n t e r v a l between t h e F i r s t and Second W o r l d Wars, t h e f o r m o f government was one t h a t had e v o l v e d o v e r t h e p r e v i o u s one-hundred y e a r s . I t was e s s e n t i a l l y a u t h o r i t a r i a n , f o r no c o n s t i t u t i o n a l means e x i s t e d by w h i c h t h e w i l l o f t h e governed c o u l d be c o n s u l t e d . The p r o c e s s by w h i c h i m p o r t a n t m a t t e r s o f p o l i c y were d e c i d e d was n e v e r -t h e l e s s complex, s u b j e c t t o a v a r i e t y o f p r e s s u r e s and, n o t i n f r e q u e n t l y , i t p e r m i t t e d a c l a s h of w i l l s between l o c a l government o f f i c i a l s and s e n i o r c i v i l s e r v a n t s of t h e C o l o n i a l O f f i c e i n London. C o n s t i t u t i o n -a l l y , S i n g a p o r e t o g e t h e r w i t h Penang, M a l a c c a and Labuan formed a c o l o n y known as t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s ; b u t s h a r i n g s e v e r a l s e n i o r o f f i c i a l s w i t h t h e government of t h e F e d e r a t e d M a l a y S t a t e s , t h e i s l a n d was r u l e d i n p r a c t i c e as an appendage o f t h a t y e t l a r g e r e n t i t y B r i t i s h M a l a y a . T h i s f a c t i s of r e l e v a n c e t o t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y s i n c e i t w i l l 1 2 be argued that policies applied in Singapore generally were determined without reference to the island's special needs. From February 1942 un t i l August 1945, Singapore was governed as a Special Municipality (Tokubetu-si) with a Mayor who was directly responsible to the Japanese Military Administration Department for the 'Southern Area. 1 Government was rigidly authoritarian, but the author-it y was now that of an Asian rather than a European power; and although policy was determined with reference to a very much larger area than before—the Malay States, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Celebes—in practice, a good deal of local autonomy was permitted to the individual state governments and to the Special Municipality. The post-war years saw the return of the British. For a brief period, government was in the hands of a Military Administration, which was succeeded, on April 1st, 1946, by a c i v i l i a n government. Under the terms of an Order in Council dated March 27, Singapore became a Crown Colony constitutionally detached both from the former Straits Settle-ments and from the new, but i l l - f a t e d , Malayan Union. The educational policies of the British Military Administration and those of the suc-ceeding c i v i l i a n government w i l l be considered together, partly because the constitutional change was of theoretical rather than practical importance, many of the senior o f f i c i a l s serving under both regimes; partly because the problems created by the havoc of war continued to occupy much of the attention of the c i v i l administration; and partly be-cause both regimes were essentially authoritarian and British dominated. But i f the government was s t i l l authoritarian, the basis of authority 3 was no longer accepted without question by the governed or, s i g n i f i -cantly, by the o f f i c i a l s themselves. It was clear to a l l that far-reaching constitutional changes were going to occur, and educational policies were profoundly affected by the growing p o l i t i c a l consciousness of the population, and by the changed philosophy of government in Whitehall. In 1948, the f i r s t small step in the direction of democratic government was taken with the admission into the twenty-three man Legislative Council of six members elected by popular vote. In 1951, a further step was taken when the number of elected members was i n -creased from six to nine. There was thus a trend away from the com-plete authoritarianism of the past, although the changes were more important as an acknowledgement of the destiny of colonialism in Singapore rather than for any immediate and drastic changes in policy. Government continued to be dominated by the o f f i c i a l and nominated 'Unofficial 1 members, and the interests represented by three members chosen by the Chambers of Commerce were clearly sectional rather than popular. The f i n a l type of government, the educational policies of which are to receive close attention in this study, was transitional in char-acter, being basically representative with, however, control over speci-f i c matters remaining in the hands of British administrators. The elections which followed the adoption of the Rendel Constitution pro-duced, in April 1955, a 32-man Legislative Assembly from which six mem-bers were selected to be ministers; and these, together with three nominees of the Governor, formed a Council of Ministers. The Assembly 4 had power to debate and legislate on a l l matters other than external relations, defence, and internal security. Perhaps because the party led by the new Chief Minister, Mr. David Marshall, gained only ten of the twenty-five elected seats, policy tended to reflect a compromise between conflicting interests rather than a single, guiding philosophy of government. It was only with the coming to power of the People's Action Party in 1959 that government could claim with some just i f i c a t i o n to be f u l l y representative; however, although the changes of policy introduced in the post-1959 period w i l l be referred to for the purpose of i l l u s t r a t i n g certain points, i t is not the object of this work to study recent educational policy in any detail. Such a study would re-quire much greater access to o f f i c i a l records than i s at present allowed by the Ministry of Education; and the addition of a section covering adequately the evolution of education in Singapore over the past fifteen years would lead the present work to acquire unmanageable proportions. The period covered by this study therefore ends in 1959. It i s clear that to understand policy—the considered course of action adopted by government—one must f i r s t establish what purpose the government has in mind. When the form of government is autocratic, the purpose of the autocrat is a l l that must be sought. But when the govern-ment is one such as that which evolved in the Straits Settlements during the nineteenth and f i r s t two decades of the twentieth centuries, an understanding of the purpose of government is complicated by a variety of factors. Fi r s t there is the question of where, and by whom, were matters of policy decided? In principle, the Governor in Council dealt 5 w i t h t h e e s s e n t i a l b u s i n e s s of. government, w i t h t h e B r i t i s h Monarch r e s e r v i n g t h e r i g h t t o " d i s a l l o w , " upon t h e a d v i c e o f h i s C o l o n i a l Sec-r e t a r y , any o r d i n a n c e p a s s e d by t h e l o c a l l e g i s l a t u r e . I n p r a c t i c e , t h e r i g h t was seldom e x e r c i s e d , s i n c e m a t t e r s o f p o l i c y were u s u a l l y d e c i d e d b e f o r e t h e y r e a c h e d t h e s t a g e o f b e i n g d i s c u s s e d i n t h e L e g i s -l a t i v e C o u n c i l . I n t h e second c h a p t e r o f t h i s work, t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h d e c i s i o n s i n v o l v i n g e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y were r e a c h e d i n t h e y e a r s between t h e wars i s examined i n some d e t a i l , and t h e c o n c l u s i o n i s c l e a r t h a t t h e Governor and h i s s e n i o r a d v i s e r s i n v a r i a b l y had t h e l a s t word. T h i s r e p r e s e n t s a s i g n i f i c a n t change f r o m t h e p e r i o d p r i o r t o 1867 (when r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e -ments had been t r a n s f e r r e d f r o m t h e I n d i a O f f i c e t o t h e C o l o n i a l O f f i c e ) , f o r i n t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f t h e S e t t l e m e n t , d e c i s i o n s i n v o l v i n g e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y t a k e n by t h e R e s i d e n t n o t i n f r e q u e n t l y were o v e r -r u l e d by t h e government i n I n d i a . H a v i n g i d e n t i f i e d t h e p o l i c y - m a k e r s , a f u r t h e r p r o b l e m i s t o c o n s i d e r t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h p e r s o n a l i t y and p r e j u d i c e may have a f f e c t e d v i t a l d e c i s i o n s . Here one t r e a d s on t h i n i c e , f o r a l t h o u g h some a s p e c t s o f p e r s o n a l i t y may be e s t a b l i s h e d beyond r e a s o n a b l e d o u b t , p r e j u d i c e g e n e r a l l y o n l y can be i n f e r r e d ; and i n t h e l i g h t o f t h e e v i d e n c e a t p r e s e n t a v a i l a b l e , one can do l i t t l e more t h a n s u g g e s t t h a t some r e l a -t i o n s h i p between p e r s o n a l i t y and p r e j u d i c e , on t h e one hand, and p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s on t h e o t h e r , does i n f a c t e x i s t . Y e t d e s p i t e t h e s e and o t h e r c o m p l i c a t i n g f a c t o r s , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o p r e d i c a t e c e r t a i n g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y 6 of a c o l o n i a l government which a r i s e from the imperative of the r e l a t i o n -ship between colony and metropolitan power: the f i r s t consideration must be the i n t e r e s t , r e a l or perceived, of the c o l o n i s i n g s t a t e . I t follows that i n the formulation of general p o l i c y , p r i o r i t y w i l l be given to defence of the imperial i n t e r e s t both from external threat and i n t e r n a l subversion, and i t i s reasonable to a n t i c i p a t e that a large portion of revenue w i l l be devoted to t h i s end. What remains must be budgeted amongst a number of services, and i n e v i t a b l y the funds a v a i l -able w i l l be small i n r e l a t i o n to t o t a l educational needs. Furthermore, how these l i m i t e d funds are used i s l i k e l y to be determined by reference to the i n t e r e s t s of the metropolitan authority rather than those of the subject people. Where the educational system tends to be e l i t i s t , p o l i c y w i l l seek to ensure that the e l i t e i s sympathetic to the c o l o n i a l power. Here, however, a caveat must be heeded by acknowledging that c o l o n i a l p o l i c y i n p r a c t i c e i s seldom determined s o l e l y by considera-tions of imperial i n t e r e s t . Missionary aims, new ideas on the extent and purpose of government involvement i n s o c i a l services, new educa-t i o n a l theories, and reform movements may each be expected to influence policy-makers, and these "humanitarian" influences would appear to con-f l i c t with, and hence mitigate, the claims of imperial i n t e r e s t . On the other hand, an a u t h o r i t a r i a n regime need not concern i t s e l f with the popularity or otherwise of any p a r t i c u l a r measure; and from t h i s i t may be argued that there existed, during the period of the pre-war B r i t i s h administration, an i d e a l opportunity for the introduction of 7 educationally sound i f unpopular reforms. Yet the opportunity was not taken, and the evidence i s c l e a r that t h i s was due to a combination of factors the most notable of which were the need to l i m i t expenditure, a suspicion of the advice of educators unfamiliar with the l o c a l s i t u a -t i o n , and the determination of l o c a l o f f i c i a l s to r e t a i n c o n t r o l of the d i r e c t i o n of p o l i c y . The extent to which humanitarian considerations are l i k e l y to a f f e c t p o l i c y may vary according to a number of f a c t o r s . During the Japanese occupation, when the status of Singapore remained e s s e n t i a l l y that of a colony, because the period was one of continuing c r i s i s the predominant consideration i n forming p o l i c y was the perceived i n t e r e s t of the imperial power and, predictably, such considerations functioned to l e s s e f f e c t . When authority derives not from the power of an a l i e n country but from the w i l l of the governed, as expressed through p e r i o d i c e l e c -t i o n s , one of the f i r s t considerations i n the formulation of p o l i c y must be the s a t i s f a c t i o n of the demands of the majority of the voters. The purpose of such popular p o l i c i e s i s to maximise the degree of sup-port for the government, which thereby secures i t s own continuance i n o f f i c e . Educational p o l i c y may therefore be expected to be e g a l i t a r i a n , and economic b a r r i e r s such as school fees are l i k e l y to be reduced or removed. The increased intake into the primary l e v e l s which r e s u l t s from such a programme w i l l create a pressure for more f a c i l i t i e s at the secondary and t e r t i a r y l e v e l s . The system i s l i k e l y to develop a momentum of i t s own which, divorced from r a t i o n a l assessment of the 8 needs of society as a whole, w i l l be checked only by financial and other material limitations. Moreover, the extent to which education-ally sound policies can be introduced w i l l be found to depend upon the degree of popular support they enjoy. Ideal aims, in such a situation, must be devised within the confines of p o l i t i c a l practicality. The f i n a l type of government considered in this study, the transitional administration of the years 1955 to 1959, pursued an educational policy which generally was responsive to popular pressures, and the social implications of the policy are examined in detail in Chapter V. Since this study sets out to compare the policies of several governments, i t is relevant to note that the circumstances within which these policies evolved were constantly changing. Economic trends, pre-vailing opinion, the composition of the population, the extent of the resources available, and international tensions varied for each of the periods considered, indeed almost the only constants were those arising from geographic location and climate. Accordingly, i t is necessary to adopt some objective c r i t e r i a for comparative purposes. Since 'policy' is determined by 'purpose,' i t is clear that one of the standards by which policy must be measured is that of how well i t achieved the objec-tives of the policy-makers. A second yardstick is suggested by the fact that generally education is acknowledged to have a profound effect upon the nature of society; and hence, the question of social impact is raised in terms of whether the policy tended to be socially cohesive or divisive. And thirdly, since education is of great significance to the individual who experiences i t , the satisfaction of individual wants 9 s u g g e s t s i t s e l f . ' Here a d i f f i c u l t y emerges, f o r how a r e ' i n d i v i d u a l w a n t s ' t o be de t e r m i n e d ? I s e d u c a t i o n seen s o l e l y as a p r o c e s s by w h i c h t h e f u t u r e a d u l t may a c q u i r e t h e s k i l l s n e c e s s a r y t o e n a b l e h im t o e a r n a l i v i n g ? I n t r a d i t i o n a l S o u t h e a s t A s i a n s o c i e t i e s , t h i s a s p e c t r e c e i v e d l i t t l e i f any a t t e n t i o n ; e d u c a t i o n , u s u a l l y p r o v i d e d by t h e r e l i g i o u s o r d e r , o f f e r e d t h e i n d i v i d u a l t h e means by w h i c h he m i g h t g a i n a c c e p t a n c e i n t o h i s s o c i e t y , and a t t h e same ti m e i t a f f o r d e d h im t h e s a t i s f a c t i o n o f h i s s p i r i t u a l needs. The s k i l l s n e c e s s a r y f o r h i s l i v e -l i h o o d he g a i n e d a t h i s f a t h e r ' s k n e e , o r i n t h e f i e l d s , o r h u n t i n g and f i s h i n g . " ' " But i n t h e a r t i f i c i a l , s e c u l a r , and e s s e n t i a l l y u r b a n s e t t i n g o f S i n g a p o r e w h i c h l a c k s b o t h a n a t u r a l h i n t e r l a n d and an i n d i g e n o u s t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t y , i t w o u l d appear t o be i r r e l e v a n t t o l o o k t o p u b l i c e d u c a t i o n f o r t h e s a t i s f a c t i o n o f p r i v a t e s p i r i t u a l needs; and s i m i -l a r l y , p o l i c y can h a r d l y be condemned f o r f a i l i n g t o p r o v i d e t h e means o f a c q u i r i n g a c c e p t a n c e i n t o a s o c i e t y w h i c h had n o t y e t e v o l v e d a d i s -c r e t e i d e n t i t y . What r e m a i n s , t h e n , i s t h e s i m p l e measure of how w e l l , i f a t a l l , e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y e n a b l e d t h e y o u t h f u l p o p u l a t i o n t o s u r v i v e i n t h e r i g o r o u s l y c o m p e t i t i v e c o n d i t i o n s o f c i t y l i f e . H a v i n g t h u s somewhat a r b i t r a r i l y s e l e c t e d t h e c r i t e r i a , i t i s n e c e s s a r y now t o s k e t c h t h e h i s t o r i c a l framework, t o e s t a b l i s h t h e p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , and economic c i r c u m s t a n c e s w i t h i n w h i c h e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c i e s were d e t e r m i n e d , and t o i d e n t i f y some o f t h e problems f a c i n g t h o s e who a s p i r e d t o g o v e r n S i n g a p o r e . Chapter I THE EMERGENCE OF A DIVIDED SOCIETY The circumstances of climate and location, although important, were not decisive factors in determining the founding or survival of Singapore. It i s true that, located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, the island with i t s sheltered harbour provided in the pre-steam era an ideal terminus, a pivotal point in the functioning of the East-West sea-borne trade which depended upon the alternation of the prevailing winds of the North-East and South-West monsoons. But a glimpse at the history of the island w i l l reveal the extent to which the existence of a growing and vigorous community on i t s southern shore has depended upon the interests and intrigues of powerful states, rather than upon the more predictable consequences of geographical situation or regional patterns of trade. The early history of the island remains obscure, but the fact that Temasek—the site of the future Singapore—was cap-tured and occupied by the Cholas during their punitive expedition against the south-Sumatran based empire of Sri Vijaya, suggests that the place had gained some importance by the early eleventh century, and that i t owed allegiance to S r i Vijaya. After the decline of Sri Vijaya, Temasek may have recognised the suzerainty of the east-Javanese Hindu kingdom of Majapahit, although this i s by no means certain..''' Just who i the people of Temasek were, and whether their economy was based on com-merce of piracy, or control of the sea-passage to the immediate south of the island, are matters that are far from well established; the 10 11 extent of the ruins that were s t i l l to be seen at the time of the found-ing of modern Singapore i n 1819 indicates no more than that a settlement of some kind had existed on the site. During the fourteenth century, Temasek came under the control of Siam, a fact that was to lead i n d i -rectly to i t s destruction and ultimate abandonment. According to a Sumatran tradition which has gained wide acceptance, Parameswara, a Sailendra prince of Palembang who was involved in a dispute over the succession to the rule of Majapahit, fled in 1401 to Temasek, where he was given refuge by i t s ruler, a vassal of Siam. Parameswara k i l l e d 2 his host and assumed control of the town. A year or so later, the Siamese, or perhaps one of their tributary states on the Malay peninsula, 3 sought vengeance and destroyed the settlement, Parameswara escaping to the north where later, i t i s claimed, he founded Malacca. The s i g n i f i -4 cant fact i s that after i t s destruction, the site of 'Singhapura' remained virtu a l l y uninhabited for over four hundred years, notwith-standing i t s favourable location. Other ports on the Straits of Malacca were well able to provide the f a c i l i t i e s needed by merchants and seamen, and the re-emergence of Singapore had to wait u n t i l the conflict of Dutch and English interests led to i t s chance selection by Thomas Stamford Raffles as a suitable site for settlement. The arrival of Europeans in the Straits of Malacca resulted in some disruption of the pattern of Southeast Asian trade. Largely due to bitter religious antagonism, Muslim merchants preferred or were forced to deflect their activities from Roman Catholic Portuguese Malacca to alternative ports in the area,^ a fact that led to the gradual decline 12 of Malacca as an emporium. This decline continued when Malacca came under Dutch administration, no longer for religious reasons but rather because of the determination of the Dutch to exclude European rivals from the lucrative commerce of the region. They sought to do this by focussing trade on Java, and as part of this policy, Malacca came to be used primarily as a strategic base for controlling the Straits, rather than as a trading post.^ Despite the movement of trade away from Malacca, the natural advantages of Singapore were insufficiently compel-ling to lead to the establishment of a new entrep6t on the island and i t seems clear that, but for an accident of history involving the rivalry of distant powers, no settlement of importance would have developed there. The accident was basically one of timing. During the Napoleonic wars, Malacca had been one of several Dutch possessions to pass into the hands of the British under the terms of an instruction issued by the exiled Dutch Stadtholder William V, in 1795. The British, who planned to develop the recently established settlement on Penang island into a naval base to control the Straits, and who regarded Malacca as an expensive l i a b i l i t y , ordered the demolition of the for-g tress and the evacuation of i t s inhabitants to Penang. Due to the intervention of Raffles, the plan to abandon Malacca was not carried into effect and, although the fortress had been destroyed, i t seems pos-sible that Malacca would have recovered much of i t s former importance as an entrepot. Partly because of. the unsuitability of Penang, and partly due to the shifting fortunes of war, the British decided not to proceed with their plan for the development of a naval base on that 13 island; and Malacca, under peace-time conditions and freed from Dutch imposed restrictive trade practices, might have been expected to recover 9 a substantial share of the area's trade. If in 1818 i t had been clear to everyone that Malacca was to remain under British control, there would have existed l i t t l e incentive for the founding of modern Singapore. But in that year, Malacca was returned to Dutch control and Raffles, who feared the re-establishment of a Dutch monopoly of the trade of the archipelago, set about convincing. Lord Hastings, the Governor-General in Bengal, of the need to safeguard the route to China by concluding a treaty with the Sultan of Acheh at the northern entrance to the Straits, and by establishing a settlement to the south of the Malay peninsula.^ Several possible locations were considered and some visited, but for one reason or another they were discarded u n t i l "either by accident or design," Raffles arrived at the island of Singapore.^ There was thus a considerable element of chance in the selection of a site for the future settlement. If strategic considerations concerning the protection of the China trade ranked highest i n the minds of the Governor-General of Bengal and his advisers, there is no doubt that a quite uncomplicated desire for profit accounted for the almost instant success of the new venture. No sooner had word of the settlement reached Malacca than a migration began. The demand in Singapore was chiefly for food, which could not be supplied locally due to the absence of a settled agricul-tural population; and i t appears that a considerable number of enter-prising Malacca citizens set out to take advantage of the situation, 14 their boats laden with supplies. To achieve their purpose, they had to overcome two problems: the furious opposition of the Dutch who immed-iately recognised Singapore as a threat to their interests, and who therefore sought to prevent any goods leaving for that destination; and the very real hazards posed by the pirates operating along the coasts of the peninsula, and particularly in the v i c i n i t y of the Kukup Strait.' Despite the d i f f i c u l t i e s , an increasing number of Malaccan residents succeeded i n reaching the island, and these were followed by immigrants from many other parts of the peninsula and archipelago. Immediately prior to the establishment of the settlement, the population of Singapore is said to have consisted of about one hundred Malays who together with a few families of Orang Laut (Proto-Malays; l i t e r a l l y : People of the Sea, or Sea gypsies) gained their livelihood from the sea. In addition, a small number of Chinese were engaged in the cultivation of pepper and gambier (a vegetable dye used in tan-13 ning). It appears likely that a community of Orang Laut had existed on the shores of the island for a considerable period—perhaps since the time of ancient Temasek—for there are numerous accounts of acts of 14 piracy in the adjacent waters. The Malays led by their chief, the Temenggong of Johore, had arrived there in 1811, and there does not appear to be any information available concerning the date of arrival of the handful of Chinese. The subsequent growth of population, mainly by immigration, was phenomenal. According to Raffles, within four months, there were more than 5,000 people there, and by August 1820, he estimated the population to be between 10,000 and 12,000."^ These 15 figures have been claimed to be exaggerated, and T. Braddell, writing in 1861, asserted that the total population of Singapore in 1821 was 5,874 of which 4,724 were Malays from various parts of the archipelago, 17 and the remainder Chinese. When the f i r s t census was taken in 1824, the population numbered 10,683; and by. 1830 the figure stood at 16,634.''"< Of this latter figure, 6,555 were Chinese, 7,640 Malays, 1,913 Indians, 19 and 526 "other races." With regard to the Malays, i t should be noted that this heading included not only immigrants from the Peninsula but also those from a l l parts of the Archipelago, although most notably from Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi. In the following ten years, the popu-lation more than doubled, the Chinese now clearly being in the majority with 17,704, followed by the Malays with 13,200, the Indians numbering 3,375 and "other races" accounting for 1,110 of the total population of 20 35,389. Although numerous censuses were taken in the early years of Singapore, none of the original reports prior to that of the census of 1871 has survived, and figures from secondary sources reveal inconsis-tencies. Table I indicates the growth of the population of Singapore in the years 1871 to 1921. By the turn of the century, a f a i r l y stable pattern i n the ethnic composition of the population had begun to emerge; for some 72.2 per cent (or 164,041) were Chinese, 15.8 per cent (or 35,988) were 21 "Malays," and 7.8 per cent (or 17,047) were Indians. In the following twenty years, the percentage composition of the population changed l i t t l e ; for of the 425,912 persons enumerated in 1921, 317,491 (74.5 16 Table I. POPULATION INCREASE IN SINGAPORE, 1871-1921 Year Total Population Percentage Increase 1871 97,111 1881 139,208 43.3 1891 178,253 28.0 1901 220,344 23.6 1911 311,985 41.6 1921 425,912 36.5 Source: J. E. Nathan, The Census of British Malaya, 1921 (London, 1922) . per cent) were Chinese, Malays (including Javanese, Bugis and other immigrants from the Archipelago) numbered 58,530 (or 11.4 per cent), and Indians, who numbered 32,456, accounted for 7.6 per cent of the 22 total. Although the size of the population continued to increase rapidly after 1921, the proportion of the total occupied by each of the 23 major ethnic groups did not radically change. The facts, so far as they can be established, concerning the peopling of Singapore are of more than passing interest, for when govern-ment came to be increasingly involved in the provision of social ser-vices, including education, policy was frequently influenced by the assumption that the Malays had been the original inhabitants and that their position should, i n some way, be preserved or protected. Whatever possible merit this view may have held for the rest of 'British Malaya,' i t was clearly irrelevant in the case of Singapore, where the growth of population up to the outbreak of the Second World War was due 17 principally to the continuous inflow of non-Malay immigrants. The orig-inal inhabitants had been "few i n number,, and contributed relatively 24 l i t t l e to this growth." The unsophisticated early census figures and percentages tend in the case of Singapore to conceal, the exceptionally heterogeneous and fragmented nature of the population. The heading 'Chinese' would have 25 included a significant number of Malacca Babas who migrated to the settlement soon after i t s establishment. Having had lengthy experience of European and Asian trading practices, and in some cases having trad-ing contacts, wealth and a knowledge of English, several of these Baba 26 acquired positions of influence and power in the commercial community. Less fortunate, in the main, were the China-born Chinese, most of whom arrived with l i t t l e more than their individual s k i l l s , and the common hope of being able to earn sufficient to support their dependants, and to return eventually to China. Through a combination of industry, a b i l i t y and luck, some of these succeeded in gaining considerable wealth and social status; but the overwhelming majority remained poverty-stricken, a quality they shared with most immigrants of the other major 27 ethnic groups. Within this common bond of destitution, however, there were many divisive factors of which perhaps the most important was that of language. Although Chinese immigrants came mainly from the southeastern provinces of Kwangtung and Fukien, and a l l enjoyed a com-mon heritage of cultural values, they spoke a variety of dialects which tended to fragment the community, the fragmentation being reinforced by 28 clan and village-of-origin loyalties. The largest single dialect 18 group was that of the Hokkiens from Amoy and i t s hinterland in southern Fukien, followed by the Hakkas or Khehs of northern Kwangtung. In addi-tion there were substantial numbers of Cantonese from southern Kwang-tung, Teochews from the Swatow area of eastern Kwangtung, Hailams from Hainan island, Kwongsais from central Kwangsi, Hokchius from the Foochow region of Fukien and the Hokchias from coastal mid-Fukien. Of the Indian immigrants, although the majority arrived from south India and were Tamil-speakers, there were in addition substantial numbers of Malayalis, Punjabis and Bengalis. As well as linguistic differences, Indian immigrants were further divided along religious lines, the majority being Hindus, the second largest group being Muslims, followed by relatively small numbers of Christiansi Sikhs, and Parsees 29 (Zoroastrians). Although Indian Muslims shared their faith with Malays, they appear generally to have wished to retain a number of Indianised aspects of Islam, most of them adhering to the Hanafi sect, while the Malays generally belonged to the doctrinally more orthodox 30 Shafi'i sect. The reason for the rapid and sustained growth of population by immigration seem to have arisen from a combination of factors. Although emigration from China was subject to a government ban prior to 1860, i t appears that the ban was only s t r i c t l y enforced in the case of females. Owing to the increase of population which far outstripped the rate at which new land had been brought under cultivation in China during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the heavy burden of taxation, there existed positive reasons for Chinese to seek their livelihood 19 31 abroad. No doubt disturbed conditions which persisted for much of the nineteenth century i n China, but particularly the carnage associated with the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64), created an atmosphere of panic and fear that would have been sufficient to overcome the obligations of f i l i a l devotion implicit in ancestor worship that served as a disincen-tive to migration in more settled times. These factors, coupled with the relative proximity of Malaya, the glowing accounts of the riches of the country and of the opportunities for those who were enterprising, and the blandishments of recruiting agents would have been enough to 32 generate the growing stream of hopeful migrants. The business opportunities of the new settlement would have been self-evident to Chinese merchants, and petty traders, but far more of the earliest Chinese immigrants were agriculturists and artisans who sought their livelihood on the clove, nutmeg or sugar estates, by the 33 cultivation of pepper and gambier, or by vegetable gardening. The clove, nutmeg and sugar estates owned by Europeans or Chinese were 34 early failures, and the gambier and pepper plantations rapidly 35 exhausted the s o i l and depleted much of the forest cover of the island. Farmers and labourers either moved to the mainland in search of virgin s o i l , transferred to market gardening, or drifted into new occupations 36 in the rapidly growing settlement. In the meantime, since by far the largest number of immigrants came from China, not surprisingly Chinese were to be found :in every urban occupation other than those reserved 37 exclusively for Europeans. Because of the effective prohibition of female emigration prior to 1860, and the poverty of the overwhelming 20 majority of male migrants who could not afford the passage-money for their families, and the fact that in any case they did not intend to 38 settle in Singapore, the Chinese community was predominantly male throughout the nineteenth century. In 1860, there were 14,407 males per thousand females, but in the following years, with the relaxation of the ban in China, and cheaper travel f a c i l i t i e s , the proportion of female immigrants increased so that by 1901, the figures were: 3,871 males per thousand females, and the imbalance had virtually disappeared 39 by 1957. Indian immigration into Singapore, in the early years of i t s existence, was l i t t l e more than a trickle. In addition to a small number of merchants, some of whom were already wealthy, labourers began to arrive seeking employment in the harbour work force and on the i l l -40 fated sugar and nutmeg estates. Up to 1860, Singapore was used as a convict settlement by the Indian government, and the convicts, from virtua l l y a l l parts of India under British rule, being too poor to return to their homes remained to seek work as free labourers on the 41 expiry of their sentences. In view of the long association of Indians with the East India Company, i t was natural to find a preponderance of English-speaking Indians, mostly from the Bengal and Madras presidencies, occupying c l e r i c a l positions in the government administration and in the large trading concerns. As the demand for a variety of services increased, more Indians arrived. Early arrivals included South Indian Chettiar and Muslim Tamil traders, financiers, money-changers, small shopkeepers and boatmen. These were followed by Sindhi, Gujerati and 21 S i k h c l o t h m e r c h a n t s ; and p o r t and h a r b o u r d e v e l o p m e n t s , t h e c o n s t r u c -t i o n o f r o a d s and l a t e r t h a t o f t h e r a i l w a y l e d t o t h e a r r i v a l o f T a m i l , 42 T e l u g u and M a l a y a l i w o r k e r s . T a m i l s f r o m G e y l o n found employment p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and m a i n t e n a n c e work c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e r a i l w a y f r o m t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f t h e p r e s e n t c e n t u r y , and P u n j a b i s — 43 S i k h s , M u s l i m s and H i n d u s — w e r e i n demand as r a i l w a y p o l i c e . L i k e t h e i r C h i n e s e c o u n t e r p a r t s , I n d i a n s r e g a r d e d t h e i r s t a y i n S i n g a p o r e as a means t o e a r n s u f f i c i e n t t o make r e g u l a r r e m i t t a n c e s t o t h e i r r e l a -t i v e s i n I n d i a , and as an e n f o r c e d e x i l e t o be ended as soon as t h e y had saved enough t o r e t u r n t o t h e i r n a t i v e l a n d . The r e s u l t was t h a t , l i k e t h e C h i n e s e , t h e I n d i a n p o p u l a t i o n was f o r a l o n g t i m e t r a n s i t o r y , and p r e d o m i n a n t l y male. But because I n d i a was n e a r e r and deck-passage f a r e s c h e a p e r , more I n d i a n s succeeded i n r e t u r n i n g t o I n d i a , e i t h e r f o r a v i s i t o r p e r m a n e n t l y , and i n t i m e , I n d i a n s i n i n c r e a s i n g numbers 44 a r r a n g e d f o r t h e i r w i v e s and c h i l d r e n t o t r a v e l out t o j o i n them. The p r a c t i c e o f b o t h C h i n e s e and I n d i a n i m m i g r a n t s o f s e n d i n g r e g u l a r r e m i t t a n c e s t o t h e i r r e l a t i v e s and, i n t h e c a s e o f t h o s e who were f o r t u -n a t e enough t o amass s u f f i c i e n t w e a l t h , of u l t i m a t e l y r e t u r n i n g t o t h e i r homelands w i t h t h e i r f o r t u n e s , was a s o u r c e of g r i e v a n c e t o t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n w h i c h r e g r e t t e d t h e d r a i n f r o m t h e c o u n t r y o f p o t e n t i a l 45 i n v e s t m e n t c a p i t a l . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , no s i m i l a r o b j e c t i o n a p p ears t o have been v o i c e d i n r e s p e c t o f Europeans who f o l l o w e d t h e same p r a c t i c e . V e r y l i t t l e i s known about t h e movement o f M a l a y s t o S i n g a p o r e . R e c o r d s o f J a v a n e s e i n d e n t u r e d l a b o u r e r s a r r i v i n g i n S i n g a p o r e a r e a v a i l a b l e from t h e 1890's on, b u t s i n c e most of t h e s e w o u l d have been 22 46 d e s t i n e d f o r e s t a t e work on t h e M a l a y p e n i n s u l a , t h e r e c o r d s a r e o f l i t t l e h e l p t o t h i s s t u d y . No r e s t r i c t i o n was p l a c e d upon M a l a y immi-g r a t i o n , r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e i r p l a c e o f o r i g i n , and per h a p s because o f t h e s h o r t e r d i s t a n c e s i n v o l v e d and t h e r e l a t i v e ease o f t r a v e l , c o m p l ete f a m i l i e s a r r i v e d and hence t h e M a l a y community d i d n o t e x h i b i t t h e e a r l y i m b a l a n c e o f sexes t h a t c h a r a c t e r i s e d t h e o t h e r two ma j o r e t h n i c g r o u p s . ^ U n t i l . t h e 1930's, i t appeared t o be much t h e most s e t t l e d o f t h e t h r e e c o m m u n i t i e s , a p o i n t t h a t i s i l l u s t r a t e d by t h e f a c t t h a t i n 1931, 73.4 p e r c e n t o f t h e M a l a y community had been b o r n i n S i n g a p o r e o r e l s e w h e r e i n ' B r i t i s h M a l a y a , ' compared w i t h 36 p e r c e n t o f t h e 48 C h i n e s e and o n l y 18 p e r c e n t o f t h e I n d i a n s . A l t h o u g h a l a r g e r p r o -p o r t i o n o f t h e Ma l a y community t h a n o f t h e o t h e r two ma j o r e t h n i c groups r e s i d e d i n r u r a l p a r t s o f t h e i s l a n d , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o n o t e t h a t a m a j o r i t y o f t h e M a l a y s l i v e d w i t h i n t h e u r b a n a r e a . I n 1921, o f t h e t o t a l M a l a y community ( i n c l u d i n g J a v a n e s e , B a n j a r e s e , B u g i s and o t h e r i m m i g r a n t s f r o m t h e a r c h i p e l a g o ) o f 58,520 no fewer t h a n 34,604 49 o r 59.1 p e r c e n t were l i s t e d as p a r t o f t h e u r b a n p o p u l a t i o n . By 1947, t h e M a l a y component o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n had i n c r e a s e d t o 115,735 o f w h i c h 72,901 o r 63.1 p e r c e n t were l i s t e d as r e s i d i n g w i t h i n t h e M u n i c i -p a l i t y o f S i n g a p o r e . T h e p o i n t h e r e i s t h a t , u n l i k e M a l a y s l i v i n g e l s e w h e r e i n B r i t i s h M a l a y a , t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e M a l a y s o f S i n g a p o r e i s l a n d have l o n g been u r b a n d w e l l e r s . S i m i l a r l y , by 1931, more S i n g a p o r e M a l a y s were engaged i n s u c h modern, c i t y - b a s e d o c c u p a t i o n s as t h o s e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t r a n s p o r t and communications t h a n i n t h e t r a d i -t i o n a l p u r s u i t s o f a g r i c u l t u r e and f i s h i n g . " ^ 23 In order to reveal the social implications of the foregoing brief catalogue of characteristics of the three major immigrant groups i t i s relevant to consider the degree to which Singapore conforms to the model of a 'plural society' as defined by J. S. Furnivall. In Furnivall's words, such a society consisted of a "medley of peoples" which mix but do not combine. . . . Each group holds by i t s own religion, i t s own culture and language, i t s own ideas and ways. As indi -viduals they,meet, but only in the market-place, in buying and s e l -ling. There i s a plural society, with different sections of the community livi n g side by side, but separately, within the same p o l i t i c a l unit. Even in the economic sphere there is a division of labour along racial lines . . . There i s , as i t were, a caste system, but without the religious basis that incorporates caste in social l i f e in India.52 Singapore's population certainly became a 'medley of peoples,' and 53 Raffles' instructions for the segregation of ethnic groups tended to persist and be reinforced by the desire of the newly landed immigrant to li v e in association with others of his own kind. The diversity of languages, customs and religions seems to testify to the existence of a plural society in Singapore. And yet the model does not entirely des-cribe the society, and may, in some respects, be misleading. Furnivall's plural society suggests one in which each constituent group retains i t s traditional "ideas and ways," more or less insulated from those of other groups. But this overlooks the impact of an important factor common to each ethno-linguistic group: that of urbanisation. For the most part, the immigrants came from traditional, rural societies, and they imported with them their sophisticated cultural systems which included not only 24 l a n g u a g e , r e l i g i o n and a t t i r e , b u t a l s o l e s s t a n g i b l e b u t v e r y r e a l customary v a l u e s . Languages and r e l i g i o n s appear t o have been s u s c e p -t i b l e t o change a t a r e l a t i v e l y s l o w r a t e , b u t i n t h e e x o t i c , u r b a n s e t t i n g o f t h e new s e t t l e m e n t , v a l u e s underwent a r a p i d m etamorphosis. The c l e a r e s t e x p r e s s i o n o f t h i s change was t o be found i n t h e s o c i a l o r d e r w h i c h emerged t o r e p l a c e t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s . I n C o n f u c i a n C h i n a , i d e a l l y t h e s c h o l a r - o f f i c i a l s e n j o y e d t h e h i g h e s t p r e s -t i g e , t o be f o l l o w e d i n d e s c e n d i n g o r d e r by t h e f a r m e r s , a r t i s a n s and me r c h a n t s . I n r e a l i t y , t h e a c q u i s i t i o n o f w e a l t h p r o v i d e d merchants w i t h a degree o f s o c i a l m o b i l i t y w h i c h , a t l e a s t s i n c e t h e Sung d y n a s t y (960-1275), e n a b l e d t h e more s u c c e s s f u l o f them t o d i s p l a c e f a r m e r s f r o m second p l a c e i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l h i e r a r c h y , f a r m e r s i n p r a c t i c e 54 b e i n g r e l e g a t e d t o t h e l o w e s t s o c i a l s t a t u s . I n t h e i n t e n s e l y com-m e r c i a l e n v i r o n m e n t o f S i n g a p o r e , merchants came t o w i e l d t h e g r e a t e s t power and i n f l u e n c e , and hence t o e n j o y t h e h i g h e s t p r e s t i g e among t h e C h i n e s e . The g e n t r y - l i t e r a t i o f C h i n a who, a c c o r d i n g t o J o s e p h L e v e n s o n , a c h i e v e d t h e i r g r e a t e s t s t a t u r e as e s s e n t i a l l y amateur a d m i n i s t r a t o r s d u r i n g t h e Ming d y n a s t y (1368-1644),"^ d i d n o t e x i s t i n S i n g a p o r e , a l t h o u g h i t has been arg u e d t h a t t h e i r r o l e i n t h e C h i n e s e h i e r a r c h y was, t o some e x t e n t , f i l l e d by B r i t i s h government o f f i c i a l s . F a r m e r s , s t r u g g l i n g f o r a s c a n t s u r v i v a l i n r u r a l S i n g a p o r e , were o f p e r i p h e r a l i m p o r t a n c e i n t h e s c a l e o f p r e s t i g e , and t h e s t a t u s o f a r t i s a n s , s t r e e t -v e n d o r s , and manual l a b o u r e r s was measured i n terms o f m a t e r i a l p o s s e s -s i o n s . There t h u s emerged two e s s e n t i a l l y economic c l a s s e s w i t h i n t h e C h i n e s e c o m m u n i t y — m e r c h a n t s and w o r k e r s — w i t h money as t h e s i n g l e i n d i -c a t o r o f s u c c e s s . 25 A somewhat a n a l a g o u s change o c c u r r e d i n t h e s c a l e o f v a l u e s o f t h e i m m i g r a n t I n d i a n community. W i t h i n t h e H i n d u m a j o r i t y o f I n d i a n m i g r a n t s , c a s t e a s s o c i a t i o n s were p o p u l a r i n t h e e a r l y y e a r s , b u t t h e s e tended t o f a l l i n t o d i s u s e . A l t h o u g h c a s t e o r j a t i l o y a l t i e s c o n -t i n u e d t o p l a y a , s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e — p a r t i c u l a r l y i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e r i t e s de p a s s a g e s — t h e p r e s s u r e s o f s e c u l a r u r b a n l i f e c o u p l e d w i t h new e d u c a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s o f f e r e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r i n d i v i d u a l (as opposed t o group) s o c i a l m o b i l i t y w h i c h I n d i a n s s e i z e d w i t h o u t h e s i t a -58 t i o n . T h i s r e s u l t e d i n c l a s s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n a l o n g economic l i n e s w h i c h i n t u r n made p o s s i b l e t h e r e c o g n i t i o n o f i n t e r e s t s h e l d i n common w i t h o t h e r s o f t h e same economic c l a s s b u t o f d i f f e r e n t e t h n o - l i n g u i s t i c o r i g i n s . The s u p e r i m p o s i t i o n o f t h e s e ' h o r i z o n t a l ' economic d i v i s i o n s tended t o b l u r t h e ' v e r t i c a l ' d i v i s i o n s between t h e c o m m u n i t i e s , and t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a l i n g u a f r a n c a i n t h e f o r m o f P a s a r M e l a y u , a debased v e r s i o n o f M a l a y , f u r t h e r m o d i f i e d t h e o v e r - s i m p l e s t r u c t u r e s u g g e s t e d by F u r n i v a l l ' s p l u r a l s o c i e t y . A t t h e t i m e o f t h e f o u n d i n g o f S i n g a p o r e , t h e M a l a y s a l o n e o f t h e t h r e e p r i n c i p a l e t h n i c communities had t h e framework o f a t r a d i -t i o n a l s o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n . T h e i r l o c a l l e a d e r , t h e Dato Temenggong o f J o h o r e , had been w i l l i n g t o p e r m i t t h e B r i t i s h t o e s t a b l i s h a s e t t l e -ment on t h e i s l a n d , b u t R a f f l e s c o n s i d e r e d t h a t i n o r d e r t o s e c u r e f o r t h e Company an i n d e f e a s i b l e c l a i m , i t was n e c e s s a r y t o have t h e a g r e e -ment r a t i f i e d by t h e S u l t a n o f J o h o r e w i t h i n whose domain t h e i s l a n d l a y . T here were••, a t t h e t i m e , two c l a i m a n t s t o t h e o f f i c e o f S u l t a n , b o t h sons o f t h e f o r m e r r u l e r . Away f r o m t h e c a p i t a l a t t h e t i m e o f 26 h i s f a t h e r ' s d e a t h , t h e e l d e r son had r e t u r n e d t o f i n d t h a t h i s b r o t h e r had been p e r s u a d e d t o a c c e p t t h e t h r o n e , and t h a t t h e D u t c h had r e c o g -n i s e d and e n t e r e d i n t o agreements w i t h t h e de f a c t o r u l e r . R a f f l e s s e i z e d t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o i n v i t e t h e e l d e r son t o S i n g a p o r e t o be " i n s t a l l e d " as S u l t a n o f J o h o r e , and t h e r e a f t e r o b t a i n e d h i s s i g n a t u r e 59 t o t h e agreement f o r t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of ' f a c t o r i e s ' on t h e i s l a n d . A l t h o u g h i t seems l i k e l y t h a t t h e e l d e r s o n , H u s s e i n , h e l d t h e b e t t e r c l a i m t o t h e t h r o n e , t h e f a c t t h a t he had been i n s t a l l e d by R a f f l e s , t h a t h i s p o s i t i o n depended s o l e l y upon t h e power of t h e E a s t I n d i a Company, and t h a t he had n o t been i n p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e r o y a l r e g a l i a a t t h e t i m e of h i s i n s t a l l a t i o n , meant t h a t few M a l a y s r e c o g n i s e d h i m as 60 S u l t a n . The B r i t i s h , i n t h e i r subsequent t r e a t m e n t o f t h e Temenggong and S u l t a n undermined t h e p r e s t i g e of b o t h i n t h e eyes o f t h e M a l a y s , who were l e f t i n no doubt t h a t power now l a y i n t h e hands o f s e c u l a r , B r i t i s h a d m i n i s t r a t o r s . ^ " ' " F u r t h e r m o r e , M a l a y s i n S i n g a p o r e came i n c r e a s -i n g l y t o l i v e w i t h i n t h e o r b i t o f u r b a n l i f e . C e r t a i n l y many c o n t i n u e d t o l i v e i n s m a l l v i l l a g e s i n r u r a l o r c o a s t a l a r e a s , t h e i r houses b u i l t i n t h e customary manner and r e s t i n g on s t i l t s , b u t o t h e r s sought u r b a n employment, and f ound i t c o n v e n i e n t o r u n a v o i d a b l e t o l i v e n e a r t h e i r work. The l i m i t e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r a g r i c u l t u r e e x i s t i n g on t h e i s l a n d d e p r i v e d M a l a y s o f one of t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l p u r s u i t s ; and a l t h o u g h t h e h i g h l y i n d u s t r i o u s a c t i v i t i e s of o t h e r i m m i g r a n t s tended t o e x c l u d e M a l a y s f r o m a l t e r n a t i v e o c c u p a t i o n s r e s u l t i n g i n a h i g h p r o p o r t i o n of t h e i r community becoming e c o n o m i c a l l y d e p r i v e d , o t h e r s s u c c e e d e d i n g a i n i n g a l i v e l i h o o d i n n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l o c c u p a t i o n s . The g e n e r a l p a t t e r n 27 of o c c u p a t i o n s among t h e Ma l a y community and t h e e x t e n t o f t h e i r i n v o l v e -ment i n non-customary employment i s i n d i c a t e d b y t h e f o l l o w i n g t a b l e c o m p i l e d from t h e 1931 census r e p o r t ( f i g u r e s f o r C h i n e s e and I n d i a n s have been i n c l u d e d f o r c o m p a r a t i v e p u r p o s e s ) : T a b l e I I PATTERN OF EMPLOYMENT AMONG CHINESE, INDIANS AND MALAYS IN 1931 M a l a y s and O c c u p a t i o n C h i n e s e I n d i a n s Immigrant M a l a y s i a n s A g r i c u l t u r e & F i s h i n g 21,470 1,814 7,104 P r e p a r a t i o n , S u p p l y & work i n m a t e r i a l s u b s t a n c e s & 36,707 2,912 2,161 e l e c t r i c i t y s u p p l y M i n i n g , Q u a r r y i n g & t r e a t -ment o f Mine & q u a r r y 1,921 58 41 p r o d u c t s T r a n s p o r t & Communications 30,922 5,971 7,320 Commerce & F i n a n c e 47,820 6,558 1,650 P u b l i c A d m i n i s t r a t i o n & .. 0-,0 c o o Defence P r o f e s s i o n a l O c c u p a t i o n s 4,965 630 554 P e r s o n a l S e r v i c e 25,080 3,137 1,140 Other & I n d e t e r m i n a t e , i n -e l u d i n g C l e r k s , Warehouse- 250,089* 29,236 46,473 men, R e t i r e d o r n o t g a i n -f u l l y employed i n c l u d e s 57,744 l i s t e d s e p a r a t e l y as 'No g a i n f u l o c c u p a t i o n . ' S o u r c e : C. A. V l i e l a n d , B r i t i s h M a l a y a : A R e p o r t on t h e 1931  Census . . ., pp. 262-76. A l t h o u g h i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t M a l a y s f a r e d l e s s w e l l , p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y , t h a n o t h e r communities i n s e v e r a l t y p e s o f employment, p a r t i c u l a r l y 28 those associated with 'Commerce and Finance,' i t remains a fact that substantial numbers of them gained employment in each of the major types of occupation in the island, and hence assertions of occupational spec-ialis a t i o n along ethnic lines cannot be accepted without considerable 6 2 qualification. Except in the f i e l d of Public Administration and Defence, by 1931 (and for decades before), .the Chinese predominated in each of the occupational categories, and i t becomes apparent that Furnivall's model of a plural society in which there is "a division of labour along ra c i a l lines," useful as i t may be for 'Malayan' conditions as a whole, does not adequately describe social conditions in Singapore. Turning to the question of the constitutional position of the island, i t is relevant to note that for most of the period of British rule, Singapore was administered as part of a larger entity. Under i t s f i r s t Resident, Colonel Farquhar, the settlement was subject to the general supervision of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen. Following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, which defined the spheres of influence of the two European powers, Bencoolen passed out of the control of the British, and Singapore came under the administration of the Presidency of Bengal. In the same year, the Sultan and Temenggong entered into a new treaty with the British under which the entire island of Singapore, together with the immediate off-shore islands, were, ceded in perpetuity to the East India Company. In 1826, a joint administration for the settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore was established as a fourth Presidency of India, with government headquarters located at Penang. The policy of freedom from taxation on trade, introduced by Raffles in 29 respect of Singapore and later extended to the other settlements, and the failure of land and agriculture to yield an adequate revenue, re-sulted in a somewhat anomalous situation in which the settlements, whilst prospering, represented a constant drain on the resources of the 6 3 government of India. As a result, s t r i c t economy, frequently border-ing on parsimony, became a major determinant of policy. In 1830, the Presidency was abolished and the settlements were brought under the control of the Bengal presidency, to be administered by a Resident situated i n i t i a l l y at Penang, with Assistant-Residents in Malacca and Singapore. Later, in 1832, owing to the outstanding commercial success of Singapore, the administrative headquarters were moved to that island. For reasons connected with the functioning of the Judiciary, the Resident became known as the Governor, and the Assistant-Residents i n Penang and Malacca were accorded the designation of Resident Councillors; but the reality of power lay in, India. Following the abolition in 1833 of the East India Company's monopoly of the China trade, o f f i c i a l interest in the Settlements seems to have been limited to the question 64 of reducing the cost of administration. This was reflected in the reduction of the form and function of government to the minimum neces-sary for the maintenance of law and order, and the collection of excise revenue, licences and property taxes. Even in the matter of law and order, the administration was willing largely to surrender responsi-b i l i t y to the immigrant community., a fact that i s revealed by the enor-mous power and influence wielded by the secret societies from the middle of the nineteenth century on. Until 1867, there were vir t u a l l y no Chinese-speaking European o f f i c i a l s employed in Singapore. 30 I n 1867, a f t e r a p e r i o d o f a g i t a t i o n by t h e S i n g a p o r e mercan-t i l e community, b o t h C h i n e s e and Eur o p e a n , t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n was t r a n s f e r r e d f r o m t h e I n d i a O f f i c e t o t h e C o l o n i a l O f f i c e , and t h e S e t t l e m e n t became a Crown C o l o n y w i t h an e x e c u t i v e c o u n c i l c o n s i s t i n g of s e n i o r o f f i c i a l s , and a l e g i s l a t i v e c o u n c i l made up o f o f f i c i a l s and ' U n o f f i c i a l s ' a p p o i n t e d by t h e G o v e r n o r . A l t h o u g h t h e L e g i s l a t i v e C o u n c i l m e e t i n g s were open t o t h e p u b l i c and t h e p r o c e e d i n g s f r e e l y r e p o r t e d i n t h e p r e s s , t h e o f f i c i a l members, r e q u i r e d t o s u p p o r t g o v e r n ment p o l i c y , c o u l d a l w a y s o u t v o t e t h e u n o f f i c i a l members. I n p r a c t i c e , however, t h e Governor was i n s t r u c t e d t o d e f e r t o t h e v i e w s of t h e Unof-f i c i a l s whenever t h e i r o p p o s i t i o n t o a p r o p o s e d measure was unanimous. T h i s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l arrangement c o n t i n u e d , w i t h m i n o r amendments, u n t i l t h e o u t b r e a k of t h e P a c i f i c War i n 1941. D u r i n g t h e e a r l i e r p a r t of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , t h e merchant of t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s had d e v e l o p e d e x t e n s i v e c o n n e c t i o n s w i t h t h e s t a t e s on t h e w e s t e r n s e a b o a r d of t h e M a l a y p e n i n s u l a , where t h e e x t r a c t i o n o f t i n had g a i n e d c o n s i d e r a b l e i m p o r t a n c e . From t h e 1870's on, t h e s e l a r g e l y economic c o n t a c t s had been much s t r e n g t h e n e d and e x t e n d e d by t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f p o l i t i c a l t i e s i n t h e f o r m o f R e s i d e n t a p p o i n t e d t o a d v i s e M a l a y r u l e r s on a l l m a t t e r s o t h e r t h a n t h o s e c o n -n e c t e d w i t h r e l i g i o n and custom. I n 1896, t h e s t a t e s o f Perak,-S e l a n g o r , N e g r i S e m b i l a n and Pahang u n i t e d t o f o r m t h e F e d e r a t e d M a l a y S t a t e s w i t h a c e n t r a l , c o - o r d i n a t i n g s e c r e t a r i a t , and i n 1909, under t h e terms o f an agreement w i t h Siam, s u z e r a i n t y o v e r t h e s t a t e s o f Trengganu, K e l a n t a n , Kedah and P e r i l s was t r a n s f e r r e d t o G r e a t B r i t a i n . 31 These s t a t e s , t o g e t h e r w i t h J o h o r e , came t o be known c o l l e c t i v e l y as th e U n f e d e r a t e d M a l a y S t a t e s and, s u b j e c t . t o t h e u l t i m a t e c o n t r o l o f th e C o l o n i a l O f f i c e i n London,, a u t h o r i t y o v e r a l l t h e M a l a y s t a t e s was v e s t e d f o r p r a c t i c a l p u r p o s e s i n t h e H i g h Commissioner who was a t t h e same t i m e Governor o f t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s . I n a d d i t i o n , o t h e r s e n i o r o f f i c i a l s o f t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n p e r f o r m e d a n a l o g o u s d u t i e s i n t h e government of t h e F e d e r a t e d M a l a y S t a t e s , and t h u s t h e r e was c r e a t e d a s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h , i n t h e i n t e r e s t s o f admin-i s t r a t i v e e f f i c i e n c y , p o l i c i e s t ended towards u n i f o r m i t y . ^ T h i s b r i e f o u t l i n e o f t h e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p o s i t i o n o f S i n g a p o r e has t o u c h e d on two f a c t o r s w h i c h , i n d i f f e r e n t ways and a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s , s i g n i f i c a n t l y a f f e c t e d t h e f o r m u l a t i o n o f e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y i n th e i s l a n d . The f i r s t — t h e need f o r extreme e c o n o m y — r e i n f o r c e d t h e l a i s s e z - f a i r e p h i l o s o p h y o f government w h i c h a r g u e d t h a t e d u c a t i o n s h o u l d be l e f t t o t h e c a r e of e n t e r p r i s i n g i n d i v i d u a l s o r p r i v a t e o r g a n -i s a t i o n s a s s i s t e d f r o m t i m e t o t i m e w i t h g r a n t s f r o m r e v e n u e , a v i e w t h a t p r e v a i l e d f o r much of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y ; and t h e s e c o n d — t h e c o n c e r n o f t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n f o r B r i t i s h M a l a y a as a w h o l e , r a t h e r t h a n f o r t h e s p e c i a l needs of S i n g a p o r e — r e s u l t e d i n p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e supposed needs o f M a l a y s i n a r u r a l s e t t i n g , and an i n a d e q u a t e p r o -v i s i o n o f f a c i l i t i e s f o r a c o s m o p o l i t a n , u r b a n s o c i e t y . S h o r t l y a f t e r t h e f o u n d i n g o f t h e s e t t l e m e n t , R a f f l e s o u t l i n e d p l a n s and c r e a t e d a f u n d f o r t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of an a m b i t i o u s e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n w h i c h was t o i n c l u d e f a c i l i t i e s f o r t h e s t u d y o f C h i n e s e , Siamese, M a l a y and o t h e r l o c a l l a n g u a g e s as w e l l as We s t e r n s u b j e c t s , and i t seems c l e a r 32 that the most compelling reason for the failure of his venture was that i t did not accord with the prevailing opinion of the times. Those whose unstinting support was necessary for the Institution to succeed simply were not convinced that revenue should be used for the purposes enumer-67 ated by Raffles. John Crawfurd, who became Resident upon the depar-ture of Raffles from Singapore in 1823, noted some three years later that: The sum . . . subscribed [for the founding of the Institution] has been long ago expended in Buildings which are s t i l l unfinished and a Printing Establishment, and on certain Salaries and as no new subscriptions have been obtained, there remains [sic] no funds available for the purpose of education which is of course at a stand. After near three years experience of Singapore I do not hesi-tate to consider that the Singapore Institution for the present at least is upon far too extensive a scale, and that the pecuniary means . . . are inadequate to the objects contemplated in i t s for-mation. . . .68 Having thus disposed of Raffles' somewhat visionary plans, Crawfurd went on to indicate what, in his view, should be the educational policy for the settlement. He argued: I am clearly of opinion that [the promotion of education] w i l l be most successfully pursued by confining our endeavours in the f i r s t place to such instruction as is purely elementary since the present inhabitants of Singapore are utter strangers to European Education. . . . The most numerous and important classes of the Inhabitants of our Eastern Settlements consist of Malays and Chinese. I would propose, therefore, that Instruction i n the f i r s t instance should be confined to reading and writing in those languages, and perhaps also i n Arabic; but above a l l to reading, writing and arithmetic i n English. Instruction in the Asiatic Languages . . . w i l l be chiefly beneficial as the means of reconciling the Natives to European education and insuring them to regular habits of subordin-ation and study.69 Despite these more modest aims, the Indian government showed l i t t l e 33 enthusiasm for disbursing funds to support schools. Government involvement in education in the island followed some-what tardily the pattern set in Penang. In the latter settlement, a "Free School" was.founded as a result of the efforts of the Chaplain of the Settlement, the Rev. R. S. Hutchings. Hutchings, with the assis-tance of a number of leading residentsj formed a committee in 1816 to s o l i c i t support for the proposed school, the purposes of which combined moral and humanitarian considerations with the more practical aims of implanting "early habits of industry, order and good conduct" in the pupils who might also be instructed "in useful employment as carpenters, smiths, shoemakers, tailors, book-binders, e t c . " ^ The public sub-scribed $5,960 to which the government added $1,500 together with the promise of a monthly subscription of $200, which they considered to be "most li b e r a l patronage and support."^ The Singapore Free School, which came into existence in 1834 thanks to the endeavours of the Rev. F. J. Darrah, Chaplain of Singapore, received apparently even less o f f i c i a l support, the Government merely allowing the temporary use of 72 an old house for the school. And indeed, throughout the nineteenth century, education i n Singapore depended almost entirely on the efforts of private individuals and groups of residents, and various missionary 73 bodies, with minimal support from Government. The lack of government interest in education resulted in the growth of a school system which tended to perpetuate ethno-linguistic differences and indeed to add to the complex composition of society by creating a new group which, increasingly detached from i t s cultural 34 h e r i t a g e , g a i n e d competence i n a new l a n g u a g e i n o r d e r t o meet t h e demands of t h e merchant community f o r E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g c l e r k s . But l i n g u i s t i c competence i n E n g l i s h , a l t h o u g h o f g r e a t a s s i s t a n c e i n t h e s e a r c h f o r employment, was a poor s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e e m o t i o n a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l s a t i s f a c t i o n s a f f o r d e d by development w i t h i n a f a m i l i a r c u l t u r a l m i l i e u . Those who o p e r a t e d t h e E n g l i s h s c h o o l s of t h e day e i t h e r d i d n o t p e r c e i v e t h e i r f u n c t i o n t o be t h a t o f i m p a r t i n g t h e f u l l r i c h e s o f E n g l i s h c u l t u r e , o r were p r e v e n t e d f r o m d o i n g so by t h e d i c -t a t e s o f economic n e c e s s i t y , w h i c h removed t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e i r p u p i l s f r o m t h e i r c a r e as soon as t h e y were a b l e t o r e a d and w r i t e a l i t t l e E n g l i s h . The absence o f a c l e a r l y d e f i n e d government p o l i c y t h u s p e r -m i t t e d t h e emergence o f an E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g group w h i c h , g e n e r a l l y f a v o u r e d i n a m a t e r i a l s e n s e , was d e p r i v e d c u l t u r a l l y and i l l - a t - e a s e w i t h t h e o t h e r communities o f t h e i s l a n d . As e a r l y as 1829, t h e p a t t e r n of s c h o o l s i n S i n g a p o r e had begun t o a p p e a r , f o r by t h a t y e a r t h e u n a i d e d e f f o r t s o f p a r e n t s had p r o d u c e d a Cantonese s c h o o l ( a t Kampong Glam) w i t h t w e l v e s t u d e n t s , a n o t h e r ( i n P e k i n S t r e e t ) w i t h e i g h t b o y s ; n e a r b y a H o k k i e n s c h o o l had twenty-two b o y s , and f o r t y - e i g h t boys were e n r o l l e d a t an E n g l i s h - m e d i u m s c h o o l . 74 Fees were c h a r g e d , r a n g i n g f r o m $4 t o $15 p e r month. S u b s e q u e n t l y , numerous s m a l l s c h o o l s a p p e a r e d , many o f w h i c h e n j o y e d no more t h a n a b r i e f e x i s t e n c e , owing m a i n l y t o t h e p r o b l e m o f f i n a n c e . , I n 1835, f o l l o w i n g a p u b l i c m e e t i n g , a S i n g a p o r e S c h o o l S o c i e t y was formed, and t h i s t o o k o v e r and c o m p l e t e d t h e b u i l d i n g p l a n n e d and commenced under t h e i n s p i r a t i o n o f R a f f l e s . But t h e I n s t i t u t i o n w h i c h f i n a l l y opened 35 was far removed from the ambitious conception of i t s founder, was fre-quently plagued by financial d i f f i c u l t i e s due largely to the lack of public interest, and operated merely as a school for the sons of a few well-to-do Chinese families. Yet i t was out of these somewhat inau-spicious circumstances that the extremely successful Raffles Institution evolved. In 1852, the f i r s t major missionary involvement resulted in the establishment of St. Joseph's Institution, an English-medium school, in large premises on Bras Basah Road (where i t s t i l l i s ) . It was to be a "free" school, run by the Christian Brothers and although "every care" was to be taken "to form the Catholic children in the solid maxims of Christian piety," there was to be "no interference with the religious tenets of other c r e e d s . T h e following year a small school for Chinese g i r l s was founded by Sophia Cooke of the Society for the Promo-tion of Female Education in the East. Later the school was transferred to the management of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society.^ The Anglican Church opened the English-medium St. Andrew's School in 1862, and the American-based Methodist Episcopalian Mission opened i t s f i r s t school in Singapore in 1886, with support from local Chinese.^ Government involvement in education was restricted, at f i r s t , almost entirely to the encouragement of. vernacular schools for Malays, with random small grants to English schools. Later, a system of grants-in-aid, based upon results achieved by the English schools, was intro-duced. As early as 1856, two Malay schools received o f f i c i a l assistance, and after the transfer of the Straits Settlements to the administration 36 of the Colonial Office i n 1867, more Malay schools were provided at government expense; and in 1878 a college for training Malay teachers 78 was founded on the island. The absence of an overall policy for education resulted in the proliferation of schools of many different types. In most Malay schools, lessons were restricted to learning verses from the Koran and reading and writing in the Jawi script. Yet in others, particularly those run by church missions, Western subjects were taught and although Malay was the medium of instruction, students learnt the use of the Roman script. Chinese vernacular education, which received virt u a l l y no government assistance throughout the nineteenth century, was generally provided through the efforts of groups of merchants, or occasionally as an act of philanthropy by individual wealthy members of the community. Instruc-tion in these schools appears to have been along traditional lines: Confucian in content and taught through the medium of one or other of the Chinese dialects. This situation continued in Chinese vernacular schools u n t i l the 1920's, when the regional dialects gradually gave way to instruction in the 'National Language'—colloquial Mandarin (Kuo yu). Secondary education was limited to a few English schools in which small, post-primary divisions were organised. The lack of guidance on the part of government which resulted in this complex mixture of private and state-aided schools, and d i f -ferent forms of education, indicates clearly that such basic questions as the purpose of education, the most suitable medium of instruction, and the kind of knowledge to be imparted were matters l e f t to the 37 discretion of individual school managers or missionary bodies. In 1870, a Select Committee of the Legislative Council was formed "to inquire into the state of Education in the Colony," and the Report noted that there were: a great number and variety of schools . . . , some purely educa-tional, others combining charity with education. Many of these are under the control of the Roman Catholic Clergy, but a l l . . . having a. system of their own, unchecked, as a rule, by any govern-ment supervision. By Government grants-in-aid, by voluntary sub-scriptions and other means, considerable sums of money have . . . been expended i n the cause of education, but, owing to the absence of effective supervision and the want of well defined principles on which schools should be conducted, your committee i s of opinion that the general result has been far from satisfactory.79 The Committee was much concerned with the results achieved by schools in which English was the language of instruction. The members regretted that such institutions had: turned out many young men competent to earn a livelihood in Govern-ment and mercantile offices, but . . . the majority of these clerks know only how to read, write and speak English imperfectly, and . . . very few of them are in a position to make any material advance in l i f e or to enjoy or improve their leisure by reading and adopting other means of self-culture. . . . Ideas they have none, and they are quite incapable of expressing themselves in writing, either, grammatically or logically. In your committee's opinion this . . . i s mainly due to the short time that boys are kept at school by their parents.80 The members of the Committee revealed, perhaps unwittingly, their own view of what the content of education should be,, for on the subject of vernacular schools, they asserted that such institutions had done " l i t t l e or no good. In almost every instance the sole object aimed at in such establishments i s to teach the boys to read a few chapters of 38 81 t h e K o r a n , and no g e n e r a l knowledge i s a t t e m p t e d t o be communicated." T h i s comment i s a l s o i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e p r e o c c u p a t i o n o f a d m i n i s t r a t o r s w i t h t h e e d u c a t i o n o f M a l a y s , f o r t h e R e p o r t had l i t t l e t o say on t h e s u b j e c t o f C h i n e s e v e r n a c u l a r e d u c a t i o n . A g a i n , on t h e m a t t e r o f M a l a y e l e m e n t a r y e d u c a t i o n , t h e members a s s e r t e d t h a t , r a t h e r t h a n r e l i g i o u s knowledge, t h e s t u d e n t s i n v e r n a c u l a r s c h o o l s s h o u l d be t a u g h t " t h e r u d i m e n t s o f sound knowledge"; and, t o u c h i n g on a m a t t e r t h a t was t o become a s u b j e c t o f l o n g - c o n t i n u e d d e b a t e i n t h e f o r m u l a t i o n o f edu c a -t i o n a l p o l i c y , t h e y a r g u e d t h a t "a boy, whether he be C h i n e s e o r M a l a y , can make no r e a l p r o g r e s s i n e d u c a t i o n u n t i l he i s w e l l grounded i n h i s 82 own l a n g u a g e . " The R e p o r t c o n c l u d e d t h a t e d u c a t i o n i n t h e C o l o n y was i n "a backward s t a t e . " A r i s i n g f r o m t h e s u g g e s t i o n s c o n t a i n e d i n t h e 1870 R e p o r t , an I n s p e c t o r o f S c h o o l s was a p p o i n t e d whose d u t i e s were t o i n s p e c t and r e p o r t on s c h o o l s , and t o make recommendations r e g a r d i n g government s p e n d i n g on e d u c a t i o n . T h i s a ppointment r e p r e s e n t e d t h e o r i g i n o f t h e E d u c a t i o n Department, a E u r o p e a n - o f f i c e r e d b u r e a u c r a c y w h i c h d e v e l o p e d t o a d m i n i s t e r t h e complex s y s t e m o f g r a n t s - i n - a i d by means of w h i c h t h e 83 government e x e r c i s e d i t s g r o w i n g c o n t r o l o f e d u c a t i o n i n t h e C o l o n y . The f o r m t h i s c o n t r o l t o o k was t o p r o v i d e f r e e v e r n a c u l a r e d u c a t i o n f o r M a l a y s , w i t h heavy emphasis upon h a n d i c r a f t s ; and t o s u p p o r t E n g l i s h -medium i n s t r u c t i o n , g e n e r a l l y t h a t p r o v i d e d by m i s s i o n a r y b o d i e s , i n o r d e r t o meet t h e demand f o r E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g c l e r k s . I n 1894, t h e I n s p e c t o r o f S c h o o l s r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e p u r p o s e of E n g l i s h s c h o o l s was " t o s u p p l y c a n d i d a t e s f o r n e a r l y t h e whole o f t h e s u b o r d i n a t e 39 appointments under Government in the Colony and Native States and for 84 c l e r i c a l and other appointments in mercantile houses. . . ." By the turn of the century, educational f a c i l i t i e s in Singapore, as in the other settlements of the Colony, provided free elementary schooling for Malays, and an assortment of private schools, some of which received government assistance and were subject to o f f i c i a l inspection, at which students were required, generally, to pay fees. That education was far from universal in the Colony as a whole is revealed by the fact that, in 1900, of the 45,755 boys between the ages of five and fifteen, only 20,784 attended schools of any kind, and of these, 6,155 attended English schools. Female education was confined almost wholly to Euro-85 pean and Eurasian g i r l s . The Director of Public Instruction con-sidered, i n 1902, that i t was "very creditable to the intelligence of the Chinese of the Colony that so many of them wish their children to acquire an English education, and are willing to pay fees for their 86 doing so." In Singapore, a total of 4,186 boys and 938 g i r l s were enrolled at.schools receiving any form of government assistance, and i t was asserted that "a considerable number" of small Chinese schools 87 existed where "the Chinese character" was taught. In 1903, owing to a recurrence of i t s earlier, financial d i f f i -culties, the management of Raffles Institution passed into the hands of the Government, thereby, becoming the f i r s t of a new category of schools administered directly by the Education Department. In the same year, and for the same reasons, Raffles Girl s ' School also became a "Govern-i i i i 88 ment school. 4Q The larger mission-operated schools, as well as Raffles I n s t i -tution and the Raffles Girl s ' School, provided classes for secondary education, and attendance was. encouraged from 1885 on by the provision of government scholarships, the most valuable of which came to be known as Queen's Scholarships. Two of these were offered annually, and they enabled the successful candidates, drawn from English schools, to attend British universities for periods up to five years. This narrowly E l i t i s t approach to higher education meant in practice that a l l those desiring to continue their studies beyond the level attained by local schools were forced to do so overseas, at their own expense unless they happened to be one of the successful competitors. The effect of the Queen's Scholarships upon the school curriculum came under public criticism as early as 1902, when i t was noted that, for reasons of pres-tige, schools tended to concentrate on cramming for the competitive 89 examination to the detriment of good teaching; and in the face of mounting criticism from the teaching profession, the scholarships were discontinued in 1912. Because of this, by the time of the outbreak of war i n Europe, there was a complete absence of local f a c i l i t i e s for advanced training, other than the King Edward VII Medical School,, which had been opened i n 1905. In 1913, the Director of Education noted bluntly that there were: no scholarships for the purpose of enabling pupils to pass to places of higher education. There are no University Colleges in the Colony. The only provision for Technical Education at present existing i n the Colony consists of evening classes i n the Young Men's Christian Association Building in Singapore. These classes have been instituted only during the current year.90 41 As the centenary of the founding of Singapore approached, edu-c a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s i n the i s l a n d might be characterised as complex, i n the sense that there was no si n g l e guiding p o l i c y . Schools, had evolved l a r g e l y as the r e s u l t of pr i v a t e i n i t i a t i v e , and as such they r e f l e c t e d a broad spectrum of educational philosophies. Government support, at f i r s t quite minimal, came to be applied in c r e a s i n g l y to the pro v i s i o n of free elementary education of a s p e c i f i c kind f o r the Malays, and to the encouragement of i n s t r u c t i o n through the medium of English f o r a minority drawn p r i n c i p a l l y from the other ethnic groups. Higher education was ava i l a b l e only to those who could a f f o r d to t r a v e l abroad, with admis-sion to t h i s e*lite being further r e s t r i c t e d to those who achieved success i n English-medium schools. The majority of the school-age population received no formal education; and such schools as existed tended to make permanent the fragmentation of society along e t h n o l i n g u i s t i c l i n e s . Chapter II EDUCATIONAL POLICY PRIOR TO THE PACIFIC WAR The system of education in Singapore during the years between the end of the European war of 1914 to 1918 and the outbreak of war in the Pacific in 1941, displayed a fundamental inequality of treatment and opportunity which resulted from the absence of a single, clearly enunciated, guiding policy. The most notable features of the system Iwere i t s failure to provide any education whatsoever for more than half of the school-age population, and the failure of i t s administrators to find a solution to the twin problems of what the content of education should be, and in which language or languages instruction should be given. Furthermore, Singapore's constitutional situation as one unit of a group of ill-assorted settlements, linked for certain administra-tive purposes to the Federated Malay States, hampered the evolution of a school system designed to serve the needs of i t s essentially urban, cosmopolitan population. Owing to the authoritarian character of the colonial government there was an absence of effective channels of com-munication between rulers and ruled; and because of the lack of a voci-ferous nationalist movement, colonial administrators seldom were forced to think in terms of ultimate p o l i t i c a l objectives towards which educa-tional policy should be directed. Schools, having been allowed to develop their curricula along divergent lines, inevitably reflected the experience, values and ideals of those who taught. Chinese-medium schools, in which the majority of teachers had been recruited from 42 43 C h i n a , were o r i e n t e d towards t h a t c o u n t r y ; E n g l i s h - m e d i u m s c h o o l s f o c u s s e d a t t e n t i o n on E n g l a n d , Europe and t h e B r i t i s h E m p i r e ; and s u c h Tamil-medium s c h o o l s as were a b l e t o s u s t a i n an u n c e r t a i n e x i s t e n c e p r e d i c t a b l y l o o k e d towards I n d i a f o r t h e i r i n s p i r a t i o n . The e v e n t u a l emergence of an i n d e p e n d e n t s t a t e w i t h a n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y of i t s own was h a r d l y a f a c t o r i n e d u c a t i o n a l p l a n n i n g . Where i t i s p o s s i b l e t o d i s c e r n t h e e x i s t e n c e of a government p o l i c y (as opposed t o a s e r i e s o f ad hoc a r r a n g e m e n t s , p r e s e n t e d i n t h e g u i s e o f a p l a n ) , i t w o u l d appear t h a t d e c i s i o n s were t a k e n a t t h e whim o f i n d i v i d u a l o f f i c i a l s r a t h e r t h a n as t h e r e s u l t o f c a r e f u l i n v e s t i g a t i o n , and l a r g e l y were d e t e r m i n e d by p r e c o n c e p t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g t h e needs o f t h e e t h n o - l i n g u i s t i c a l l y d i v e r s e groups o f w h i c h t h e p o p u l a t i o n was.composed. The a p p l i c a t i o n of s u c h i l l - f o u n d e d p l a n s , c o u p l e d w i t h r e c u r r e n t u n d e r - f i n a n c i n g o f e d u c a t i o n , e f f e c t i v e l y e x c l u d e d a m a j o r i t y of t h e young p e o p l e f r o m f a c i l i t i e s w h i c h t h e i n h a b i t a n t s o f t h e i s l a n d as a w h ole were r e q u i r e d t o s u p p o r t , tended t o deny t o M a l a y s t h e means o f a d a p t i n g t o u r b a n l i f e , e ncouraged t h e detachment o f T a m i l - s p e a k e r s f r o m t h e i r l i t e r a r y h e r i t a g e , and c o n t i n u e d t o promote t h e e v o l u t i o n of a c u l t u r a l l y a l i e n a t e d E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g group amongst t h e p r e d o m i n a n t l y C h i n e s e popu-l a t i o n . S i n c e t h e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s was d i v i d e d between l o c a l a d m i n i s t r a t o r s and o f f i c i a l s o f t h e I m p e r i a l Government i n London, w i t h a u t h o r i t y d e r i v i n g i n p r a c t i c e f r o m t h e B r i t i s h P a r l i a m e n t , i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t t h e l a c k o f an e f f e c t i v e s y s t e m o f e d u c a t i o n was due t o t h e f a i l u r e o f t h e C o l o n i a l O f f i c e t o c r e a t e a c l e a r sense of p u r p o s e and hence g i v e e m p h a t i c d i r e c t i o n t o e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y . To i l l u s t r a t e 44 this, i t i s necessary to describe briefly, the machinery by which matters affecting colonial education were dealt with, and then to consider the views of those most directly involved.''" Prior to 1918,. no special machinery existed in the Colonial Office for consideration of educational problems. With the gradual erosion of the laissez-faire attitude towards education, questions of policy came to be decided by senior o f f i c i a l s whose duty i t was to advise the Secretary of State on matters relating to those colonies of which they had particular knowledge. Thus l i t t l e , i f any, educational 2 expertise found i t s way into the decision-making process at this level. During -the five years following the end of the war in Europe, there was a growing awareness of the need to ensure that the aims of mission operated schools should not conflict with those of Government schools in the African colonies; and out of a series of contacts between the International Missionary Council and senior o f f i c i a l s of the Colonial Office including the Under-Secretary of State, W. G. A. Ormsby-Gore, and the veteran administrator Lord Lugard, there evolved, in 1923, an 3 Advisory Committee on Native Education in British Tropical Africa. The purpose of this Committee was to study educational developments, issue guidelines, and collect and disseminate, information for the bene-4 f i t of a l l the British African territories. As such, i t must be con-sidered to have been a conscious attempt on the part of the Imperial Government to adjust to the changing needs and conditions in. the Empire. The Committee consisted of educationists drawn from Great Britain as well as from the Colonial C i v i l Service and missionary societies, with 45 representatives of the Colonial Office, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State was ex o f f i c i o chairman. In 1929 the functions of the Committee were extended to include a l l British colonies and protec-torates, at which time i t s membership was increased, and i t s name changed to the Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies. Because of i t s early preoccupation with Africa, education o f f i c i a l s in other British territories were inclined to be suspicious of the advice and guidelines originating with the Committee, and this was particularly true of Britain's colonies in Asia."' Some insight into the effectiveness of the Committee may be gained from the following com-ment of Arthur Mayhew, former Joint-Secretary, written in 1938: The Committee has not obtruded i t s advice, and i t has studied local conditions as far as possible.. It has also conferred with Directors of Education home on leave. It has often found that conclusions reached by the Committee are the same as conclusions reached as a result of local experience and experiment. The advice tendered to the Secretary of State is passed on to the colonies for consideration with due reference to local condi-tions . In those dependencies where there is a large measure of self-government, and where the Legislative Council consists mainly or entirely of elected members, the advice may be, and sometimes i s , disregarded. In the more autocratically governed dependencies the advice i s usually interpreted i n the nature of instructions. But even in such areas the governor's personal attitude counts for much. It i s possible for him to interpret local conditions as to make the tendered advice impossible.6 The constantly renewed contacts of the Committee with senior colonial o f f i c i a l s on leave i n England, and the compilation of annual and other reports from the various overseas Departments of Education, created an impressive body of information from which an Imperial education policy began gradually to emerge. But the labyrinth of bureaucracy which 46 separated policy from performance served to muffle the dictates of a distant and, perhaps, no longer entirely self-assured Emperor. If decisions intended to translate ideal into fact became blurred on their way to the colonies, this was not so in the case of the rationale for the continued existence of the colonial relationship. Views expressed in London were readily received, echoed and amplified at the local level, where they provided the philosophical framework for educational developments. The work of Arthur Mayhew, whose opinion was highly valued and frequently, deferred to in the Colonial Office during the 1930's, reveals the underlying conviction that the j u s t i f i -cation for British rule continued to be found in i t s a b i l i t y to pro-mote material and spiritual progress. Thus he argued: It i s . . . not the products of 'western c i v i l i s a t i o n , ' which are often l i t t l e more than the scum on the surface, that we want to communicate. It i s the solid rock on which what is permanent and valuable in our western l i f e i s founded that we wish to select as the foundations of a new l i f e i n less fortunate lands.7 And again: . . . refusing to mistake difference in stages of development for differences in raci a l a b i l i t y , we are bound as educationists to have i n view an ultimate good, a common c i v i l i s a t i o n , for the world. . . .8 Mayhew saw education as "an instrument for ensuring continuity and growth" which,, however, could not be imposed on an unwilling community. Secretaries of State would not wish to adopt too definite a policy, he insisted, and they would be satisfied "with a few assumptions and a statement of general principles." They would not be surprised i f those 47 p r i n c i p l e s were "adapted w i t h t h e utmost e l a s t i c i t y t o l o c a l c o n d i t i o n s . " Mayhew n o t e d t h a t t h e r e e x i s t e d no s i n g l e document d e f i n i n g t h e o f f i c i a l a t t i t u d e t o t h e " s u b j e c t r a c e s , " and t h a t t h e t a s k o f t h e B r i t i s h was so t o d e v e l o p t h e l a n d s and r a c e s committed t o o u r ch a r g e as t o b e n e f i t t h e w o r l d as a w h o l e , i n c l u d i n g , o f c o u r s e , o u r s e l v e s , and a l s o t h e r a c e s t h a t i n h a b i t t h o s e l a n d s . T h i s f o r m u l a w o u l d p r o b a b l y commend i t s e l f t o t h e E n g l i s h e l e c t o r a t e , i f c o l o n i a l a f f a i r s were e v e r an e l e c t i o n i s s u e . The c o n c e p t i o n . . . i s i m p l i c i t i n many of t h e [ I m p e r i a l Government's] pronouncements and may be r e g a r d e d as d e t e r m i n i n g i t s a t t i t u d e . . . t o a l l i t s dependencies.10 He r e c o g n i s e d t h a t l o c a l e d u c a t i o n o f f i c e r s w o u l d welcome a more p r e c i s e d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e aims o f c o l o n i a l e d u c a t i o n , and posed t h e q u e s t i o n : "Are we t o e d u c a t e our p u p i l s f o r s e l f - g o v e r n m e n t ? " and r e p l i e d : The answer t o t h i s w i l l be y e s . But what k i n d o f s e l f - g o v e r n m e n t ? . . . t h e g e n e r a l t e n o r o f t h e r e p l y w o u l d p r o b a b l y be: ' s e l f -government i s , o f c o u r s e , our u l t i m a t e aim, b u t i t w o u l d be u s e l e s s t o l o o k t o o f a r a h e a d . H And, on a c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o p i c : The s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l m a s t e r o r c o l l e g e l e c t u r e r w o u l d l i k e . . . t o know f o r what k i n d s o f a d m i n i s t r a t i o n work he i s t r a i n i n g h i s p u p i l s . A r e t h e y t o occupy p o s t s o f t h e h i g h e s t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e w h i t e men i n t h e s e p o s t s as t r a i n e d and competent c a n d i d a t e s become a v a i l a b l e ? The c r u d i t y o f t h e q u e s t i o n m i g h t p r o v o k e and w o u l d c e r t a i n l y j u s t i f y a v e r y c a u t i o u s reply.12 D e s p i t e t h e i r c r u d i t y , i t was t h e f a i l u r e o f t h e I m p e r i a l Government t o answer e m p h a t i c a l l y j u s t s u c h q u e s t i o n s t h a t r e s u l t e d i n many o f t h e a m b i g u i t i e s i n t h e s c h o o l s y s t e m o f t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s . Mayhew a d m i t t e d , however, t h a t e d u c a t i o n departments t h a t w a i t e d f o r g u i d a n c e 48 from London would be lik e l y to be disappointed; and he noted, with apparent approval, that in practice departments did not wait, but made their own decisions with results that were "sometimes . . . d i f f i c u l t 13 to adjust to the p o l i t i c a l or economic tendencies" of the colonies. This mixture of Imperial idealism and indecision encouraged local o f f i c i a l s to develop education i n Malaya along socially divisive lines. The System of Schools It has been noted that, towards the end of the nineteenth cen-tury and during the f i r s t years of the present century, the Government of the Straits Settlements had become involved increasingly in the pro-vision of educational f a c i l i t i e s : f i r s t through the control which was a necessary condition for the payment of grants-in-aid; and later through the direct administration of 'Government' schools. Although the exigencies of the war in Europe dictated a suspension of progress 14 in the provision of state-controlled educational institutions, l i t t l e advantage was taken of that period of enforced inactivity to reconsider the educational needs of the community. It is true that, i n 1916, two new posts were created within the Department of Education, the purpose being the improvement of the standard of instruction given; but the f i r s t , that of Assistant Director i n charge of Malay vernacular educa-tion, merely confirmed the existing emphasis placed upon primary instruc-tion at the village level for rural Malays., whilst the second, that of Chief Inspector,, was concerned in practice almost entirely with the operation of English-medium schools. The member of the Malay C i v i l Service appointed to the former position, Richard 0. Winstedt, had been 49 selected for his "knowledge of the Malay language and the Malay mind," and the Governor, Sir Arthur Young, expressed the hope that "much good" 16 might be derived from the appointment. Certainly Winstedt seemed to be well qualified for the position, for already he had achieved wide 17 recognition as a Malay scholar. In the year of his appointment he was sent to Java and the Philippines to gain first-hand knowledge of ver-nacular and "industrial" education in Dutch and American colonial t e r r i -tories, and i t is significant that in his report of the tour he drew attention to one of the major flaws in the system of education provided by the British for Malays. Referring to those students who sought to pursue their studies beyond the primary level he noted that: most of our Malays go from a Malay school . . . to English schools. . . . And a boy who has passed Standard V in his Malay school has to be put in the lowest standard i n the English school because he is utterly ignorant of English; though probably his knowledge of arithmetic and geography would f i t him for a higher standard. This is a great handicap for Malay boys. Moreover cramming a small boy with Malay at one school, then desisting and cramming him with English at another is wrong in principle. . . . A better plan per-haps would be to have classes in Malay for Malay boys attached to some of the English schools.18 Yet despite his awareness of the disadvantage to Malays who were forced, under the existing system, to delay the completion of their secondary education u n t i l they were several years older than their more fortunate contemporaries drawn from the other ethnic groups, Winstedt permitted the old system to persist and indeed, throughout the period of his attachment to the Department of Education f i r s t as Assistant Director, then as Acting Director and ultimately as Director, he became the system's most intransigent supporter. Basing his policy for Malay 50 education on the not unreasonable assumption that the best language of instruction i s the students' mother tongue, he failed to perceive that, in fairness to the Malays, the same principle must be applied.to both the other major ethnic groups. To ins i s t on Malays alone receiving primary instruction in Malay whilst at the same time permitting the other communities the opportunity of educating their children in English — t h e de facto language of administration and commerce in Singapore— must result in Malays being placed at a considerable disadvantage in the competition for employment. Moreover, the limitation of occupa-tional opportunity arising from this policy of linguistic differentia-tion was reinforced by the nature of the Malay school curriculum, in which great emphasis was placed upon "vocational instruction," a term which meant in practice such subjects as gardening and basket--weaving. For a brief spell, perhaps only from the war-time hiatus in edu-cational progress u n t i l 1920 or 1921—when the decline in world prices of rubber and t i n led to a policy of retrenchment, and new demands came to be made upon the revenue of the Colony in connection with Imperial defence requirements—there existed an opportunity to change the school system fundamentally. But rather than come to grips with such basic problems as those concerned with ultimate objectives, the content of education, and the language of instruction, the Government chose to revise and extend the system of grants-in-aid to selected private English schools, to expand and modify the provision of a free but specific type of education for Malays, and to continue to ignore Chinese and Tamil education. There was, however, one significant 51 attempt made to depart from existing policy at that time. In his budget speech of October 1918, the Governor announced that i t was the aim of the Government "to afford f a c i l i t i e s for the free education of 19 a l l children, in English, up to the Fourth Standard," and in the Annual Report for 1918, the Director of Education indicated that the administration was well aware of the financial implications of this new policy. Referring to the reasons which had led to an increase of the Education Rate earlier that year, he mentioned that, i n addition to the greater sums required for grants-in-aid, money would be needed for other purposes: Free elementary education . . . has a prominent place in the pro-gramme.. It i s clear that as soon as the Government is in a position to offer free elementary English education . . . Aided Schools must be enabled to give the same privilege.20 Indeed, the evidence suggests that Governor Young had some perception of the educational needs of the community, for he noted in a despatch to Lord Milner, Secretary of State for the Colonies, that there was "an insistent demand in this Colony for improved and higher education," and he considered that the Education Department, which had been 21 "marking time for years" should now be allowed to "move forward." But his term of office had nearly expired, and his successor held very d i f -ferent views on such matters. The policy of free elementary education, in English, was quietly shelved; and notwithstanding the increasing demand for English schooling, subsequent years saw a steady retreat from Young's declared aim. In the Legislative Council in 1923, in 22 response to a question by Tan Cheng Lock, who pressed the Government 52 to state when i t was intended to implement the policy announced by Young in 1918, the Acting Colonial Secretary insisted: It is clear that when Sir Arthur Young made the statement referred to that he regarded universal free education in English as not the immediate but ultimate aim. English education must grow, but i t s growth must be gradual. Government is concerned today not with possible future ideals, but with practical measures.... Even i f English education for a l l were an immediate aim, progress could not be more rapid as staffs cannot be found and trained in a few months.23 From this i t is evident that the implications of the policy, which had been apparent to the Government in 1918, now were being used to ration-alise the postponement of universal free elementary education, in English, to an unpredictable time in the future; and this effectively detached the ideal from any kind of practical influence upon the plan-ning and administration of Public Instruction. The total reversal of Young's policy, however, was not made o f f i c i a l u n t i l ten years later when the financial stringencies of the slump gave an added incentive to the Government to offer an unattractive—and hence inexpensive— alternative objective. The new policy was produced by the then Acting Colonial Secretary who stated that i t was the aim of the Government "to make available for a l l British subjects of whatever races a free educa-tion i n the Malay vernacular," and further that i t was the "definite 24 decision of Government to abide by that policy." The irrelevance of such a proposal to Singapore and the shabby opportunism that seems to have motivated i t became apparent in a series of questions and answers in the Legislative Council. Lim Cheng Ean, nominated 'Unofficial' member, asked the Government to cite the uses, commercial or otherwise, 53 to which written Malay could be put in the Colony by English, Tamil, Eurasian, Malay and Chinese boys and g i r l s ; to which the Government blandly replied that Malay was the lingua franca of the country and was used "by a l l the races mentioned i n their intercourse with one another." Pressed by Lim to give the names of offices, firms, companies and government departments in the Colony where written Malay was used as a medium of communication, the Government declined "to institute an enquiry in order to provide the information asked for." Further ques-tioning e l i c i t e d the fact that no investigation had been made to determine the number of students li k e l y to "avail themselves of the benefits" of the new policy, and indeed that no steps had been taken to enlarge the accommodation of existing Malay schools or to provide 25 additional teaching staff. Thus i t i s clear that the Government did not anticipate any significant increase in the numbers of students anxious to gain a rustic, i f free, Malay education, and that the motive for the new policy was the desire to curtail Government expenditure on education. The new policy—which included an increase of school fees in Government and Aided English-medium schools as well as the denial of grants-in-aid to Chinese and Tamil schools not. already receiving assis-26 tance —was rig i d l y maintained, despite mounting criticism; and later 27 i n 1933, the Governor, Sir Cecil Clementi, argued that in order to promote amity amongst the different groups of the population and "an affection for the land in which they l i v e " a common language was essen-t i a l , and hence i t was Government policy to provide "free primary 54 education in the Malay language for a l l children whose parents are domi-28 ciled either in the Colony or in the Malay States." Clementi, who throughout the period of his governorship was much preoccupied with the constitutional arrangements for encouraging the entry of the Unfeder-ated Malay States into a closer association with the rest of British 29 Malaya, was prepared to subordinate the interests of Singapore to the interests of that larger p o l i t i c a l unit he had in mind. Uniformity of educational policy was, he argued, essential: [The] underlying principles of educational policy must be every-where the same. . . . It would . . . be intolerable that in one part of Malaya, say, in the Federation, the basic language should be Malay and that in another, say, in Singapore Island, i t should be English. There must be uniformity in essentials. . . .30 The reactions to this statement, both inside and outside the Legislature, leave l i t t l e room for doubt that the weight of articulate opinion viewed the new policy as representing a total disregard of the interests of the vast majority of the people of the Settlements. The sober-voiced Straits Times noted: even among the most moderate elements in the Straits-born Chinese community a feeling of despair and a conviction their future in this Colony i s to be that of a people accepted merely on sufferance. They believe quite sincerely that the policy of the present admin-istration i s definitely anti-Chinese. . . . His Excellency's state-ment of education policy w i l l do nothing to restore [their] confidence. . . .31 And during the debate which followed the Governor's statement to the Legislative Council, Lim Cheng Ean made an impassioned plea to the Governor to reverse the policy of free elementary education in Malay, 55 at the conclusion of which he said, "This i s the last appeal I shall make to you s i r , for I do not propose to continue as a member of this 32 Council." He then gathered his papers and l e f t the Council chamber. The policy nevertheless continued to be applied. Early in 1934, the Straits Times returned to the subject, pointing out in an editorial that: at the present moment there are not a dozen non-Malay children in the Colony who are being educated in that [Malay] language; non-Malays firmly and unshakably refuse to educate their children in that language; the children already know as much Malay as they w i l l ever need for ordinary intercourse with other races; and the only language which they wish to speak and write is English. . . . The Government has adopted a policy which is being boycotted by the entire population to which i t applies. Where Government refuses to build new English schools . . . private schools spring up like mushrooms, and the spread of the English language goes on unchecked . . . It is very d i f f i c u l t to believe that the Director of Educa-tion . . . has of his own accord . . . made the mistake of offer-ing to the non-Malay citizens . . . educational f a c i l i t i e s which are not merely useless but actually repugnant to them. . . . The only thing to do is to retreat from the untenable position. . . .^ 3 In the Legislative Council, Tan Cheng Lock argued that, whilst i t was desirable for a l l to have a knowledge of colloquial Malay, i t was an unnecessary waste of precious time for a Chinese or Indian boy to attend a Malay school for three or four years to study literary Malay which could be of l i t t l e use to him in adult l i f e . He insisted that the Chinese should have the opportunity to receive their elementary educa-tion "at the expense of the State i n the language . . . which i s . . . 34 the o f f i c i a l , commercial and common written language of the country." In replying for the Government the Colonial Secretary produced a rather novel argument in favour of the policy. It was, he said, essential 56 that the medium of primary education should have no market value. What existed in the Colony was a "language of barter" which, having no market value, was "basic for inter-racial bargaining . . . and quite service-able and adequate within the sphere of the three R's." The o f f i c i a l language, English, was he asserted: spoken increasingly in our main streets. It has not yet permeated the lesser streets, the lanes or the workshops. It s t i l l therefore possesses a rarity value and i t has the reputation of being the avenue to 'white coated' [sic] employment. So long . . . as i t is associated in the public mind with the idea of an Open Sesame to what I may c a l l 'sweatless livelihood,' so long w i l l i t . . . be a criminal f o l l y to make i t the basic language for free primary educa-tion. To do so would be inevitably to breed disillusionment and discontent.35 The conclusion to this kind of reasoning would seem to imply that the Government was in favour of retaining the "rarity value" attached to English, with the inevitable result that i t would continue to be regarded as the avenue to prestigious employment. Indeed, in winding up the debate, the Governor himself asserted that i t was "the intention of Government to limit English education by requiring that i t should be paid for. . . . We . . . see no reason why the general taxpayer should be burdened with the cost of educating the masses . . . i n a 3 language for which after their school days they have l i t t l e or no use." The policy continued to be staunchly supported by Government spokesmen un t i l the arrival of a new. Governor and recovery from the worst effects of the slump afforded an opportunity for i t s decent interment. In 37 October 1935, the new Governor, Sir Shenton Thomas, announced the restoration of grants-in-aid to schools without discrimination on 57 38 grounds of the medium of instruction. And the following year, with the acceptance by Government of the principle that "uniformity of policy as between the Straits Settlements and the Malay States i n 39 purely educational matters is neither necessary nor desirable," the f i r s t hesitant steps in the direction of a rational policy for a speci-f i c a l l y urban, cosmopolitan community were taken. This account of Government policy regarding the provision of free elementary education, and the language in which instruction was to be given, affords an example of the subordination of Singapore's interests to the perceived interests of 'British Malaya,' and i l l u s -trates the essential unresponsiveness of Government, at least u n t i l 1935, to the frequent and vociferous demands of those few who were in a position to make their voices heard. In order to cl a r i f y the evolu-tion of schools in Singapore during this period, i t is necessary now to refer to the method and extent of public funding of education. Reduced to i t s essentials, funds were raised by an education rate on a l l rateable property, supplemented by school fees and funds allocated from the general revenue of the Colony. In 1909, an Educa-tion Board had been established, the functions of which had been, inter  a l i a , to determine the amount of fees to be charged in Government schools, to receive a l l such fees, to prepare and submit to the Govern-ment the Annual Estimates for education, and to receive the proceeds of 40 the education rate. In 1918, a B i l l had been introduced, the effect of which was to increase the education rate to two per cent on property in municipalities and to one per cent on property in rural areas, the 58 major r e a s o n s b e i n g t o meet t h e c o s t o f i n c r e a s e d g r a n t s - i n - a i d t o non-Government s c h o o l s and t h e upkeep o f t h e p r o p o s e d f r e e e l e m e n t a r y 41 E n g l i s h s c h o o l s . The e x t e n t t o w h i c h government e d u c a t i o n a l p o l i c y c o u l d be p u t i n t o p r a c t i c e n a t u r a l l y depended t o a l a r g e degree upon t h e f u n d s a v a i l a b l e . A p p e n d i x A p r o v i d e s d e t a i l s o f government e x p e n d i -t u r e on e d u c a t i o n d u r i n g t h e y e a r s 1918 t o 1938 ( t h e l a s t pre-war y e a r f o r w h i c h c o m p l e t e d e t a i l s a r e a v a i l a b l e ) , and i n d i c a t e s f o r e a c h y e a r e d u c a t i o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e as a p e r c e n t a g e o f t o t a l government s p e n d i n g . I t w i l l be n o t e d t h a t t h r o u g h o u t t h e p e r i o d , a t no t i m e d i d government e x p e n d i t u r e on e d u c a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g funds a l l o c a t e d t o t h e P u b l i c Works Department f o r t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n , m a i n t e n a n c e o r r e n o v a t i o n of s c h o o l b u i l d i n g s , e xceed 7.7 p e r c e n t of t o t a l government e x p e n d i t u r e f o r t h e y e a r . I n 1932, t h e y e a r f o r w h i c h t h e ' h i g h ' o f 7.7 p e r c e n t was r e c o r d e d , comparable f i g u r e s f o r o t h e r B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l t e r r i t o r i e s were C e y l o n : n e a r l y 11 p e r c e n t , M a u r i t i u s : o v e r 10 p e r c e n t , and 42 B a r b a d o s , 13 p e r c e n t . The A n n u a l F i n a n c i a l S t a t e m e n t s f r o m w h i c h t h e p e r c e n t a g e s i n A p p e n d i x A have been c a l c u l a t e d r e f e r t o t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s as a w h o l e , and as s u c h t e n d t o o b s c u r e t h e p o s i t i o n i n r e g a r d t o S i n g a p o r e . E x a m i n a t i o n of t h e d e t a i l e d R e p o r t s on t h e Income and E x p e n d i t u r e of t h e E d u c a t i o n Board r e v e a l s t h e f a c t t h a t , f o r e a c h y e a r o f t h e p e r i o d up t o 1938, a l m o s t t h e w h o l e o f t h e a n n u a l government c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e Board's funds was p a s s e d on i n t h e f o r m o f t r a n s f e r payments t o t h e M a l a c c a , Penang and Labuan E d u c a t i o n B o a r d s , and i t becomes a p p a r e n t t h a t t h e Government and A i d e d s c h o o l s i n t h e i s l a n d were m a i n t a i n e d 59 43 almost wholly out of revenue from school fees and the Education Rate. For example, in the year 1936, the nett Government contribution to the Education Board was $391,747.38, while funds transferred to Penang, Malacca and Labuan from the Singapore Board account amounted to $324,757.67, leaving a Government contribution to the costs of educa-tion (exclusive of Public Works Department expenditure) of a mere $66,989.71.. In the same year, revenue derived from the Education Rate and school fees amounted to $597,772.26. Since the total sum spent by the Board of Education in Singapore was $682,573 i t i s clear that the 44 island fared rather badly in the allocation of Government funds. It is relevant to mention that for much of the period arbitrary contribu-tions to the Imperial Defence Fund placed a severe limitation upon the extent to which revenue could have been devoted to the social services. Under the provisions of Ordinance 64, the Colony was required to pay the total cost of maintaining the local garrison, or 20 per cent of the assessed revenue of the Colony, whichever was the less. In the early years of the century, the cost of maintaining the garrison had generally been well below the 20 per cent of revenue figure, but at the instiga-tion of the Imperial General Staff in London, much of the cost of the new Naval Base was held to be concerned with the defence of the Island, and as such became a proper charge, so i t was argued, upon the Colony's revenue. By 1927, the sum demanded amounted to $5,303,211 and when the Government used i t s o f f i c i a l majority to force passage of the Supply B i l l , the Unofficial members unanimously supported and signed a petition 45 of pro est. Significantly, in the ame year, 1927, total Government 60 e x p e n d i t u r e on e d u c a t i o n amounted t o $1,724,928—4.4 p e r c e n t o f t o t a l Government e x p e n d i t u r e f o r t h e y e a r , o r l e s s t h a n o n e - t h i r d o f t h e sum 46 demanded as t h e C o l o n y ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o I m p e r i a l D e f e n c e . I n 1929, i n a c o n f i d e n t i a l d e s p a t c h t o t h e C o l o n i a l S e c r e t a r y , t h e Governor drew a t t e n t i o n t o t h e c o n s i d e r a b l e p u b l i c d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n a r o u s e d by t h e e n f o r c e d e x a c t i o n s , n o t i n g t h a t t h e " r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f l o c a l p u b l i c o p i n i o n " a r g u e d t h a t under t h e l a w as i t t h e n s t o o d , t h e C o l o n y was l i a b l e t o c o n t r i b u t e o n l y t o l o c a l d e f e n c e , t h a t t o e x a c t a c o n t r i b u -t i o n under t h e O r d i n a n c e f o r I m p e r i a l p u r p o s e s was, i n v i e w o f a s s u r -ances g i v e n by J o s e p h C h a m b e r l a i n a t t h e t ime o f t h e passage o f t h e 47 O r d i n a n c e , a b r e a c h o f f a i t h , and e s s e n t i a l l y u n j u s t . N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g t h e o u t c r y , heavy c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h e c o s t o f I m p e r i a l D e f e n c e c o n -t i n u e d t o be made, i n one fo r m o r a n o t h e r , t o t h e d e t r i m e n t o f u r g e n t l y needed s o c i a l s e r v i c e s . I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e c o s t o f d e f e n c e , o t h e r c h a r g e s upon t h e revenue o f t h e C o l o n y i n c l u d e d t h o s e on a c c o u n t o f t h e p u b l i c d e b t , con-t r i b u t i o n s t o a f u n d e s t a b l i s h e d t o r e p l a c e revenue d e r i v e d f r o m t h e s h r i n k i n g s a l e s o f chandu ( o p i u m ) , as w e l l as t h e r e c u r r i n g c o s t s o f m a i n t a i n i n g t h e C o l o n i a l C i v i l and C l e r i c a l S e r v i c e s , t h e J u d i c i a r y , t h e P o l i c e , t h e C h i n e s e P r o t e c t o r a t e , and t h e P o s t a l and P u b l i c Works Depar t m e n t s . What remained had t o be a l l o c a t e d amongst a number o f s e r v i c e s , and i n v i e w of p r e s s i n g , needs i n t h e f i e l d s o f p u b l i c h e a l t h 48 and h o u s i n g , i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t o f i n d t h a t e d u c a t i o n appeared r a t h e r f a r down i n t h e o r d e r o f p r i o r i t i e s . The way i n w h i c h funds earmarked f o r e d u c a t i o n i n S i n g a p o r e 61 were disbursed underlines the principal features of a policy that was never clearly stated. In view of the frequently admitted obligation of the Government to provide free, primary instruction for Malays, i t is relevant to note that i n 1919, excluding the cost of buildings and the salaries of the Director, Assistant Director, the Inspectors of Schools and their c l e r i c a l staffs, total expenditure on Malay education in Singapore came to $20,627. To this was added a proportion of the cost of maintaining the Malacca Training College ($21,569) and fees to "Artists and Authors preparing Malay texts" ($400). The average cost to the Government per Malay pupil was estimated on this basis to be in the region of $17.00. During the year, there were twenty-two Malay 49 schools in the Island, with an average enrolment of 1,613. The following year, with the addition of staff trained in 'Basketry,' the sum spent on Malay education was increased to $30,677 out of the total educational expenditure in the Island of $741,532: thus some 4 per cent of the total was spent on Malay vernacular e d u c a t i o n . A p a r t from two Chinese schools, with a total enrolment of sixty-six, and one Tamil school with fifty-four pupils, which received token Government assis-tance, the entire cost of Chinese and Tamil vernacular education was borne by the-respective communities. The following table compiled from the Annual Departmental Report for 1919 (pp. 262ff.) indicates the dis-tribution of students in terms of the language of instruction, in a l l Singapore schools in receipt of goverment financial assistance: 62 Table III DISTRIBUTION OF STUDENTS IN GOVERNMENT AND AIDED SCHOOLS IN 1919 No. of Average Class of Schools Schools Enrolment A. BOYS SCHOOLS English Government English Aided Malay Government Chinese Aided 4 9 17 _1 2,127 4,955 1,508 17 Boys Total 31 8,607 B. GIRLS SCHOOLS English Government English Aided Malay Government Malay Aided Chinese Aided 1 5 3 2 _1 330 1,934 75 30 49 Girls Total 12 2,418 C. MIXED SCHOOL Tamil Aided 1 54 Singapore Grand Total 44 11,079 The average cost to the Government per pupil in attendance at English-medium schools was approximately $30, and from this i t i s clear that by far the largest part of the education budget for the Island was devoted to the support of English-medium instruction. Details of Singapore's educational revenue and expenditure for the years 1918 to 1938 are to be found in Appendix B. The social implications of the Government's policy become appar-ent when the school system i s examined more closely. Two aspects of Malay education serve to il l u s t r a t e the manner in which a programme, adopted with rural Malaya in mind, acted to the detriment of urban 63 Malays. The f i r s t i s the emphasis consistently placed upon manual arts and crafts which, accompanied by oft-repeated assertions regarding the 'dignity of labour,' suggest that i n the o f f i c i a l view Malays were a race apart i n that collectively and individually they must necessarily have a special aptitude for handicrafts. Thus, following the publica-tion in 1917 of Winstedt's report on his v i s i t to Java and the Philippines, great efforts were made to inculcate the art of basket-making. In 1918, basketry had been started in three schools by trainee-teachers who had passed out of the Malacca Training College,"'"'" and in his report for the following year, the Assistant Director claimed that: The new young trained teacher . . . has begun to liv e in a d i f f e r -ent intellectual plane from that of his immediate predecessor, and this must affect in time the work i n the village schools. This change is due not merely to new text-books but to the introduction . . . of school gardening and manual training in the form of basketry.52 When the Sultan Idris Training College was opened in 1922, 'Rural Science' and basketry were included in the curriculum, and a pass in one or the other was essential for a leaving certificate. As recently as 1938, i t was possible for the then Director of Education to assert that: The old fashioned teacher puffed up with a l i t t l e learning and f u l l of the old Oriental scholar's prejudice against manual labour was ashamed to dig; the new delights i n handicrafts and i n practical acquaintance with the rotation of crops, the selection of soils and seeds and the study of pests.53 Whatever may be said in favour of this kind of curriculum for schools 54 in the Malay States, i t would be d i f f i c u l t to justify the rigi d 64 i n s i s t e n c e upon i t s a p p l i c a t i o n t o s c h o o l s i n u r b a n S i n g a p o r e , where f a c i l i t i e s f o r g a r d e n i n g were e i t h e r s e v e r e l y l i m i t e d o r n o n - e x i s t e n t , and t h e demand f o r b a s k e t s h a r d l y s u f f i c i e n t t o m e r i t t h e e x p e n d i t u r e o f so much t i m e and e f f o r t . Y e t e a c h y e a r an e n t r y was made i n t h e Board's Statement o f A c c o u n t i n r e s p e c t o f t h e s a l e o f b a s k e t s . I n 1935, f o r example, a f t e r s e v e n t e e n y e a r s o f a s s i d u o u s development, and t h e p l a c i n g o f a b a s k e t r y t e a c h e r i n p r a c t i c a l l y e v e r y s c h o o l o f t h e I s l a n d , t h e p r o c e e d s o f s u c h s a l e s amounted t o t h e p r i n c e l y sum o f $40.20. The f o l l o w i n g y e a r t h e i t e m was a l l o w e d t o d i s a p p e a r , t o be subsumed, no d o u b t , under t h e h e a d i n g ' M i s c e l l a n e o u s R e c e i p t s . ' T h i s a t t e m p t t o impose r u r a l a r t s and c r a f t s on s c h o o l s i n an u r b a n s e t t i n g m i g h t , p e r h a p s , be d i s m i s s e d as no more t h a n a h a r m l e s s f o i b l e on t h e p a r t o f t h e D i r e c t o r o f E d u c a t i o n , a l t h o u g h i t i s t e m p t i n g t o sympa-t h i s e w i t h t h e v i e w s o f t h e M a l a y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e i n t h e L e g i s l a t i v e C o u n c i l , Mohamed Unus b i n A b d u l l a h who, r e f e r r i n g t o a s t a t e m e n t by W i n s t e d t , agreed t h a t i t was t r u e t h a t a Malay boy woul d f i n d a " c o n g e n i a l means of l i v e l i h o o d " i n f i s h i n g and i n a g r i c u l t u r a l p u r s u i t s . "But how," he a s k e d , i s he t o make an u p - t o - d a t e f i s h e r m a n when he i s no l o n g e r a t t h e s e a - f r o n t , and how a b e t t e r a g r i c u l t u r i s t t h a n h i s f a t h e r was when i n S i n g a p o r e no a g r i c u l t u r a l a r e a s a r e i n s i g h t . . . ? The M a l a y boy i s t o l d 'you have been t r a i n e d t o r e m a i n a t t h e b o t t o m , and t h e r e you must always r e m a i n . ' Why, I a s k , w a s t e so much p u b l i c money t o a t t a i n t h i s end when w i t h o u t any v e r n a c u l a r s c h o o l , and w i t h o u t any s p e c i a l e f f o r t , t h e M a l a y boy c o u l d h i m s e l f a c c o m p l i s h t h i s feat?56 Perhaps o f g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a n c o u r s e c o n t e n t f o r t h e M a l a y s t u d e n t was t h e Government's p o l i c y i n r e s p e c t o f t h e medium o f 65 instruction. Reduced to essentials the system provided free elementary education in Malay schools, and those students who passed Standard IV before the age of eleven were permitted to enter English schools as non-fee paying students, and then were placed in intensive English-language classes, where they were expected to complete the equivalent of four standards in two years. Secondary education was also provided free of charge to those Malay students who satisfied the requirements; and through a system of grants and scholarships, the possibility existed for a few of the 'brightest' students to gain a tertiary education either locally at Raffles College or the King Edward VII College of Medicine, or in Britain by means of the reinstated Queen's Scholar-ships."^ The reason for this policy lay in the desire to safeguard the socio-economic position of the Malay community which had been jeopar-dised by the massive immigration of Chinese and Indians into the Malay States during the previous hundred years. The British, under whose aegis much of the immigration had occurred, were conscious of an obliga-tion to protect and preserve the Malays who were considered to be the true 'sons of the s o i l . ' The rulers of the Malay States saw in educa-tion the means "to equip their subjects to hold their own against the 58 educated Indian and the vigorous intellect and energy of the Chinese," and i t had been i n response to these considerations that the position of Assistant Director i n charge of Malay vernacular education had been 59 created in 1916. But i n practice, the policy revealed two major defects: Malay students—even the brightest—found themselves at least two and generally more years behind students who had started their 66 s c h o o l c a r e e r s i n E n g l i s h - m e d i u m e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l s ; and t h e c o n c e n t r a -t i o n on l a n g u a g e i n s t r u c t i o n i n e v i t a b l y was a c h i e v e d a t t h e expense o f a t t e n t i o n t o o t h e r s u b j e c t s . There was th u s a good b a s i s f o r t h e o f t -r e p e a t e d c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h e sys t e m o p e r a t e d t o t h e d e t r i m e n t o f M a l a y 60 s t u d e n t s . D e s p i t e f r e q u e n t p l e a s , W i n s t e d t d e c l i n e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e 1920's t o p e r m i t t h e t e a c h i n g o f E n g l i s h i n M a l a y s c h o o l s . I n 1930, i n r e s p o n s e t o a s u g g e s t i o n t h a t t h e p e r i o d s p e n t i n M a l a y v e r n a c u l a r s c h o o l s be r e d u c e d t o two y e a r s and t h a t s p e n t i n E n g l i s h s c h o o l s be i n c r e a s e d t o f o u r y e a r s , W i n s t e d t argued t h a t two y e a r s w o u l d be i n s u f -f i c i e n t f o r " v e r n a c u l a r e d u c a t i o n , " and i n any c a s e , w h a t e v e r t h e f e e l i n g s o f M a l a y s i n S i n g a p o r e may b e , t h e f e e l i n g o f t h e R u l e r s o f t h e . . . M a l a y S t a t e s w o u l d be s t r o n g l y opposed t o any c u t t i n g o u t o r a b b r e v i a t i o n o f M a l a y v e r n a c u l a r e d u c a t i o n . I t would mean o f c o u r s e t h e d e n a t i o n a l i s a t i o n o f t h e members o f t h a t race.61 Thus a major f a c t o r i n d e t e r m i n i n g e d u c a t i o n p o l i c y f o r S i n g a p o r e M a l a y s was t h e d e s i r e t o a v o i d d i s t u r b i n g t h e M a l a y r u l e r s . No s i m i l a r c o n s i d e r a t i o n need p r e v e n t t h e ' d e n a t i o n a l i s a t i o n ' o f t h e members o f o t h e r c o m m u n i t i e s . U n l i k e t h e F e d e r a t e d M a l a y S t a t e s , where a p r o p o r t i o n o f t h e Queen's and o t h e r s e n i o r s c h o l a r s h i p s were r e s e r v e d f o r M a l a y s o n l y , t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s p r o v i d e d s c h o l a r s h i p s open t o a l l s t u d e n t s . I n t h e e v e n t , v e r y few M a l a y s t u d e n t s competed s u c c e s s f u l l y f o r a d m i s s i o n t o R a f f l e s C o l l e g e o r t h e K i n g Edward V I I C o l l e g e . A c c o r d i n g t o t h e a n n u a l R a f f l e s C o l l e g e R e p o r t , i n t h e academic y e a r 1938 t o 1939 o n l y t h i r t y - t w o o f t h e 211 s t u d e n t s were M a l a y (p. 9), and i n t h e same y e a r , 67 the Annual Report of the King Edward VII College of Medicine indicated that of the 104 students in attendance, only fifteen were Malays (p. 1). There were no Malay women students in either institution. The s i g n i f i -cance of these figures becomes apparent when i t is recalled that both the institutions were intended to serve British Malaya as a whole, and not just the predominantly Chinese population of the Straits Settlements. The normal route for Malays to achieve higher education was by way of the Sultan Idris Training College, which produced elementary teachers for Malay schools, or through the School of Agriculture at Serdang. Separate figures for Singapore are not available, but in 1938, 113 students from the Straits Settlements as a whole attended the Sultan Idris Training College, where a quota system was in operation, with 62 admissions geared to the estimated need for teachers. There were twenty-five Malays in residence at the School of Agriculture, and these 63 were drawn from a l l parts of British Malaya. In contrast to the somewhat parsimonious treatment afforded Malay education, Government and Aided English schools virtu a l l y monopo-lised o f f i c i a l attention as well as the available funds. Students who successfully completed elementary school could proceed—subject to their a b i l i t y to pay the fees—to a secondary institution, where they were prepared for the Cambridge Senior School Certificate examination. A number of scholarships were provided which enabled successful candidates to proceed to an overseas university or, from 1928, to Raffles College in Singapore. Senior teaching appointments at these schools were held by European staff who received, i n addition to travel expenses and 68 subsidised accommodation, a substantially higher rate of. pay than their 64 Asian colleagues, and a pension upon retirement. By 1938, there were fifteen Government English schools in the Island, with an enrolment of 6,099 (boys and g i r l s ) , the cost per student after deduction of fees being $77.49. In the same year, there were eighteen Aided English schools, with an enrolment of 8,493, and the cost to Government per student in these schools was $52.42.^ The dual structure of schools, which had come into existence as a result of the policy of approving and assisting, or operating, one group of institutions whilst ignoring the rest, persisted throughout the period, although some modification of the policy i t s e l f occurred. Private schools, individually somewhat susceptible to the hazards of the free-market system, collectively displayed a remarkable resilience, and clearly satisfied a public demand. Departmental records of these schools are notably incomplete, and the information provided i s of a quite unsatisfactory nature, reference to such matters as accommodation, course content and standard of teaching usually being restricted to some rather disparaging comment. Typical was the Report for 1932 which noted in respect of private English schools that overcrowding was common, that "a cheap and meagre staff [was] generally employed," and that "the pupils at such schools [were] usually overaged or dull or 66 both." There emerges from these sources the faded sepia picture of a group of institutions often only barely complying with the law, and from consideration of which officialdom hastily turned, with a thinly disguised sigh of r e l i e f . Yet despite obvious disapprobation, certain 69 facts can be el i c i t e d from these o f f i c i a l records. Under the terms of the Registration of Schools Ordinance of 1920, as amended i n 1926, a l l schools, supervisors of schools, committees of management, and teachers, had to be registered. For the purpose of the Ordinance, 'schools' were defined as "places where fifteen or more persons are habitually taught in one or more classes, except where the teaching is of a purely religious character," and registration could be refused to any school considered to be "unsanitary or . . . lik e l y to be used for the purposes of propaganda detrimental to the interests of the pupils or as a meeting 6 7 place of an unlawful society." The number of schools which f e l l out-6 8 side the terms of the Ordinance i s nowhere made apparent. The stat i s t i c s concerning registered (but unassisted) schools are of l i t t l e help. Certainly, the impression conveyed i s one in which the quality of instruction and standard of accommodation varied very widely. It can be established that in 1932, there were f i f t y - f i v e registered private English-medium schools in Singapore and that, of these, eleven were "connected with religious bodies" (unspecified), three were "afternoon Continuation schools," four were Night Schools, two "catered exclusively for European children," three were for Tamil children and two served the locally employed labour force at the Naval Base. Details of the remaining thirty schools were not provided. The approximate enrolment of these f i f t y - f i v e schools was 7,500 and there were 270 teachers, which gives an average of just under twenty-eight students per teacher. Some indication of the position occupied'by these schools in relation to the total picture of English-medium 70 i n s t r u c t i o n d u r i n g 1932 i s p r o v i d e d b y c o m p a r i s o n w i t h t h e 'average e n r o l m e n t ' f i g u r e o f 13,438 p u p i l s i n t w e n t y - t h r e e Government and A i d e d 69 E n g l i s h s c h o o l s . Somewhat more i n f o r m a t i o n i s a v a i l a b l e c o n c e r n i n g Chinese-medium s c h o o l s . Under t h e R e g i s t r a t i o n o f S c h o o l s O r d i n a n c e , C h i n e s e s c h o o l s were c l a s s i f i e d as e i t h e r 'Modern' o r 'Old S t y l e , ' t h e l a t t e r b e i n g d e f i n e d as p r i v a t e s c h o o l s r u n by a t e a c h e r who r e l i e d e n t i r e l y upon s c h o o l f e e s , and i n w h i c h t h e medium o f i n s t r u c t i o n was u s u a l l y t h e r e g i o n a l d i a l e c t o f t h e m a j o r i t y o f h i s p u p i l s r a t h e r t h a n c o l l o q u i a l M a n d a r i n . ^ 'Modern' s c h o o l s were grouped i n t o ' P u b l i c , ' M i s s i o n , N i g h t and P r i v a t e s c h o o l s , and f o r t h e y e a r 1932, t h e r e were 215 r e g i s -t e r e d Chinese-medium s c h o o l s o f a l l t y p e s i n S i n g a p o r e and Labuan, w i t h an a v e r a g e e n r o l m e n t o f 13,315 s t u d e n t s and 698 r e g i s t e r e d t e a c h e r s ( a p p r o x i m a t e l y n i n e t e e n s t u d e n t s p e r t e a c h e r ) . Ten o f t h e s e s c h o o l s , w i t h 1,265 s t u d e n t s , r e c e i v e d a t o t a l o f $9,432 i n g r a n t s - i n - a i d , a p e r c a p i t a c o s t t o Government o f $7.46.^ T h i s compares u n f a v o u r a b l y w i t h an average p e r c a p i t a c o s t o f $57.21 i n r e s p e c t o f s t u d e n t s i n Gove r n -72 ment and A i d e d E n g l i s h s c h o o l s d u r i n g t h e same y e a r . The use made o f p u b l i c funds t h u s encouraged t h e emergence o f w e l l - e q u i p p e d E n g l i s h - m e d i u m s c h o o l s , w i t h r e l a t i v e l y w e l l p a i d and h i g h l y q u a l i f i e d t e a c h e r s p r o v i d i n g a w e s t e r n f o r m o f i n s t r u c t i o n g e a r e d t o t h e E n g l i s h e x a m i n a t i o n s y s t e m , and d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o t h e most d e s i r a b l e employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s . The image c r e a t e d by t h e s e s c h o o l s l e d t o a demand f o r E n g l i s h e d u c a t i o n w h i c h exceeded t h e s u p p l y o f p l a c e s a v a i l a b l e , w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t a l a r g e number of p r i v a t e 71 institutions came into existence, and in most of these, the f a c i l i t i e s provided were sub-standard. Simultaneously, Malay students were locked into an irrelevant programme of primary instruction from which few were able to escape; and Chinese and Indian language schools continued to provide a form of education that was virtually unregulated by any local government agency. P o l i t i c a l Considerations The legislation requiring a l l schools and their supervisors, committees of management and teachers to be registered represented a major departure from the former policy of ignoring schools in which the medium of instruction was neither English nor Malay. The circumstances leading to the introduction of the Ordinance provide an insight into the attitude of the administration towards Chinese education. In 1917, the then Director of Education summarised the position of Chinese schools in the following terms: a l l Chinese Vernacular Education i s in the hands of the various Chinese communities and is entirely independent of Government. The Education Department is not at present staffed with officers acquainted with the Chinese language, so that i f there was super-vision i t could only . . . deal with such matters as sanitation, suitability of accommodation, equipment, physical exercises, etc. I have visited several schools in Singapore, but have not been impressed very favourably. Methods are very different from those in English schools. Discipline does not seem to be a very strong point. The pupils in many cases are taught military d r i l l and are a familiar sight parading and marching in their smart l i t t l e uni-forms, but the spectator gets a shock when he recognises the 'goose step,' imported no doubt by instructors from China, whence indeed i_t is. said that these schools are generally controlled.73 The comment concerning discipline i s somewhat ambiguous, since i t would 72 be reasonable to suppose that i n such schools the behaviour of students would reveal a closer adherence to traditional Chinese values—includ-ing respect for teachers, and a prompt response to commands—than would be the case i n the culturally alienating atmosphere of English schools. However, the most revealing part of the passage is the f i n a l aside which suggests no more than a dim awareness of the realities of a system of schools which had been seeded and nurtured in the shadow cast by the indifference of colonial rule. In the traditional view, the Chinese of the Nan Yang ("South Seas") continued to be subjects of the Emperor of China, and towards the end of the Ch'ing dynasty, the Chinese Govern-ment sought to exercise some control over these scattered communities. Following the Revolution of 1911, the Government in Peking attempted to continue and extend this policy. As part of this effort, two represen-tatives of the Chinese Ministry of Education were sent to Singapore and Malaya in October 1917 to inspect Chinese schools, to stress the impor-tance attached to education by the Chinese Government, and to encourage youthful Overseas Chinese to return to their 'homeland' to study at Chi 74 Nan College. One result of this v i s i t was the establishment of three new Chinese schools in the Island; and in the same year, 1917, the National Language Movement was launched to encourage the use of Kuo Yu (colloquial Mandarin) as the medium of instruction in a l l schools.^ Two years later, on June 19th, 1919, inspired no doubt by the May Fourth Student Movement, a number of anti-Japanese riots broke out in Singapore. Groups of workers and teen-aged students toured the town in search of Japanese goods which were destroyed whenever they were 73 found, and shopkeepers were 'encouraged' to observe a boycott of such 76 goods. Troops and police were called out, and the following day martial law was imposed and a curfew proclaimed.^ The Governor, anxious to establish the cause of the disturbances, called for a report from D. Beatty, the Protector of Chinese in the Straits Settlements. Beatty submitted a confidential memorandum in which he drew attention to the fact that Chinese schools were "nominally at any rate" con-trolled by the Board of Education in China through the Chinese Consul-General and the 'General Association for the Educational Affairs of China in British Territories in the South Seas,' a situation which was, he argued, "anomalous and derogatory to the powers of Government." Teachers had been given a free hand by the committees of management of the schools, he asserted, and although there was no reason to believe that the, committees had been responsible for starting the boycott of Japanese goods, there was no doubt that Chinese teachers actively sympa-thised with i t , or that a meeting had been held on school premises without the permission of the school manager. Beatty continued: The local Chinese in many cases exercise no control over their schools and are afraid to interfere with their teachers . . . there is even a danger that [the teachers] may poison the minds of their scholars against the Government i f i t should suit their purposes at some future date.78 Because of the shortage of staff competent to inspect and supervise the schools, Beatty proposed that a l l schools and their Boards of Manage-ment should be registered, and their teachers licensed, with the threat of withdrawal providing for the Government a powerful instrument of con-t r o l . 74 In reporting on the riots to. the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Young discussed further the position of Chinese schools. They were, he said, financed by local subscription and the local Committees of the sub-scribers administer the funds and engage the teachers. There i s evidence to show that many of the teachers have taken an active part in preaching the p o l i t i c a l crusade—in some cases possibly with the approval, tacit or expressed, of their Management—in others without regard for their wishes. As soon as our depleted staff of Chinese-speaking officers i s brought up to strength, Government must consider the necessity of exercising firm control over such i n s t i -tutions . . . . No educational departures should be tolerated in this British Colony which are not conducted on British lines or at least under close supervision by British authority.80 Young retired shortly thereafter, but the new Governor, Sir Laurence 81 Guillemard, hurried the proposed legislation forward and on May 31, 1920, a B i l l was introduced the purpose of which clearly was to give the Government control over Chinese schools, although i t provided in fact for the registration of a l l schools (with the exception of those already mentioned). In reporting on the object of the Ordinance, the Acting Attorney-General noted that the Government hitherto had exercised control only over Government and Aided schools, and that i t was hoped that, as a result of the new powers to be exercised by the Department, the "efficiency" of a l l schools and teachers would be improved. It would also be possible, he continued, "to check the teaching of undesir-82 able p o l i t i c a l doctrines" to students. As p o l i t i c a l content was "the s p i r i t and soul of Chinese educa-83 tion, the very reason for i t s existence," and as many Chinese believed that the purpose of the Ordinance was the destruction of Chinese education, the widespread protests provoked by the B i l l are under-standable. According to Winstedt, then Acting Director of Education, the "real objects" of the B i l l had been misunderstood, but that thanks to the efforts of "enlightened members of the Chinese community" public 85 feeling had been "placated" and the Ordinance duly passed. In fact, the protests continued throughout much of 1921, due at least in part to the energetic efforts of the Chinese Government. Local Chinese for-warded petitions to the Colonial Office, and the Chinese Minister i n London made representations to the Foreign Office. The Chinese Consul in Penang published in a local Chinese language daily newspaper, the Lat Pau, a telegram he had received from the Board of Foreign Affairs in Peking, containing instructions from the Board of Education, i n d i -cating certain minimum requirements (the National Language, Chinese History and Geography) in the curriculum of a l l Overseas Chinese 86 schools. The Sin Kuo Min, a Singapore newspaper, published on April 7, 1921, a telegram from the Chinese Consul in Penang addressed to the Foreign Minister in Peking, urging the latter to open negotiations with 87 the British Government in order "to save the situation," and Guillemard, writing to Winston Churchill (the new Colonial Secretary) indicated that in his view the message from the Chinese Government appearing i n the Penang Lat Pau had been intended to convince local Chinese educational bodies that their policy was to be guided by the Chinese Government and not by the Government of the Colony; and that publication of the second notice had been calculated to encourage local Chinese to refuse to register under the terms of the new Ordinance. 76 Guillemard asked Churchill to bring pressure to bear on the Chinese Government "through the usual diplomatic channels" to prevent further interference.^ A number of Chinese residents in each of the Settlements raised a memorial which was to be forwarded to Peking, and the Acting Secre-tary for Chinese Affairs asserted that those who had signed were "men of insignificant local standing. . . . The petitions attached to the memorial were not spontaneous . . . [but] obtained by strenuous canvas-89 sing in Chinese fashion." He went on to argue that h o s t i l i t y to the Ordinance was encouraged mainly by the Chinese teachers, who considered i t threatened "Chinese nationality." He asserted that there was no intention to interfere with the study of Chinese language and l i t e r a -ture, and that there would be no interference with text books which did not contain teachings prejudicial to the interests of the Colony and the British Empire. . . . The children in these schools are at the present time sedulously taught to interest themselves in Chinese p o l i t i c s , the local authorities being regarded as secondary to the Chinese Govern-ment. Evidence of complete indifference even active h o s t i l i t y to the local authorities on the part of the school teachers was one of the reasons which made their supervision an imperative necessity.90 On May 27, 1921, Guillemard cabled the Colonial Office to report that the Chinese Consul-General in Singapore had asked him to postpone the date, provisionally set for June 2nd, upon which the Ordinance was to take effect. He indicated that he did not intend to change the date 91 unless instructed to do so by London. Notices appeared in the local press warning school managers that action would be taken against those 77 92 who did not comply by the beginning of June, and despite continued pressure, particularly from the Chinese Government and the local Chinese 93 Educational Association, the measure was introduced. After the Secre-tary of State's decision to confirm the legislation became known, i t appears that there were some incidents i n which teachers and school managers willing to co-operate with the Government were intimidated, as a result of which the Government decided to close down the Chinese Educational Association in accordance with Section 17 of the Societies Ordinance. The books and records of the Association were seized, and thereafter organised resistance to the Ordinance seems to have 94 crumbled. The registration of schools was carried out by the Education Department except i n the case of Chinese schools, which had to be regis-tered by the Chinese Protectorate, as the Education Department had no qualified staff for the purpose. By the end of the year, ninety-one Chinese schools had been registered, and a total of 254 teachers. By the end of 1922, the figures had increased to 115 Chinese schools and 95 ' 430 Chinese teachers. Apart from the opposition of the Chinese Government to'the B i l l , which can be explained adequately in terms of a perceived threat to Chinese influence in an area which for long had been a source of material strength to the supporters of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the furore aroused by the proposal indicates that local Chinese residents were far from happy. In the absence of any referendum or other means by which the population as a whole could be consulted, there is no quantitative 78 measure of the extent of the dissatisfaction. However, i t does seem that local Chinese viewed the legislation as representing a distinct threat to Chinese culture and way of l i f e , an impression that is strengthened in the light of the response of school boards of manage-ment to subsequent offers of Government financial assistance. The Ordinance failed to operate as effectively as had been hoped, for by 1923, Guillemard was forced to take a further step to combat what he considered the e v i l influence of the Kuo Min Tang in Chinese schools. To tighten inspection and control, he created two new positions: an Assistant Director of Education for Chinese Schools in the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States, and an Inspector of Chinese Schools for the Straits Settlements. In order to make these appoint-ments palatable to those who did not show any enthusiasm for being directed or inspected, or as he put i t himself, "to raise their educa-tional standard and at the same time to provide greater f a c i l i t i e s for the exercise of control," he introduced a system of grants-in-aid to 96 Chinese schools. There was no rush to take advantage of the new offer, even though many schools were in need of funds, for by 1932 only ten of the 215 registered Chinese schools had applied for and received grants. The reasons are not far to seek: to qualify for assistance the school must be prepared to accept regular inspection by the Department of Education, and the curriculum should be arranged as far as possible "to make i t a useful preparation for an English education with special reference to arithmetic and geography." Furthermore, although teaching in the various regional dialects was to be encouraged, instruction in 79 M a n d a r i n — t h e N a t i o n a l Language o f a r e - b o r n C h i n a - — w o u l d n o t be c o n -. J . 9 7 s i d e r e d t o be g r a n t e a r n i n g . The r e p o r t o f t h e committee a p p o i n t e d i n 1932 t o c o n s i d e r g r a n t s - i n - a i d p r o v i d e s a f u r t h e r i n s i g h t i n t o Government t h i n k i n g about C h i n e s e s c h o o l s . I n recommending t h a t no new g r a n t s be e x t e n d e d t o C h i n e s e o r T a m i l s c h o o l s , t h e committee (upon w h i c h t h e r e was no r e p r e -s e n t a t i v e o f t h e C h i n e s e o r I n d i a n communities) a d m i t t e d t h a t i t was n o t l o g i c a l t o p r o p o s e d i f f e r e n t systems of g r a n t s f o r E n g l i s h and non-E n g l i s h s c h o o l s , b u t n e v e r t h e l e s s contended t h a t t h e r e was " l i t t l e o r no o b l i g a t i o n on t h e Government . . . t o p r o v i d e funds f o r E d u c a t i o n 98 o t h e r t h a n E d u c a t i o n i n M a l a y and i n E n g l i s h . " D u r i n g i t s h e a r i n g s t h e Committee r e c e i v e d e v i d e n c e f r o m A. M. Goodman, S e c r e t a r y f o r C h i n e s e A f f a i r s o f t h e S t r a i t s S e t t l e m e n t s , t o t h e e f f e c t t h a t g r a n t s -i n - a i d o r i g i n a l l y had been e x t e n d e d t o C h i n e s e s c h o o l s " i n t h e hope t h a t by t h i s means . . . Government wou l d be a b l e t o e x e r c i s e some c o n t r o l o v e r t h e t e a c h i n g . . . . " L a t e r i n t h e h e a r i n g he made i t p l a i n t h a t t h e i n t e r e s t o f t h e Government was s p e c i f i c a l l y p o l i t i c a l and n o t e d u c a t i o n a l : I must emphasise t h a t i n s p e c t i o n i s done n o t w i t h a v i e w t o i m p r o v -i n g t h e s t a n d a r d o f e d u c a t i o n , i t i s done m a i n l y t o e n s u r e t h a t t h e s c h o o l i s n o t c a r r y i n g on o b j e c t i o n a b l e a c t i v i t i e s . 9 9 I n 1936, g r a n t s - i n - a i d were r e s t o r e d t o C h i n e s e and T a m i l s c h o o l s , b u t i n t h e ca s e o f t h e C h i n e s e s c h o o l s , a l l ' f i r s t g r a d e ' P r i m a r y and J u n i o r M i d d l e s c h o o l s were r e q u i r e d t o show t h a t t h e y were g i v i n g i n s t r u c -t i o n " w i t h r e a s o n a b l e e f f i c i e n c y " i n t h e C h i n e s e l a n g u a g e , E n g l i s h , 80 Arithmetic or Mathematics, History and Geography, and a school should not be deemed to teach English with reasonable e f f i c i e n c y unless i n s t r u c -t i o n i n that language was given for s i x periods of at l e a s t f o r t y minutes per week i n a l l classes above the second year of Primary school, and "unless the school employs f o r that purpose a teacher who holds the minimum q u a l i f i c a t i o n of a Junior Cambridge C e r t i f i c a t e " or i t s equi-v a l e n t . ^ ^ Inevitably such conditions must r e s u l t i n some d i l u t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese values and a t t i t u d e s . The f l u c t u a t i o n s of Government p o l i c y towards Chinese education —which revealed f i r s t of a l l a lack of i n t e r e s t , then a desire for c o n t r o l through inspection and reward, l a t e r the suspension of grants as an economy measure, and the f i n a l resumption of grants with unaccep-table conditions attached—tended to create i n those p r e - P a c i f i c war days a climate of uncertainty and scepticism which goes f a r to explain the almost u n i v e r s a l d i s t r u s t displayed by the Chinese community towards the e f f o r t s of post-war administrations to restructure the school system i n the l i g h t of newly perceived s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l ends. Increasingly i t becomes apparent that the system of education evolved not so much as the r e s u l t of a c a r e f u l l y planned p o l i c y but rather as a series of responses to changing conditions, the responses being deter-mined by the nature of the c o l o n i a l administration i t s e l f . In addition to the a u t h o r i t a r i a n hierarchy of o f f i c i a l s , there existed i n the L e g i s l a t i v e Council a channel of communication through which s p e c i f i c i n t e r e s t s could be represented, w h i l s t at the same time e f f e c t i v e l y excluding the expression of any popular opinion that might be forming. 81 U n o f f i c i a l members of t h e L e g i s l a t u r e — " r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s " o f t h e E u r o -pean, C h i n e s e , M a l a y , I n d i a n and E u r a s i a n c o m m u n i t i e s — w e r e f o r t h e most p a r t s e l e c t e d by t h e r e s p e c t i v e Chambers o f Commerce, o r a p p o i n t e d by t h e Governor i n c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h h i s immediate a d v i s e r s , who chose s u c c e s s f u l b u s i n e s s o r p r o f e s s i o n a l men who were a l s o s o c i a l l y a c c e p -t a b l e . The b u s i n e s s o f t h e C o u n c i l was c o n d u c t e d i n E n g l i s h , and t h i s imposed y e t a n o t h e r e s s e n t i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r membership. The r e s u l t was t h a t p o l i c i e s t ended t o p r e s e r v e s e c t i o n a l i n t e r e s t s r a t h e r t h a n t o s e r v e s o c i e t y as a w h o l e . The p a t e r n a l i s m o f o f f i c i a l s , i n f l u e n c e d by h u m a n i t a r i a n c o n s i d e r a t i o n s and a sense o f o b l i g a t i o n t o p r o t e c t and p r e s e r v e t h e way o f l i f e o f t h e ' i n d i g e n o u s ' p e o p l e , l e d t o a p o l i c y w h i c h , as has been s e e n , f a i l e d t o s e r v e t h e b e s t i n t e r e s t s o f t h e M a l a y s . F o r t h e r e s t , Government p o l i c y was d e s i g n e d t o s a t i s f y t h e l o c a l demand f o r E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g c l e r k s and j u n i o r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a s s i s t a n t s . From t h i s i t f o l l o w e d t h a t t h e Government was n o t i n t e r -e s t e d i n p r o v i d i n g e d u c a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s f o r C h i n e s e o r I n d i a n immi-g r a n t s i n t h e i r own l a n g u a g e , and a change of a t t i t u d e was f o r c e d upon i t o n l y when a p o s i t i v e t h r e a t was p e r c e i v e d . T h i s i s u n d e r s c o r e d n o t o n l y by t h e sequence of o f f i c i a l a t t i t u d e s towards C h i n e s e e d u c a t i o n , b u t a l s o by t h e c o n t r a s t p r o v i d e d by o f f i c i a l i n d i f f e r e n c e towards t h e I n d i a n community, w h i c h was n o t c o n s i d e r e d t o pose any t h r e a t . The m a j o r i t y o f t h i s community was o f s o u t h - I n d i a n o r i g i n , and p a r e n t s who sought an e d u c a t i o n i n t h e i r own tongue f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n were p a r t i c -u l a r l y p o o r l y s e r v e d b y t h e Government. F o r much o f t h e p e r i o d , no T a m i l s c h o o l s i n S i n g a p o r e a c h i e v e d even t h e d i g n i t y o f r e g i s t r a t i o n , 82 to say nothing of assistance from the Government. By 1935, however, f i v e Tamil schools with an enrolment of 156 pupils and twenty-six registered teachers were recorded. None of these schools received any assistance i n the form of grants-in-aid."'"^"'" By 1938, Government expen-dit u r e on Tamil education i n the S t r a i t s Settlements as a whole amounted to $22,421 or 0.5 per cent of t o t a l Government expenditure on education. In the same year, 72.4 per cent of the education budget was spent on English education (elementary and secondary), 19.1 per cent on Malay education, 4.2 per cent on Chinese education and 3.8 per cent on 102 'Vocational' education. Higher and Technical Education The nature of the c o l o n i a l administration and the way i n which p o l i c y decisions were made are further revealed by' consideration of the Government's involvement i n the f i e l d of higher education. P o l i c y i n t h i s connection may be characterised broadly as tending to. create and to perpetuate the existence of a small but i n f l u e n t i a l , English-speaking westernised £lite. I t has been noted that, by the outbreak of the 1914 to 1918 war, the Queen's scholarships had been discontinued and, as a r e s u l t , no f i n a n c i a l assistance whatsoever was a v a i l a b l e to those who wished to pursue t h e i r studies beyond the E n g l i s h secondary school l e v e l . This meant that a l l who sought a u n i v e r s i t y education must do so at t h e i r own expense, e i t h e r at the U n i v e r s i t y of Hong Kong, or at one of the B r i t i s h U n i v e r s i t i e s . P o l i c y concerning Chinese higher education had, at l e a s t , the merit of consistency: no help had been given at the Primary or Middle school l e v e l s , and none was offered to 83 those who wished to attend institutions in China. In% view of the apparent need for higher educational f a c i l i t i e s , the Malayan Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, long involved in the management of local schools, decided to establish an Anglo-Chinese College in Singapore in which i t was intended to train students for the external degree examinations of any "recognized British University." Other objectives included "the development and formation of the charac-ter of the students without distinction of race, nationality, sex and creed and . . . the maintenance of loyalty to the Government of His 103 Majesty the King." It was intended that the College should include a Technical Department to provide instruction in E l e c t r i c a l , Mechanical, Mining and C i v i l Engineering, and Departments of Commerce, Agriculture and Arts, with general courses leading to the B.A. degree "as a prepar-ation for teaching or any other profession, or for an o f f i c i a l or busi-104 ness career." To raise the necessary funds, an Anglo-Chinese College Council was established, the members of which included a number of prominent Straits Chinese business-men.^^ Plans for the College, f i r s t mooted in 1914, eventually reached the stage where i t seemed advisable to inform and seek the approval of the colonial Government; and accor-dingly, in 1917, a deputation from the Methodist Mission called upon the Governor. Young's response was evasive: he promised to give the matter consideration, but qualified this by mentioning that "opposition must be expected in some quarters to entrusting higher education to a 106 religious body." This f i r s t mention of the proposed Anglo-Chinese College had a dramatic effect, for i t stimulated the Government to give 84 urgent consideration to the question of providing i t s own f a c i l i t i e s for higher education. Seven weeks after the interview, the Colonial Secretary addressed a letter to the Superintendent, Singapore District of the Malaysia Mission in which he stated that i t was the intention of the Government . . . to inaugurate a system of higher education as soon as conditions admit. That being so, the Government, whilst offering no objection to the Methodist Mission opening a College in Singapore cannot support such a project, and are unable to sanction the granting of Degrees by the proposed College.107 But despite this obvious setback, in view of the very distant prospect of a Government college, and the immediacy of the need, the Methodist Mission decided to proceed with i t s proposals. By 1920, the sum of 108 $400,000 had been subscribed, and the promoters, now more than ever anxious to secure some measure of o f f i c i a l approval, sent a represen-tative to London, where he called f i r s t upon the President of the Board of Education, Lord Fisher, to whom he explained details of the scheme. Fisher i s reported to have expressed his "utmost sympathy" with the proposal, and to have said that he could see no reason why there should be any d i f f i c u l t y in the establishment of the Anglo-Chinese College 10' "unless there should be some question raised by the Colonial Office." He provided the Mission's representative, Dr. J. F. Goucher, with a letter of introduction to the Colonial Office, where he was interviewed by Colonel L. S. Amery. According to Amery, Goucher assured him that the proposed Mission College was not intended to compete with the Government College, and that the Mission would be quite willing for i t s institution to a f f i l i a t e with the Government College when the latter 85 was fu l l y established."1"""" After this interview, Amery wrote to Goucher in the following terms: We regard the proposal with interest and sympathy and feel sure that the educational advantages resulting therefrom w i l l be of great benefit to Malaya as well as the Far East generally. We shall have to refer the matter o f f i c i a l l y to our Governor who may possibly have some conditions to suggest with regard to diplomas which may be given by the College and as to a f f i l i a t i o n with Raffles College when established etc., but we have l i t t l e doubt that any such condi-tions w i l l not seriously interfere with the carrying out of your project .HI It was just the kind of encouragement the Mission sought, and was re-112 ceived with jubilation and thanksgiving. More significantly, i t establishes beyond any doubt the attitude of the Imperial Government towards the concept of higher education i n the Colony being in the hands of a thoroughly reputable and experienced missionary organi-113 sation. But local o f f i c i a l s had a very different view of the matter. At the behest of the Colonial Office in London a meeting was arranged between the Rev. J. S. Nagle, Principal of the Methodist Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore and Principal-designate of the Mission's proposed College, and Dr. R. 0. Winstedt, then Acting Director of Education, for the purpose of discussing a possible division of Faculties between the two Colleges. Winstedt, reporting on the meeting to Guillemard, claimed that Nagle opposed such a division, arguing that the Mission College should be permitted to follow i t s published pros-pectus and teach a l l subjects. "This means," wrote Winstedt, that i t w i l l compete directly with Raffles College for students in a l l branches. This is a very.serious matter considering how small 86 in numbers i s the section of our community lik e l y to require higher education. . . .114 Here Winstedt i s offering an opinion unsubstantiated by any objective assessment of the actual or potential demand for higher education in Malaya. However, his real objections become clearer as his report pro-ceeds : The gentleman who is to be principal of the future college is at present local secretary to the mission in Malaya and Principal of the Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore. I have good reason to believe that modern history is taught in his school with a strong American bias. Every effort is made to enlist Chinese sympathy.H5 It i s evident that Winstedt feared the disruptive attitudes which he considered l i k e l y to be disseminated by the American missionaries. But to make quite sure that the Governor, and through him, the o f f i c i a l s at the Colonial Office in London, would not be tempted to lend support to such a potentially subversive institution, Winstedt added: Not only is i t objectionable p o l i t i c a l l y that an American College should be the highest educational institution in a British Colony in the Far East, but the standard of scholastic efficiency i s likely to be exceedingly low, judged by our institutions. . . . I recommend that no further encouragement be extended to the pro-ject. 116 This reflection on the probable level of "scholastic efficiency" i s deceptive since i t is not clear whether Winstedt was drawing a compari-son between the North. American College system and the more e l i t i s t universities of Great Britain, or whether he was making reference to the work of the Methodist Mission schools in the Colony as compared with that of the Government and other Aided English schools. In the 87 former case his comment would seem to be irrelevant, since the proposed Mission College was intended to prepare students for such local degrees as the Government might introduce, or for the external degrees of "recognized British Universities," hence i t s academic standards must necessarily be comparable with those of other institutions whose stu-dents competed for the same degrees. In the latter case, the compari-son would appear to be misleading since, according to the published records, the results generally achieved by Mission schools in the Colony compared favourably with those of the Government schools, and were of course accomplished at much smaller cost per capita to Government. What is beyond doubt is the fact that Winstedt perceived a threat to British prestige, and possibly to colonial authority i t s e l f , in the fact that the Mission was based in America. With the benefit of hind-sight i t seems inconceivable that Nagle knowingly could have fostered the establishment of a potentially disruptive institution—indeed, in 1928, he published his Ph.D. dissertation Educational Needs of the  Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States ^ in which he was almost fulsome in his praise of the British colonial regime and even quite laudatory of Winstedt himself. Nevertheless, the threat must have seemed real, and as such i t clearly affected the Government's edu-cational policy. Further evidence of the Government's attitude towards the staff of the Methodist Mission is to be found in the pages of The Malayan  Bulletin of P o l i t i c a l Intelligence, a secret Government journal produced monthly and of restricted circulation, which must have received the 88 close attention of senior o f f i c i a l s . In October 1922, i t noted: The Chinese are profoundly interested in the situation in China. The varying fortunes of Sun Yat Sen have been followed with close attention. . . . Sun's adherents in Malaya are many and devoted. . . . In the meantime the doctrines being taught them in the school-room and the pulpit by the American missionaries and teachers . . . are not thought to be doing them much good from a British point of view. H8 And again, from the same source: The activities of Americans in Malaya, chiefly missionaries and teachers, are coming to be regarded with some suspicion. It i s reported by reliable authorities that their teaching i s so pro-American as to be practically anti-British. A belittlement of England, and a "boosting" of America i s certainly a feature of the local cinema, and the doctrines taught in the various schools and churches are said to be on the same lines. . . .119 In the eyes of local o f f i c i a l s , the Methodist missionaries thus stood condemned of practically subversive teaching and preaching, on the strength of nebulous evidence supported by reference to the flickering images on the silent silver screen. In the meantime Guillemard, accepting Winstedt's assessment of the position, wrote to the Colonial Office strongly urging that no further encouragement be given the Mission's effort to establish a college. Even as a training school for teachers, he argued, the pro-posed institution was not " p o l i t i c a l l y desirable" since the Mission schools were "not . . . altogether free from the charge of inculcating . . . a greater respect for the United States . . . than for the British 120 Empire." Furthermore, through their Prospectus which was, he asserted, "misleading," the Mission had 89 obtained from the Chinese very big subscriptions which they would otherwise undoubtedly have preferred to give to Raffles College. . . . My advisers are unanimous in thinking i t is not advisable to accord i t direct support by a public pronouncement in i t s favour.121 In London, o f f i c i a l s at the Colonial Office were sceptical of Guillemard's fears of the teaching of the American-based Mission, but were more impressed by his arguments concerning the competition for funds, and after some desultory internal discussion, f i n a l l y agreed to concur with the Governor's wishes that further encouragement should not 122 be extended to the scheme. In the absence of o f f i c i a l approval, the enthusiasm of the proposal's supporters faltered, and to the bitter disappointment of Nagle and other members of the Methodist Mission, plans for the College ultimately had to be abandoned. Towards the end of the 1914 to 1918 war, spurred to action by the threat of an American missionary controlled college, and by the 123 criticism of representatives of the mercantile community, the Govern-ment proceeded with i t s own plans for higher education. In 1918, a 124 committee under the chairmanship of W. G. Maxwell and including representatives of the three major communities—albeit heavily outnum-bered by the European members—was appointed to consider and report upon a scheme to celebrate the centenary of Singapore. On August 1st, i t reported that i t s members were unanimously of the opinion that the most suitable memorial is a scheme which w i l l provide for the advancement of the education of the Colony with a view of lay-ing securely the foundations upon which a University may in course of time be established.125 Since the propo