INDIAN MIGRATION AND POPULATION CHANGE IN MALAYA, c100-1957 A.D.: A HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY by HERNIAL SINGH SANDHU B eA„, U n i v e r s i t y of Malaya, 1958 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Geography We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1961 i i In presenting 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 of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y 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 reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. It i s understood that copying or 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 gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. A B S T R A C T The study of the his t o r i c a l geography of Malaya i s fraught with more than the usual d i f f i c u l t i e s . F i r s t l y , source material i s scarce, often fragmentary and obscure. Secondly, documentation of the l i t t l e material available has only just begun and is beset with many handicaps, not the least of which is the dearth of qualified workers. Finally, much of the information available i s inaccurate and unreliable, rendering i t s meaningful interpretation extremely d i f f i c u l t . Typical though i t i s of many studies i n Malaya, i t i s especially applicable to the study of the Indian immigration and population change, particularly i n the i n i t i a l stages. Though some progress has been made during the present century i n resolving these discrepancies, ommissions, at times serious, s t i l l remain i n the information regarding the Indians i n Malaya. For example, the tale of the evolution of the population pattern of the Indians i n Malaya has yet to be told. In this study an attempt has been made to assemble the information on the Indians i n Malaya and analyse the population changes among them from the beginning of their migration, about 2,000 years ago, to 1957, the year of the last population census of Malaya and of Merdeka (Independence), which marks the end of one and the beginning of another epoch. Indian contacts with Malaya go back to pre-historic times. The f u l l implications of the wealth of the region were, however, not realized by them t i l l the beginning of the Christian era. From then i i i on, for more than a thousand years, there was a constant movement of Hindu and Buddhist traders, adventurers, priests and l i t e r a t i to the veritable E l Dorados of Malaya and other Southeast Asian areas. This t r a f f i c , through intermarriage and cultural assimilation, led to the foundation and growth of a number of city-states, since extinct, and the "Indianization" of the Malay way of l i f e . This was the apogee of Indian influence i n Malaya, for with the rise of the Malacca Sultanate and the arrival of European powers, particularly British, the whole position of the Indians was altered. In contrast to their earlier brethren, who represented a powerful and respected commercial and economic force, the Indians who now flocked into Malaya were chiefly i l l i t e r a t e labourers. This transformation took place as Br i t i s h power was established i n both India and Malaya and the economies of the two countries subordinated to imperial needs, which entailed the curbing of Indian enterprise and the encouragement of a flow of cheap, docile Indian labour i n large numbers to work the Malayan plantations and Government projects. In their wake followed petty shop-keepers, tradesmen, clerks and professional men to cater to special needs. This lat t e r movement continued long after the labour migration was stopped by the Indian Government i n 1938 but i n a gradually decreasing volume, following immigration restrictions imposed by the Malayan Government i n the post-war period. It was this section of the Indian migrants which f i r s t sank i t s roots i n Malaya, thus beginning the stabilization of the local Indian population. iv The Indian population has increased s t e a d i l y , through immigration u n t i l the 1930*s, and l a t e r through n a t u r a l increase, f o l l o w i n g the improvement i n the sex-ratios and the general s t a b i l i z a t i o n of the community. Most of the Indians i n Malaya are now l o c a l born and are re-producing at a f a s t e r rate than the other communities. I f the present trend continues t h e i r numbers are expected to pass the 1,500,000 mark by 1980. With s t a b i l i z a t i o n , changes are also taking place i n t h e i r occupational structure and urban-rural r a t i o s . Following the Indian Government's ban on u n s k i l l e d labour emigration and the spread of education i n Malaya the proportion of labourers i n the Indian population has been s t e a d i l y d e c l i n i n g . For example,it was estimated that l e s s than 50 per cent of the economically active Indians were labourers i n I960, compared t o more than 80 per cent i n the e a r l y 1920's. This trend w i l l probably continue as the majority of the younger generation Indians appear to pref e r c l e r i c a l , t e c h n i c a l , commercial and pr o f e s s i o n a l occupations. In 1921,less than 10 per cent of the Indians were urban dwellers but by 1957 more than h a l f of them were l i v i n g i n urban centres. By I960, the proportion of the urban dwellers i n the t o t a l Indian population was estimated to be as high as 60 per cent. I f t h i s rapid rate of urbanization i s maintained, and there i s no reason to believe t h a t i t w i l l not be, Indians might w e l l challenge the Chinese as the most urbanized community of Malaya. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The author wishes to thank the Canada Council for i t s grant of a Non-Resident Fellowship to study i n Canada and the faculty of the Geography Department, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, for t h e i r encouragement and assistance. In part icular, the author would l i k e to thank Professor J e Ross Mackay for his advice and guidance i n a l l stages of this work,, vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER Page I . INTRODUCTION ... ... 1 Scope and Aims ... ... 7 Sources of Information ... ... 9 Limitations ... ... 13 Plan of Work ... ... 26 II. MALAYA: GEOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 31 Physical S e t t i n g ... ... 31 Natural Resources ... ..• 47 Biogeographical Aspects ... ... 53 P o l i t i c a l and Economic Development ... 62 Regional C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and the Main Urban Centres of Malaya ... BB I I I . INDIANS IN FRE-BRITISH MALAYA ... 96 The Making of Greater India • «» 96 The Decline of Hindu Influence ... 141 The Rise of Muslim Power: The Malacca Sultanate 147 The Coming of the Europeans and the Disappearance of Indian Shipping ... 175 IV. INDIAN MIGRATION TO BRITISH MALAYA: ORIGINS AND CHARACTERISTICS, 1786-1957 ... 193 Causes of Indian Migration to B r i t i s h Malaya 193 Types of Migrants and Recruitment ... 218 v i i Page Emigration/immigration Law, Administrative Machinery and Current of Migration 252 V 0 GROWTH, DISTRIBUTION AND COMPOSITION OF THE INDIAN POPULATION, 1786-1957 ... 287 Growth ... ... 287 Occupational D i s t r i b u t i o n *.. 337 S p a t i a l D i s t r i b u t i o n and Density ... 346 Settlement C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ... 375 Ethno-Linguistic Composition ... 382 VI. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ... 401 SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY ... ... 417 APPENDICES ... ... 436 A. Indians Overseas ... ... 437 B 0 Governor S i r Harry Ord's Plea f o r the Retention of the Indian Convict Establishment, S t r a i t s Settlements, 1870 439 C. Form of Contract Between Indian Immigrant Labourer and Employer ... 440 D. Agreement Between the Government of the S t r a i t s Settlements and the B r i t i s h India Steam Navigation Company Ltd., f o r a Coolie Service between Penang and Madras or Negapatam ... 442 E. Summary of the Functions of the Indian Immigration Committee and the Indian (Tamil) Immigration Fund ... 445 F. T o t a l A r r i v a l s and Departures of Indians in/out of Malaya, 1881-1957 ... 450 G. Population of Malaya, 1835-1957 ... 451 v i i i LIST OF TABLES TABLE Page I Seasonal Distribution of Rainfall in Malaya 41 II Common Intestinal Worm Infection, Malacca, Penang and Province Wellesley, 1926-1928 57 III The Population of Malaya, 1957 71 IV Percentage of Population Born in Malaya, 1911-1957 75 V Population Growth in Malaya, 1835-1957 77 VI Females Per 1,000 Males in Malaya, 1911-1957 78 VII Natural Increase (Per Cent) in Malaya, 1921-1957 78 VIII Malaya: Gross National Income By Industrial Origin, 1953 86 IX Percentage Share of Rubber and Tin of the Total Value of Exports from Malaya, 1936-1957 87 X Federated Malay States' Indian and Chinese Rubber Tappers1 Daily Wage Rates in Relation to London Rubber Prices, 1884-1940 207 XI Comparative Flow of Indian Immigrants into Burma, Ceylon and Malaya, 1884-1889 208 XII Monthly Budget for an Indian Labourer, September 1925 244 XIII Arrivals and Departures of Indians in/from Malaya, 1881-1957 274 XIV Indian Labour Migration to Malaya, 1909-1938 279 XV Growth of the Indian Population of Malaya, 1871-1957 3H XVI Females per 1,000 Males in the Indian Population, 1891-1957 327 ix Page XVII Percentage of the Various Races i n the Tot a l Malayan Population, 1911-1957 329 XVIII Occupational D i s t r i b u t i o n of the T o t a l Indian Population of Malaya, 1931 338 XIX Federation of Malaya and Singapore: Percentage Occupational Grouping of G a i n f u l l y Occupied Population, 1947 340 XX Federation of Malaya: Percentage Occupational Grouping of the G a i n f u l l y Occupied Population by Race, 1957 341 XXI Singapore: Percentage Occupational Grouping of the G a i n f u l l y Occupied Population, 1957 342 XXII Federation of Malaya: Economically Active Population By Industry and Race, 1957 343 XXIII Singapore: Economically Active Population By Industry and Race, 1957 344 XXIV Federation of Malaya: The Estate Population By Race, 1921-1947 345 XXV Federation of Malaya: T o t a l G a i n f u l l y Occupied Estate Population, 1957 345 XXVI Comparative Growth of T o t a l , Urban and Rural Population i n Malaya, 1947 to 1957 360 XXVII Malaya: Towns With 1,000 and More Indians, 1901-1957 363 XXVIII Malaya: The R a c i a l Composition of the Urban Population, 1947-1957 365 XXIX Indians i n the Major Urban Centres of Malaya, 1921-1957 367 XXX Ethno-Linguistic Composition o f the Indian Population of Malaya, 1921-1957 385 x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS FIGURE Page 1 Indians i n Malaya Frontpiece 2 Worlds D i s t r i b u t i o n of Indian Immigrants, 1957 10 3 Malaya: P o l i t i c a l D i v i s i o n s , 1957 25 4 Malaya and Canada: Comparative Areas 32 5 Malaya: P o s i t i o n 34a 6 Malaya: Physiographic Regions 37 7 Malaya: R e l i e f and Drainage 39 8 Malaya: A Coastal View 40a 9 Malaya: R a i n f a l l 43 10 Malaya: Vegetation 46 11 Malaya: P o t e n t i a l Padi Areas, 1957 49 12 Malaya: Minerals, 1955 51 13 Malaya: Areas Subject to Malaria, 1950 56 14 Malaya: P o l i t i c a l Geography, 1786-1957 72 15 Federation of Malaya: Land A l i e n a t i o n , 1953 89 16 Singapore: Land A l i e n a t i o n , 1958 90 17 Malaya: Geographical Regions and Major Urban Centres, 1957 91 18 Malaya: Communications, 1957 93 19 Singapore: Geographical Pattern of Singapore Island, 1958 95 20 Suvarnabhumi (The Land of Gold) 103 21 India: Asoka's Empire, 260 B.C. 108 x i Page 22 India: The Gupta Period, 320-544 A.D. 121 23 Seventh Century India 123 24 Probable Routes of Indian Migrants to Ancient Southeast Asia 126 25 Indianized City-States of Early Malaya 129 26 The Isthmian Tract, c.500 A.D. 131 27 The S r i Vijayan Thalassocracy, c.1150 A . D . 139 28 Kedah: Sites of Indianized Settlements, c.300-900 A . D . 140a 29 Eleventh Century India 143 30 The Siarao-Malay Peninsula i n the Fourteenth Century 144 31 The Malacca Sultanate at i t s Greatest Extent, c.1500 A . D . 152 32 The Spread of Islam i n Southeast Asia 156 33 Ports of Sixteenth Century India 161 34 The Trade of Malacca, c.1500 A . D . 169 35 Portuguese Malacca 177 36 B r i t i s h India, 1941 214 37 India: Location of Negapatam and Papakovil Labour Depots 263 38 India: Sketch of Papakovil Camp 264 39 India: Photographs of Papakovil Camp 265 40 Malaya: The State of Health of Rubber Estate Labourers, 1911-1952 271 41 Current of Indian Migration Between India and Malaya, 1881-1957 272 42 Malaya: Average Annual Price of Rubber, 1926-1957 277 x i i Page 43 India: P o l i t i c a l D i v i s i o n s and Languages 281 44 India: Provenance of South Indian Emigrants to Malaya 282 45 India: Provenance of Sikh Emigrants to Malaya 283 46 India: Bughwarnipur Gurudwara (Sikh Temple), Calcutta 285 47 Malaya: Population Growth, 1871-1957 288 48 Malaya: Indian Convicts i n the S t r a i t s Settlements, 1870 294 49 Malaya: Rubber, T i n and Padi Areas, 1931 301 50 Malaya: Railways, 1885-1935 307 51 Malaya: Roads, 1887-1948 308 52 Malaya: Percentage Increase/Decrease i n the Indian Population, 1891-1901 314 53 Malayas Percentage Increase/Decrease i n the Indian Population, 1901-1911 316 54 Malaya: Percentage Increase/Decrease i n the Indian Population, 1911-1921 318 55 Malaya: Percentage Increase/Decrease i n the Indian Population, 1921-1931 321 56 Malaya: Percentage Increase/Decrease i n the Indian Population, 1931-1947 323 57 Malaya: Percentage Increase/Decrease i n the Indian Population, 1947-1957 324 58 Malaya: Indians as a Percentage of the To t a l Population, 1891 330 59 Malaya: Indians as a Percentage of the T o t a l Population, 1901 331 60 Malaya: Indians as a Percentage of the T o t a l Population, 1911 333 x i i i Page 61 Malaya: Indians as a Percentage of the T o t a l Population, 1921 333 62 Malaya: Indians as a Percentage of the T o t a l Population, 1931 334 63 Malaya: Indians as a Percentage of the T o t a l Population, 1947 335 64 Malaya: Indians as a Percentage of the T o t a l Population, 1957 336 65 Malaya: R a c i a l Composition of Population By D i s t r i c t s , 1957 349 66 Malaya: Indian Population D e n s i t i e s , 1891 351 67 Malaya: Indian Population Densities, 1901 352 68 Malaya: Indian Population D e n s i t i e s , 1911 353 69 Malaya: Indian Population Densities, 1921 354 70 Malaya: Indian Population Densities, 1931 355 71 Malaya: Indian Population Densities, 1947 356 72 Malaya: Indian Population D e n s i t i e s , 1957 357 73 Malaya: D i s t r i b u t i o n of Population, 1947 361 74 Malaya: D i s t r i b u t i o n of Population, 1957 362 75 Malaya: New V i l l a g e s 366 76 Malaya: D i s t r i b u t i o n of Indian Population, 1901 369 77 Malaya: D i s t r i b u t i o n of Indian Population, 1911 370 78 Malaya: D i s t r i b u t i o n of Indian Population, 1921 371 79 Malaya: D i s t r i b u t i o n of Indian Population, 1931 372 80 Malaya: D i s t r i b u t i o n of Indian Population, 1947 373 x i v Page 81 Malaya: Distribution of Indian Population, 1957 374 82 Singapore: Racial Groupings in the centre of Singapore City, 1952 379 83 Malaya: Racial Occupation of Shop-houses in the Main Street of Segamat, a Typical Malayan Town 380 84 Malaya: Shop-houses 381 85 Malaya: Johore Labis Oil Palm Estate Settlement 383 86 Malaya: General Rubber Estate Settlement 384 87 Malaya: Indian Rubber Tappers 390 88 Malaya; Sikh Sepoys 396 89 Malaya: The Indian National Army 406a xv ABBREVIATIONS A. R.SoI.L.F.B. = Annual Report of the South Indian Labour Fund Board (Kuala Lumpur) B. E.F.E.O. - B u l l e t i n de l ' E c o l e Francaise d'Extreme-Orient (Hanoi) BoI.S.E.A. * B u l l e t i n of the I n s t i t u t e of Southeast A s i a (Singapore) BoS.P. = B r i t i s h Sessional Papers. House of Commons (London) C. I.AoM. = Central Indian A s s o c i a t i o n of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur) F.M.S. a* Federated Malay States I.H.Qo = Indian H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly (Bombay) I.L.O, = International Labour Organization (Geneva) I.M.Ro - I n s t i t u t e of Medical Research, Malaya (Kuala Lumpur) J.B.R.S. = Journal of the Burma Research Society (Rangoon) J.F.M.S.M. = Journal of the Federated Malay States Museum (Kuala Lumpur) J.G.I.S 0 = Journal of the Greater India Society (Calcutta and London) JoI.A. = Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia (Logan's Journal) (Singapore) ~~ J.M.B.R.A.So = Journal o f the Malayan Branch of the Royal A s i a t i c Society (Singapore) J.R.A.S. = Journal of the Royal A s i a t i c Society of Ireland and Great B r i t a i n (London) J.R.A.S.S.B. *» Journal of the Royal A s i a t i c Society. S t r a i t s Branch (Singapore) J.ToG. = Journal of T r o p i c a l Geography (formerly The Malayan Journal of T r o p i c a l Geography) (Singapore") M „A 0J 0 « The Malayan A g r i c u l t u r a l Journal (Kuala Lumpur) Mo C.A. » Malayan Chinese Ass o c i a t i o n MoIoC = Malayan Indian Congress xvi M.J.T.G. = Malayan Journal of T r o p i c a l Geography (Singapore) M.P.A.J.A. = Malayan Peoples Anti-Japanese Army P.A.M. = Planters' Association of Malaya P„A 0P. = Peoples Action Party P.F.C.F.M.S. = Proceedings of the Federal Council, Federated Malay States (Kuala Lumpur) P.L.C.S.S. = Proceedings of the L e g i s l a t i v e Council, S t r a i t s Settlements R.L.C. 1890 = Report of the Commissioners of Enquiry i n t o the State of Labour i n the S t r a i t s Settlements and the Federated Malay States. 1890 (Singapore. 1891) RoL.C 1896 « Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Enquire i n t o the Question of Indian Immigration. 1896 (Singapore. 1896) S.S„ = S t r a i t s Settlements S.S.B.B. « S t r a i t s Settlements Blue Book (Singapore) T.A.P.S. = Transactions of the American P h i l o s o p h i c a l Society (Philadelphia) U.F.M.S. - Unfederated Malay States U.M.N.O. * United Malays National Organization x v i i GLOSSARY OF MALAY AND OTHER LOCAL TERMS MALAY TERMS atap - roofing thatch, usually of palm fronds. bahar - local measure, the equivalent of about 400 lbs. bahasa - language. bangsal - estate or estate dwellings for labourers. batik - Malaysian printed cloth. bendahara - a palace chancellor. Dull - Malay royal ti t l e meaning "His Highness" or "His Excellency". dusun - rural settlement; often used roughly in the sense of orchard. gharu - aloeswood. ha.ji - a person who has made pilgrimage to Mecca. istana - sultan's palace. kampong - cluster of buildings making up a large homestead or a small hamlet and including the surrounding gardens; used commonly as an equivalent of "village". kathi - Muslim priest. k'ris - Malay dagger with a wavy blade. lalang; - coarse perenial grass. laut - sea. lebai - mosque offi c i a l . mantri - minister. Melayu - Malay mufti - learned man, especially in theology; mosque of f i c i a l . x v i i i - political subdivision for purposes of administration and collection of land revenue. - Malay royal t i t l e meaning "His Illustrious (Glorious) Highness". - Sea-gypsies. - Malay royal t i t l e meaning "His Highness". - rice (i) as a plant ( i i ) in the ear ( i i i ) as unhusked grain. - Malay boat.-- ditch or drain. - headman. - abandoned beach ridges. Tanah Melayu - Malay and constitutional name of the Federation of Malaya. sawah - wet padi field. Shabandar - municipal-cum-port officer of the Malacca Sultanate. sungei - (abbreviated to S. in place names) river or stream. Temenggong - Regent or Minister. mukim Maha Mulia Orang Laut Padaka Sri padi prahu parit penghulu permatang Persekutuan OTHER TERMS Bharata(s) bazaar Bengali, (s) Hindu deities, market. In actuality this term applies to natives or the language of the Bengal Province of India; locally, i t is a term that has been erroneously but traditionally used, principally by Asians, to denote a l l Indians who are not South Indians (Kling(s)). bodhisattva(s) - Hindu deities. xix C h e t t i a r ( s ) - Tamil Hindu merchant caste. c o o l i e ( c o o l l y , cooly) properly s p e l t " k u l i " , i s probably derived from the Tamil k u l i (wages; pay; far e ; h i r e ; f r e i g h t ) and k u l i - y - y a l (hired labourer), and i n the East Asian countries i s used to denote a porter or c a r r i e r or, i n the derogatory sense, a person of low up-bringing. This term has also been extended, by Europeans, to include a l l hired labourers, but p a r t i c u l a r l y , Indian and Chinese labourers, who emigrated under contract to places l i k e Southeast Asia, West Indies, A f r i c a and North America. The labourer of to-day resents being addressed as a "c o o l i e " , and i n Asi a the term i s gradually f a l l i n g into disuse. Chuliah(s) - Tamil Muslim t r a d e r ( s ) . Dharmasastra(s) - Hindu e t h i c a l laws. - store or warehouse. - A Tamil term meaning overseer or supervisor of labourers ( c o o l i e s ) on plan t a t i o n s . Kanganies are also known as t i n d a l s or mandors, which mean the same t h i n g . Kapitan - chief or headman. Kling(s) - l i k e "Bengali", an ubiquitous l o c a l term, used to denote a l l South Indians; probably derived from the ancient Indian empire of KALINGA (which comprised the country covered by modern Orissa and Ganjam), whose people were among the e a r l i e s t Indian v i s i t o r s to the Malayan shores. To-day Indians resent being re f e r r e d to as KLings. f o r the term has since taken on a contemptuous meaning. labour l i n e s - ba r r a c k - l i k e , elongated many-roomed dwellings of labourers. Malay - native of Malaya; the mother tongue of the Malays. Malayan - a person domiciled i n Malaya, i r r e s p e c t i v e of whether he be Chinese, Malay, Indian, etc.; things pertaining to Malaya. Malaysians - Malays and other Muslims of Malay stock; also i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y used t o denote a l l native peoples of "Malaysia" (Malaya, Southern Thailand, P h i l i p p i n e s , Indonesia and B r i t i s h Borneo). xx Malayali Merdeka mullah Mussulman munsif purdah sepoy Tamil Telegu - native of Kerala (Travancore), India. - independence or freedom; of Sanskrit origin via bahasa Indonesia (the Indonesian language = Malay) and used as a rallying slogan in the post-war movement for self-government in Malaya and Indonesia. - Muslim religious teacher. - Punjabi Muslim. - sub-collector of revenue in India. - Indian system of secluding women of rank. - Hindustani for soldier or armed policeman. - native of the Madras Province of India; language of the Tamils. - native of the Andhra Province of India; language of the Telegus. xxi LOCAL MEASURES OF WEIGHT, CAPACITY AND AREA The p r i n c i p a l l o c a l measures of weight, capacity and area, together with t h e i r English equivalents, are as follows: The chupak = 1 quart The gantang = 1 Imperial gallon The t a h i l = 1 1/3 ozs. The k a t i (16 t a h i l s ) = 1 1/3 l b s . The p i k u l (100 katis)= 133 l / 3 l b s . The koyan (40 pikuls)= 5,333 l / 3 l b s . One jemba = 64 sq. f e e t . One relong = 4S4 jembas One acre = 1.40525 relongs Other weights i n common use are: 10 huns • 1 c h i 10 chi •» 1 t a h i l ( l | ozs.) 1 bahar (3 pi k u l s ) = 400 l b s . 1 kuncha = approximately loO gantangs 1 n a l i h = 16 gantangs 1 gantang of padi = 5 l b s . approximately 1 gantang of r i c e (milled) = 8 l b s . approximately x x i i EXCHANGE R A T E S One Malayan (or Straits) $ = 2s. 4d. sterling = U.S. $0.33 » Indian Rps. 1.55 = 1 Hp* 55 %>s. £1 sterling = M$8.75/^ One U.S. | = M$3.o6^ One Indian Rupee * M$0.65/£ Unless otherwise indicated a l l financial rates and data in the text are in Malayan or Straits dollars. x x i i i Fig. 1 . Indians in Malaya. CHAPTER I I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 2 Malaya has a multi-racial population, including Malays , Chinese, Indians^, Europeans, Eurasians, Sinhalese, Arabs, Jews, Siamese, Aborigines and others. The fi r s t three communities, however, are the dominant groups, forming 98 per cent of the total population. Apart 1. Unless otherwise stated, the term "Malaya" or "British Malaya" as i t was called before independence, is used throughout the text to include both the Federation of Malaya and the State of Singapore. These two territories have traditionally functioned together and have been separated, politically, only recently. This separation is perhaps temporary for the movement to re-merge the two units as before, is gaining i n strength in both areas. Singapore, though politically separate, s t i l l retains most of its traditional functions as the primary city and the chief port of Malaya. 2. An actual Malay is of Mongloid stock but for political, legal and census purposes, a Malay in Malaya is defined as "a person who professes the Muslim religion, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay customs and (a) was before Merdeka Day (31st August, 1957) born in the Federation or born of parents one of whom was born in the Federation, or is on that day domiciled in the Federation; or ( b ) is the issue of such a person." (Malayan Constitutional Documents. (Kuala Lumpur, I960), p.108^ Incidentally i t might be noted here that the term "^^alayan" refers not only to Malays but also to the other communities, like the Indians, Chinese, etc., living in Malaya. It is also used in the sense of things pertaining to Malaya, the country, as a whole, like "Canadian" for Canada, and "British" for Great Britain. It should not be confused with the term "Malay" which is used specifically to denote either the indigenous people or/ and their language. 3. The term "Indian" is used in the text to denote a l l persons of Indian origin, including Pakistanis and Ceylon Tamils., - 2 -from the Aborigines1, the population is essentially "alien" in character, 2 being composed predominantly of Malay, Chinese and Indian immigrants , who moved into Malaya consequent upon the establishment of British rule and the opening up of the country during the last one hundred years„ The advent of the British, Chinese and Indians led to sweeping changes in the traditional patterns of the human geography of Malaya. For example, the influx of Chinese and Indian immigrants has substantially changed the demographic structure of Malaya. As early as 1921 "alien immigrants"^ already outnumbered the Malays, making the latter a minority 1. There are an estimated 100,000 Aborigines in Malaya to-day, mainly in the forested interior of the country. They are s t i l l very primitive but being indigenous, they have been traditionally classified as "Malays" for legal, political and census purposes. 2. Though Malays have been settled in the country since before the beginning of the Christian era the majority of the present day Malay population is descended from emigrants, from Sumatra, Java, Borneo and other Indonesian islands, who entered Malaya during the medieval and modern times. C (C.A. Vlieland, British Malaya; A Report on the 1931 Census-(London, 1932), pp. 8-10). 3. A l l non-Malay immigrants into Malaya were regarded as "alien immigrants" and were generally denied most of the citizenship privileges enjoyed by the Malays t i l l after the Second World War. - 3 -in their own country^. By 1957 the Chinese alone outnumbered the Malays in Malaya. A remarkable transformation has also taken place in the development of the country,, A century ago the settled parts of Malaya consisted merely of a few clearings and settlements along the coast, up rivers and isolated patches in the forests and swamps. Production was restricted to some foodstuffs and jungle items. let today i t is one of the richest and best developed countries in Asia, producing more than a third of the world's supply of tin and natural rubber, as well as large quantities of palm o i l , copra and pineapples. The Malay population has taken l i t t l e part in this modern development, present day Malaya being, mainly, the joint creation of British, Chinese and Indian enterprise. The Malays have largely remained tied to their traditional self-sufficiert agricultural economy based on tiny land-holdings. A number of books and articles have been written on Malaya 2 and its people and their economy. The Malays have been particularly well-documented-^ while the characteristics and contributions of the 1. Though being also ijnmigrants, perhaps of a l i t t l e longer standing than the Indians and Chinese, the Malays have been habitually and in constitutional theory and political practice, accepted as "natives of the country" and "owners of the soil". 2. See- for example, T.E. Smith, Population Growth in Malaya; An Analysis of Recent Trends (London, 1952), and B.W. Hodder, Man in Malaya (London. 1959). which are well documented with the latter containing an exhaustive bibliography. 3. R.J. Wilkinson, History of the Peninsula Malays (Singapore, 1920); R. Firth, Malay Fishermen; Their Peasant Economy (London, 1946); Ro0. Winstedt. The Malays: A Cultural History (Singapore. 1947); L.R„ Wheeler, The Modern Malay (London. 1928): J.M. Gullick, - 4 -British and Chinese in Malaya have also been the subject of numerous studies.^" In the building of modern Malaya the role and contribution of the Indians has also won high praises With l i t t l e exaggeration i t has been said of Europe that i t owes its theology, its literature, its science and its arts to Greece; with no greater exaggeration i t may be said of the Malayan races that t i l l the nineteenth century they owed everything to India: religion, a political system, medieval astrology and medicine, literature, arts and crafts .... India found the Malay a peasant of the late stone age, a 'frog under a coconut shell' and i t left him a citizen of the world.^ Indigeneous Political Systems of Western Malaya (London, 1958), and E.H.G. Dobby and Others, "Padi Landscapes of Malaya", M.J.T.G.. Vol.6 (1955) and Vol.10 (1957), are some of the more prominent works on the Malays of Malaya. 1. See for example, Sir Frank Swettenham, British Malaya; An Account of the Origin and Progress of British Influence in Malaya (London. 1948); J. Cameron, Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan India (London, 1865); H.P. Clodd, Malaya's First Pioneer (London, 1948); Sir R. Coupland, Raffles of Singapore (London. 1946); L.A. Mills, British Rule in Eastern Asia (London. 1942); A.E. Percival, War in Malaya (London. 1949): v7 Purcell, The Chinese in Malaya (London. 1948), and The Chinese in Modern Malaya ( S j n gapore, 1956); M. Freedman, Chinese Family and Marriage in Singapore (London, 1957); <J.D. Vaughan, Manners and Customs of the Chinese of the Straits Settlements (Singapore, 1879); Sir Song Ong Siang, One Hundred Years' History of the Chinese in Singapore: A Chronological Record of the Contributions of the Chinese Community to the Development of Singapore from 1819 to 1919 (London. 1932); Wang Gangwu, "The Nanhai Trade", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.31, Pt.2 (1958), and W.L. Blythe, "Historical Sketch of Chinese Labour in Malaya", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.20 (1947), pp.64-114, to mention a few. 2. Sir Richard Winstedt, "Indian Influence in the Malay World", J.R.A.Sao(l944), pp.186; 195. - 5 -Few people have s u f f i c i e n t l y bothered about the subject to r e a l i z e what the people of India and Ceylon d i d i n the e a r l y days of the country,, When B r i t i s h o f f i c e r s came i n t o the country they numbered four or f i v e i n one st a t e and perhaps three or four i n another, but they had devoted s t a f f s mainly composed of the people of India and Ceylon. At that time the Malays d i d not know the English language and were therefore unable to take t h e i r share i n the administration of the government. The devoted services of the people from India and Ceylon would never be forgotten. They d i d not know the customs of the people of the country, but they were sent out to the wilds to do t h e i r work and they d i d i t with unswerving l o y a l t y (and) everyone would always be g r a t e f u l to the people of India and^Ceylon f o r being the pioneers of the work of those days. The Indian labourers were the creators of i V Jalaya's p o t e n t i a l rubber wealth (and) were c a l l e d the ' l i f e blood of the colony'. I t was the Indian labourers who l a i d the foundation f o r Malaya's p r o s p e r i t y ... (while i n postwar Malaya) ... Indian tappers and subordinate s t a f f have c a r r i e d on despite (Communist) t e r r o r i s t attacks. The number of Indians i n (Communist) bandit gangs i s exceedingly small. Indian engine d r i v e r s defy b u l l e t s and bombs to keep Malaya's t r a i n s moving. Indian p o l i c e have covered themselves with g l o r y i n many parts of our s w i r l i n g ( ? ) jungle battleground.-* 1. S i r George Maxwell, former Chief Secretary of the Federated Malay States, c i t e d by R.B. Krishnan, The Indians i n Malaya; A Pageant of Greater India (Singapore, 1936), p.21. 2. J . M i t c h e l l , a member of the S t r a i t s Settlements L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, c i t e d by R.B. Krishnan, I b i d . 3. Singapore Free Press (Singapore), June 13, 1950, p.4. - 6 -Many of the Indians who came here long ago have now already lost their desire to go back to India. Their children feel themselves to be very much more the citizens of this country than the children of their father's or grandfather's village in India ... and would far rather settle down in Malaya permanently i f they had a reasonable chance to own their own land. Yet, except for numerous scattered references in publications^ dealing with India^ or Malaya or Southeast A s i a * , as a whole, and a few books and articles, mostly politically biased, on certain aspects of the community^, there has, to the best of the writer's knowledge, so far been no comprehensive study of any kind, much less a geographical one, covering the whole of the long period of Indian settlement in Malaya. 1. Director of Information, Federal Govt. Press Statement. D.Inf. ll/53/l (Lands)? South Indian Land Settlement (Opportunities for South Indians to Settle Permanently on the land in Malaya). (Mimeo. Kuala Lumpur, November 3, 1953). 2. A good example of these are T.E. Smith, op.cit; L„A. Mills, op.cit.: B„W. Hodder, Op.cit.; E.H.G. Dobby, Southeast Asia (London, 1950); N.Ginsburg and Others, Malaya (Singapore, 1958); C.Kondapi, . Indians Overseas^ 1838-1949 (New Delhi, 1950); Lanka Sundram, The International Aspects of Indian Emigration (London, 1930) and H.G. Quaritch Wales. The Making of Greater India: A study in Southeast Asian Culture Change (London, 1951). 3. Unless otherwise stated the terms "India" and the "Indian Sub-Continent", include both the present India and Pakistan. 4. Southeast Asia is used here as the collective regional name for the area bounded by and composed of Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Vietminh (North Vietnam), Indonesia, British Borneo (North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak), Philippines and Malaya. 5. Nearly a l l of this literature, listed below, is written by journalists or leaders of the Indian community in Malaya or some other persons, and has a definite political bias. For the most part these writings are subjective panegyrics of Indian achievement in Malaya and condemnations of their poor treatment by the British Government. They a l l appear to have the same singular motive: to eulogise and publicise the position of the Indians as a whole or their particular sector of interest, probably, in the hope of - 7 -A„ Scope and Aims Bearing in mind the facts discussed above, i t is the intention here to make a historical geographical study of the Indian migration and population change in Malaya from its beginnings, about 2,000 years ago, improving their status. This is amply illustrated by an examination of the texts listed below: (i) A.V. Moothedeen, Our Countrymen in Malaya (Trivandrum, India, 1932). A Malayali's (native of the Kerala Province of India) general eulogistic account of the Indians' role in Malaya and their ill-treatment by the British. Neither his accusations nor his praise are substantiated with factual examples. (i i ) N. Raghavan, India and Malaya: A study (Bombay, 1954). Written by a former official of the politically militant Central Indian Association of Malaya, this work, though less subjective and written with much more flourish and poise, is nevertheless, basically similar to the account above. ( i i i ) V.S. Sastri, Report on the Conditions of Indian Labour in Malaya (New Delhi, 1937). The author was a leader of the Moderates in the Indian National Congress and his Report, though factual, is also mantled in political overtones. (iv) S. Nanjudan, Indians in Malayan Economy (Office of the Economic Advisor, New Delhi, 1950). This is similar to Sastri's Report <• being written by an Indian Government off i c i a l . (v) K.A. Neelakanda Aiyer, Indian Problems in Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, 1938). The author was Secretary of the C .IoA.M, during the time of the publication of his book. This is a well executed exposition of the discriminations against the Indians in Malaya by the British Government, and consequently was promptly banned immediately after its publication. (vi) R.B. Krishnan, op.cit.s An Indian leader's highly coloured 'Pageant' of Indian achievements in Malaya. Compiled at a time when the pro-Malay policy of the Government was being intensified, this work was probably aimed at safeguarding the position of the Indians through publicising their achievements in Malaya. (vii) M0N0 Nair, The Indians in Malaya (Kodnayar Printing Works, India, n.d.71 This is a general journalistic account on the lines of Moothedeen, op.cit. - 8 -to 1957j the year of Malaya's independence from British rule It was decided to end the study at 1957 since this date marks the end of one — colonial — and the beginning — independence — of another era in Malaya's history and development. Furthermore, 1957 also serves as a bench-mark for comparative purposes, as i t was also the year of the latest population census in the Federation and Singapore. (viii) Publications on the Indian National Army (I.N.A.) listed on p. 40 5 belowo Many of these have been written by former memte rs of the I.N.A. or the Indian Independence League in Malaya or the Indian National Congress. For example, Shah Nawaz Khan, I.N.A. and its Neta.ji (Delhi, 1946), was an officer in the I.N.A., while B.J. Desai, I.N.A. Defence (Delhi, 1947), who defended the I.N.A. officers, at their t r i a l for treason in New Delhi, was a member of the Indian National Congress. (ix) H.I.S. Kanwar, "Indians in Malaya", Eastern World. VI, (December, 1952), pp014-5; VII (Jan., 1953), P.19j 1 "India's Link with ^alaya", United Asia. 11, (June, 1950), pp.423-6; "Malaya's Cultural Contacts with India", Asia. I l l , No.12 (March, 1954), pp.536-44. As the titles suggest these articles are rather romantic accounts of Malaya's cultural debt to India. (x) P. Kodanda Rao, "Indians Overseas: The Position in Malaya", India, Quarterly, II, (April-June, 1946), pp.150-62. This is a general account of the Indians in %laya on the same lines as Aiyer's, op.cit.. work. The author was a former Indian official in Malaya and member of the C.I.A.M. (xi) S. Durai Raja Singam, India and Malaya Through the Ages (Singapore, 1954). This falls in the same category as Kanwar's, op.cit.. work, the difference being that this is a pictorial survey of similar Malay and Indian customs, in an effort to show India's contributions to Malaya. In these circumstances the above works, though they contain valuable information, some of the comments and descriptions being by keen observers, are of limited research value. - 9 -This work makes no pretence to be definitive or complete as there have been limitations of time, source material available, and also limitations imposed by the historical span and scope of the subject which stretches over some 2,000 years. But i n the absence of any detailed and comprehensive account, i t is hoped that this study w i l l serve to f i l l i n some of the gaping voids i n the vast subject of Indian migration, settlement and assimilation i n Malaya. More important, i t i s the hope that i t w i l l serve as a forerunner and an introduction to more detailed research on particular aspects of the Indian community, not only i n Malaya, but also i n the rest of Southeast Asia and other tropical and non-tropical areas l i k e Africa and Anglo-America, where more than three million persons of Indian origin are to be found,.. (Appendix A and Fig.2)^". B. Sources of Information Sources of information available and used have been grouped under four main categories: (1) Published materials. (2) Unpublished materials. (3) Government o f f i c i a l s and members of the public. (4) Field work. 1. F. Moraes (ed.), The Indian and Pakistan Year Book and Who's Who. 1951 (The Times of India, Bombay, 1952) p.25; and K. Davies, The Population of India and Pakistan (Princeton, New Jersey, 1951), p.101. 10 Pig. 2. Worldt' Dis t r i b u t i o n of Indian Immigrants, 1957? Source: Based on s t a t i s t i c a l dat? given i n Appendix A . - 11 -(l) Publicationsi These are primarily of six typess (a)(i) Malayan Government publications such as Census Reports, Annual Reports of the two territories and their various departments, Reports of Commissions appointed by the Government, and the Proceedings of Legislative Councils and other similar bodies. (a)(ii) Indian Government publications like the Parliamentary Papers, Annual Reports of the Agent, later Representative and High Commissioner in Malaya, and the Ministry of External Affairs' Annual Report on the working of the Indian Emigration Act, 19220 (a) ( i i i ) British Parliamentary Command Papers and Reports of Commissions appointed by the Governmento (b) Journals and memoranda of Learned Societies and other such organisations0 (c) Articles in journals, essay collections or in newspapers, concerning Indians in Malaya, written largely by journalists, politicians, government officers or scholars. (d) Books and periodicals on the Indians in Malaya and those, though not strictly written on the Indians in Malaya, containing reference to them. - 12 -(e) Charts, diagrams, photographs and maps, one going back to 1613 A.D., containing land-use information and the sites of the earlier and later Indian settlement in Malaya. (f) Scattered references and reports in both the vernacular and the English language newspapers in Malaya. (2) Unpublished materials; This includes theses, mimeographed memoranda, records and documentso (a) The theses are mainly those completed in the University of Malaya, Singapore, but also include a few from other institutions, principally by the members of the academic staff of the University of ^laya. Some of these theses deal specifically with certain aspects of the Indian community while others only contain references to them. (b) Mimeographed memoranda include minutes and reports of meetings and discussions, and Government and private press releases. (c) Records and documents, mainly of Government origin, the principal ones available being the Selangor Records, within which, in addition, are also enclosed a number of private documents. - 13 -(3) Government Officials and Members of the Public; (a) Government officials directly concerned with the Indians were at times a valuable source of information and usually ready to co-operate, (b) Indian community leaders in Malaya were another source of information. This was mainly obtained through letters and in a few cases by means of personal interviews. (c) The academic people concerned with the Indians in one way or another, besides being sources of information — obtained through informal discussions as during "coffee-breaks" — were also valuable in that they provided the means whereby certain items could be checked for authenticity and accuracy. ( 4 ) Field Work; In addition to the fact that the writer has travelled extensively in India and Malaya since his childhood days, actual planned field work was also undertaken in the latter country during July-August, 1958, and December-January, 1959/60, to supplement and illustrate the source materials listed above. C. Limitations The above l i s t of sources of information looks impressive and i t would appear at first sight that the embarrassment in materials would be in riches and the problem one of selection. But in actual fact, one of ths main set-backs has been the paucity of materials available and accessible. - Ik -The prime difficulty facing the historical geographer of early Malaya is the complete lack of indigeneous literary sources before the sixteenth century. Malaya has no Domesday Book or Rig-Veda. The earliest extant indigeneous work in Malaya, the Se.jarah Melayu. (The Malay Annals), a panegyric of considerable interest to the antiquarian but of l i t t l e practical value to the historical geographer, is attributed to a date no earlier than the middle of that century. The fi r s t description of any part of Malaya from the pen of an alien even temporarily resident --• the Suma Oriental of the Portuguese apothecary, Tome Pire3 — was written only a few years earlier in 1512-5* In Malaya, too, the face of the country is a far less valuable document than in temperate lands such as Europe or North India. The ravages of climate, insects, moulds and the erosive and phenomenally rapid depositional power of equatorial rainfall and streams combine to obliterate the imprint of man's occupance almost as soon as he relinquishes tenure of the land and go far to thwart even the subtlest probings of the archeologist. There are no features in the Malayan landscape comparable, for example, with the remains of the Indus Valley city-states of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, the lynchets of the European chalklands, the 'lost' villages and fossilized remains of the English midlands or the abandoned structures of Angor Vat, while there are no ecclesiastical or administrative units from this early period to manifest man's preoccupation with soil and landforms such as is betrayed by the shape of the English parish or, from a,later date, the seigniories of Lower Canada. Anyway, the study of archaeology in - 15 -Malaya is s t i l l in the infant stage and besides the physical difficulties enumerated above, no less a handicap is the dearth of qualified workers,. In these circumstances, foreign literary and epigraphic records are of paramount importance. But these may be in any one of the Indian, Chinese, Arab, Siamese, Indonesian or European languages, and often, in more than one, which introduces the problems of translation and transliteration. Then the evidence of these different sources is often contradictory, a problem complicated further by the frequency with which place-names are changed and are duplicated.^ In this connection i t should be noted that so wide is the gulf between the geography of ancient and modern Malaya that there has been no continuity of place names in the country from the early times to the present. The versions that are included in the earlier chapters of this study, are chiefly the contemporary Chinese forms of local names long since fallen into disuse. For the resurrection of the early Malayan place-names, the location and identification of many of which is s t i l l a matter of 2 debate, we owe a tremendous debt to scholars like P. Pelliot , G.H. Luce3, Sir Ronald Braddell**, Sylvian Levi 5, R.C. Majumdar6, 1. See, for example, J.T.G., Vol.9 (1956), pp.1-78„ This whole volume is a special issue on the source material for the historical geography of ancient Malaya. 2o "Duex Itineraires de Chine en Inde a la Fin du Ville Siecle", BnE,,F,,E,,0.«, Vol.4 (1906). ,pp.113.0-413. 3. "Countries Neighbouring Burma", JoB.RoS.. Vol„14, Pt.2 (Rangoon, 1925)» fRP.(138^205. 4. "The Study of the Ancient Times in Malaya", J.M.B.R.A.S.. (1935-1951). 5. "Ptolemee, le Niddesa et la Brhatkatha", Etudes Asiatlques. Vol.2 (Paris, 1925). .pp. 1-5 5-. 6. Suyarnadvipa. Part I (Dacca, 1937). - 16 -K.A. Nilakanta Sa s t r i , H.G. Quaritch Wales , I.H.N. Evans , G. Coedes*, G. Ferrand5, F, Hirth and W.W. Rockhill 6, W.P. Groeneveldt7, J.J.L. Duyvendak^ and Paul Wheatley^. l o The Cholas. Vol. I (Madras, 1935). 20 op.cit. 3. Ethnology and Archaeology of the Malay Peninsula (Cambridge, 1927). 4. Les Etats Hindouises d'lndochine et d'Indonesie (Paris, 1948). 5. Relations de Voyages et Textes. Geographiques Arabes. Persans et Turcs Relatifs a 1'Extreme Orient. Vol.2 (Paris, 1914). 6. Chau Ju-kua (St.Petersburg, 1911). 7. Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca. Compiled from Chinese Sources (Batavia, 1876). 8. "The True Dates of the Chinese Maritime Expeditions in the Early Fifteenth Century", T'oung Pao. Vol.34 (Leiden, 1939),^ pp/.v314^ 412. 9. The Golden Khersoneset A Historical Geography of Malaya up to the Fifteenth Century (In press). - 17 -For modern Malaya, too, In almost every instance the materials accessible, from the listed sources, are fragmentary. No one place in Malaya possesses a complete set of even such basic printed records as, for example, the Proceedings of the Federal Council of the Federated Malay States and the Population Census Reports0 Similarly, many of the records published for restricted circulation, also, show wide gaps. Pre-war1 Labour Department records, for example, are virtually non-existent, while many numbers of the Annual Reports of the Agent of India in British Malaya, and those of the F.M.S,, Straits Settlements and the Unfederated Malay States are also not available in Malaya. The reasons for the incomplete records are losses suffered 2 in the Japanese Occupation and during the post-war British Military Administration and by sheer neglect, disinterest in and maladministration of public records on the part of the Government and individuals,, Much material was lost during the Malayan campaign, following the Japanese invasion, through bombing, fire, looting and general vandalism. The small Federal Museum at Kuala Lumpur, for example, was bombed out and much of the material never recovered. 1. Unless otherwise indicated the terms "pre-war" and "post-war" refer to the period before and after, respectively, of the Second World War,(1939-1945). 2. In Malaya, the period of the Japanese occupation of the country, from 1942 to 1945, is usually referred to as the "Japanese Occupation". - 1 8 -The Japanese soldiers showed l i t t l e respect for things English and in many places they made huge bonfires with Government fi l e s , records and books in addition to urging the people to discard a l l books in the English language. Many were the people who destroyed their libraries for fear of Japanese reprisals. The more enterprising ones not only sold their own collections as paper weight to shop-keepers, junk dealers, and vendors but also the old Government records and files in the offices where they worked. It was not an uncommon sight, during and immediately after the Japanese Occupation, to see food pedlars serving their peanuts, fried bananas, curry-puffs and other similar delicacies, on memoranda of the Indian Immigration Committee or on papers from the Annual Reports of the Labour Department or the Proceedings of the Federal Council or some other such recordsI The British Military Administration which replaced the Japanese, upon the latter's surrender in 1945 , and ruled Malaya t i l l the return of c i v i l rule in 1946 , did l i t t l e to salvage the old records. In fact, in some cases more destruction was done during this short period than during the whole of the Japanese Occupation. Pilfering and black-marketing in Government property was a profitable business while many valuable materials found their way out of the country in the possession of officials and other individuals as private property to, perhaps, adorn family or alma mater libraries or become collectors' items. Finally some of the materials that were salvaged have been either misplaced or lost through neglect or are unavailable through maladministration. Until a couple of years ago, when the post of - 19 -'Keeper of the Public Records' was created, there was no central place for keeping public records. They were to be found dumped in a l l sorts of places like Public Works Department garages, Education Department store-rooms and the basement of the State Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur. Even today, though most of the materials available have been collected and crated, no effort has been made to catalogue or arrange them, and they continue to rot in crates adorning the steps and the bottom of the new Museum Negara (National Museum), Kuala Lumpur, in which is located the office of the Keeper of Public Records. In Singapore, the situation is somewhat better, the available records being housed in the Raffles National Museum and Library. But even here the organisation is chaotic and what older records were salvaged have only just been saved from complete destruction, through mould, by the installation of an air-conditioning unit. It is possible that much of the material non-existent in Malaya might be available in India, or at least in London, which is easily the best centre in the world of codified material on Malaya. Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties and other commitments, i t was impossible to visit these places or to secure any of these materials. In any case l i t t l e of the material, on the Indians in Malaya, either abroad or in Malaya, is written by geographers or from the geographical point of view. Problems of selection, detail and modification thus have been and would have been ever present. In these circumstances, much that follows has been culled from the sources listed and under conditions discussed above. This, i t is hoped, will partly explain the omissions and gaps in the text. - 20 -Many statistics have been included to supplement and illustrate the thesiso In addition, since statistics about the Indians in Malaya are not to be found in any one place but scattered over both space and time — many of which are gradually becoming inaccessible for one reason or another — i t was felt that the inclusion of as many of these as possible in the text would not only somewhat remedy this deficiency but also collect and preserve these statistics in one source for future research and reference0 The analysis and inclusion of the statistics in the text in a coherent intelligible form, however, posed a number of problems,. In the f i r s t place,as mentioned above, statistics on Indians, particularly for the pre-World War I period, are not only scattered but in many instances virtually non-existent. The early Indian merchants and priests, despite their long commercial and proselytizing activities in the area in the early years of the Christian era, have left practically no statistical records. The Portuguese and Dutch, who followed them, with the exception of a few statistical details occurring in works like Balthasor Bort's Report on Malacca^, also do not appear to have bothered themselves with statistics about Indians. As for the period of British rule in Malaya (1786-1957), though Indian immigration into Malaya dates from at least the early years of the nineteenth century, organisations like the Indian Immigration Committee, the Labour Department of 1. See pp. 184-90 below.. - 21 -Malaya, Office of the Agent of the Government of India in British Malaya , 2 The Planters' Association of Malaya and the Rubber Growers' Association (London) , with which the Indian immigrants i n Malaya were chiefly associated, did not come into existence t i l l 1907, 1911, 1923, 1907 and 1907 respectively,, Similarly, the f i r s t Malaya-wide population census was not taken t i l l 1921, though some State counts had been held as early as I87I0 Consequently, the statistical information on the Indians in pre-war British Malaya, too, is fragmentary. This lack of adequate statistics, i t appears, is not just a peculiarity of the earlier phases of Indian settlement in Malaya, but rather a recurrent malady. There is l i t t l e accurate information on the large shifts and dispersals of population that took place during the Japanese Occupation. The same, almost, can be said of the changes that took place in the distribution of Indian population after the proclamation of the Emergency*on June 16, 1948, and the consequent relocation and resettlement of rural peoples^, for, despite a plethora 1. See Chapter IV. 2. The Malay Mail (Kuala Lumpur), April 28, 1908, p.5. 3. J. Norman Parmer, Colonial Labour Policy and Administrations A History of Labour in the Rubber Plantation Industry in Malaya, c. 1910-1941 (New York, I960), p.13. 4. A state of emergency, later popularly referred to as "The Emergency", was proclaimed in Malaya on June 16th 1948, following the discovery of a Communist plot to overthrow the Government and the consequent outbreak of violence. This state of affairs ended twelve years later on July 31st I960. 5. See Chapter V. - 22 -of State and District War Executive Committees and Resettlement Officers, no comprehensive up to date information is available on the actual locations, numbers and composition of the total population affected by the resettlement and relocation programmes. More important than just the availability of sufficient figures, is perhaps the fact that many of them do not lend themselves to meaningful interpretation because they are either inaccurate or unreliableo G.T. Hare, who was in charge of the 1901 F.M.S. Census, for example, says, "..„ The census figures for 1891, F.M.S., are not accurate ..."• while discrepancies also occur in the later population counts. For example, 32,456 Indians were enumerated in Singapore according to the 1921 Census^, but the 1947 Census records 33,028 Indians for the same date\ Similarly, the total number of Indians (excluding Ceylon Tamils) in Malaya in 1931 is given as 624,009 in the 1931 Census^, but as 621,847 in the 1947 Census6 while i f the numbers given for a l l the individual States are added, the total comes to 624,721 I No explanation is given in any of the census reports for the "changing figures". 1. In the Malayan political hierarchy, next to the Federation are the "States" consisting of several "Districts", which in turn are sub-divided into mukims, roughly the equivalent of the English parish, (Fig.3). 2. G.T. Hare, F.M.S. Census Report, 1901 (London, 1902), p.22. 3. J eE. Nathan, Census of British Malaya. 1921 (London, 1922), p.126. 4. M.V. del Tufo. Malaya: A Report on the 1947 Census of Population (London, 1949), p.588. 5. C.A. Vlieland, British Malaya: A Report on the 1931 Census (London, 1932), p.121. 6. Tufo, op.cit.. 7. Personal counting on a computer. - 23 -As a final illustration of the discrepancies in the statistical data of Malaya, areas of States, as given in the census reports, keep on changing from census to census without any proper explanation being offered. The area of Malacca, for example, is given as 6 0 2 square miles in 18911, 6 5 9 square miles in 19012, 720 square miles in 19113, 720.5 4 , 5 square miles in 1921 , and 632.7 square miles in 1947 , while that of the Federation is given as 50,850 square miles in the Annual Report^. and as 50,600 in the 1947 Population Census . These discrepancies make comparative analysis difficult. These inaccuracies in the Malayan statistical data are, however, not altogether surprising in view of the few officials, especially in the earlier periods, available who knew the many Indian and other languages. Furthermore the earlier statistical records are at the most approximate guesses. Difficulties of travel and insufficient number of trained officials made contact with the rural population difficult while even where this contact was possible, the traditional suspicion of the Asians of a l l government officials made the obtaining of accurate information difficult. Finally, the compilation and analysis of the Malayan statistical data was in the hands of people who were inadequately trained , and equipped. 1. E.M. Merewether, Report on the Census of the Straits Settlements. 1891 (Singapore, 1892), p . l 5 o 2. J.R. Jones, Report on the Census of the Straits Settlements. 1901 (Singapore, 1901), p.16. 3. H. Marriot, Report on the Census of the Colony of the S.S.. 1911 (Singapore, 1911), p . 1 5 * 4. Nathan, op.cit. p.30-. 5 . Tufo, op.cit. P0I36. - 24 -The decision to draw the population maps for the Indian population on a State basis brought to the fore a number of cartographical problems. Malaya, covering an area of 50,824 square miles, is divided into twelve States (Fig. 3)• But the problem was not just one of numbers but more of sizes, for the States range from 224 square miles (Singapore) to 13,873 square miles (Pahang) in area. This great disparity in sizes made the choice of a scale difficult. Similar to the problem of the scale of the base-map was the problem of the value to be given to each dot in the population distribution maps, in view of the fact that the range in the Indian numbers in Malaya was from 583 in Pahang in 1891 to 201,047 persons in Selangor in 1957, while that for the total Malayan population was from 70,490 for Perils in 1947 to 1,445,929 persons i n Singapore in 1957. As too high a value would have "blanketed" certain details of pattern, i t was decided to separate the maps for the total population and the Indian population, giving each dot the value of 500 and 400 persons respectively, for the two series of maps. A final handicap that applied to the mapping of a l l data was that since at least three copies of each map were required and facilities for employing colour were unavailable, they a l l had to be done in black and white, with consequent limitations. 6. Malayan Union, Annual Report. 1947 (Kuala Lumpur, 1948), p.l. 7. Tufo, op.cit.„ p.136. - 25 -F i g . "3. Malaya; P o l i t i c a l Divisions, 1957. Source: Based on 'Federated Malay States, Federated Malay States Surveys .No* 2 + l ^ g (Kuala Lumpur, 1932), - 26 -D. Plan of Work The thesis is divided into six Chapters: The research setting of the work, i.e., its aims and scope, source materials available, accessible and used, and various handicaps and limitations encountered, is discussed in Chapter I. Chapter II provides a sunmary of the Malayan geographical and historical background. Chapter III is devoted to the Indians in pre-British Malaya, i.e.,before the founding of the British Colony of Penang in 1786. Chapter IV discusses the Indian migration to British Malaya (1786-1957) while the consequent and other changes in the Indian population numbers and characteristics are analysed in Chapter V. Chapter VI concludes the study. No attempt is made to give a complete chronological account of the Indians in Malaya. However, to provide a link with the past and maintain continuity and preserve the general trend of the Indian settlement in Malaya, an account of the early Indian connexions with this country was felt necessary. Chapter III is divided into four sub-sections: The fir s t of these discusses the making of Greater India 1, i.e., the flocking of the early Indian traders, adventurers and priests to the veritable E l Dorados of Malaya and other Southeast Asian areas — the Suvarnabhumi (The Land of Gold) — and the 1. This term is used in India and elsewhere to denote the Southeast Asian region, i.e., the area in which Indian cultural and commercial influence was paramount before the coming of the Europeans. 2. This Pali (sacred language of the Buddhist Scriptures) term, the Sanskrit version of which is Suyarnadvipa (The Golden Island or Peninsula), i t appears, was applied by the early Indians to almost each one of the present Southeast Asian countries, in addition to being used as a blanket term for the whole region. It - 27 -foundation and growth of city-states in the central sections of the 1 2 Siamo-Malay Peninsula through the process of "Indianization" . 3 Sections two and three deal with the decline of Hindu influence through the coming and rise of Islam and the growth of Muslim power based on Malacca,, With the rise of Malacca as a great port and the hub of Muslim influence in Southeast Asia, the focus of attention shifted from the north to the southern parts of Malaya. The decline of Malacca and the rise of the European powers in Asia also saw the disappearance of Indian shipping from Malayan and other waters. This is discussed in the final section of Chapter III„ is s t i l l a matter of debate, but i t is possible i t may have meant, specifically, the Malay Peninsula, one of the most important sources of gold of early India. (See Chap.III). 1. The term "Siamo-Malay Peninsula" or "Peninsula" is used in the text to denote the finger-like projection of territory jutting out from the Southeast Asian landmass from about 15°N. latitude to the southern tip of the Federation of Malaya. This is to distinguish i t from the ambivalent and ambiguously used term, "Malay Peninsula", which from henceforth will be used only to denote the Federation of Malaya, unless otherwise stated and explained (Fig. 5). 2. "Indianization" is used in the sense of a culture transference, in this case, the moulding and transformation of the Malay ways J -k.s , - - of l i f e through the diffusion of Indian political, economic and social influences. 3. The term "Hindu influence" also includes Indian Buddhist influence. The two were so closely interlocked and intermeshed in early Malaya that i t is difficult to say where one ended and the other began. - 28 -Following the establishment of British paramountacy in India and the consolidation of their power in Malaya, a metamorphosis took place in the character of Indian contacts with Malaya. From a spontaneous trickle of traders, merchants and priests — ambassadors of a great civilization — the movement of Indians to Malaya became a veritable tide, now consisting, principally, of illiterate poor labourers coming into the country to work for a pittance on some European-owned plantation or Government project, like road and railway construction. This transformation and the origins and characteristics of the Indian migration to Malaya during the British period (1786-1957) are discussed in great detail, in Chapter IV, because i t was this modern migration which forms the basis of the whole of the Indian population in Malaya to-day. "Migration" is a form of geographical or spatial mobility between one geographical unit and another, generally involving a change of residence from the place of origin or departure to the place of destination or arrival. 1 As employed in the text i t may be defined as the essentially peaceful movement of individuals, from one country to another, with the intention of affecting a temporary or lasting change in residence. Migration so defined has a twofold aspect; i t covers both "immigration" and "emigration", the movement into and out of a 2 particular country respectively. The term "emigrant", as used here, applies to a l l residents leaving a country either temporarily or 1. United Nations, Multilingual Demographic Dictionary: English Section (United Nations, New York, 1958), p.46. 2. J. Isaac, Economics of Migration (London, 1947)> pp.3-4. - 29 -permanently, including both nationals and aliens. "Immigrants" will be understood to mean persons moving either permanently or temporarily into a country where they are not resident at the time of the movement. This includes aliens, nationals having previously emigrated who now return to their country of nationality, persons born abroad, who were nationals at birth, and persons having acquired abroad the nationality of the country of i m m i g r a t i o n I t should be noted that the definitions of "immigrants", "emigrants" and "migration" employed here may not be the same as those used in the national statistics of many countries or in publications of the I.L.O. and other such international organisations„' Furthermore, these definitions refer only to international movements and do not include the movement of people within the boundaries of a single country. This latter movement is usually referred to as 3 "internal migration" . Chapter V follows up the Indian migration and discusses the 4 historical growth, from the foundation of Penang (1786) to Merdeka (1957), of the Indian population in Malaya, together with its changing 1. United Nations, Problems of Migration Statistics (United Nations, New York, 1949), p.5. 2. See for example, F.M.R. Davie, World Immigration (New York, 1936), p.209; United Nations, op.cit.. pp.1-6; and International Labour Office, Statistics of Migrations Definitions. Methods, Classifications (Studies and Reports, Series N (Statistics), No.18, Geneva, 1932), " p022. 3. United Nations, Sex and Age of International Migrants; Statistics for 1918-1947 (United Nations. New York. 1953). p.l, footnote 1. 7 4. Merdeka. Malay for "independence". - 30 -composition, densities and distribution, particularly as affected by immigration/emigration and natural increase. A short summary of the occupations, settlement patterns and ethno-linguistic characteristics of the I n d i a n s in Malaya is also included in this Chapter, while, wherever necessary, comparisons are also made with the Chinese and/or Malay communities of the country. The study is rounded off in Chapter VI which recapitulates the past and discusses the present and future trends in the Indian community of Malaya. As i t must have become apparent to the reader, the picture of the Indians in Malaya has been one of constant change. Attempts to trace and appraise this continual transformation has inevitably led into the highways and byways of many other disciplines not normally associated within the working plans of a geographer. In fact, in view of the virtual non-existence of geographical literature on the subject under discussion, this procedure was absolutely essential in order to present a balanced picture of the Indians in Malaya. - 31 -CHAPTER II MALAYA; GEOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Malaya, one of the youngest and smallest members of the Commonwealth of Nations, has an international importance out of a l l proportion to its age or size. Covering an area of only 50,824 square miles,the equivalent of about l/50 of the size of Canada (Fig. 4), Malaya is the source of more than one-third of the world's supply of tin and rubber, while the strategically located bastion and port of Singapore commands East-West communication lines and trade routes. Malaya is an advanced country, economically and industrially, by Asian standards and was, for the last twelve years, the scene of a bloody armed conflict between militant Communism on one hand and the Government forces, supported by Britain, on the other. 1 Malaya, to-day, is the home of about 8,000,000 people, including not only the indigenous Malays but also the biggest Chinese population outside China and, after Ceylon,' . the largest oversea Indian concentration. Besides, these three communities, there are also substantial numbers of Europeans, Eurasians, Siamese, Arabs and Jews. A. Physical Setting In Malaya, a combination of a continuous and profuse plant growth, encouraged by a heavy evenly distributed rainfall and constantly high temperatures, and a central system of longitudinally parallelling steep-sloped forest clad mountain ranges flanked by narrow water-logged 1. This c o n f l i c t was officially declared over on 31st July, I960, though there are s t i l l some armed Communists remaining along the Siamo-Malay border. - 32 -Fig. 4» Malaya and Canada; Comparative Areas, Source: Based on areas given in 14. V. del TufOj Malaya: A Report-on the 1947 Census of Population (London, 1949), Table 4; Canada Year Book 1957-53 (Ottawa, 1958), p, 2, M | L E S - 33 -swamp-fringed coastal plains. constitute a physical environment that is as difficult for man to control as any other natural tropical landscape. The key to the understanding of the favourable modern development of Malaya lies thus not so much in the internal geographic character of the country but rather in other factors, especially its situation in relation to the rest of Monsoon Asia and the world in general. (i) Global Position; Malaya occupies the southern half of the long narrow peninsula that projects far out southwards into the Indonesian Archipelago from the Southeast Asian landmass. Singapore Island, at the peninsula's southern tip, is joined to the mainland by a causeway across the Johore Strait. Extending roughly from 1° to 7° north latitude, Malaya measures some 600 miles from the Thai border in the north to the islands just south of Singapore, and about 200 miles from east to west at its widest, just north of centre. On the east i t is bounded by the South China Sea, an extension of the Pacific Ocean, while on the west the 25 mile wide Straits of Malacca, an arm of the Indian Ocean, separates i t from Sumatra. Thus, lying interposed between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, Malaya, in the fi r s t place, occupies a focal position in relation to the rest of Southeast Asia. Not only is i t the meeting ground between the continental and insular halves of the region but its physical and human ties with Indonesia, particularly Sumatra, are characteristically close while on its northern and northeastern margins - 34 -continental influences are and have been equally significant. Secondly, i t borders upon the shortest sea-route between India and China, the two great neighbours which have traditionally overshadowed Southeast Asia. Malaya's contacts with these two countries go far back in history and were aided by the convenient convergence of the monsoon wind systems of the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea on the Malay Peninsula. Thirdly, the Straits of Malacca and the Straits of Singapore occupy key positions for a l l shipping between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean ports. These water bodies are natural canals comparable to the Suez Canal in importance. The pattern of Southeast Asian seas makes them a natural convergence area for sea-borne trade for not only the "island world" but also for international ocean lines, which are of necessity and convenience funnelled through these Straits, making Singapore, and before i t Malacca, the "Gibraltar of the East" (Fig. 5). The above strategic factors are illustrated by the fact that external sea borne influences, for example, contacts with elements from India, Indonesia, China and Britain, to mention a few, have left an 2 indelible imprint on the history and development of Malaya. 1. C.A. Fisher, "Southeast Asia", The Changing Map of Asia. W.G. East and O.H.K. Spate (eds.), (London, 1955), pp.181-235. Fisher separates Southeast Asia into two sub-regions: Insular Southeast Asia, comprising the Phillippines, British Borneo, and Indonesia,and landmass Southeast Asia, consisting of Burma, Thailand and Indo-China. Malaya, the land-bridge, embodying characteristics of both sections, occupies the unique position of being able to pass into either sub-region: It provides the connecting link. 2. C.A. Vlieland, "The Population of the Malay Peninsula", Geographical Review. Vol.24 (1934), p.6l. - 34a ~ Fig., 5. Malaya*. Position., Source; Based, on U.S.. Anny Map Hervice, Corps of Engineers, Planning Haps? China, India. Southeast Asia. A MS 1102 (Washington, D.C, 1953) = i - 35 -(i i ) Surface Configuration; Structurally, Malaya is the emergent western position of a large, tectonically stable ancient massif known as the Sunda Platform, now largely submerged beneath shallow seas 100 to 200 feet in depth. The topography of Malaya is thus that of an ancient landmass that has been subjected to continuous weathering over a long period by a combination of high temperatures, heavy rainfall and highly acidic sub-surface water, due to rotting vegetation. These powerful agents of weathering have evolved a lateritic cover of material, derived from rocks weathered in situ for considerable depths, which has reduced the surface of the country to a type predominantly uniform from place to place and not obviously related to geological substructure. Bare outcrops of rocks, except on coastal promotories, are uncommon. The significant part of the geology of Malaya is that nearly half of the country is made up of granite and other igneous rocks. Strongly jointed, the granites contain veins of quartz and metallic ores from which derive many of the exploited minerals of Malaya. The high mountains are predominantly granitic. Basic rocks of volcanic nature, mostly basaltic, are widely distributed in the centre and east, but their total area is small. Sedimentaries constitute more than a third of the area while the remainder consists largely of alluvium. Most of the soil so far developed for agriculture, including rubber, coconut and padi, is provided by the alluvium and by the sedimentary rocks older than the granite. Physiographically, Malaya consists of a central backbone of 1. This discussion is largely based on the comprehensive chapters on Malaya by E.H.G. Dobby in his Southeast Asia (London, 1950). - 36 -parallelling mountain ranges flanked by swampy narrow coastal plains. The central mountain system, running in a general north-south direction from the Siamese border through two-thirds of Malaya, consists of several ranges - the innermost being the highest (maximum height 7,186 feet above sea-level) and also the longest. The ranges to the west of this are shorter while on the east the system merges into the dissected Trengganu Plateau which averages 2,500 feet above sea-level in altitude. In the south the Main Range peters out in the State of Negri-Sembilan. The State of Johore consists chiefly of a poorly drained peneplain. On both sides of the central mountain system are belts of lowland from 5 to 40 miles in width, the widest being on the west coast (Figs. 6, 7). These alluvial coastal plains, however, tend to be swampy (Fig. 8). The surface configuration of Malaya has markedly influenced its human settlement and patterns of development. On the lower flanks of the mountain ranges and in troughs between them are the densest concentrations of people, the indigenous attracted by land suitable for padi and the immigrant by alluvial ores and commercial agricultural potentialitiesv 2 (Cf. Figs. 7,15,69). ( i i i ) Drainage; The drainage pattern of Malaya closely follows the alignment of the central highlands. The major drainage lines, with the exception of the Kelantan River, tend to follow a longitudinal course in the upper 1. J.B. Scrivenor, "The Physical Geography of the Southern part of the Malay Peninsula", Geographical Review. Vol. 11 (1921), pp.351-71. 2. E.H.G. Dobby, "Settlement Patterns in Malaya", Geographical Review. Vol. 32 (1942), p.213. - 37 -Fig. 6a Malaya: Physiographic Regions. Source: Based on E.H.G, Dobby, "Setfclescent Patterns i n Malaya", Geographical Review, Vol, 32 (1942), p. 220. - 38 -reaches before making a sharp bend at the break of slope and flowing out to sea on either side of the Main range. The heavy rainfall gives rise to a multiplicity of rivers which are generally narrow and swift in their upper courses and slow and meandering where they flow along the harrow plains flanking the Main Range. This factor together with the wide fluctuations in their volume, due to the local and torrential nature of Malaya's rainfall, give rise to frequent floods which destroy crops and property. The rivers of Malaya, though l i t t l e used to-day, were main lines of movement in its early history. They set the pattern of population distribution on the lowlands and coastal areas in the period before the modern opening up of the country (Figs. 7,18). (iv) Climate and Weather! Malaya has a tropical climate characterized by an abundant rainfall, high humidity and a generally uniformly high temperature. Strong winds are not uncommon but are almost exclusively associated with 1 line squalls or isolated thunderstorms. Proximity to the Equator, giving uniformly high temperatures throughout the year, and the advance and retreat of tropical airstreams over Southeast Asia, causing seasons to depend on changes in prevailing wind direction, dominate the 2 climatic changes in the country. 1. I.E.M. Watts, formerly Director of Malayan Meteorological Service, defines 'squalls' as storms with gusts of over thirty miles per hour accompanying a marked change in wind direction(l.E.M. Watts, "Line Squalls of Malaya", M.J.T.G.. Vol.3 '1954, p .3). 2. For an exhaustive account of tropical airstreams in Southeast Asia, see W.L. Dale, "Wind and Drift Currents in the South China Sea", M.J.T.G., Vol .8 (1956), pp.3 f f . = 39 -Fig. 7.-- Malaya? Relief and Drainage, Sources Based.on Federation of Malaya Surveys, Malaya lip. 106 - 195-3 (Kuala Lumpur, 1958) - 40 -The two main seasons in Malaya are the Northeast Monsoon (November - March) and the Southwest Monsoon (May - September) roughly corresponding to the winter and summer of the northern latitudes. April and October are the inter-Monsoon months representing the periods between the advance of one of the air flows and the retreat of the other. Though there is a definite seasonal rhythm, the Monsoons in Malaya differ from the monsoon prototype of India, in that the onset and termination of the seasons are not sharply defined in Malaya. Furthermore, unlike the northern latitudes, the chief variation in the seasons in Malaya is the incidence and distribution of rainfall. The Northeast Monsoon blows when the warm moist Northeast current covers the South China Sea and extends to Java, giving rise to strong northeasterly winds, particularly in December and January. It brings heavy rainfall to Eastern Malaya besides making the region unsafe for coastal shipping. Elsewhere in Malaya the winds, during this period, are lighter and the rainfall less. The Southwest Monsoon is the period when Malaya is covered at high level by moderate to strong south-westerlies which constitute the southernmost fringe of the Indian South-West Monsoon. Malaya is then in the rainshadow caused by the 6,000 to 8,000 foot mountain ranges of Sumatra and low rainfall is common to much of Malaya as well as an increase in storm occurrences due to increased convectional activity. The inter-Monsoon months (April and October) are periods of calm, sometimes called doldrums, maximum convectional rainfall and highest number of thunderstorms. Rainfall occurs throughout the year with some seasonal - 40a -F i g s 8a Malaya; A Coastal View, o Photo: R» Wikkraraatilako, - 41 -concentrations. The east coast gets most of its rainfall during the Northeast Monsoon, with December being the wettest month, while in the rest of Malaya, maximum rainfall occurs during the inter-Mohsoon periods, with the greatest amounts in October and November. There is, however a considerable variation in periods of peak rainfall from area to area, depending on local relief, aspect and local convection. Table I: SEASONAL DISTRIBUTION OF RAINFALL IN MALAYA Locality Total Seasonal Percentage of Annual Rainfall Rainfall North- Transi- South- Transi-tional Period Mar. -April Per Annum (In Inches) East Monsoon Nov. -West tional Monsoon Period May - Sept.-Aug. Oct. FEDERATION East Coast Stations Kota Bharu 122 54 9 20 17 Kuantan 118 52 13 20 15 Mersing 112 50 12 24 14 West Coast Stations Alor Star 93 20 15 38 27 Penang 108 24 12 34 30 Malacca 87 26 14 38 22 Inland Stations Taiping 166 36 22 22 20 Temerloh 81 38 17 25 20 Seremban 91 32 21 28 19 SINGAPORE Singapore City 95 39 16 29 16 - 42 -Source: Compiled from J.B. Ooi, "Rural Development in Tropical Areas, with special reference to Malaya", J.T.G.. Vol.12 (1959), p.29; I.E.M. Watts, op.cit.. p.2. The annual rainfall in Malaya is generally over 75 inches, sufficient for padi cultivation without irrigation. Of greater significance, from the agricultural point, however, is the timing of the rainfall, for the irregularity of the rainfall, especially on the west coast, causes frequent crop damage. The east coast is generally wetter than the west though the heaviest recorded rainfall occurs on the west coast in the Maxwell H i l l area. The district around Jelebu, in southwest Malaya, which is surrounded by mountains, is the driest part of Malaya with an average annual rainfall of 65 inches (Figs. 7,9). Temperature conditions are generally uniform seasonally, the range being 2° - 4°F. only. The diurnal range, on the other hand, is more marked, being about 12°F. on the coast and 18°F. inland at the higher elevations. Daytime temperatures seldom exceed 90°F. in the lowlands and generally f a l l to 70°to 75°F. at night. In the highlands (above four to five thousand feet in height) there is the same uniformity of temperature but at lower levels. The H i l l Station at Cameron Highlands, for example, has an average daily temperature of 64°F., with a maximum of 72°F. and a minimum of 5o°F. (Fig. 7) . Relative humidities of 70 per cent or more are common in Malaya. These high humidities, though enabling crops to recover much more rapidly from diurnal wilting during dry spells than in the dry tropics, however can be quite oppressive, for humans and animals alike, during the daytime when no breeze is present. - 43 -F i g 5 9; Malaya: Rainfall. Source: Based on !'J,L» Dale. "Tho R a i n f a l l of Malaya", JaXaCUj vol„ 13 (1959), p. 25. 7 - 44 -( v ) Vegetation; The major vegetation of Malaya is tropical rainforest which, before the advent of man, covered almost the whole country, from sea-level to the tops of the highest h i l l s . The absence of a marked dry season ensures that the forest is evergreen, although here and there, particularly in northern Malaya, deciduous trees do occur. The forest canopy is heavy, excluding the greater part of the sunlight, but where sunlight does break through, the forest floors are occupied by saplings, shrubs and herbaceous plants, while lianes and epiphytes are also conspicuous. The tropical rainforest is fairly uniform in the lowlands and up to 2,500 or 3,000 feet where there is a transitional zone. Below this the characteristic and dominant trees are dipterocarps, associated with such broad-leaved trees as Garcinia. Artocarpus. Sapotaceae. Meliaceae, Burseraeeae. Leguminosae. etc. Above 3,000 feet, the diptero-carps tend to disappear and oaks, Myrtaceae and certain conifers predominate."*" Much of the forest on the alluvial plains on the western side of the central highlands has been cleared by man but where the cleared land has been left unoccupied for sometime, i t has been colonised by secondary vegetation, consisting chiefly of scrub and coarse grass, locally called "lalang" (Cylindrica Imperata). Mangrove forest, chiefly of the Rhizophora and Bruguera species, is extensively developed along the sheltered and muddy shores of Western Malaya. On the more open east coast, on the other hand, the mangrove 1. I.H. Burkill, Dictionary of Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula (London, 1935), passim. - 45 -forest is replaced by a narrow belt of casuarinas, just behind the sandy beaches. In some parts of the country, particularly in eastern and central Johore, there are large tracts of fresh water swamp forests, where many trees of other species develop the stilt-rooted habit, characteristic of mangrove (Fig. 1 0 ) . Because the whole year is a growing season, plant l i f e becomes almost overpowering in Malaya in its rate of growth. Pioneering i s both arduous and expensive and despite centuries of occupation some 3 / 4 of the country is s t i l l under vegetation cover of one sort or another. In such a setting, existing lines of communication have assumed an extraordinary degree of importance, much of the economic activity and settlement in the country being along or close to roads and railways. (vi) Soils: No systematic detailed study has as yet been made of the development, distribution and classification of the soils of Malaya, although the subject has been dealt with in general in papers published in various journals."'" Broadly the soils of Malaya f a l l into two categories: (a) alluvials, peats and sands of the lowlying areas; and (b) the reddish-yellow sandy or silty clay loans, derived in situ from parent acidic igneous or other rocks of the higher areas. The latter type, which are extensively used for rubber cultivation, cover most of Malaya. These Malayan soils, formed under conditions of uniformly heavy rainfall, have marked lateritic characteristics including the formation and occurrence of laterite "iron pans", in places, though not on the same 1 . See for example, G. Owens "A Provisional Classification of Malayan Soils", The Journal of Soil Science. (Jan., 1951 ) , pp.20-4. F i g , 10. Malaya; Vegetation, Based on Ooi Jin Bee, "The Nature and D i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e Natural vegetation of Malaya", Pacific Viewpoint, Vol, 1 (19&0)0 p. 185, . I. Submontane Forest 2. Lowland Rain Forest 3. Montane Forest 4. Unforested Area 5. Mangrove Forest 6. Beach Forest 7. Freshwater Swamp Forest - 47 -scale as for example, Thailand, The soils of Malaya generally tend to have a poor structure and this, coupled with heavy leaching, results i n rapid deterioration and removal of organic matter from the topsoil, giving rise to s o i l s of low inherent f e r t i l i t y . Agriculture, i n Malaya, thus demands good s o i l management practices. B„ Natural Resources"*" (i) Agricultural; Agriculture, particularly rubber, is the most important primary industry of Malaya contributing some 70 per cent of the country's export values. About 22 per cent of *%laya has already been alienated, most of which i s under cultivation. As regards potential arable land, i t i s not possible to estimate with accuracy the extent of available land as a detailed land use survey of the whole country has yet to be made. Nearly a l l land over 1,000 feet high can be excluded on account of steepness of slope, and a considerable area lower than 1,000 feet also can be excluded as there i s almost no table-land country i n Malaya. This leaves about 12,000 square miles of terr i t o r y which could be u t i l i z e d for 2 agriculture. Most of this potential agricultural land i s located i n Eastern Malaya, i n the States of K elantan, Trengganu, Pahang and Johore, i n areas generally away from the present concentrations of people and communications. Further development of agriculture thus would have not 1. For a detailed treatment of this tppic, see The Economic Development of Malaya: Report of a Mission organized by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Develo'pment (Government Printer, Singapore, 1955). 2. Report of the Land Administration Commission, Federation of Malaya \Kuala Lumpur, 1958), pp.4-5. " - Z,8 -only to overcome paucity of s o i l s , problems of water supply, and cost of c l e a r i n g , but also problems of a c c e s s i b i l i t y . At present, except i n the case of padi, (Malaya produces Only about 50 per cent of i t s r i c e needs) subsistence a g r i c u l t u r e or the i n t r o d u c t i o n of new crops, there appears l i t t l e l i k e l i h o o d of expansion of the e x i s t i n g crops, f o r example rubber, i n view of the unstable market conditions ( F i g s . 1 1 , 1 5 ) . ( i i ) Mineral: Malaya i s highly mineralized and an abundance of ores are believed to be l y i n g at or beneath i t s surface. Only about a f i f t h of Malaya has been explored g e o l o g i c a l l y by s c i e n t i f i c means, and i t thus appears d i f f i c u l t to assess accurately the mineral resources. From av a i l a b l e information, i t appears that only f i v e minerals - t i n , c o a l , i r o n , bauxite and gold - are to be found i n economically workable deposits. Copper, lead, and zinc are also known to e x i s t while tungsten, manganese and phosphates have been mined. In view of the f a c t that mining i s an o l d industry i n Malaya and any large deposits would have by now been discovered, i t appears that the chances of another "bonanza", on the scale of the Kinta V a l l e y of Perak, occurring are remote. T i n . T i n mining i s the most important mineral i n d u s t r y of Malaya c o n s t i t u t i n g about a 1/3 of the value of the country's exports. The t i n bearing formations are l a r g e l y along the western flanks of the c e n t r a l highlands and t h e i r o u t l i e r s , though t i n i s also found on the eastern slopes. Much o f the known deposits have already been worked over and reserves are estimated at 7 5 0 , 0 0 0 to 2 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 tons of t i n metal. Other metals. Malaya produces approximately 2^ m i l l i o n tons of i r o n ore ~ ,49 -F i g , 11 0 .-"Malaya; P o t e n t i a l Padi "Areas, 195? Source*. Based on data supplied by the Depart ment of Agriculture Federation of .Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. ' """ - 50 -annually and reserves, chiefly of magnetite and hematite ores, approaching 60 per cent metal content, are estimated at about 46 million tons. The principal known deposits are at Bukit B esi in Trengganu and near Ulu Rompin in southeastern Pahang. Bauxite deposits occur widely in southern Malaya, particularly Johore, but the high silica content decreases their value while known reserves are small and scattered. Low-grade manganese was mined before the war for export to Japan and some deposits are found in northeastern Malaya. Economic deposits of gold ores are restricted to the Raub area in western Pahang. Some tungsten deposits are found in association with tin and gold while columbium and tantalum ores are also found in association with tin ores, chiefly in Kedah. On the whole, except for tin and iron, the mineral resources of Malaya are limited not only in quantity but also in quality (Fig. 12). ( i i i ) Power Resources; Malaya is poorly endowed with power resources, possessing only wood in abundance. But this source of energy is not only relatively inefficient but undesirable as its extensive use would result in the destruction of the vegetation cover. Malaya has no proven economic deposits of petroleum or natural gas and the geological formation of the country is unfavourable to their discovery. There are about 32 million tons of coal reserves near Batu Arang in Selangor, but the deposits are chiefly sub-bituminous and of low calorific value. Production has been declining due to the poor quality, - 51 » Fig-. 1 2 * ' •••Malaya: 1 Miherais, 1955. Source: Based on International Bank f o r Reconstruction and Development., .BconoM-q^Bey^^ of i;a~jMIss.±-e:nv^ : ;-. -(Singapore, 19-5$), l i p 8v ' ' - 52 -high labour costs, and the availability of relatively cheaper petroleum from producing areas in Southeast Asia. Crude estimates put Malaya's hydro-electric potential at about 250,000 kw. Except for the 27,000 kw. plant in operation at Chenderoh, north of Ipoh, and the 30,000 kw. Robinson Falls, Cameron Highlands, proposed project, water power resources are virtually undeveloped in Malaya. Development is hampered by lack of funds, shortness of rivers, irregularity of flow, inadequacy of dam sites, hazards of silting, characteristics of the Malayan settlement and conflicting requirements of different resources. Malaya's natural resources, as the foregoing discussion illustrates, are not as unlimitless as some politicians would have us believe. In fact, in view of her rapidly increasing population, estimated to reach 12,500,000 by 1975, %laya will probably be hard put to maintain the present standard of living, leave alone improve i t . - 53 -C. Bjogeographlcal Aspects Health is a major problem in the settlement and development of tropical areas,X while other factors, like drinking water, soil erosion, physiological and psychological reactions to climate may also be critical 2 in the success or failure of man's pioneering in these regions. Clemow, in his The Geography of Disease enumerates as many as fourteen major diseases that are prevalent in the tropical areas as compared to 3 only six in the temperate regions. Disease has retarded the opening up of many areas in Malaya. The early immigrants died like flies. For example, out of a total net immigration of 1,189,000 Indians into Malaya, during the period I860 - 1938, i t is estimated that more than three-quarters of a million perished. (i) Malaria; Of a l l the insect vectors which help to communicate disease, the mosquito is probably the most deadly because of the variety and deadliness of the diseases i t transmits. High temperatures and heavy rainfall — conditions essential for the breeding of malaria vectors — are found throughout Malaya and malaria has been a formidable obstacle to the work of planters and other settlers and partially explains why large tracts of the country s t i l l remain undeveloped. The disease has 1. P. Gourou, The Tropical World. (London, 1948), p.14. 2. B.W. Hodder, "Biogeographical Aspects of Settlement in Malaya", M.J.T.G., Vol.5 (1955), p.12. 3. F.G. Clemow, The Geography of Disease (Cambridge, 1903), passim, cited by J.B.Ooi, op.cit. t pp.42-3. - 54 -for long been present in Malaya,, A third of the deaths in Penang, in 1829, for example, were attributed to malaria. But i t was towards the end of the nineteenth century that the disease became prevalent throughout the country, following the clearing of forests and undergrowth for agricultural development. Breaking of the protective vegetation cover and jungle shade resulted in multiplication of mosquitoes causing a very high death rate among labourers when rubber was introduced on a large scale. In 1911> for example, 9,000 of the total rubber estate labour force, of Malaya, of 143,000, mainly Indians, died from malariaj the number infected (though not fatally) was very much higher.'*" Urban centres were also affected, Port Swettenham being forced to close down within two months of its opening in 1901, because of malaria while in Kuala Lumpur the malarial death rate was as high as 9.7 per 1,000 in 1907. Malaria for long remained a menace throughout Malaya accounting for 30.6 per cent of a l l deaths from a l l causes in the Federated Malay 2 States as late as 1938. In post-war Malaya, health control measures have however gradually reduced malaria to insignificance in terms of death but this applies only to "protected areas" like estates and urban centres. The rural population is s t i l l at its mercy, most of the hospitals in Malaya being located in towns. It is estimated that the effective radius of a hospital, in Malaya, does not extend beyond 10-15 miles because the peasants usually cannot travel further than that to 1. J.B. Ooi, oo.cit.. p.49. 2. B.W. Hodder, op.cit.. p.12. 1 - 55 -seek medical aid. Rural areas have to depend on travelling dispensaries for medical attention, but their numbers are few, averaging one to 10,000 2 persons, and in places, for example Kelantan, one to 35,000 persons. Away from the "protected areas" malaria is s t i l l highly endemic and is hyperendemic in the foothill and upland areas, with the tin and rubber belt being a zone of intense malarial activity 3(Fig. 13). (ii ) Other Diseases: deaths Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis accounts for more/than any other single disease in Malaya to-day. The tuberculosis rate is especially high in areas of shop-houses, which are regarded as "the most potent single factor in the production of the high rate of tuberculosis prevalent i n 4 Malaya". Shop-houses are the most common urban dwelling in Malaya, over 50 per cent of the urban population in the Federation living in them. ^ 1. J.B. Ooi, op.cit.. pp.59-^ 60; 74. 2. K.J. Pelzer, "Geography and The Tropics". Geography in the 20th Century. G. Taylor (ed.), (London, 1953), pp.335-41. 3. J.B. ooi, op.cit.. p.52. 4. A. Morland, "Report of Dr. A. Morland on Tuberculosis in Malaya". The Medical Journal of Malaya. Vol.4, Wo.4 (Singapore, 1950), p.274, cited by B.W. Hodder, op.cit.» p.14. 5. T.A.L. Concannon, "Town Planning in Malaya" Journal of the Technical Association of Malaya". Vol.4, No.l (Singapore, 1953), ps9, cited by B.W. Hodder, op.cit.. p.14. -56 -F i g a 13. "Malaya? Areas Subject to M a l a r i a , 1950, Source: Eased on Ooi Jip -Bee, "Rural Development in Tropical . Areas, with special reference to Malaya", J^ T^ Op,-Vol. 12 (1959), p. 48. - 57 -FilariasiSo Filariasis, a worm infection, whose characteristic manifestation is swelling of the infected limbs, a condition often referred to as elephantiasis, i s not as prevalent as malaria but is quite common in the swampy lower reaches of rivers, limiting settlement to levees„ Ankylostomiasis» There is also a high incidence of ankylostomiasis in Malaya. For example, in a sample survey in 1926-28, out of 27,000 persons examined i n Malacca, Province Wellesley and Penang 70 per cent were infected (Table II). Table l i s COMMON INTESTINAL WORM INFECTION, MALACCA, PENANG AND PROVINCE WELLESLEY, 1926-28. Race No. Examined No. Positive Per Cent Malays 14,261 12,565 88 Chinese 7,346 2,847 39 Indians 4,651 3,321 71 Eurasians 853 283' 33 Europeans 136 30 22 Others 149 60 44 Total 27,396 19,112 70 Sources P.F. Russell, "Racial and Age Group Incidence of Common Intestinal Helminths in the Straits Settlements", The Malayan Medical Journal. Vol. IX, No.l, (1934), p.18, cited by J.B. Ooi, op.cit.. p.67. - 58 -A postwar sample survey, on a smaller scale among a group of smallholders, fishermen and wage-earning labourers, by the Institute of Medical Research, revealed a similar state of af f a i r s , with the infection rate being 80 1 per cent, 77 per cent, and 75 per cent for the three respective groups. The high incidence rate among the Malays and Indians i s largely because of the nature of their work, which brings them into contact with worms. Their milieu i s largely the constantly damp so i l s and atmosphere, for example padi fields and rubber estates. Furthermore many of them go barefooted while i n many rural areas there i s a complete lack of the disposal of excreta. D e b i l i t a t i n g effects of the infection p a r t i a l l y account for the generally poor health of the Malay peasants and Indian labourers. Yaws. Yaws, or 'puru' as i t i s known i n Malaya, i s also not uncommon among the rural population, infection rates of 60 per 1,000 persons being reported among Indian estate labourers. Scrub typhus. Scrub typhus has also been on the increase i n Malaya, resulting largely from the cutting down of forest cover thereby producing new ecological conditions. With increase of waste land and clearings 2 the disease may become more widespread. 1. R.C. Burgess and Alang Musa "A Report on the State of Health, the Diet, and the Economic Conditions of Groups of People i n the Lower Income Levels i n Malaya", I.M.R. Report Noa13 (Kuala Lumpur, 1950), p.18, cited by J.B. Ooi, op.cit.. p»67. 2. Federation of Malaya; Annual Report of the Institute of Medical Research for the year 1949 (Kuala Lumpur. 1950). p. 3. - 59 -Cholera. Cholera i s not a common disease i n Malaya but can be spread from neighbouring countries l i k e Thailand, where the disease i s prevalent and health control less stringent* In addition, Malaya's climate and swampy character breeds a host of insects, besides disease vectors, which can be an i r r i t a t i n g nuisance making l i f e unpleasant i n the open without protective measures. ( i i i ) Domestic Water Supply and Sanitation; F i e l d experience has shown that, paradoxically enough, drinking water i s scarce i n r u r a l Malaya,^" because: (1) much of rural Malaya r e l i e s on wells and rivers for potable water as piped water i s mainly l imited to urban centres and t h e i r immediate proximities; (2) the Malayan regolith characteristics l i m i t percolation wells to only a few areas, f o r example, parts of the east coast where there are marine sands with t h e i r usual ground water features. Malayan wells, thus, tend to be shallow dugouts which are usually f i l l e d by runoff so that l i t t l e natural purif icat ion occurs. There i s l i t t l e provision for household sanitation and wells tend to be located close to dwellings. Furthermore the high water table encourages acidic conditions and makes removal of night s o i l and other refuse d i f f i c u l t without polluting the wel l water; (3) much of the r u r a l Malay settlement i s along streams and r i v e r s , which serve a variety of functions ranging from transport and i r r i g a t i o n to sources of domestic water supply and agents of refuse disposal . In such a setting pol lution of streams i s rampant. 1. See. for example, E.H.G-. Dobby and Others, "Padi Landscapes of Malaya", M . J . T . G . . Vol.10 (1957), passim. This work i s based on f i e l d work i n which the writer took part. - 60 -In 1%0 i t was estimated that only 35 per cent of the people in Malaya were supplied by unpolluted drinking water. In view of the foregoing, i t is not surprising that there is a high incidence of entric fever.^ (iv) Erosion. Silting and Settlement! The rivers of Malaya carry a large load of s i l t , a reflection, largely, of continuous erosion under heavy rain, accentuated by deforestation. For example, at Pontian Kechil, in southwestern Johore, removal of 200 yards of mangrove forest in 1951 resulted in the coastline 2 eroding to a distance of 34 yards in 13 months. Erosion and the heavy s i l t loads have some striking effects on human settlement in Malaya: (1) Flood hazards are ever present and on the increase. (2) Rivers have developed a marked tendency of meandering in the lower reaches and the continuous "swinging" of rivers has on the one hand resulted in "cutting into" the foundations of bankside towns and on the other in the decrease in importance of others, leaving them "high and dry". (3) In sheltered areas, particularly on the west coast, the coastline is prograding at the rate of 30-50 yards annually, changing locational values in the process. Malacca, for example, "The Emporium of the East" in the early sixteenth century, is to-day only a small shallow port, set some distance from the deep ocean. Many other coastal ports have similarly suffered, becoming "inland" villages. 1. B.W. Hodder, op.cit.. p.17. 2. Ibid.. t>i .18. .. - 61 -(v) Climate and Man? The s l ight seasonal variation of Malaya's r a i n f a l l i s of great human significance, as i t not only enables two f r u i t i n g seasons but also fixes the padi-planting rhythm, i n the absence of organised i r r i g a t i o n . But Malaya's r a i n f a l l i s anything but regular. Sudden floods and droughts are quite frequents They disrupt rural l i f e , as for example, i n Peri ls i n 1948, when a too early setting i n of the seasonal dry s p e l l destroyed over l/5 of the planted padi acreage."'" The enervating effects of Malaya's climate have been greatly exaggerated. " . . . Physically, mentally and morally they (the Malays) are the product of a marine - equatorial climate. Their mental outlook and philosophy, no less than their physique and mode of l i f e , ref lect an enervating climate, a circumscribed horizon and a bounteousness of 2 „ nature which minimizes the necessity of effort . . . . " Such subjective observations have l i t t l e factual basis as there has yet to be a detailed integrated research on physiological climatology i n the area. It i s true that i f one follows Huntington's outdated conclusions on health and physical eff ic iency, Malaya has a mean d a i l y temperature of at least 16°F. above his 64°F. optimum and a relative humidity at least 10 per cent higher than his 75-80 per cent optimum, putting the climate into 3 the "uncomfortable" category. In fact , however, cool winds and l o c a l 1. State of Perlist Report for the year 1949 (Alor Star, 1950), p. 3j Dobby and Others, o p . c i t . . pp.45-73. 2. C . A e Vl ie land, Br i t i sh Malaya; A Report on the 1931 Census (London, 1932), p . 8. 3. E . Huntington, World Power and Evolution (New Haven, 1919), Chapter 5. - 62 ~ breezes along the coast, and altitude in the interior, ameliorate conditions considerably while frequent heavy showers, and the diurnal temperature variations and acclimatization make the climate more than tolerable. D. Political and Economic Development (i) Evolution of Malaya as a State; a. Territorial Development. The pivotal position of Malaya has from ancient times made i t an arena of conflicting foreign interests, which have markedly influenced the pattern of its political development. Indian influences from the west established the earlier pattern while the expansion of Europe into Asia marks the later stages. The Indian Era c.100-- 1511 A.P.1 This is the period when "Indianized" kingdoms flourished in Malaya and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, either as semi-independent city-states or under the hegemony of some controlling power, also Indianized and based outside Malaya. It falls into two broad divisions, which can conveniently be called as (l) The Age of the City-States, when the focus of attention was the isthmian tract of the Peninsula (Fig. 5) and (2) The period of the Malacca Sultanate when the centre of attention was the Straits of Malacca. 1. This is discussed in detail in Chapter III and as such only a brief outline is given here. - 63 -(l) The Age of the City-States, Archeological discoveries in Malaya indicate the presence of human groups in the area as early as 5,000 B.C., i f not earlier 0^ The emergence of organised states, however, had to await the coming of the Indians. Indian contacts with Malaya go far back in prehistory, certainly beyond the seventh century B,C, by which time trade was already firmly established between the ports of India and Southeast Asia. These trading contacts gradually blossomed into 2 close cultural and political ties between India and the Malaysian world and the early centuries of the Christian era saw the emergence of a number of "city-states", with conceptions of royalty based on Hindu or Buddhist cults, in Southeast Asia. Nearly a l l of these city-states were trading marts and most of them were located in the isthmian tract of the Peninsula. This i s not surprising for in the dissemination of Indian culture through the northern regions of Southeast Asia, the Siamo-Malay Peninsula fulfilled an important role. Not only was i t the first landfall of most Indian voyagers, using the monsoons to Southeast Asia, but i t was also an unavoidable barrier to further penetration, to be surmounted only by an overland portage or a circutous coastal voyage. 1. M.W.F. Tweedie, "The Stone-Age in Malaya", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.36 (1953), passim. 2. As used in Malaya and in the text the term "Malay (or Malaysian) world" refers to "Malaysia" or the area comprised by Southern Thailand, Malaya, Indonesia, Southern Philippines and British Borneo. The inhabitants of this region are predominantly Muslims of Malay stock. - 64 -As commerce developed in early Southeast Asia, one region stood out as the most important region, the key to a l l the isthmian tract of the Peninsula, control of which was essential to any power aspiring to dominance in Southeast Asia. The fortunes of these city-states in the region thus waxed and waned, as they either enjoyed brief periods of precarious independence or were under the aegis of some outside power, before finally disappearing in the fourteenth century following repeated invasions, particularly those of the Thais from the north. After this the focus of attention shifted to the region of the Straits of Malacca where rose the fifteenth century kingdom of Malacca, which finally put a stop to the southward advance of the Thais.''" (2) The Malacca Sultanate and the Spread of Islam, c.1400 - 1511 A.D. Malacca, founded by a renegade Sumatran, called Parameswara, at the estuary of the Malacca River, from a struggling "thieves' market" in the fir s t years of the fifteenth century, gradually blossomed out to be the greatest emporium and entrepot of pre-European Southeast Asia, and the focus of the Muslim world of the region. It was from here that much of the coversion of the Archipelago and that of Malaya to Islam took place by the beginning of the sixteenth century, when Malacca was at the peak of its prosperity. Malacca's prosperity and its strategic position drew the attention of the Portuguese who conquered i t in 1511 A.D. 1. For a comprehensive account of the early history of Southeast Asia, see D.G.E. Hall, History of Southeast Asia (London, 1955), Chapters 2-10. - 65 = The European Era. 1511 - 1957 (1) The Portuguese Period. 1511 - 1641 A.D. "God, Glory and Gold" were the guiding motives which catapulted the Portuguese into the Indian Ocean towards the end of the fifteenth century. The Spice Trade of the Indies was the most profitable commerce of the period and as a part of their plan to gain monopoly of this trade, the Portuguese captured Malacca. But their dreams were never fulf i l l e d . The Portuguese were traders but they were fi r s t and foremost crusaders. Their proselytizing zeal made them deadly enemies of the newly Islamized countries of Southeast Asia while the corruptness of their officials and their general monopolistic policy regarding trade led to most of the merchants deserting Malacca for the other ports of Southeast Asia. The Portuguese power was at its height around 1550 A.D., but thereafter i t declined, following repeated attacks by the supporters of the ex-Sultan of Malacca and by their European rivals, the Dutch. Malacca finally f e l l to the Dutch in 1641. (2) The Dutch Period. 1641 - 1824. The Dutch had followed in the wake of the Portuguese, in quest of the same trade. Their power in the East Indies was based at Batavia in Java, and their capture of Malacca was, like the Portuguese before them, part of an overall aim of securing a complete monopoly of the spice trade in Southeast Asia, besides elimination of a l l unfriendly foreign interests. As such their efforts were directed chiefly to seeing to the functioning of their monopoly rather than extending political control. - 66 -In Malaya, no one was allowed to buy or s e l l spices and t i n except from or to the Honourable Company.*' To secure monopoly of the t i n trade the Dutch established forts at the Perak River, Pangkor Island and Ujong Salang (Junk Ceylon), But these were constantly attacked by their enemies and seldom maintained f o r long. Junks from China and Japan were not allowed to pass Malacca without calling while travel through the Straits was subjected to t o l l . This monopolistic policy of the Dutch East India Company was i t s undoing. Malacca was avoided by merchants and i t s trade declined. The foundation of Penang by the Bri t i s h i n 1786 was a death blow to Malacca, In a few years after 1786, i t s trade almost ceased. One important fact was that Malacca's harbour i s shallow and as ships increased i n size this became a major hindrance. Another reason was that the enlightened Br i t i s h rule i n Penang attracted the merchants i n the Straits to Penang. The foundation of Singapore, i n 1819, by Raffles, was the coup de grace to Malacca and when i t f i n a l l y passed into British control i n 1824 i t was l i t t l e more than a "sleepy hollow". (3) British Malaya. 1786 - 1957. The present p o l i t i c a l pattern of Malaya began with the coming of the B r i t i s h . Prior to the British, Malaya consisted, with the exception of Malacca, of a number of petty Malay sultanates almost entirely based on rivers and having no definite boundaries. The jungle between the rivers served as a natural barrier 1. The Honourable Company was the Dutch East India Company formed i n l600 to carry on trade with the East. - 67 -between the various chieftains, who enjoyed brief periods of independence between repeated foreign incursions. Trade was the principal factor that drew the British to Malaya, A "halfway house" was needed, for the valuable China trade in silk and tea, where Southeast A sian goods could be obtained, ships refitted and warships maintained. The Sultan of Kedah was persuaded in 1786 to cede the Island of Penang which then was considered the most suitable to meet a l l the above requirements.1 In 1800 as a protection against possible invasion and the desire to obtain a productive area for growing foodstuffs, a strip of the adjacent Kedah mainland was added to Penang and named Province Wellesley, after the then Governor-General of India, Penang, however, did not live up to expectations, principally because i t lay too far off the main ocean trade routes of Asia, Singapore, more nodally situated to serve British interests than Penang, was founded in 1819 and Malacca was acquired from the Dutch by treaty in 1824. This treaty also delimited British and Dutch spheres of influence, leaving Britain free play in the Peninsula. In 1826, following the renewed southward advance of the Thais and their subjugation of Kedah, the Governor of Penang sent an envoy to Bangkok to negotiate a treaty. By this treaty the Thais agreed to leave the northeastern Malay States of Trengganu and ^elantan unmolested and also advance no further into Malaya on the Kedah side. The British thus saved the ^alay States from Siam, but not from themselves. 1. L.A. Mills, "A History of the British Malaya, 1824-1867", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.3 (1925), passim. This, although written more than 30 years ago, is s t i l l the best account of nineteenth century Malaya. - 68 -Anarchy and chaos prevailed in the Malay States in the mid-nineteenth century. Piracy was rife. On the other hand Singapore had prospered following the creation of the Colony of Straits Settlements in 1867 and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The Straits Settlements consisting of the British possessions of Penang, Malacca and Singapore were formed as a separate political unit, following agitation by local British interests, for direct control by the Colonial Office as opposed to control, as hitherto, by the Government of British India. Singapore was made the capital. Its merchants were continuously looking for fresh fields of investment, especially as the natural resources of the Straits Settlements were limited and the growing Dutch commercial opposition in the East Indies was crowding them out of that area. Furthermore many immigrant Chinese had followed tin to its source in the interior of Perak and Selangor, accentuating the prevailing chaos with their own gang wars and also by getting involved in the quarrels of the local rulers. The prevailing disorder threatened the trade of Penang and a petition was sent by the Straits Chinese merchants asking the British to intervene in the Malay States. This petition came just when the British foreign policy was undergoing a change following the coming into power of the empire builder, Disraeli. The policy of non-intervention now gave way to one of active participation in the affairs of the Malay States. Accordingly in 1874, following a disputed succession to the throne of Perak, the Pangkor Agreement was signed between Perak and Britain bringing the State of Perak under British protection. A British Resident was appointed to manage the affairs - 69 -of the State» This Residential System was extended to the States of Selangor and Negri Sembilan, later in the same year, and to Pahang in 1888. British penetration into Malaya gradually led to the expansion of each sultanate to include the whole of the river basins as far as the water sheds which became the new boundaries of the States. The Residential System of government brought law and order into the four States and road and railway construction was started. But the four Residents were working in virtual isolation from each other. Co-ordination, especially in respect of road and r a i l construction, land alienation, and policy regarding the immigrant Chinese, was urgently needed. Furthermore i t was felt that a pooling of the resources of the four States would help the development of the poorer member States, for example, Pahang. Consequently, in 1895-96, Perak, Selangor, Negri-Sembilan and Pahang were formed into the Federated ^alay States (FeM.S.), entirely distinct from the British Colony of Straits Settlements (S.S.)„ Kuala Lumpur was chosen as the capital. As on previous occasions, so also at the dawn of the twentieth century new economic developments paved the way for a fresh political advance. The growing demand for rubber and the rapid expansion of its cultivation in the Federated ^alay States led to further investigations elsewhere for land for rubber. The States of Kedah and Kelantan came under consideration and a British owned concern, Duff Development Company, began cultivation in the latter in 1901. But i t was not until 1907 when Britain became aware of growing German and French interests in strategically vital Kra isthmus, the site of a possible canal by-passing - 70 -Singapore, that negotiations began which ended in the transference of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and<Trengganu to British rule as protected States in 1909. Finally in 1914, Johore also came under British control. These five States were collectively called the Uhfederated ^ l a y States (U.F.M.S.), and differed from the Federated Malay States, in that they s t i l l enjoyed a certain degree of independence, though their affairs were largely managed by British Advisers„ Thus, though there have been internal changes since, the present territorial limits of Malaya can be said to date from 1914 <> The most significant internal territorial changes sinee 1914 have been, firstly, the reversion to Siamese control of the northern Malay States during the Japanese Occupation and secondly, the creation of Singapore as a separate political unit. Malaya was under Japanese military occupation from 1942 to 1945, following the defeat of the British in Malaya during the last World War. As a token of appreciation of help received in the Malayan Campaign, the Japanese returned the former Siamese possessions of Malaya, the Spates of ^ edah, Perlis, Kelantan and Trengganu, to Siam while they retained the rest of Malaya as a Japanese Colony. Following the defeat of Japan and the return of the British to Malaya the British possessions of Penang and Malacca, together with the "hotch-potch" of Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States, were a l l amalgamated to form a single unit — the Malayan Union — in 1946, as a f i r s t step towards streamlining the administration and political control. Singapore was left out of this Union, as a separate British Colony. - 71 -In 1948, following Malay agitation for special privileges, the Malayan Union which granted equal economic and citizenship opportunity to a l l races domiciled in Malaya, was scrapped ®ad replaced with the Federation of Malaya0 The Federation which became independent on 31st August, 1957, safeguards the special position of the indigenous Malays (Fig. 14). b. Population Growth The indigenous Malays and the immigrant Chinese and Indians form the bulk of the population of Malaya (Table III). Table Ills THE POPULATION OF MALAYA, 1957 Administrative Total "•S&fflB'SPffitJi * Unit Population Malays Chinese Indians Others Federation 6 , 2 7 8 , 7 6 3 4 9 . 8 3 7 . 2 1 1 . 1 1 * 9 Singapore 1 , 4 4 5 , 9 2 9 1 3 . 4 7 3 o 9 8 . 4 4 . 3 Malaya 7 , 7 2 4 , 6 9 2 4 2 . 9 4 4 . 2 1 0 . 6 2 . 3 Sources Compiled from 1 9 5 7 Population Census of the Federation of Malaya, Report No.l (Kuala Lumpur, n.d.), Table l j 1 9 5 7 Population Census of Singapore, Preliminary Release No.2 (Singapore, 1 9 5 9 ) , Table II. The Malays. The ancestors of the modern Malays are believed to have reached the Peninsula between 2 5 0 0 and 1 5 0 0 B.C. from the Yunnan Plateau _ 72 -F i g . 14. Malaya: P o l i t i c a l Geography, ]??c-19fi? s In 1946 the whole•of B r i t i s h Malaya except Singapore, which remained a Crown Colony, was constituted the Malayan Union. In 1943. the ' same area was constituted the Federation'of Malaya with Kuala Lumpur I t s c a p i t a l . In 1957 the Federation of Malaya. (Perselcutuah Tanah:'Melayu-)-be.caae - -an . independent ireisiber of the Gormnonwealth of Nations, while Singapore gained i n t e r n a l self-government. The . c a p i t a l of Perak i n the mean-tine was s h i f t e d from Taiping to Ipoh and that of Pahang from Kuala L l p i s to Kuantan. Source: Based on C A . F i s h e r , The -.Problea of .^ Malayan Unity • i n its-Geographical S e t t i n g i a B.-W. Steel .and C A . F i s h e r ( s d s . ) , G e o ^ a g h l c a l .-F.s says'-'on .-Br.lt i s h ' T root cal Lancia;(.London,'" 1950.)..,. p. 282. - 73 -area of China. Though some of them settled in the plains of northern Malaya, the majority of them appear to have moved on to the Indonesian islands. There was, however, a return flow in medieval and modern times when people of Malay stock left the Indonesian islands, particularly Sumatra, Java and Borneo, to settle, mainly, in the southern and southwestern parts of Malaya. The modern development of Malaya by the immigrant groups appears to have affected l i t t l e the general pattern of the Malays' l i f e , for the majority of them s t i l l remain tied to a largely subsistence economy in the coastal and riverine areas. Islam was embraced by these people in the fifteenth century, and to-day almost a l l of the Malays are Muslims. The Chinese. Chinese contacts with Malaya go back to the early years of the Christian era, but the population in Malaya remained negligible 3 t i l l the beginning of the nineteenth century. Thereafter, opportunities in Malaya, following the establishment of law and order by Britain, the discovery of the rich tin fields of Perak and Selangor in the 1870's and the expansion of the rubber industry after 1900, attracted Chinese immigrants in increasing numbers. This continued t i l l the depression of the early 1930's when a quota was placed on male Chinese immigration, followed by a similar ban on females a few years later. The state of 1. R.O. Winstedt, The Malays.; A. Cultural History (London, 1950), passim. 2. C.A. Vlieland, op.cit.. pp. 8-10. 3. V. Purcell, The Chinese in Malaya (London, 1948), passim. - 74 -Chinese migration can be gauged by the fact that between 1874 and 1941 a total of 17,000,000 Chinese are estimated to have entered the country. The majority of the Chinese, like the Indians, came in as labourers, chiefly on indenture or "borrowed" passage (to be "worked off") and less frequently on their own.^ " The labour movement was followed by a lesser stream of traders, professionals, artisans, etc.,to attend to the needs of their countrymen. Nearly a l l of the immigrants, however, came with a single common motive - to make money and return to China to live in comparative comfort. As such the Chinese population of pre-war Malaya was largely transient. Many Chinese, however did settle in the country and with the gradual improvement of the sex ratios, the proportion of the local born in the total Chinese population increased steadily. By 1957, 70 per cent of the Chinese in Malaya were local born. Initially coming in essentially as labourers, artisans and cultivators, they have spread to a l l walks of l i f e , controlling much of the economic wealth and commerce of the country. The Indians. Malaya's links with India go back in history even further than those with China but Indian immigration on a significant scale began only with the establishment of plantation agriculture in the second half of the last century. Thereafter i t grew quickly with the expansion of the rubber industry in the fi r s t two decades of the present century. Unskilled labour formed the main stream of Indian immigration followed 1. Chinese indenture was abolished in 1914 by law but continued in practice t i l l 1933, (W.L. Blythe, "A Historical Sketch of Chinese labour in Malaya", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.20,' 1947!, pp. 64-114.) - 75 -later by traders and professional classes. Even more than the Chinese, the Indians in pre-war Malaya, showed l i t t l e tendency to settle in the Malaya, but to-day more than 60 per cent of/900,000 Indians in ^ alaya are Malayan-born and domiciled (Table IV). Table IV? PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION BORN IN MALAYA, 1911 - 1957 Year Total Chinese Malays Indians 1911 - 15 (estimate) - 10 (estimate) 1921 53.2 22.0 - 12.4 1931 56.3 31.2 91.3 21.1 1947 75.4 62.5 95.4 49.8 1957 85.0 70.0 98.0 60.0 Sources Compiled from M.V. del Tufo, op.cit., pp. 83-9j 1957 Population Census of the Federation of Malaya. Report Nos, 2-12 (Kuala Lumpur, n.d.), Table 9; 1957 Population Census of Singapore, Preliminary Release No. 7 (Singapore, 1959), Tables III, IV. Others. Most of the "other" people of Malaya — Europeans, Eurasians, Ceylonese, etc. — are post-British Period arrivals. The numbers of Europeans are small, most of them being either in Government service or in commercial undertakings. The Eurasians are largely descendants of early unions between Europeans and local women. To-day they form a small distinct group of their own. The Ceylonese came in as professionals and traders in the wake of the establishment of British rule while the - 76 -Siamese who are chiefly in northern Malaya, have had contacts with Malaya from the days of the first Thai southward advance in the thirteenth century. The multi-racial polyglot population of Malaya has grown rapidly, i n i t i a l l y through large-scale immigration from China, India and the East Indies, and lately, following restrictions on immigration and the improvement of sex-ratios and health in Malaya, through natural increase. In 1 9 5 7 the annual rate of natural increase exceeded 3 . 5 per cent (Tables V, VI, VII). Malays Chinese Indians Table V; POPULATION GROWTH IN MALAYA, 1 8 3 5 - 1 9 5 7 1835-39 1850 1911 1921 1 9 3 1 1947 1957 1,414,197 1,627,108 1,934,900 2,543,569 3,325,198 365,395 500,000 915,883 1,172,896 1,705,915 2,614,667 3,426,429 267,159 471,628 623,224 599,616 830,240 Total 2,644,489 3,338,545 4,365,800 5,848,910 7,758,036 RATE OF INCREASE (PER CENT) 1839-1850 1 8 5 0 - 1 9 1 1 1911-1921 1 9 2 1 - 1 9 3 1 1931-1947 1947-1957 3 6 . 0 42.0 2 5 08 3 0 . 6 3 4 . 5 32.5 Source: Compiled from M.V. del Tufo, op.cit.. Appendix Cj 1957 Population Census of the Federation of Malaya, Report No.l (Kuala Lumpur, n.d.), Table l j 195? Population Census of Singapore, Preliminary Release No.2 (Singapore, 1959), Table II. - 78 -Table Vis FEMALES PER 1,000 MALES IN MALAYA, 1911 - 1957 1911 1921 1931 1947 1957 Chinese 247 348 513 833 910 Indians 308 406 482 637 899 Malays - - 969 1,001 1,021 Total Malaya 572 628 688 879 935 Source: As for Table V. Table VII: NATURAL RATE OF INCREASE (PER CENT) IN MALAYA, 1921 - 1957 19a 1931 1947 1957 Birth Rate 33.5 - 44.4 45.5 Death Rate 37.5 - 16.3 9.5 Natural Rate of Increase -0.4 1.9 2.8 3.6 Source: Compiled from C.A. Vlieland, op.cit.. pp. 105-18; Singapore Annual Report. 1947 (Singapore, 1948), pp. 16-21; Annual Report on the Malayan Union„ 1947 (Kuala Lumpur, 1948), p.70; Oology of Singapore Annual Report. 1957 (Singapore, 1959), pp.23-9} Federation of Malaya Annual Report. 1957 (Kuala Lumpur, 1958), pp.8-10. - 79 -There has been virtually no ihter-racial marriage among the immigrant population in Malaya. Inter-marriage between immigrants and native Malays has also been rare other than In the case of a few of the early Europeans. The biggest obstacle to such unions has been the religious barrier but even where no such restriction has existed there has been l i t t l e tendency to foster ethnic mixing. Each ethnic group while making Malaya its home, has kept to its own, giving rise to a plural society par excellence with a l l its inherent implications. c. "MerdekaI" (Independence) The first real step towards self-government in Malaya was made in 1946 when the Malayan Union was inaugurated. Pre-Worid War II Malaya consisted of a "hotch potch" of Federated (Perak, Selangor, Negri-Sembilan, Pahang) and Unfederated (Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, Perils) Malay States and the Crown Colony of the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang, Malacca), each acquired separately, and a l l having their own constitutions and governing councils. Other than being nominated members the Asian population took no active part in the governments managed by the British. Politically, Malaya was a "vacuum". There was practically no indigenous nationalism and no demand for self-government. The inhabitants were divided along ethnic lines and, though living intermingled in outward harmony, were actually resentful and suspicious of one another. The Malay was the least political minded of the people of 1 Southeast Asia. While he was prepared to let the other communities be, 1. See L.A. Mills, Malaya: A Political and Economic Appraisal (London, 1 9 5 8 ) , pp. 5 f f . - 80 -he resented any encroachment by the other races on his special social, economic and religious privileges as a "son of the so i l " . He felt strong loyalties to his particular State and Sultan, Pan-Malayan sentiment hardly existing. This parochialism was accentuated by the existing divisions in the country and the lack of of f i c i a l contact. The Chinese population was more interested in making money and their attitude to politics is aptly summarized in the oft-quoted statement, "... the Chinese do not mind who holds the cow as long they can milk i t ...." The l i t t l e political activity that did exist among them was, with the exception of the Communists, directed towards China, where lay their loyalties. The Communist activity, predominantly Chinese, in Malaya began as early as 1924, under the direction of the Communist Party of China. It worked mostly underground and organized strikes, especially before the beginning of World War II. By 1937, the Communist Party of Malaya, formed in 1930 and immediately outlawed, 1 had 37,000 members, principally Chinese. The Indians had l i t t l e political interest in Malaya, their sentiments being largely orientated towards India. At least half the Indians and Chinese were transients and tended to keep close ties with their mother countries. Such was the state of affairs when the Japanese invaded Malaya on December Sth, 1941, occupying i t in a short sharp campaign by February 15th, 1942. 1. For a more detailed account of the Chinese political activity in Malaya see V. Purcell, The Chinese in Malaya (London, 1948)j J.H. Brimmell, A Short History of the Malayan Communist Party (Singapore, 1956)1 - 81 -The British pledge to protect Malaya had been put to the test and had failed miserably.*" The Japanese Occupation brought about drastic changes. On one hand British prestige suffered an irreparable loss. On the other, political movements were given a great impetus by Japanese propaganda which heightened racial antagonism between the Malays and Chinese, through organizing Malay militias to fight the predominantly Chinese controlled and manned guerilla movement of the Malayan Peoples Anti-2 Japanese Army, The Japanese impact awakened in the Malays a political consciousness to a degree never known before as they became aware of the threat to their position by the immigrant groups, especially the Chinese, This awakening was reflected in their opposition to the %layan Union Plan of 1946.3 .1. T.H. Silcock and Ungku Abdul Aziz, "Nationalism in Malaya", Asian Nationalism and the West, W„L0 Holland (ed.), (New York, 1950), Paper No. 8, pp.267-345. 2. The Malayan Peoples Anti-Japanese Army (M.P.A.J.A.) was organized by the Malayan Communist Party and armed by the Allies. It operated behind the Japanese lines throughout the Occupation (1942-1945) and in the short interim period between the Japanese Surrender and the return of the British i t "ruled" Malaya. This interim period in Malaya is usually referred to as the "Three Star Regime", - three separate red stars on the caps, being the symbol of the M.P.A.J.A. During this period the Malayan Communist Party liquidated many enemies under the guise of punishing collaborators, and racial clashes between Chinese and Malays were frequent. 3. Sir Harold MacMichael, Report on a Mission to Malaya; Colonial Paper No. 194. 1946 (H.M.S.O., London, 1946). ~~ - 82 -The Malayan Union was designed to streamline the existing medley of States and Settlements which had proved disadvantageous to military operations against the Japanese and a barrier to progress. Furthermore there was the feeling that the Chinese were entitled to a greater share in the government of Malaya, not only because of their numerical strength, but also because of their record of service to the development of the country and resistance against the Japanese. This marked a complete volte face of pre-World War II British Malayan policy which largely ignored the immigrant groups. The main items of the Malayan Union Plan were: (i) A l l the Federated and Unfederated Malay States and the Straits Settlements, excepting Singapore, were to comprise the Malayan Union with the Sultans retaining their individuality but no political control. The real rulers were to be the British Resident Commissioners who were to be responsible to a Central Government, control over which was to rest solely with the Colonial Office in London. (ii ) Singapore was to be a separate Crown Colony, administered by a British Governor. ( i i i ) Citizenship and equal opportunity was granted to a l l inhabitants domiciled in Malaya. Citizenship could be acquired either through right of birth in Malaya or through residential qualification of ten years stay in the country out of the fifteen years preceding the - 83 -Japanese invasion., These proposals raised a howl of protest from the Malay community who found their privileged position threatened,, They rallied around Dato Onn bin Jaffar, their leader during the Japanese Occupation, and the United Malays National Organization (U.M.N.O.), representing a l l Malay interests, was formed in December, 1945 to resist the Union Plan in Malaya while retired British Malayan Civil Servants — "Messrs. Gammans, Winstedt and Company Unlimited" — who sympathized with the Malay sentiments, carried the cudgel in England. Surprisingly enough, the non-Malays, who stood to benefit most from the new proposals, showed l i t t l e interest in them. The Chinese were, on the whole, sceptical of the new constitutional changes, having l i t t l e confidence in British intentions after years of discrimination. Furthermore they were fully occupied with the rehabilitation of their businesses. The Indians were not interested either, being more concerned with the eventual independence of India. To them, association with an independent India appeared to be more exhilarating than the benefits of Malayan citizenship. In the face of determined Malay opposition, pressure from retired officials in England, and lack of support from the other communities, Britain bowed to the wishes of the ^l a y s , repealed the Malayan Union Act. and on February 1st, 1948 created a Federation of Malaya as recommended by the predominantly British and Malay Working 1. Malayan Union and Singapore. Summary of Proposed Constitutional Arrangements; Parliamentary Paper. Cmd. 6749 of 1946 (HoM.S90O8 London, 1946). - 84 -Committee. This Federation scheme marked a step backwards, for i t embodied many of the disadvantages of the pre-World War II system of government, denied equality to a l l the people domiciled in Malaya and 2 stiffened the citizenship laws to protect the privileges of the Malays,, The new proposals, together with the increasing militant attitude of the Malay nationalism, greatly heightened racial tension. Finally i t awakened the immigrant communities to the f u l l realization of their drastically changed position, following the emergence of a Communist regime in China and two independent nations, India and Pakistan, on the Indian Sub-ContinentB Disruption of normal relations with Communist China led many Chinese finally to regard Malaya as their country of domicile, while a similar change of attitude also took place among the Indians, following the denial to them of dual citizenship by the new Government of India. These two communities now became vitally concerned with the internal politics of Malaya and so protested strongly not only against the Federal proposals, with no avail, but also joined the Malays in demanding self-government for their country of domicile. The next few years saw a number of political parties, largely organized along communal lines, come to the fore, with the United Malays National Organization (U.M.N.O.), the Malayan Chinese Association (M.C.A.) and the Malayan Indian Congress (M.I.C.) representing the three main communities of Malaya, being the most prominent. Political 3 progress was curbed-^ to some extent following the declaration of the 1. Constitutional Proposals for Malaya: Report of the Working Committee. Malayan Union (Government Gazette. Vol.1. Noo20. Kuala Lumpur. 1946). 2. The Federation of Malaya Agreement 1946 (Kuala Lumpur, 1956). 3. The declaration of the Emergency was followed by a great deal of repressive anti-Communist legislation, which, indiscriminately applied, also limited genuine democratic political activity. - 85 -Emergency on June 16th, 1948, and also through the inability of the Malays, Chinese and Indians to present a united front. But the independence movement gradually gained in strength and vociferousness and finally in 1955, following the U.M.N.Oo, M.C.A. and the M.I.Co arriving at an amicable settlement of conflicting interests and forming an U.M.N.O. - M.C.A. - M.I.C. Alliance, the British were forced to hold the first general election, which was overwhelmingly won by the Alliance, under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the President of the U.M.N.O. In the f i r s t general election only 52 out of the 98 members of the Federal Legislature were elected, the rest being nominated. Nevertheless, this general election marked a major step forward towards self-government which eventually came on August 31st, 1957,*" when 2 Persekutuan Tanah Melayu - was formally inaugurated as a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations. Singapore soon followed suit to become the internally self-governing State of Singapore in June, 1959 . 1. Since the stage of self-government in Singapore was already so advanced by 1957, Merdeka Day (August 31st, 1957) of the Federation is also regarded as the date of the independence of Malaya as a whole, 2. The Malay and constitutional name for the Federation of Malaya, 3. The foreign affairs of Singapore are s t i l l under British control. - 86 -( i i ) Economic Structure; Malaya, with a per capita national income of more than M$800 per year, i s one of the wealthiest countries in Asia. Its economy is based on agriculture, mining and the entrepot trade of Singapore and Penang (Table VTII). Table VIII; GROSS. NATIONAL INCOME BY INDUSTRIAL ORIGIN, 1953: (Million M#) Industry Value Rubber 715 Mining 325 Other Agriculture & Forestry 1,430 Entrepot Trade 1,000 (Est.) A l l Other Activities 1,925 Total 5,395 Source: International Bank Mission, op.cit., p.9. The economic development of Malaya has been on typically colonial lines. Rubber and tin are the mainstays of the economy and prosperity of the country has been intimately linked up with these two commodities (Table IX). Malaya imports about 2/3 of her foodstuffs. Table IX: PERCENTAGE SHARE OF RUBBER AND TIN OF THE TOTAL VALUE OF EXPORTS FROM MALAYA, 1936 - 1957 C O M M O D I T Y Year Rubber Tin Rubber and Tin 1936. 48$ 22$ 70$ 1940 56$ 25$ 81$ 1957 59$ 20$ 79$ Source: Compiled from International Bank Mission, op.cit., P«9; Federation of Malaya Annual Report. 1957 (Kuala Lumpur, 1958), pp.116-30; Colony of Singapore Annual Report. 195? (Singapore, 1959), pp.94-107. More than l/2 of the country's capital is believed to be invested in rubber as against 1/6 in tin while 2/3 of the cultivated acreage is under rubber while the total area alienated for tin mining is 200,000 acres. One striking feature in the history of rubber and tin in Malaya has been the unbalancing effect on the economy resulting from alternating periods of prosperity and depression accompanied by widely fluctuating prices. The livelihood of nearly half of the Indian population of Malaya depends on the rubber industry. - 88 -E 0 Regional Characteristics and the^Main Urban Centres of Malaya Physically much of Malaya looks very much alike but on the basis of economic development and demographic patterns the country can be divided into three general divisions, Western and Eastern Malaya and the Island of Singapore (Figs. 15,16,17,18,69). (i) Western Malaya: This area containing tin bearing alluvials and low foothills suitable for rubber cultivation and settlement, is dominated by the "Rubber and Tin Belt" of Malaya, consisting of tin mines, rubber plantations, large towns, modern roads and railways. Traversed by the main r a i l and road trunk lines and linked to the outside world by posts, trade and by relations through Chinese, British and Indian migrants, i t contains more than 70 per cent of the total population of the Federation and about 80 per cent of the Chinese and Indian population. The two main urban centres of the Federation, Georgetown (population 234,930 in 1957) and Kuala Lumpur (population 316,230 in 1957), are also in this belt. Georgetown, the fi r s t British possession in Malaya, is the chief port of northern Malaya and also an important entrepot centre for the neighbouring Southeast Asian countries. Kuala Lumpur, located centrally in the Western region and accessible by mountain pass to the Eastern section, is the national capital and administrative focus of the Federation. '$9 -Fig, 15o Fedsmti^n^f; Malaga: Land, A^ .©rastion, 1953. Sources Based on Ooi Jin Be?., •;op.,..icit..' ;p.« 19. / • Fig.' 16. '-Singapore*/'-' Lahd/Aliertat'ioisV. 195S:; •'. -Soirees Ba-sed-on Singapore Survey Department, Series3GSGS / - 91 -Fig. 17. . Malaya:.. Geographical. Regions', and. Major Urban Centres, 1957. Source: Based on E.H.G.- Dobby, So^HeW-^sia..'(l&iidon, 1910), p. 419. - 92 -(i i ) Eastern Malaya: This region is comparatively the least developed part of Malaya,, While difficult terrain and forests hamper transport development in the interior, strong winds during the Northeast Monsoon, virtually isolate the coastal areas, making them unsafe for coastal shipping0 Road and r a i l communications are few while the unprotected coast and sand bars at the mouths of most of the rivers have limited harbourage facilities to small ports. Except for significant numbers of Chinese and Indians in the interior valleys and in areas engaged in mining, rubber cultivation and trade, this region is occupied mainly by Malays engaged chiefly in a subsistence economy based on padi cultivation, supplemented either by fishing or other miscellaneous activities. The biggest concentrations of these Malays are in the coastal plains, particularly in the Kelantan Delta. Eastern Malaya, has however great potentialities, for not only does i t contain much of the potential agricultural land of the country but also most of its recently discovered huge deposits of iron ore of Pahang and Trengganu, Malaya is already producing more than 2^ million tons of iron ore for export from this area, principally from the mines near Dungun, Trengganu. Fig. 18... Malaya: 'CoOTBUnieaticnfe, 1957, Sourcei. Ooi Jin, Bee, op..r':ci-t..« ,»„. 1 $ , - 94 -( i i i ) Singapore Island; This small island, of 224 square miles contains 1,500,000 persons, giving i t a density of more than 6,500 persons per square mile, one of the highest in the world. Nearly 80 per cent of the population is Chinese. The Island has few natural resources in its interior and is dominated by the port and city of Singapore, containing nearly a million inhabitants or more than 2/3 of the total population of the region. The strategically situated port has made Singapore not only the chief port of Malaya, handling 70 per cent of its sea-borne trade, but also a huge entrepot centre for the surrounding countries. In fact, much of the economic l i f e of Singapore is centred on its function as a ••middleman". More than 90 per cent of Malaya's entrepot trade, which accounts for some 40-50 per cent of the total trade of the country, is handled by Singapore. Besides being a trading and to some extent secondary manufactures' centre, Singapore is also an important military base of Britain (Fig. 19). Fig. 19. Geographical Pattern of Singapore Island, 1958, Dourest As f o r F i g , ' 1 6 . CHAPTER I I I INDIANS IM PRE-BRITISH MALAYA A. The Making of Greater India 1 In a dim d i s t a n t unrecorded age we had met, thou and I, — When my speech became tangled i n thine and my l i f e i n thy l i f e 0 The East Wind had c a r r i e d thy beckoning c a l l through an unseen path of the a i r to a d i s t a n t s u n - l i t shore fanned by the coconut leaves. I t blended with the conch-shell sound that rose i n worship at the shrines by the sacred waters of the Ganges. The great God-Vishnu spoke to me and spoke Uma, the ten-armed Goddess: "Make ready thy boat, carry the r i t e s of our worship across the unknown sea." The Ganges stretched her arm to the eastern ocean i n a flow of majestic gesture. From the heavens spoke to me two mighty voices — the one that had sung of Rama's glory of sorrow and the other Arjuna's triumphant arm — urging me to bear along the waves t h e i r epic l i n e s to the eastern i s l a n d s ; and the heart of my land murmured to me i t s hope that i t might b u i l d i t s nest of love i n a far-away land of i t s dream . ...^ ( i ) Suyarnadvipa (The Land of Gold): Relations between India and Malaya go back f a r i n t o p r e h i s t o r i c times. Just when Indian s a i l o r s f i r s t coasted the shores 1. The following d i s c u s s i o n on "The Making of Greater I n d i a " i s based, mainly, on Paul Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese (In Press), which contains comprehensive chapters on Indian contacts with ancient Malaya. 2. "Greater India", r e c a l l i n g the heyday of Indian influence i n Southeast As i a i n the e a r l y centuries of the C h r i s t i a n era, i s a term used, somewhat n o s t a l g i c a l l y , i n India, mainly, to denote pre-sixteenth century Southeast A s i a . 3. Rabindranath Tagore, The P i l g r i m from India (Batavia, 1927), c i t e d by S. Duraisingam, o p . c i t . , p.14. - 97 -of the Bay of Bengal and reached the Siamo-Malay Peninsula i s unknown* but certainly by the end of the second century A.D., Indian influence was firmly established i n the Peninsula, Indo-China and the Archipelago, 2 and Indian shipping was a common sight i n the waters of Southeast Asia, Unfortunately the genius of Indian thought sought i t s expression i n realms other than historiography and information about these early times was never recorded with factual exactitude. For the most part we are dependent on incidental allusions in some such medium as Sanskrit verse or ancient Tamil court poetry. References have to be quarried from the vast mass of fable and fact that characterises early Indian literature. One of the earliest place-names which can be related to Southeast Asia i s Yavadvipa J (Sanskrit, the Isle of Gold and Silver), in the Fourth Canto of the Bombay Rescension of the Ramayana, a third or fourth century B.C. Sanskrit epic. Scholarly opinion i s divided as 5 6 to whether this name refers to Java or Sumatra , or to both, or even 1 . R. Braddell, "Malayadvipa; a study i n Early Indianization", M.J.T.G.. Vol . 9 (1956), p . l . 2. D.G.E. Hall, A History of South-east A sja (London, 1955), p .23. 3. R. Braddell, "An introduction to the study of ancient times i n the Malav Peninsula and the Straits of Malacca", J.M.B.R.A.S., Vol . 15 , Rt.3 (1937), P P . 1 1 5 - 6 . 4 . "Sanskrit", derived from "Sanskrita" (put together), was the language of the learned i n ancient India. It was used mainly by the Brahmin priesthood. Much of the ancient Indian literature i s i n Sanskrit. 5. See., for example, J. Ph. Vogel, The Relation between the Art of India and Java (London, 1925), p.15. 6 . See, for example, A.K. Coomaraswamy, History of Indian and Indonesian Art (London, 1927), p.198; G.E. Gerini, Researches i n Ptolemy's Geography of Eastern Asia (London, 1909), pp.547-8. - 98 -to Borneo, but that i t was a part of Southeast Asia there can be no doubt o The same name occurs again i n Chapter 48 of the ancient Vedic 2 tales of the Vayu Purana, together with another word, Kaserudvipa, which has been considered by some scholars to refer to the Malay Peninsula; 3 but these matters are a l l highly speculative and probably the truth w i l l never be known. It seems that the ancient Indians used two general terms when referring to Southeast Asia. The f i r s t of these was Dvipantara (Clove Island?), a name which occurs several times i n Somadeva's eleventh century Kathasaritsagara (Ocean Streams of Stories), i n Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa, in a Sanskrit - Chinese lexicon of the seventh or eighth century, and i n one of the earliest hagiologies of Tamil Vaisnavism, the Guruparampari Arayirappadi of the twelth or thirteenth century.^ The other term for Southeast Asia which f i r s t appears i n the Ramayana and one which was used much more widely and i s also better known today was Suvarnadvipa, a Sanskrit name with the meaning of "Golden Island" or perhaps "Golden Peninsula". Dvipa s t r i c t l y means "land with water on two sides" but i n ancient writing i t was often used i n a general sense to mean simply "land", so that Suvarnadvipa 1. R. Braddell, op.cit.. Vol.19, P t . l (1941), pp.41-72. 2. Ibid;.. • , •:. .'" .. Vol.15, P t . l (1937), pp. 115-6. 3. R. Dikshitar, "The Puranas; A Study", I.H.Q.. Vol. 8 (1932), pp.747-67. 4. Nilakanta Sastri, "Dvipantara", J.G.I.S.. Vol.9 (1942), pp.1-4. - 99 -can be translated quite adequately as the "land of gold". In Pali Buddhist writings i t does occur i n the form Suvarnabhumi with precisely this meaning. The ancient Buddhist folk tales, the Jatakas, for example, which were in existence in the late centuries of the pre-Christian era, but which certainly incorporate material from a much earlier period, picture an established trade between the ports of India and Suvarnabhumi. One well known story t e l l s of how Prince Mahajanaka, seeking great riches, joined with a company of merchants 2 bound for this E l Dorado of the East, while two other tales refer to a voyage from Bharukaccha (modern Broach) to Suvarnabhumi. In the second or third century Milinda-panha (Questions of King Milinda), containing perhaps the best-known reference to these trading voyages to the East, we read; ... As a wealthy shipowner scrupulously discharges his port dues and, putting forth on to the high seas, voyages to ... Takkola ... Suvarnabhumi while the Maha niddesa. a part of the Pali Buddhist canon from the second or third century A.D., records the hazards of these early voyages: ... he puts forth onto the high seas and enduring frost and heat, mosquitoes and stinging insects, wind and sun, and hunger and t h i r s t he voyages on to ^ Takkola ... Tamalin (Tambralinga) ... Suvarnabhumi «... 1. The term " P a l i " means a c t u a l l y the 'text', the tex t par excellence, that i s , the tex t of the Buddhist s c r i p t u r e s , but i t also i n d i c a t e s the language i n which the sacred s c r i p t u r e s of Buddhism are recorded, and the s c r i p t i n which these are written (D. Deringer, The Alphabet. London, 2nd ed., 1949, p.388). 2. Jatakas, V o l . 6 , p.22. 3 . Jatakas. V o l . 3 , p.124. 4. Both the above^passages are from the French t r a n s l a t i o n of Sylvian ' , L e v i , o p . c i t . . pp.52-3, modified and rendered i n t o English by Nilakanta S a s t r i , The Colas (Madras, 1935), p.623. - 100 -Other stories derive from the pre-Christian era Brihatkatha or "Treasury of Stories". Such for instance i s the tale, preserved i n the Brihatkatha-slokasamgraha, an abridged version of the Brihatkatha. of one Sanudesa, who after reaching Suvarnabhumi, set out on an adventurous expedition into the interior of the country."^ From the same source come stories of several voyages related in Somadeva's Kathasaritsagara. including that of the merchant Samudrasura, who visited Kalasapura, the 2 capital of Suvarnadvipa. Another merchant, Rudra, was shipwrecked on 3 the return voyage while there are references to trading expeditions to the . 5 Suvarnadvipa i n the stories of/travellers Isvaravarma and Yasahketu. Then the Kathasaritsagara also includes a tale of shipwreck on the coast of Suvarnadvipa. suffered by Princess Gunavati on her way from Kataha (Kedah)^ to India, and f i n a l l y i n the same work we find the itinerary of the Brahmin Candrasvami wandering among the islands of the East i n search 7 of his lost son. Figure 20 depicts the probable route of his voyage. 1. R.C. Majumdar, Ancient Indian Colonization i n Southeast Asia (Baroda, India, 1955), p. 7. 2. Kathasaritsagara, taranga 54, verses 97, et seq. 3. Ibid.. taranga 54, verses 86, et seq. 4. Ibid., taranga 57, verses 72, et seq, 5. Ibid., taranga 86, verses 33; 62. 6. Nilakanta Sastri, "Kataha", J.I.G.S., Vol. 5 (1938), pp.128-46. 7. Kathasaritsagara, taranga 123, verse 110. - 101 -Suvarnadvipa i s also mentioned i n the Kathakosa, another abridged version of the Brihatkatha, as a land whose king rescued the traveller Nagadatta and his five hundred ships from the hollow of the snake-encircled mountain, while Kautilya's encyclopaedia of the fourth 1 2 century A.D., the Arthasastra, refers to aguru from Suvarnabhumi and the Ceylonese Buddhist chronicle of the sixth century, the Mahavamsa or Mahavamso. describes the missionary activities of the Buddhist monks Theva Uttara and Thera Sona in Suvarnabhumi in the third century B.C.3 Finall y from Tibetan sources we learn that i n the seventh century A.D. the Buddhist monk Dharmapala visited Suvarnadvipa. followed by another monk, Dipankara Atisa, in the eleventh century.^" Clearly Suvarnabhumi featured i n the early Indian folklore as an eastern E l Dorado where great riches might be won. Some of the texts mentioned above are best interpreted on the assumption that Suvarnabhumi was specifically Sumatra, but there can be no doubt that the majority of the early writers applied the term to the whole of the 5 Archipelago and the Siamo-Malay Peninsula. 1. aguru = aloeswood; from the Malay, gharu. 2. Kathasaritsagara. taranga 56, verses 56-64. 3. W. Geiger and M.H. Bode, Mahavamsa (London, 1912), p.86. 4. Sarachandra Dasa, Indian Pandits i n the Land of Snow (Calcutta, 1893), p. 50. 5. For example, Milakanta Sastri wrote i n 1952 of "the mysterious land of Suvarnabhumi, which has been proved to be a general t i t l e i n those days for Burma, the Malay Peninsula and the Malay Archipelago" (K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Age of the Nandas and Mauryas, Benares, 1952, p.270). This i s corroborated by R. Braddell, the noted authority on ancient times i n Malaya, who says, "Suvarnabhumi was an Indian E l Dorado and can be said best to have embraced the gold bearing regions of Southeast A s i a " (R. Braddell, "Malayadvipa", op.cit.. p«4). - 1 0 2 -The Puranic accounts make i t clear that Indian sailors visited the shores of Southeast Asia i n very remote times, probably far back into the prehistoric period, but i t is no less certain that Indonesian (Malay) traders, a sea faring folk par excellence, frequented the Indian coast equally early.*" One of the Jataka texts, in fact, relates that a voyage to Suvarnabhumi was undertaken by merchants of Bharukaccha (modern Broach) in response to a v i s i t from merchants of the lat t e r country. By the time the Jatakas, Brihatkatha. Arthasastra and Milindapanha had assumed their present forms, some centuries of trade relations had brought substantial accessions to the Indian knowledge of Southeast Asia and their conceptions of the geography of the eastern E l Dorado beyond the ocean, were beginning to cry s t a l l i z e . Within the realm of,Suvarnabhumi i t s e l f were now discernible nebulous territories such as Kataha (Sanskrit form of modern 'Kedah'), Malayadvipa (Sumatra), Tambralinga (named possibly after Tambhalin, the birth place of the learned Buddhapalita) and Takkola (Takola), which i f i t had any meaning at a l l was probably the 'Land of Cardamom'. Half-way across the Indian Ocean was Narikeladvipa, the Coconut Islands, presentday Nicobars, while at the furthest bounds of Indian eastward penetration was Kapuradvipa. the Camphor Land, thought to have been the Borneo of to-day (Fig. 2 0 ) . 1 . D.G.E. Hall, o p . c i t p . 1 3 . 2 . From a comparative study of Hindu architecture i n India and i n Indonesia, Professor F.D.K. Bosch has also reached the same conclusion that Indonesians played an active part i n the prosecution of trade between India and Indonesia and the transference of Indian culture to the Archipelago (Het vraagstuk van de Hindoe - Kolonisatie van den Archipel. Leiden, 1 9 4 6 ) . - 103 -Fig. 20, Sttvama^ uad'-,-..(%he.3jafld 'of..'.Gold). Source: Baoed on P,_-Wheatipy,^Ther:Solden*lQiergoBese5,(In- Press) / B H A R U K A C C H A ) * S U R A T T H A S U R P A R A K A D O U K E S O P T M A M A D U R A ^ K A M A R A M U C H I R I S I M H A L A D V I P A s V O Y A G E O F C A N D R A S V A M I V O Y A G E O F P R I N C E S S G U N A V A T I N 0 L. M l L E S 1 000 I - 104 -On the motives of the voyages r e l a t e d above, the l i t e r a r y evidence i s conclusive. Almost a l l of the t a l e s were i n s p i r e d by the search f o r wealth. Indeed, i f l i t e r a t u r e , says Majumdar, mirrors the i n t e r e s t s of an age, then trade and commerce "must have been a supreme passion i n India i n the centuries immediately preceding and following 1 the C h r i s t i a n era." The very names of the fabulous kingdoms beyond the sunrise were i n v i t a t i o n s to merchant venturers: Suvarnadvipa. the Land of Gold; Kapuradvipa. the Camphor Land and Takkola. ( T a k o l a ) t h e Land of Cardamom. Probably the i t i n e r a r y of Chandrasvami across the Bay of Bengal to Narikeladvipa. thence to Kataha and • Kap>uradvipa. and back by way of Suvarnadvipa ( i n i t s r e s t r i c t e d sense of Sumatra) to Simhala (Ceylon), i s an adaptation f o r l i t e r a r y purposes of such voyages as Indian merchants were undertaking at the very dawn of h i s t o r y . 1 . R.C. Majumdar, Suvarnadvipa, P t . l (Dacca, 1 9 3 8 ) , p.6 1 . - 105 -( i i ) The "Indianization" of Malaya: The morning came; my boat danced on the dark blue water her white s a i l s proud of the favour of a f r i e n d l y breeze. She kissed thy shore, a s t i r ran athwart thy sky, and the green v e i l f l u t t e r e d on the breast of the Nymph of thy woodland. We met i n the shade of the n i g h t - f a l l , i n the dark hours of the earth; the s t i l l evening was touched to i t s depth by the blessings of the Seven Holy Stars of Wisdom. The night waned; and Dawn scattered her prodigal gold on the path of our meeting along which the two companion souls continued t h e i r journey through ages among a crowd of gigantic v i s i o n s During the e a r l y centuries of the C h r i s t i a n era a s i g n i f i c a n t change occurred i n the r e l a t i o n s between India and Southeast A s i a . Throughout the o l d realm of Suvarnabhumi there emerged kingdoms with conceptions of r o y a l t y based on Hindu or Buddhist c u l t s . The a r t s p r a c t i s e d i n these states, and the customs of at l e a s t the n o b i l i t y , were also Indian, while Sanskrit was the sacred language. The mythology of the Puranas and the observance of the Dharmasastras also played important role s while the a r i s t o c r a c y and the r u l e r s were e i t h e r Indians or Indianized l o c a l c h i e f s . This transformation i n the Indian r e l a t i o n s with the eastern E l Dorado from one of seasonal t r a d i n g v i s i t s i n the p r e h i s t o r i c period to that of almost complete Indianization i n the e a r l y centuries of the C h r i s t i a n era, was the r e s u l t of, probably, a number of complex and complementary processes, among which the expansion of trade and the a r r i v a l of Brahmins and other l i t e r a t i i n Southeast Asian ports were the most prominent. 1. R. Tagore, o p . c i t . . p.14. - 106 -P r e c i s e l y which f a c t o r s were at work i n the stimulation of t h i s 1 trade expansion are wholly matters of inference. Among current hypotheses the most credible i s that formulated by G. Goedes, who a t t r i b u t e s a r e - o r i e n t a t i o n of Indian commercial i n t e r e s t s to changing 2 p o l i t i c a l conditions i n the Mediterranean and Central A s i a . In the f i r s t place, the formation of the Seleucid Empire fostered communication between India and the West, circumstances of which Rome took advantage when her subsequent u n i f i c a t i o n of the shores of the Mediterranean inaugurated a demand f o r Eastern l u x u r i e s . Among these were gold, spices, and scented woods and r e s i n s , obtained by Indian merchants from Southeast A s i a . In the second place, during the two centuries preceding the C h r i s t i a n era, nomadic disturbances i n Central Asia, closed the trade routes through B a c t r i a to India's source of gold i n S i b e r i a , a s i t u a t i o n aggravated when the Roman Emperor, Vespasian, prohibited the export of precious metals from the Roman Empire. Thus cut o f f from the west and north,Indians turned eastwards to Suvarnabhumi. the very land of gold. 1. The o l d theory that the motive f o r Indianization l a y i n the f l i g h t of refugees from ei t h e r Emperor Asoka's conquest of the South Indian kingdom of Kalinga ( F i g . 21), i n the t h i r d century B.C. or the Kushan invasions of the Gangetic p l a i n s i n the f i r s t century A.D. can no longer be sustained now that we know that there was no mass migration of Indians to Malaya or other parts of Southeast Asia p r i o r to the nineteenth century (D.G.E. H a l l , o p . c i t . . pp.17 f f . ) . 2. G. Coedes, o p . c i t . . pp.41-5« - 107 -Two circumstances f a c i l i t a t e d these trading voyages. The early centuries of this era were a period of innovation i n ship construction i n the Indian Ocean. Larger, ocean going vessels were build according to a technique borrowed from the Persian Gulf and, more important, were so rigged that they could s a i l nearer the wind. Finally, the development of Buddhism undermined the rig i d ideas of r a c i a l purity and repugnance 1 to travel entertained by Hindus. On the other hand the importance of Buddhism in the early days of Indianization is attested by the images o of Buddha Dipankara — Buddha calming the waves — of the Amaravati school which have come to light on archeological sites i n many parts of 3 Southeast Asia^ and, i n Malaya, i n particular, by the discovery of 4 Buddhist inscriptions i n Kedah and Province Wellesley. 1. Sea voyages are clearly prohibited i n the laws of Manu (III, 58) and Baudhayana Dharmasutra. Baudhayana places such voyages at the head of pataniyani (sins) and prescribes a three-year penance. Although in practice the prohibition seems to have been largely disregarded, such an authoritative command must have exerted a strong restraining force while the fear of loss of caste through association with mlechas (non-Hindus), who were regarded as unclean or impure, must also have been an equally potent deterrent to overseas travel by Hindus (R.C. Majumdar, Ancient Indian Coloni-zation i n Southeast Asia (Baroda, India, 1955), p.6). 2. From "Amaravati", a town at the mouth of the Kistna River on the east coast of India, an important centre of the overseas spread of Buddhism during second and third centuries (Fig. 21). 3. A.K. Coomaraswamy, op.cit.. p.197. 4. H.G. Quaritch Wales, "Archeological Researches on Ancient Indian Colonization i n Malaya", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.18, P t . l (1940), pp.1-85. 108 -Fig, 21. India:, Asoka's Empire, 260 BVCV Source t Based on C. Collin Daviss» An^Hls^qr^^ ••• tnq«:*3S«iian :Fe.n&g&uta,r: (Oxford1-959)t -p. 13.' / - 109 -Stimulation of trade tremendously increased merchant activity i n the Malaysian waters. These traders, populo roinuto though they were, spread a knowledge of Indian customs and paved the way for the spread of Indian culture. Until recently, i t used even to be thought that these merchants were proselytizing colonists 1 and the chief bearers of Indian 2 3 culture to the Southeast Asian courts. We now know this was not so. For one thing the traders led too confined an existence to enable them to transmit more than a few superficial aspects of Indian c i v i l i z a t i o n . They were primarily of two types. F i r s t there were the merchant aristocrats, primarily Investors and speculators who i t i s true did occasionally settle in parts of Malaya, but they were very few in number and their refined and secluded lives could have influenced the surrounding populations only slightly. The majority of the Indian traders were of a very different social status. They were in fact pedlars, usually from the lower strata of Indian society, who travelled a l l over the Indian Ocean. Poor and untutored, they could never have been a medium for the transmission of the subtler forms of Indian r i t u a l and a r t i s t i c sensitivity. Moreover, far from having access to the kraton (court), they were confined to special ghetto-like quarters in the port areas, with few opportunities of meeting the l o c a l folk other than those occurring incidentally during the disposal of their wares. 1. Van Naesser, "De Aanvang van het Hindu-Indonesische Acoulturatie Proces", Orientalia Neerlandica (Leiden, 194&), passim. 2. G. Coedes, op. c i t . . passim. 3. F.D.K, Bosch, op. c i t . . passim. - 110 -How then is the high degree of Indianization that characterized the early Malayan settlements to be accounted for? There can be no doubt but that the seasonal visits of merchants had been supplemented by the arrival and settlement of priests and l i t e r a t i , who installed themselves as an aristocracy ruling over an indigenous population. In a fine passage of imaginative writing the eminent Malay scholar, Winstedt, has recreated the process of transformation as i t must have happened at many a haven round the shores of Southeast Asia: ... A ship or so came with the monsoon to exchange beads and magic amulets for gold, t i n , ivory, camphor and those rare medicines, rhinocerous-horns and bezoars .... Here and there a passenger practised magic, that proved potent in love or war or disease. Another won regard as a warrior. Some married local brides. Priests came and taught a new ritual in Sanskrit awe-inspiring, as Arabic was to be later, because i t was unintelligible to the multitude. For daily speech the newcomers, evidently because they were sparse, adopted the languages of Malaysia and introduced very few words of their own colloquial Prakrit. In time a few married into leading Indonesian (Malay) families and brought Hindu ideas of kingship, just as more than a thousand years later Muslim Tamils married into the families of the sultans and bendaharas-2 of Malacca. The coming of the Hindu appears to have been very similar to the later arrival of the Muslim from India and the Hadramaut, the Brahmin and Kshatriya taking the place to be usurped by the Sayid 1* Prakrit, from Prakrita ('common, vulgar'). Prakrit was the language of the people and the ancestor of the Prakritic dialects s t i l l spoken throughout India. 2. bendahara, Malay for a palace chamberlain. 3. R. Winstedt, "A History of Malaya" J.M.B.R.A.S., Vol . 1 3 , Pt. I (1935), p.18. - I l l -Nor is this process wholly imaginary. We have seen the quest of trade illustrated in early Indian writing while ancient Chinese literature records the manner in which the Indians were assimilated into the local population.1 According to local Cambodian tradition, preserved 2 in a Chinese dynastic history, the pre-Khmer Indianized kingdom of Fu-nan. which flourished during the third century A.D., was founded in the f i r s t century A.D. by an adventurer who had assumed the name of the mythical Brahmin Kaundinya, who ascended the throne of Fu-nan by marrying 3 the queen of the country. On a less exalted plane, we read of Brahmins taking wives from among the women of Tun-Sun <A The entry of the Brahmins was further facilitated by the relatively advanced stage of civilization attained by Southeast Asian peoples in early times. They were no barbarians but people already heirs to a socio-economic organization of some antiquity. They practised irrigation, they had domesticated the ox and buffalo, they had a rudimentary knowledge of metallurgy and were skilled seaman. They also had a mythology which involved a cosmological dualism frequently expressed 5 m the complimentary form of mountain and sea. Through trade relations with. South Indian ports, Southeast Asian rulers soon realized 1. For Chinese sources pertaining to the historical geography of early Malaya see P. Wheatley, m.j.t.g., Vol.9 (1956), pp.71-8. 2. Liang Shu (Annals of the Liang Dynasty, 502-556 A.D.), Chapter 54. 3. A scholarly account of this eventis given in L.P. Briggs, "The Ancient Khmer Kingdom", T.A.P.S., Vol.41, Pt.l (1951)» fpp,. 1-273• 4. See pp. 128-30 below. 5. M.W.F. Tweedie, op.cit., passim. - 112 -the value of Indian concepts as a method of legitimatizing.their political status, to say nothing of stratifying their subjects. To achieve this end they summoned to their courts Brahmins skilled in protocol and ritual, and i t was this comparatively small but influential group who introduced such characteristic traits as the consecration of a monarch by magical processes, Hindu religious formulae, mythological genealogies of ruling houses, Indian iconography, epic characters and plots and the whole complex apparatus of Indian court l i f e . This does not mean, of course, that Brahmins were the only Indians other than traders who voyaged to Southeast Asia, but they were certainly the only group capable of transmitting the more refined aspects of Hindu civilization. Side by side with this religious and intellectual element, however, was a military and merchantile group represented by the Kshatriva. the warrior caste of India. 2 That opportunities for acquiring influence should attract adventurers as well as priests and merchants is not unexpected, but we must not disregard the complementary process by which a local chieftain adopted Indian culture, even aspiring to the rank of Kshatriya. Apparent examples of this are not wanting i f we read carefully between the lines of certain inscriptions. Sanskrit inscriptions dating back to the f i f t h century, found in the region of Kutei, east Borneo, show that both Mulavarraan, the King, and his father Asvarman, for example, bore names of purest Sanskrit, but the grandfather was known as Kundunga, most likely a Tamil or Indonesian name. Again, Sanjaya, founder of the 1. M.W.F. Tweedie, op. c i t . , passim. 2. Liang Shu, Chapter 54, cited in P. Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese (Mss j , Chapter IV. - 113 -kingdom of Mataram, i n central Java, i n the eighth century, and bearer of a good Sanskrit name, was nephew to one Sannaha, apparently a Javanese name recast i n Sanskrit form.^" Finally, Coedes has called attention to a third important method of culture transference, namely the introduction of Indian customs into Southeast Asia by indigenous neophytes and traders 2 returning from the Sub-Continent. Such contacts and unions, as above, meant that there soon developed an aristocracy of mixed Indian and indigenous blood and Indianized l o c a l chieftains and bourgeoisie. It is thus not surprising that when the city-states of early Malaya f i r s t appear i n Chinese annals,' they are Indianized societies. So highly were they Indian i n outlook and appearance that some writers have been led astray to conclude that these societies were colonies of Indians formed through waves of 4 immigration coming across the Bay of Bengal. In his much c r i t i c i z e d book, The Making of Greater India. Wales claims to distinguish four main immigrant waves corresponding to the chief phases of medieval Indian c i v i l i z a t i o n : 5 the Amaravati (second and third centuries A.D.), the 1. B. Ch. Chhabra, "Note to Ronald Braddell", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.15, Pto3 (1937), pp.118-9. 2. G. Coedes, op.clt.. pp.51-2. 3. For the early city-states of Malaya, featuring i n Chinese records, see P. Wheatley, "The Malay Peninsula as known to the Chinese of the third century A 0D.», J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.28, P t . l (1955), pp.1-23, and "Tun-sun", J.R.A.S. (1956), pp.17-30. 4. Van Naessen, op.cit.. passim. 5. This concept was f i r s t adumbrated by H.Ga Quaritch Wales i n J.R.A.S., (1948), pp.1-32. See also The Making of Greater India: a study i n Southeast Asian Culture Change (London. 1951): and J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.23, P t . l (1950), pp.153-5. - 114 -Gupta (fourth to sixth centuries), the Pallava (A.D.550-750) and the Pala (.A.D.750-900). This idea of a settlement by waves of immigrants i s incompatible with the character of the Indian culture transference as discussed above. The numbers of Indians i n early Malaya were never large. There has been a great deal of speculation about the precise places of origin of early Indian immigrants into Southeast Asia, and i t is unlikely that the last word has yet been said on this matter. The main protagonists i n this debate are the universities of North and South India, led by R.C. Majumdar and Nilakanta Sastri respectively, each of whom places the provenance of the Indian immigrants into Southeast Asia i n his own particular half of India,*" Several lines of approach, for example, 1. Interesting though i t i s , the long drawn out controversy i s , however, . outside the scope of this study. The following i s a select l i s t of books dealing, at some length, with the topic. R.C. Majumdar, Ancient Indian Colonies i n the Far East; I, Champa (Lahore. 1927). ~ , Kambu.jadesa (Madras, 1944). , Ancient Indian Colonization i n Southeast Asia (Baroda, 1955). Nilakanta Sastri, History of S r i Vi.iaya (Madras, 1949). , The Age of Nandas and Mauryas (Benares, 1952). , The Cholas. Vol. I (Madras. 1935). , South Indian Influences i n the Far East (Bombay, 1949). ™ G. Coedes, op.cit.. Chapters I, II, III. R. LeMay, The Culture of South East A a i a : The Heritage of India (London, 1954). A.K. Coomaraswamy, op.cit. Roland Braddell, "An introduction to the study of Ancient times in the Malay Peninsula and the Straits of Malacca", J.M.B.R.A.S., Vol .14, Pt.3 (1936), f f . Beginning i n 1936 these papers are continued over a period of some twenty years. - 1 1 5 -examination of scripts of earlier inscriptions, plastic arts, architecture, study of ports of embarkation, place names, dynastic traditions current in early Southeast Asia and of tribal names of the peoples of Malaysia have been explored in this connection but none have yielded incontrovertible results 0 From fragmentary indications, culled through the above lines of approach, i t appears that although a l l parts of the Indian Sub-Continent contributed to the Indianization of Southeast Asia, the majority of migrants came from the South,,1 Particularly is this true of the 2 Peninsula where, apart from a few Gupta-style figures from P'ong Tuk, Ch'aiya, Wieng Sra, Nakawn Sritamarat, Kedah and Perak and fragments of Buddhist votice tablets in tenth-century Nagari script from a Kedah cave, the archeological evidence points uncompromisingly towards South India« For example, more than a century ago, in Kedah, Colonel Low found Buddhist inscriptions written in Pallava characters, together with a tablet inscribed with the prayer of a sailing-master for a safe voyage, also in 3 * Pallava. More recently in the Bujang Valley of Kedah, Wales unearthed inscribed quotations from the South Indian classic Sagaramati-paripraccha. 1 . G. Coedes, op.cit.. p.61. 2 . This style of sculpture flourished in Northern India during the Gupta Period ( A . D . 3 2 0 - 5 4 4 ) . 3 . James Low, "History of Tenasserim", J.R.A.S., Vol . 4 ( 1 8 3 7 ) , p p . 3 0 4 = 3 2 j Vol . 5 ( 1 8 3 9 ) , p p . 2 4 5 - 6 3 . - 116 -in Pallava grantha script. An inscription from Bukit Choras, and the 3 writings on silver discs found on Sungei Batu Estate, in Kedah, are also in South Indian script. Then a bronze casket containing foundation deposits and a miniature damaru drum contained within i t , both from the Bujang Valley (Fig. 28) are of South Indian type, while a dagger hilt from the same district closely resembles one on the Mahisasura Mandapam bas-relief 4 at Mahabalipuram, Madras. Finally, an inscription found by Wales near Takuapa, implies that a community of Tamils was settled on the west coast 5 of the Siamo-Malay Peninsula in the ninth century. On the basis of these finds i t seems only reasonable to conclude that the dominant influence in early Malaya was South Indian. We must, however, be on guard against regarding Indianization as precisely delimited in time and place when i t was in fact a process of cultural diffusion operating over centuries. In this connection, Wales1 postulate of four distinct waves of Indian migration and influence cannot be accepted. It is, however, undeniable that the changing phases of civilization in the Indian homeland are apparent in the provenance of the 1. H.G, Quaritch Wales, "Archeological Researches", op.cit.. pp.8-10. 2. Ibid.. p.7 3. Ibid., pp.23-4. 4. Ibid., pp.73-4. :,; . 5. Nilakanta Sastri, "Takuapa and its Tamil Inscription", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.22, Pt.l (1949), pp.25-30. - 117 -migrants and i n the material remains by which we know them. In any case the pattern of migration i s , as Wales i s only too w i l l i n g to admit, complicated by l o c a l currents originating from centres of diffusion 1 mainly on the Siamo-Malay Peninsula or i n Sumatra, F i n a l l y i t must be stressed that the majority of our sources for the study of Indianization show us only the results of the processes, the evolution of and eventual decline of kingdoms, so that for the present we must be content with a largely inferent ial understanding ofthe or igins . It has already been stated that the Peninsula f u l f i l l e d an important role i n the dissemination of Indian culture throughout the northern regions of Southeast Asia , Not only was i t the f i r s t l a n d f a l l of most Indian voyagers to the East, but i t was also an unavoidable barrier to further penetration, which could be surmounted only by an overland portage or a circuitous coastal voyage. It i s not surprising, therefore that some of the earliest Indianized settlements recorded by the Chinese annalists were situated on the Peninsula, At the close of the f i r s t century A,D. the kingdom of langkasuka was founded on the east coast i n the neighbourhood of modern Patani, During the th i rd century we hear of Tun-sun, a trading mart i n the extreme north of the Peninsula together with Ch'u-tu-kun and the port of C h u - l i : i n the sixth and seventh centuries a kingdom known as Red Earth Land and situated to the south of Lanekasuka was s u f f i c i e n t l y prominent to attract envoys from the Chinese Court, while i n the f i f t h century from the isthmian state of P'an-P'an an adventurer, the second Kaundinya, planned his usurpation of 1. See p,113, footnote 5 ,above„ - 118 -1 the throne of Fu-nan. Then a seventh or early eighth century temple excavated on a low spur of Kedah Peak (Fig 0 28) has been interpreted as a transition form between South Indian sepulchural shrines and the 2 chandis (Indian monuments) of Java. The fact that the Peninsula should have been a regional centre for the diffusion of Hinduism and Buddhism argues that i t was itself subject to Indian influences at an early date. There is no archeological evidence from the Peninsula contemporary with the emergence of Langkasuka. or even with the heyday of Tun-sun, so that historical geographers have enjoyed considerable licence in their attempts to plot the routes followed by the Indian immigrants. In any case these routes would have been subject to continual change as the fortunes of Indian-kingdoms waxed and waned. From Amaravati early immigrants crossed the Bay of Bengal to the Arakan coast and the Burmese deltas, where two passes invited penetration into the interior. From Moulmein the Ataran River leads up to the Three Pagodas Pass at a height of 800 feet, where there is an easy descent by the way of the Me Nam Kwe Noi into the valley of the Me Klong River and so to the plains of Lower Siam. Southwards a more difficult route from the Tavoy district 3 crosses the watershed at the Three Cedis Pass. Where these routes 1. P. Wheatley "The Malay Peninsula as known to the Chinese of the third century A.D.", op.cit., pp.1-23. 2. H.G. Quaritch Wales, "Archeological Researches", op.cit., pp,18-2lj Nilakanta Sastri, South Indian Influences in the Far East (Bombay, 1949), pp.84-5. 3. The terrain of the northern part of the Peninsula may be studied conveniently on a medium scale on 1:1,000,000, Asia and the East Indies, G.S.G.S.2555 and 4204, sheets NB 47 (Penang Island) and NC 47 (Isthmus of Kra)j and on a larger scale on Hind 604, Siam Kra Isthmus. 1:63,660, sheets C-47-0, P, U, V, W, and B-47-C, D, E, K, L, and Hind 1035, Malaya. 1:63,360, sheets 2E, 21, 2M. - 119 -converge and the traveller comes out into the plains of Lower Siam are 1 2 the archeological sites of P'ong Tuk and P'ra Pathom, which attest the use of at least some of these passes during the early centuries of the Christian era (Figs. 21,24). The hegemony of the Guptas (A.D.320-544) with their capital at Pataliputra (modern Patna) saw the rise of the port of famralipti (modern Tamluk) at the mouth of the Ganges as a place of embarkation for the fabled lands of the East (Fig. 22). We know a good deal about the voyage from here to Kedah because i t is described in considerable detail in a compendium of Buddhist biographies compiled by the Chinese Buddhist 3 monk, I-Ching, who presumably followed the same route in his round trip from Canton to the Buddhist University of Nalanda, in the Ganges Delta, in the seventh century, as the Indian voyagers. From Tamralipti a voyage of from two to four weeks brought vessels to a convenient revictual!ing station, the Nicobar Islands. A further ten days brought them to Kedah, where a powerful Indianized settlement had grown up in the neighbourhood of the Merbok and Muda rivers (Fig. 28). Here Wales unearthed a bronze standing image of the Buddha in Gupta style.^ From 1. See p.115 above. 2. Le May, A Concise History of Buddhist Art in Siam (Cambridge, 1938), pp. 16, 22, 27, 34, 95. 3. I-Ching, Ta T'ang hsi yu ch'iu fa kao seng ehuam (Memoir on the Eminent Monks who sought the Law in the West during the Great T'ang Dynasty), translated into English by J. Takakasu as A Record of the Buddhist Religion as Practised in India and the Malay Archipelago (London, 1896). " 4. H.G„ Quaritch Wales, "Further work on Indian sites in Malaya", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.20, Ft. 1 (1947), Plates I, II. - 120 -here an easy route led north-eastwards to Patani, the nucleus of the kingdom of Langkasuka. During this period another shorter route was also in use which brought voyagers from Tamralipti to Takuapa, the site of an Indianized settlement which flourished from the third to the eighth centuries A.D.1 From this point the Takuapa River leads up to a col, at just under 2,000 feet, from the far side of which the Khirirat River affords an easy descent into the coastal plain of Bandon. Wales found 2 traces of Indian penetration along this route, while on the plain beyond 3 stand the remains of the city of Ch'aiya and the smaller site of Wieng 4 Sra , together with several other shrines and relics dating from the period under discussion. From Ch'aiya comes a statue of Vishnu in imitation of a Gupta model, while Buddhist figures of pure Gupta style are also known from Wieng Sra and Perak^ (Fig. 24). 1. H.G. Quaritch Wales, Towards Angkor (London, 1937), pp.166-9. 2. Ibid.. pp.51-68. 3. Ibid.. pp.166-9. 4. Ibid., pp.74-6. 5. I.H.N. Evans, "Excavations in Perak", J.F.M.S.M.. Vol.15 (1928), pp.135-6 and Plates, XLTI, XLIVj A. Wright, Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya (Singapore, 1908), p.78. - 121 r P i g , - 22. -/India: The':Gupta ^ Period, 320-544 . A .D. Scarce: Based im C, Collin -Da-vies, c^^cij.^.,.--.,.^;, .19. 7 - 1 2 2 -Pallava immigrants of the sixth to eight centuries would be more likely to have sailed from the neighbourhood of their capital at Kanchipura or from the ports of Nagapattinam or Mahabalipuram so that i t is not surprising that they have left few traces in Burma and Central Siam (Fig, 23) <> On the Peninsula, however, Pallava remains are rather more common,, Takuapa, for example, seems to have retained its importance as a gateway to the Ch'aiya district, for the Pra No' Vishnu statue, found there, is in the purest Pallava style, while a similar modelled figure from Wieng Sra and the three Brahminic stone statues found in the valley of the Takuapa River attest the continued use of the trans-peninsular route. With the statues was found a Tamil inscription of the ninth century A.D., which places a tank constructed in the locality under the protection of Manigramam.1 (a powerful merchantile corporation) and "the residents of a senamukam (military camp)". Nilakanta Sastri summarizing the implications of this evidence says, "... our inscription attests the presence at Takuapa of a good number of Tamils including soldiers and merchants and having a permanent stake in the country round about and rearing religious and secular institutions conducive to their spiritual and material welfare 0..." There is no reason to dispute this conclusion, though the same author's suggestion that the presence of a military encampment indicates the extension of the political power of the Pallava King Nandivarman III (A.D. 826-50) over parts of the Peninsula, cannot be accepted in view of the preceding conclusions regarding the process of Indianization.^ !• Manigraman was the most celebrated merchant guild of early Southern India. It owed no exclusive political allegiance to any ruler. 2. Nilakanta Sastri, "Takuapa and its Tamil Inscription", op.cit.. pp.25-30. - 123 — Fig. 23. Seventh. Century India. Source: Basset on C . Collin Davies, op., ci t . . p.., 21. - 3,24 -Similar Pallava - style statues s t i l l in situ at Nakawn Sritamarat, whence came also two Sanskrit inscriptions of the sixth to eighth centuries, would seem to indicate that the Trang River afforded a route across the isthmus at this time. So far, however, despite a strong presumption that the trading city of Takola was in this vicinity, no significant archeological remains have been discovered in the neighbourhood of Trang.*" Farther south in Kedah the foundations of S aivite temples built by Pallava immigrants have been laid bare by Wales. Finally mention must be made of an Indianized settlement discovered by Evans at Kuala S elinsing on the Matang coast of Perak, in 1928. This was a pile-built village which is thought to have flourished sometime between the sixth and twelfth centuries. Recently aerial photography has revealed some six or so apparently similar sites among the mangrove swamps of Matang but so far none has been visited, let alone excavated. 1. P. Wheatley, "Takola Emporium. A study of an Early Malayan Place name", M.T.J.G.. Vol.2 (1954), pp.35-47« 2. I.H.N. Evans, "Excavations in Perak", J.F.M.S.M., Vol.12 (1928), pp.121-31; 139-42; 181-4; and Vol.15 (1930), pp.23-7. 3. Professor H. Otley Beyer, (Philippine and East, Asian Archeology and its Relation to the Origin of the Pacific Islands Population. Manila, 1948), on grounds of a strong typological affinity with a Philippine culture, considers that i t probably existed as early as sixth century A0D. 4. H.G. Quaritch Wales, ("Archeological Researches", op 0 c i t o a pp.54o,*6), suggests that the village continued into the twelfth century. - 125 -In this brief and wholly inadequate survey of Indian archeological remains on the Peninsula no mention has been made of the two shortest trans-peninsula routes, that from Mergui to Prachuabkhirikun by way of the Tenasserim River, and that across the Kra Isthmus. Despite a fairly thorough search by archeologists and other interested individuals, like Wales and Wheatley, neither has yielded any evidence of Indian penetration in early times, although the Kra isthmus was a main highway between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It would seem, thus, that the merchants, priests and adventurers who reached the Peninsula were in fact, seeking not merely to cross i t , but to settle on i t . They avoided those parts of the isthmus with restricted hinterlands, and settled only in localities with trading and agricultural potentialities, and we may further surmise, those with flourishing indigenous populations. This interpretation is in accord with current theories of Indianization, and confirms our earlier conjecture that the Peninsula was a local centre for the diffusion of Indian culture and not merely a barrier over which successive waves of immigrants flowed on to found the great kingdoms of early Indo-China and Indonesia (Fig, 24). - 126 -r"ig. 24. Probable Routes .of Indian Migrants to Anciont Southeast A s i a , Sources As for Fig.'v20-/ KUALA KEDAH SELINSINGV "LOPBUR " W I P'ONO TUK 0ANDAMAN. > P ' R A P A T H O M J KA^THARA o ISLANDS j \ I ?y4N--LO-T/ffl C H U M P'UN SAMBARV PANDURANCA L_ f„T JS^"-t5B-r-B A N D O N J ANGKOR y 0\TAKUAPA^ L | ^ O R VIA LAND A B O V E 1200 FT, N 0 1_ I MILES 5 0 0 - 127 -( i i i ) The Indianized States of the Siamo-Malay Peninsula: It remains to say a few words about the kingdoms which grew up on the Malay Peninsula under the influence of Indian political conceptions. It is a topic which can only be treated in broadest outlines here, but readers requiring a more detailed account will find i t in the select 1 bibliography listed below. It must be remembered, too, that as most of our information about these states is derived from Chinese histories so we know them only under Chinese versions of their names. 1. (a) Ronald Braddell's magisterial series of papers which have appeared over the last 20 years under the t i t l e "An Introduction to the Study of Ancient times in the Malay Peninsula and the Straits of Malacca" in the J,M.B.R.A.S.t Vol.14 (1936) f f . (b) Paul Wheatley, "Langkasuka". T'oung Pao. Vol. XLIV (1956), pp.387-412. , "The Malay Peninsula as known to the Chinese of the third century A.D.", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.28, Pt.l (1955), pp.1-23. , "Tun-sun", J.R.A.S. (1956), pp.17-30. , "Takola Emporium", M.J.T.G.. Vol.2 (1954), pp.35-47. , The Golden Khersonese (In Press), (c) G.R. Tibbetts, "The Malay Peninsula as known to the Arab Geographers", M.J.T.G.. Vol.(1956), pp.21-60. (d) G.H. Luce, "Countries neighbouring Burma", J.B.R.S.. Vol.14, Pt.2 (1925), pp.138-205. - 128 -During the third century A.D. there were about a dozen such "states", with no defined territorial boundaries and each with a walled coastal city as its nucleus, in existence on the isthmian tract of the Peninsula (Fig. 25). The most powerful of these "city-states" was a Mon confederacy, consisting of about a dozen settlements, located in the far north and known collectively, to the Chinese, as Tun-sun. If we are to believe the Chinese chronicler, its trade relations extended as far afield as Persia and Tonking. "At this mart" he says "East and West meet together, so that daily there are more than 10,000 people (there). Precious goods and rare merchandise ... there is nothing which is not there".1 We are also told that there were five hundred Indian families together with a thousand Brahmins living there. Though many of these "Indians" and "Brahmins" were probably Indo-Malays or Indianized indigenous people the figures, nevertheless, indicate the extent of Indian influence. Moreover, something of the process of Indianization can be glimpsed in the delightfully naive remark of the Chinese historian who said, "... the people of Tun-sun practise the doctrine of the Brahmins and give them their daughters in marriage; consequently many of the Brahmins do not go away." This, incidentally, indicates that the soi-dis&nt , Brahmins were, probably, really non-Aryans claiming membership of a caste from which in I n d i a they were excluded, for miscegenation would have been abhorrent to genuine Brahmins. The burial customs practised in this State, namely cremation and exposure to vultures, were also Indian importations. 1, Liang Shu. Chapter 54, cited by P. Wheatley, "Tun-sun", op.cit., pp.17-8. 2. T'ai p'lng yu lan (a Chinese compendium compiled between 977-983 A.D. by one Li Fang), Chapter 788, cited by P. Wheatley, Ibid.. p.21. - 129 -Fig. 25, Indianized City-States, of Early Malaga, Source: • As; for Fig;. 20. / - 130 -Its chief product was huo hsiang (Chinese; Malabathron = patchouli). As commerce developed in early Southeast Asia, one region stood out as the most important region, the key to a l l , and the control of which was essential to any power aspiring to dominance in Southeast Asia. This area was the isthmian tract of the Peninsula.1 Thus, the fortunes of the city states in the region waxed and waned as they either enjoyed brief periods of precarious independence or were under the aegis of some outside power. The exact course of Tun-sun1s history or its political status is uncertain. In the third century, together with ten other states including Chu-li, i t was conquered by Fang Chih-man, King of Fu-nan (an Indianized empire centred on the Mekong valley and delta) in his efforts to control the trade of northern Southeast Asia. In the middle of the sixth century, Fu-nan itself f e l l to the land based vassal power of Chenla lying to the north of Fu-nan. What happened to Tun-sun after this is unknown (Fig. 26). Further south in Patani the famous city-state of Langkasuka was founded early in the second century A.D. It controlled one of the overland "short-cuts" and its control may even have extended across the 2 Peninsula to the Bay of Bengal. It passed through a period of eclipse, 1. For a detailed account of the struggles of the early Southeast Asian powers for control of the isthmian tract of the Peninsula, see D.G.E. Hall, op.cit.. Chapters 2-10. 2. Ibid., p.28. • "; ., , ... - 131 -Fig/26„ The Isthirdan Tract, 0,500 A.D„ Source: Based on R.R. Sellman, A a ^ b M g e Atlas,-of;Sajtern; MlalHIS- (London,. 1954), p,.-15. PANDURANCA L A N D A B O V E 1 2 0 0 f t . E M P I R E OF F U N A N O T H E R H I N D U I S E D A R E A S M I L E S - 132 -following the Fu-nanese expansion of the third century, but its fortunes were restored by the intervention of a leader trained at one of the Indian courtSo For almost another thousand years this kingdom persisted through the vicissitudes of the Peninsula history and then mysteriously disappeared leaving only a legendary name to peasant mythology.1 Another of these early states in the isthmian area was known to the Chinese as P'an-P'an. Here, too, there were numerous Brahmins, who had come from India in search of wealth. They were "in high favour with the King". But Hinduism was not the only religion practised in the State for we also hear of "ten monasteries where Buddhist monks and nuns studied their scriptures," However, Hinduism was the religion of the court and a Chinese history gives a vivid picture of the palisaded capital and court, every detail of their complicated ritual manifesting their Indian origin. For example, when the king reclined on a gilded couch he was surrounded by his ministers a l l kneeling with their hands crossed in 2 Indian fashion and resting on their shoulders. The Chinese description of the Indianized court of Ch'ih-T'u, the Red-Earth Kingdom, probably situated in the valley of the Kelantan River (Fig, 25), is of such interest that i t merits an extended quotations 1. P. Wheatley, "Langkasuka", op.cit.. p.29. 2. P. Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese (Mss.), Chapter IV. - 133 -The King resides in the city of Seng-Chin, which has triple gates more than a hundred paces apart. On each gate are paintings of spirits in flight, bodhisattvas and other immortals, and each gate is hung with golden flowers and light bells. Several tens of women either make music or hold up golden flowers and ornaments. Four women clothed in the manner of Ghin-kang giants on the sides of Buddhist pagodas stand at the gate. Those stationed on the outside of the gate grasp weapons of war, those on the inside hold white cloths in the passage-way and gather flowers into white nets. All the buildings in the royal palace consist of multiple pavilions with the doors on the northern side. The King sits on a three-tiered couch, facing north and dressed in rose-coloured cloth, with a chaplet of gold flowers and necklaces of varied jewels. Four damsels attend on his right hand and on his left, and more than a hundred soldiers mount guard. To the rear of the King's couch there is a wooden shrine inlaid with gold, silver and perfumed woods and behind the shrine is suspended a golden light. Beside the couch two metal mirrors are set up, before which are placed metal pitchers, each with a golden incense burner before i t . In front of a l l these is a recumbent golden ox before which hangs a jewelled canopy, with precious fans on either side. S everal hundred Brahmins sit in rows facing each other on the eastern and western sides.^ The above passage is a striking example of the extent to which Indian cultural influences had permeated local l i f e . When Chinese envoys visited the Red Earth Kingdom they were welcomed by Brahmins; when they were entertained at a royal banquet, Indian music was played; and when they took their departure Brahmins escorted them to their vessels. A l i t t l e further south, perhaps in the neighbourhood of Trengganu, was the kingdom of Tan-tan. Here the King was advised by eight high officers of State, who were a l l Brahmins. This was not an arbitrary number but one of the attributes of the fabulous Mount Meru. 1. Ibid. - 134 -Winstedt has shown that preoccupation with the astrological numbers four, eight, sixteen and thirty-two is one of the most persistent legacies of Hinduism in the ritual of Malay courts. In Kedah and Pahang for example, there are four great chiefs, eight major chiefs and sixteen minor ones, to which Perak and old Malacca at one time added thirty-two petty territorial chiefs. A comparable manifestation of this underlying stratum of Hinduism are the eight Brahmins •— representing the lokapalas (deities) guarding the eight points of the Brahmin cosmos — who surround the kings of Siam and Cambodia during their respective enthronement ceremonies.1 The same concept occurs again in the twenty-four administrative divisions of KaLaJj (Ko-lo). a city-state in the neighbourhood of Mergui (Fig. 25). This State was, in fact, one of the most prosperous on the Peninsula, where the merchant fleets of Oman anchored to load cargoes of 2 tin and aloeswood. Here, too, were forged the finest swords in a l l India and Southeast Asia. Although we need not believe the Chinese writer, Ma Tuan-lin, who claimed that Kalah could put an army of 20,000 men in the field, yet the tales of Arab travellers^ make i t abundantly clear that this city with its stone walls and fortress and numerous well-watered gardens, served as the capital of a populous and wealthy region. Southwards in the neighbourhood of Trang was the mart of Takola which features in both 1. Richard Winstedt, The Malays; A Cultural History (London, 1950), Chapter 5. 2. G.R. Tibbetts, op.cit.. pp.24-45. 3. A detailed account of these voyages is given by G.R. Tibbetts, op. cit... pp. 21-60. - 135 -the Milinda-panha and the Maha-Niddesa as a port thronged with merchant shipping, Farther south on the Matang coast of Perak, was the Indianized settlement of Selinslng which flourished between the sixth and the twelfth centuries, with trading connections, principally in beads, as far afield as Korea and Zanzibar. A l i t t l e further down the coast, at the mouth of the Perak River was the village of Ganganagara which is traditionally 2 supposed to have been founded by the Pallavas in the seventh century. Opposite to this, on the east coast, in the vicinity of the estuary of the Kuantan River, was the port city of Chu-li. which is now generally 3 4 assumed to be the same place as the Ptolemaic Kole. The course of Chu-li's history, like that of Tun-sun is unknown other than that i t too was conquered by the Fu-nanese in the third century A.D. Further north, on the east coast, in the vicinity of modem Nakhon Sritamarat, was Tambralinga. which, like Takola. also features in the Maha-nidessa as a port and trading mart. Tambralinga. unlike many of the other early 1. See pp. 99-100 above. 2. Nedyan Raghavan, op.cit.. p.32. 3. P. Wheatley, "An Early Chinese Reference to part of Malaya", M.J.T.G.. Vol.5 (1955), p.59. 4. The Alexandrine Claudius Ptolemy's Geographike Huphegesis. compiled about 150 A.D., contains one of the earliest, i f not the earliest, extant description of Southeast Asia. The account of The Golden Chersonese (The Siamo-Malay Peninsula), consisting mainly of place names as known to the Greeks then together with their supposed mathematical locations, is contained in Chapter 2 of his Book VII. The definitive text for Book VII is that established by L. Renou, La Geographie de Ptolemee. l'Inde (VII. 1-4) (Paris, -1925). The account of the Peninsula begins on p.45. - 136 -city-states, appears to have 'weathered' the successive occupations by foreign powers, for in 1230, according to the «Jaya inscription of King Jayavarman VIII (1243-1295 A.D.) of Kambujadesa (Fig. 27), we find the king of Tambralinga asserting his independence, from the Khmer empire of 1 the north, and beginning to conquer on his own. After this Tambralinga prospered, cultivating friendly relations with the fellow Hinayana Thai state of Suk'ot'ai (Fig. 30). But the best known of a l l these Indianized city states of early Malaya, and the one which has left the greatest number of archeological remains, is Kedah. On the banks of the Bujang River and around the estuaries of the Merbok and Muda rivers, Wales excavated upwards of thirty 2 sites ranging in date from the fifth or sixth century to the fourteenth. This archeological evidence leaves l i t t l e doubt regarding the existence or the general area of location of the ancient kingdom, though precisely where i t was situated in the Bujang valley or further south on the plains bordering the Merbok — is s t i l l uncertain (Fig 8 28). In the early centuries of this era the Merbok estuary presented a more attractive land f a l l to Indian shipping than would the shoals and swamps of the present river. It was wider and deeper, a bay, perhaps, rather than an estuary, with such litt o r a l eminences as Bukit Penjara and Bukit Batu Bintang rising as islands from its tawny waters. Here Indian ships found an anchorage protected from the south-westerlies which had carried them across the Bay of Bengal and a small community of indigenous 1. D.G.E. Hall, op.cit.. pp.105-12. 2. H.G. Quaritch Wales, "Archeological Researches", op.cit.. pp.4-73. - 137 -folk practising subsistence cultivation eked out with a l i t t l e fishing. At an early date, these folk diversified their simple economy by casual trading with Indian merchants entering the Straits of Malacca and their settlement, at first a mere village, grew in proportion as i t became the collecting point for the forest products of the surrounding districts, aided not a l i t t l e by its situation at the western end of the trans-peninsular route to the east coast. The swamps of the rivers restricted the choice of habitation sites to the higher ground adjacent to the foothills of Kedah Peak and, when they fi r s t feature in the archeological record, these settlements are in the valleys of ther Merbok Kechil and the Bujang rivers, particularly the latter. By about the f i f t h century Buddhism, the earliest Indian influence to reach Kedah, appears to have established itself. This is not only consonant with what we know of the tenure of events of Southeast Asia as a whole, but is also evidenced by the discovery of the fi f t h century stupas, the earliest archeological remains in Kedah, in the middle Bujang valley. ^" This establishment of Buddhism implemented for the Indian merchants the attraction of commerce with a familiar cultural environment. During the ensuing three centuries the cultural ties between Kedah and India were strengthened, but fashions changed and Buddhism was superceded very largely by Saivism, for the remains of no less" than ten vimanas (towers) of Savite temples have been brought to light in the 1. H.G. Quaritch Wales, op.clt., pp.8-10. - 138 -Bujang valley, while similar discoveries further south indicate the contemporaneous existence of two other smaller settlements, one in the valley of the Merbok Kechil and the other on a sandy permatang. to the south of the Muda River. By this time Kedah had become an important port and attracted the attention of the expanding Indianized island-kingdom of Sri Vi.iaya which, founded in the seventh century, now matched the power of Kambu.iadesa in the north. Centred on southeastern Sumatra, Sri Vi.iaya. a thalassocracy, occupied Kedah and most of the other strategically located city-states of the Peninsula, in the eighth century, as part of its overall plan for monopolistic control of the Southeast Asian trade, like Fu-nan before i t (Fig. 2 7 ) . Under Mayayana Buddhist Sri Vi.iaya the religious activity in Kedah swung back to Buddhism in the eighth and ninth centuries, and Mahayana shrines again became a prominent feature of the cultural landscape of the area. The nucleus of the city seems s t i l l to have been in the middle course of the Bujang where two halls of audience were created, but there was also a significant extension of settlement southward towards the Merbok River in the wake of the retreating sea.*" Both Indian and Arab traders frequented the port, while a trade in T'ang porcelain was 2 inaugurated through the intermediary of the K'un-luri sailors. This indeed was the apogee of Kedah's prosperity which seems to have suffered hardly at a l l from the incorporation of the territory in the Sri Vi.jayan Empire. On the contrary i t became a second foci of the thalassocracy 1 . P. Wheatley, "The Seat of a l l Felicities". The. Historical Annual. No.3 (1957), (Singapore, 1958), p .104. 2 . K'un-lun. a Chinese regional name for the people of the 'South Seas' (Southeast Asia). - 139 -Fig„ 27. The S r i Vijayan Thalassocracy, c.1150 A.D S o u r c e : As f o r F i g , 20. / M - T R E N O C / SRI VIJAYAN THALASSOCRACY / APPROXIMATE BOUNDARY ' BETWEEN SRI VIJAYAN AND^ ' KHMER SPHERES OF INFLUENCE • EMPORIUM FOR TRADE MILES - 140 -and its role as the Peninsula node of the Empire, may well have stimulated its commercial relations with the Archipelago. And as its wealth increased so its fame spread abroad. Throughout the Indian Sub-Continent its name was synonymous with riches and elegant living. As "the seat of a l l f e l i c i t i e s " i t features frequently in Somadeva's Ocean of Stories 1 compiled for the amusement of a Kashmiri queen, while in the Sanskrit drama Kaumudimahot sava i t is cited as a great city famous for revelry and gay l i f e -» in the jargon of modern advertising i t was "The Paris of the East". It is to be expected that the city by the Merbok in reality f e l l somewhat short of these descriptions, but that Kedah was chosen from among a l l the other contemporary kingdoms of the East as typifying wealth and elegance is powerful testimony of its prosperity in the ninth century. In about the tenth century, in response to a further retreat of the sea, the main settlement was transferred southwards from the foothills down to the plain course of the Bujang at the point where i t enters the Merbok estuary. Colonization of the banks of the Merbok naturally induced the exploration of its southern tributaries leading towards the Muda River where a new settlement was inaugurated, while growing prosperity and power led to reversion of the port to Hinduism (Fig. 28). The above description of Kedah may well be taken to be the general picture of many of the other city states of early Malaya. In summation i t could be said that the first millenium of the Christian era witnessed the emergence of prosperous coastal city-states and the flowering o 1. See pp. 98-104 above. Fig, SB. Ksdah: Sites of Indianized Settlements; c.300-900 A.D. Source: P.. Wheatley, "The S eat of a l l F e l i c i t i e s " , The . .(Malayan-)- .Historical. Annual, No.3 (1957), P« 106, - 141 of civilization throughout th© isthmian tract of the Peninsula. In the courts this culture was almost wholly Indian but on the peasants of the fields i t had practically no influence at a l l . Only rarely did i t enter into popular traditions. We must, in fact, visualize these ancient states, each as a dual entity, with a powerful exotic Indian civilization towering over, but remote from the lives of the masses. B. The Decline of Hindu Influence The time wore on, the dark night came upon us, and we knew not each other. The seat we shared was buried under the Dust raised by Time's chariot wheels. By the receding flood of oblivion I was borne back to my own lonely shore — my hands bare, my mind langorous with sleep. The sea before my house remained dumb of the mystery of a meeting i t had witnessed, and the garrulous Ganges spoke not to me of a hidden long track to her other sacred haunt A During the ninth and tenth centuries there grew up a powerful Cola state in South India. Friendly at f i r s t , the Colas and the Sri- Vi.jayans. however, soon f e l l out, largely because of the monopolistic trade policy of the Maharajas of the Isles. In about A.D. 1025 the Cola king, Rajendra I, fel t himself strong enough to attempt to challenge this monopoly of the Sri-Vi.1ayan Empire, and to break its blockade of the Straits of Malacca. To that end he essayed a great raid against the Sri-Vi jayan thalassocracy, some of whose choicest possessions were situated on the Peninsula (Fig. 29). Kedah, as one of the twin foci of this Empire, was selected as a major objective. Its king, Sangramavijayat-tungavarman, was captured together with his squadrons of elephants, his 1. R. Tagore, op.cit.. p.14. - 142 -c a p i t a l sacked and h i s s t a t e treasure c a r r i e d o f f to India. Tambralinga. Takola and Langkasuka were also s i m i l a r l y ravaged.*" However, Rajendra does not seem to have exercised any permanent p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o l over the Peninsula or other parts of the Sri-Vi.iayan Empire. Anyway the Sri-Vi.jayan power recovered from t h i s reverse i n a few years, and prospered t i l l the end of the thirteenth century before f i n a l l y crumbling, before the r i s i n g Thai power of Suk'ot 'aiin the north and that of Hinduized Ma.japahit i n the south ( F i g . 3 0 ) . On the Peninsula, however, with the exception of the Tambralinga. none of the isthmian states ever recaptured t h e i r l o s t p r e s t i g e . By 1225 A.D. Kedah's p o s i t i o n as the c h i e f entrepot of the isthmus had been l a r g e l y usurped by other centres, and the former mighty mart gradually sank i n t o obscurity t i l l i t s modern economic development. The other c i t y - s t a t e s j u s t completely disappeared from the landscape. Tambralinga prospered t i l l 1292, when i t was taken by the southward advancing Thais and i t too mysteriously disappeared from the scene. With the founding of Temasik (the forerunner of modern Singapore) towards the end of the t h i r t e e n t h century and Malacca, about c.1400, the focus of a t t e n t i o n i n Malaya s h i f t e d from the north to the region of the S t r a i t s of Malacca. Following t h i s the isthmian t r a c t r a p i d l y became i n s i g n i f i c a n t ; Kedah, the mightiest mart of e a r l y Malaya, being nothing more than "a very small kingdom with few people and few houses", at the 2 beginning of the sixteenth century. 1. Nilakanta S a s t r i , The Colas. V o l . 1 (Madras, 1 9 3 5 ) , p p . 2 5 4 - 5 . 2. P. Wheatley, o p . c i t . . p.106. - 143 -F i g * 29:.'.. . Eleventh Century India, Source: , Based or, R.E. Sellman, qe.. c i t . p . . 21. -144 -Pig. 30. The • SiaipD^Maiaya Peninsula i n the Fourteenth Century. S o u r c e s . As fos 1 i'igo 20. - 145 -With the passing of the "Isthmian Age", so also ended the heyday of Indian influence. After this though Indian influence continued in Malaya t i l l the beginning of the sixteenth century, i t never recovered its old glory. With the establishment of Malacca, Hinduism was finally supplanted by Islam, ironically enough, also introduced chiefly by Indian traders. Before this proselytizing faith Hindu beliefs were suppressed and what was more disastrous for the student trying to reconstruct the story of early Malaya, the wealth of Indian statuary which marked the sites of ancient settlements, was almost wholly destroyed. let not a l l of what India had contributed to Malay l i f e was lost. Many words of Indian origin s t i l l remain in the Malay language, mainly those relating to ritual, law and court ceremony, but also including others such as book, lion, herald, mango, nutmeg, pleasure, time, punishment, loyalty, religion, fasting, property, vase, intellect and sin. And the gods of the old Hindu pantheon, although excluded from the new religion, persisted as infidel genies summoned to the aid of the lover, the warrior or the sick man. The guardian genies of the State of Perak include not only Solomon and Ali , the Prophet's son-in-law, but also Hindu Brahma and Vishnu, while on the accession of a Perak sultan, his chief herald reads the following coronation formula in Sanskrit: "Fortunate great king, smiter of rivals, valorous, whose crown jewels ravish the three worlds, whose touch dispels suffering, protector, pilot over the ocean of battle, confuter of opponents, fortunate supreme overlord Raja Parameswara". Then this same herald whispers in the ear of the new ruler the Hindu - 146 -name of the demigod from whom Perak royalty are supposedly descended. Again at his installation a Malay sultan must sit motionless, thus exhibiting his divinity according to Indian ideas, and in Negri Sembilan the herald who proclaims the election of a new ruler, must stand on one leg with the sole of his right foot resting on his left knee, in the same way that Brahmin sun-worshippers stand on one foot with the other placed against the ankle. And s t i l l many titles of the Malay aristocracy incorporate Sanskrit honorifics such as dull, maha mulia and padaka sri.*" Malay magic is richly impregnated with Indian lore and Malay charms patently reflect the influence of the Indian mantras (incantations) while an elaborate Hindu ritual precedes episodes from the Vedic epic Ramayana enacted in the wayang-kulit, shadow play, the Malay equivalent of the "Punch and Judy Show", of Kelantan. These are but a few of the many legacies left to the modern Malay by the Indians who crossed the sea to the Golden land nearly two thousand years ago. Numerous others can be found in Richard Winstedt's two books, The Malays: A Cultural History and Shaman, S^iva and Sufi: A Study of Malay Magic. Perhaps we should invite Winstedt, greatest of Malay scholars, to sum up the effect of Indian influence on Malay l i f e . "Though he is unconscious of i t , from the cradle to the grave the Malay is surrounded by survivals of Indian culture. Even his nursery tales are many of them derived from Bidpai's Fables, the Jataka tales and Somadeva's Ocean of Stories. India found the Malay a peasant of the late 1. -y~.r- Richard Winstedt, "Indian Influence in the Malay World", J.R.A.S. (1944), pp.186-96. - 147 -Stone Age ( a frog under a coconut shell ) and i t left him a citizen of the world. It taught him the weaving of silk and embroidery and metal work, and i t gave him its clothes and material comforts. It taught him to tame the elephant and improved his methods of fishing. The customary law of the tribe i t broadened into the law of the State. It introduced the Malay to Hindu and Persian classics and induced in an illiterate people a passion for knowledge."1 C. The Rise of Muslim Power The Malacca Sultanate, c.1400-1511: There is s t i l l uncertainty regarding the exact date of the founding of Malacca. Dates suggested range from the eighth century, proposed by Caspar Correa, who was notoriously inaccurate when reporting at second hand, to 1420, the date fixed by the bastard son of Afonso de 3 Albuquerque, the Portuguese conqueror of Malacca, who based his account on original documents. Most recent writers favour the beginning of the fifteenth century. The evidence is as follows. Militating strongly against any date earlier than c.1370 is the omission of any mention of Malacca in the thirteenth century Narratives of Marco Polo and the failure of Prapanca, the Javanese court 1. Ibid.. 1 p;195. " I , T. ':.*, * 2. Gaspar Correa, Lendas da India. Vol.1 (Lisbon, 1858), p.221. 3. Braz de Albuquerque, The Commentaries of the Great Afonso de Albuquerque. Vol .3, translated into English by Walter de Gray Birch (Haklyut Society, London, 1880), pp.72 et seq. - 148 -poet, to include i t among his l i s t of place-names on the Malay Peninsula, in his poem Negarakrtagama,1 compiled about 1365 A.D. Neither is i t 2 mentioned by the Arab sailor Ibn Battuta, who roamed the Southeast Asian seas in 1345-1346 A.D. The most authentic account of the circumstances leading to the foundation of this settlement is that of the Portuguese apothecary, 3 Pires, who spent two and a half years in Malacca at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It seems that a band of Bugis corsairs from the southwards, under the leadership of an Indianized renegade Sumatran or Javanese called Parameswara, established themselves in at least two localities on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, namely Muar and the Bertam district, some two leagues north of Malacca. After a couple 4 of years, these adventurers commandeered a fishing village at the mouth of the Malacca River as a mart for their spoils. The marketing of i l l i c i t loot seems soon to have stimulated more orthodox trade with the 5 Sumatran ports across the Strait and with Bengal, for Malacca was certainly an established trading centre by 1403, when the Ming envoy 1. P.E. de Josselin de Jong, "Malayan and Sumatran Place names in Classical Malay Literature". M.J.T.G.. (1956), pp.61-70. 2. H.A.R. Gibb, Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa. 1325-1354 (London, 1909), passim. 3. Tome Pires, Suma Oriental. Vol.2, translated into English by Armando Cortesao (The Haklyut Society, London, 1944). 4. G. Coedes, op.cit.. p.409. 5. Tome Pires, op.cit.. p.238. - 149 -Cheng-Ho visited i t , in the course of his travels between China and Africa. The record of the embassy as related in the Ming Shih (History of the Ming Dynasty, 1368-1643) and the Ying-yai Sheng-lan (Description of the Coasts of the Ocean) of the Muslim interpreter Ma-Huan, who accompanied Cheng-Ho, leaves the impression of a prosperous chiefdom nominally subject to Siam. But in an effort to end Thai suzerainty^ the/ruler of Malacca lost no time in seeking the protection of China. In 1405, his envoys proclaimed that their chief was "aware of his duty and desired that his country should be considered a district of the Chinese empire, in return for which he would offer annual tribute." In acknowledgement of these sentiments the Chinese Emperor appointed Parameswara king of Malacca. Four years later the settlement was raised by imperial decree to the status of a city.*" The site selected for the city was not without advantage. A defensible h i l l close against a mangrove-free shore dominated a sheltered estuary, while inland a route led up to the Malacca River to join the Muar-Pahang water-way. On these natural attributes was based the early prosperity of Malacca, but i t was not long before the wider implications of this situation became apparent. As Malacca came into competition with Pasai, Jambi and other Sumatran- ports, so her rulers found i t necessary to extend their control over the Strait. Now, although situated at the narrowest part of this channel, Malacca was not at the strategically critical point. This was the Klang district where the sailing routes 1. W.P. Groeneveldt, Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca; compiled from Chinese sources (Batavia. 1876). pp.123-34. " - 150 -approached closest to the Peninsula coast in order to avoid the Capacia Shaols. But here the land was bordered by a broad fringe of mangrove (Fig. 10), while approach from the sea was made difficult by shoals and half submerged sandbanks, in contrast to the fair approaches to Malacca, remarked by Albuquerque as a "sure and speedy navigation. 1 , 1 Malacca's supremacy over the Strait was ensured when Parameswara fitted out a fleet of patrol boats manned by the sea cosairs, Celates. to force vessels 2 to call at Malacca. As in the days of Sri Vijaya, the Strait again became a private sea. The need for such action emphasizes the essential character of Malacca's trade. Whereas the other ports on both the Sumatran and Malay Peninsula coasts existed for the export of the products of their hinterlands, Malacca was, by reasons of history and geography, an entrepot, dependent for its prosperity on the volume of trade passing through the Strait. Deli, Rokan, Indragiri, Kedah, Perak and the rest flourished in proportion to the productivity of their immediate territories and the demand for their commodities; Malacca was tied to the flow of Southeast Asian commerce, as i t produced l i t t l e of its own from its economically poor hinterland. But to enforce her monopoly she needed to implement and facilitate control of the sea by extension of her authority over the neighbouring coasts. This task was accomplished during the fifteenth century by a succession of able rulers employing a policy 1. Tome Pires, op.eit.. p.239. 2. Joao de Barros, Asia.(Lisbon. 1777-SB), Decade 2, Book 6, Chapter 1. - 151 -of conquests and alliances — diplomatic, matrimonial and religious •— with neighbouring principalities. By the end of the fifteenth century Malacca controlled a l l the northern shore of the Strait, the most important part of the southern shore, the archipelagoes athwart its eastern approaches and sundry other island bases which had formerly harboured pirate fleets preying on the commerce of their seas (Fig. 31). By this time Malacca had developed into a great entrepot and the centre of Muslim influence in Southeast Asia, following the conversion of Parameswara*" to Islam about 1411. In this rise of Malacca as a mart and focus of Islam, Indians played a dominant role. The founder of Islam had been a member of the trading community of Mecca, and the expansion of Islam beyond Arabia, itself, was an economic movement as well as a religious and political one. Once their military conquests were over the Arabs settled down to administration and trade and an unified regime over the Middle East made possible a vast expansion of trade between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, and so provided a stimulus to the commerce of Asia as a whole. Islam moved eastwards following the conquest of Persia in the seventh century; and Muslim merchants carried their faith along with their merchandise wherever they travelled. Yet i t was not until seven hundred years after the foundation of Islam that the faith succeeded in taking permanent root within Southeast A sia. Persian and Arab merchants continued to visit its ports during 1. Parameswara took the name Iskandah Shah, following his conversion to Islam. - 152 -Fig. 31. The Malacca Sultanate at i t s Greatest Extent, c. 150 A.D. Source: Bas'ed on the l i t e r a r y evidence of Tome Pires,' ' £ ^ £ : . . . f i i ! l ^ ^ l i .(•Translated into English by Armando Contesao) (Haklvut Society, London, 1944), Vol. 1. / - 153 -a l l that time, and knowledge of Islam came with them, but i t was not until the faith was presented by Indian Muslim that i t became acceptable: "It . was not to Persia or Arabia but to India that Southeast A sia had always looked for cultural inspiration combined with commercial prestige." 1 The acceptance of Islam among the islands and in the Peninsula had therefore to await its acceptance by Indians f i r s t , who were prominently engaged in the overseas trade between India and Southeast A sia. It was not until the thirteenth century that this condition was fulfilled when Islam began to entrench itself in northwestern and northeastern India under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate. From this beginning i t gradually spread to the rest of India. It was mainly through the mercantile communities of the Gujerat and Malabar areas of western India that Islam was introduced into Malacca (Figs. 29,33). Cambay, the centre of Gujerati maritime trade, f e l l into Muslim hands in 1298, and although the majority of the Gujeratis remained Hindu, the court and ruling class became Muslim. By the thirteenth century Cambay had already had a long history behind i t as an emporium. Arab and Persian merchants had been settled there from the ninth century. Its trading connections with Malaysia were of long standing. Gujerati trading vessels had already been appearing in Southeast Asian waters before the coming of Islam, along with others from Malabar, from the east coast of India, from Persia and Arabia and from the southern coast of China, a l l sharing in the marked commercial revival of the twelfth century. 1. B. Harrison, A Short History of Southeast Asia (London, 1953), p.43. - 154 -This revival of commercial trade was the reflection of a new expansion of Chinese foreign trade under the Sung Dynasty (1127-1276) like that Sri Vi.iaya experienced during the time of the T'angs (618-906 A.D.). The Chinese were now themselves taking an active part in overseas trade following the increased concentration of population and capital on the South China coast under the Southern Sung, accompanied by advances in ship-building and design, and in science of navigation. The Sung porcelain industry was another factor of importance, for Sung porcelain was in great demand as far as -^ndia, Africa and the Middle East. During this period another stimulus that helped trade was that given to trade by the Crusades (c.1100-1300), which affected the Indian Ocean especially. Here the Muslim Gujeratis were beginning to assert themselves as leading agents in India's overseas trade both with the Far East, Middle East and the Mediterranean. The Gujerat and Malabar merchants were favourably placed vis-a-vis -the Europe-Asia trade. Cambay and some Malabar ports were staging posts for Middle East merchants bound for Southeast Asia. They came in to pick up cargo and wait for the change of monsoon prior to setting out for the eastern marts. Gujerati merchants also acted as direct exporters of Indian goods and also as intermediaries between Eastern, Indian and Western markets. They were well equipped to do so by the existence of a growing textile industry in Gujerat itself which provided them at once with a commodity of high intrinsic value and with a medium of exchange in the Asian markets, for example, as an exchange for spices, the commodity forming the largest proportion of the goods flowing into Europe from Asia. - 155 -Furthermore, the conversion to Islam of many of the merchants added the stimulus of missionary ardour to their trade with Malaysia. The earliest reference to Islam in Southeast Asia occurs in The Travels of Marco Polo. Marco Polo records that in 1292 he found "Saracens", probably Malabari, Gujerati or Arab merchants in Perlak, northern Sumatra.*' The people of neighbouring harbours also embraced the new religion, brought to them by Indian traders, whose cosmopolitan novelty, apparent affluence and pharmacopoeia of herbs and amulets had for the Malaysians the attraction that escapist tales of travel, Hollywood films, and spiritualism and science has had for Europe of recent times. A daughter of the ruler of Perlak married the first Muslim Sultan of Pasai, Malik-al-Salih, who died in 1297, and a descendant of whose later married the first Muslim Sultan of Malacca, Iskandar Shah (Parameswara) in 1411 A.D. After this event the great international port of Malacca became, within half a century, a centre of Islamic studies and sent missionaries into the Peninsula, down to the Malay Archipelago, and along every trade-route. About 15Q0 A.D. a league of Muslim port rulers overthrew the declining Hindu kingdom of Majapahit, whose f a l l led to the gradual conversion , to Islam of the whole Archipelago (Fig. 3 2 ) . The Muslim Indian traders, like the Hindu and Buddhist merchants before them, were also few in number and largely untutored for 1. Richard Winstedt, "Malaysia". Islam To-day. A.J. Arberry and Rom Landau (eds.), (London, 19435, p.211. - 156 — Fig, 32/ The Spread ofIslam in Southeast Asia. Source; Based on the l i t e r a r y evidence of R,0, Winstedt,. .Mala?alfi:?'in:',A.Jy Arberry and R. Landau (eds,), . Islam' To-day -foondoB. 1943). - 157 -1 large-scale proselytizing a c t i v i t i e s . So they brought with them mullahs (religious teachers) and priests "learned i n the sect of Mohammed -chiefly Arabs, who are esteemed i n these parts for their knowledge of the 2 said sect". These l i t e r a t i and merchants were s t i l l too few i n number to introduce any Indian language, but as Winstedt observes, "notably 3 expert at propaganda" and strategy. They moved on a double front 0 In the f i r s t place, through a judicious mixture of marriage and trade alliances they converted the ruling and leading commercial houses. Neither were these neo-converts too reluctant to come into the Muslim fold for conversion to the new f a i t h , they f e l t not only had prestige value, but also f a c i l i t a t e d trade and guaranteed their p o l i t i c a l claims i n the eyes of these new "king-makers" — the Muslim Indians. Once accepted by the rulers and chiefs the new religion spread quickly because the people, used to guidance from above i n such matters, readily accepted what had the seal of authority on i t . Secondly, these Indian Muslim found the ordinary Malay looking to Hindu magic for the cure of disease and for success i n war and love, and they saw him revelling i n shadow play with i t s repertories from those great Hindu epics, the Mahabrata and the Ramayana, as people to-day revel i n the cinema. In place of Hindu they substituted Islamic magic, retaining the r e c i t a l of Hindu charms by the addition of their new 1. Richard Winstedt, op.cit.. 2. Tome Pires, op.cit., 3 . Richard Winstedt, op.cit.. p.217. p.240. p.217. - 158 -confession of faith, acknowledging in Arabic, Allah to be the one God and Mohamed to be His Prophet. Against the heroes of the Hindu epics these proselytizers put up a fictitious picture of Alexander the Great as a predecessor of Mohamed in a war of monotheism, and they even went so far as to make Malay rulers his descendants. Where Muslim prejudice was powerless to squash the shadow play, they threw on the screen the marvellous adventures of Amir Hamza, another mythical hero of Islam. From Persian they translated many talks of the Prophet and his companions. Thirdly they held out peculiar inducements to readers of a new literature. As the Hindu had proclaimed equal religious merit in those who listened daily to the exploits of the Bharatas. so the Mohammadan promised that the constant reader of the Koran or of a pious tract acquired the same merit as warriors who die in the Jehad (Holy War).*" Before the proselytizing zeal of Islam a l l visible signs of Hinduism and Buddhism were wiped out, while the traditional concepts upon which Malaysian l i f e was based were either undermined or greatly modified. For more than 500 years, i t has moulded the mores of the Malays and has been a powerful factor in the moulding of the humanized landscape. To every kampong i t gave a mosque; and to nearly every holding i t brought a process of sub-division checked only by legislation in some Spates in the twentieth century. In addition, i t introduced the Malay to the Perso-Arabic Muslim alphabet, which the latter adopted as his own besides a number of Muslim religious prefixes and honorofics like Lebai. Ha.jj and Mufti. 1. Learning to chant the Koran from cover to cover in an unintelligible language is a grinding task for Malay children and retards their secular education, but i t is s t i l l a universal practice, a martyrdom establishing them in their faithI - 159 -Islam, by its abolition of caste restrictions, stimulated overseas travel and commerce from India. This was particularly the case with the Muslim merchants of Western India. These merchants who were "very rich, with large business and fortunes", were found in most of the ports of Southeast Asia, especially those whose rulers were Muslims. Before the rise of Malacca, Pass in northeastern Sumatra, was their chief centre of activity. With the conversion of Parameswara, many of these Gujerati and Malabari merchants moved to Malacca from Pase. They were drawn not only by religious affinity but also by the favourable trade conditions guaranteed by justice, law and order, and by the progressive policy of the Sultan. They brought with them their own mullahs and priests and built mosques and houses after the fashion of home. The Gujerati and Malabari merchants of Chaul, Goa, Cambay, Damani: Cochin and Canrionore were, however, not the only Indian merchants in Malacca. There were also "great Kling"*" merchants with trade on a 2 large scale and many junks", besides some rich Parsis, Bengalis, 3 4 Chuliahs and other merchants from Orissa and Ceylon. Hand in hand with Malacca's rise to power and wealth, there was quite naturally, a rapid rise in population. By 1403, about three years 1. Kling. Malay for South Indian Hindus. 2. Tome Pires, op.cit.. p.240. 3. Chuliah. Malay name for the South Indian Muslim merchants of the Coromandel coast. 4. Tome Pires, op.cit.. pp.255-69. - 160 -after the founding of the port, there were some 2,000 inhabitants and by 1414, just before Iskander Shah's (Parameswara) death, there were 6,000.*" It was a cosmopolitan polyglot population, not very unlike that of the modern great entrepot of the area — Singapore. Pires avers that no less than eighty-four distinct languages could be heard in the streets of fifteenth century Malacca, Malays were by far the most numerous, but foreign merchants were the most prominent and influential. In 1509, there were about 4,000 of these merchants of whom 1,000 were Gujeratis, among whom were "great many rich ones with a great deal of 2 capital and some who were representatives of others". Most of the remaining 3,000 were also Indians — Klings. Chuliahs. Bengalis, Parsis, and Malabaris of the Deccan kingdoms • who besides conducting their own businesses were also "factors (agents) for others". (Fig. 33). These Indians in Malacca were in a l l probability a l l males, for overseas female emigration from India was virtually non-existent. To the prejudices of Hinduism to travel, were now added the restrictions of purdah, which limited female movement even in the house, leave alone outside and abroad. These social and religious prejudices together with the hazards of ocean travel and the mobile impermanent character of the trade cancelled any possibility of Indian female emigration in that period. Even, to-day, not many of the Indian Muslims in Malaya have their female folks with them, preferring to leave them in India while p.238. p.269. PP.254-55. 1. Ibid.. 2. Ibid.. 3. Ibid.. F i g o 33. Ports of Sixteenth Century India. -Sources Base* on C o l l i n Davies, oo. cit.,.. p., A3 . ^ G U J E R A T CAMBAY:. B. B R O A C H SVJRAT .DAMAN BENGAL C A L C U T T A - 162 -making frequent visits to them. Or, as in some cases, they maintain two homes, one in Malaya with a Malay wife and the other in India with an Indian spouse! This practice of taking local brides was also indulged in by the Gujerati and other Muslim merchants who married into the ruling Malay Muslim families. Likewise, some of the Hindu merchants also appear to have lived with local women, but in this case, probably Batak slaves, as religious barriers would have prevented them from emulating their more fortunate Muslim brethren. Most of these "familized" merchants probably lived in their own houses which they modelled on the ones they were used to in India, while the "bachelor" merchants, we are told by the Ming chroniclers, lived in a hotel, the chief of which always gave "... female slaves to serve them 1 and send them food and drink morning and evening...." Precisely where, in Malacca city, these Indian merchants lived is difficult to guage owing to the paucity of descriptions of the plan of the actual urban area. It appears that from the very beginning the upper slopes of the present St. Paul's H i l l were maintained as a royal 2 3 precinct enclosing a residence of the chief and his retainers. There was also a country istana set amid the pleasant sawahs and dusuns of the 4 Bretam valley, the scene of the first settlement of Parameswara. The lower slopes of St. Paul's H i l l and the foreside of the Malacca estuary 1. Ming Shih, Book 325, cited by Groeneveldt, op.cit.. p.127. 2. Tome Pires, op.cit., p.237. 3. Braz de Albuquerque, op.cit.. p.79. 4. Tome Pires, op.cit.. p.246. - 163 -were clustered by the pile-raised dwellings of immigrant Malays, while a community of Orang Laut had b u i l t their huts against the shore.^" In a l l probability most of the Indian and other merchants too lived on the right bank of the Malacca River, though they may have had their offices i n the town, on the l e f t bank of the river. In the later years, certainly, when the nucleus of the settlement around the H i l l had been enclosed by a palisade, the wealthier merchants maintained business offices within the town, while l i v i n g amid their orchards and tanks 2 outside the wall. A bridge, which had been thrown across the river in the early days, linked the sections north and south of the river, besides also housing the main market (Fig. 31). The Indians i n Malacca were nearly a l l traders or connected with trade. Even the Malay colonists gave l i t t l e thought to agriculture for Malacca was founded as, rather than developed into, a trading port. In addition the marine alluvium which extended some distance inland from the shore was s t i l l too brackish to permit padi cultivation, though i t was quite amenable to the growth of sago, which was thus 4 adopted as the staple food. By the beginnings of the sixteenth century, techniques had improved and with the growth of population there were more 1. Tome Pires, op.cit.. p.237. 2. Duarte Barbosa, The Book, translated into English by L.M. Dames (Haklyut Society, London, 1918), p.176. 3. Ma-Huan, op.cit., p.33. 4. Ludovico di Varthema, Travels, translated into English by J.W. Jones (Haklyut Society, London, 1863), p.231. -164 -1 than a thousand orchards i n Malacca territory,, To subsequent v i s i t o r s the abundance of f r u i t trees was c e r t a i n l y one of the outstanding 2 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the landscape. Some of the orchards may have belonged to Indian merchants. The l i f e - b l o o d of Malacca was commerce. During the fourteenth century the S t r a i t was the c r u c i a l sector of the world's major trade route which had one terminus i n Venice — or even f u r t h e r westwards — and the other i n the Molucca Islands. Spices were c a r r i e d through the Archipelago over many routes and i n ships of divers peoples; i n the Indian Ocean they also followed various d i r e c t i o n s before f i n a l l y entering the Middle East through e i t h e r the Persian Gulf o r the Red Sea, but to the S t r a i t s of Malacca there was no p r a c t i c a l a l t e r n a t i v e . Hence the staple produce of the Archipelago was funnelled through a natural channel i n places l e s s than f o r t y miles wide. This, as l a t e r 3 the Portuguese were to r e a l i s e , was the only point throughout the 1. Tome P i r e s , o p . c i t . , p.260; Barbosa, o p . c i t . . p.178. 2. See, f o r example, the d e s c r i p t i o n of Malacca by the seventeenth century t r a v e l l e r s , Niuehoff, Caveri and Navarette, as t r a n s l a t e d by J . J . Sheehan, J.M.B.R.A.S., Vol.12, Pt.2 (1934), pp.71-107. 3. For example, the Portuguese i n t h e i r drive t o gain monopoly of the spice trade, captured Malabar. But even t h i s conquest, as Afonso Albuquerque pointed out, had f a i l e d to h a l t the flow of spices to Cairo. The answer, to Portuguese a s p i r a t i o n s , he was convinced l a y i n the capture of J^alacca. "I hold i t " , he said , "as very c e r t a i n t h a t i f we take t h i s trade of Malacca away out of their, hands, Cairo and Mecca are e n t i r e l y ruined and to Venice w i l l no s p i c e r i e s be conveyed except that which her merchants go to buy i n Portugal" (Braz de Albuquerque, o p . c i t . , p.118). Pires put the matter even more s u c c i n c t l y i n h i s famous phrase, "Whoever i s l o r d of Malacca has h i s hand on the throat of Venice" (Tome Pi r e s , o p . c i t . , p.287). - 165 -8,000 miles of the trade at which a monopoly of spice distribution could be established. There were, too, other unique advantages inherent i n the regional position of Malacca. Before the days of steam the seasonal reversals of wind direction i n this area of Asia induced a corresponding movement iri the shipping sailing back and forth between India on the one hand and the Far East and the Archipelago on the other. Vessels hot making the through voyage — and these were by f a r the majority — found at Malacca an entrepot for the transhipment of their cargoes so that by the second decade of the fourteenth century the port had become the collecting centre for produce of the Archipelago and the distribution point for Indian text i l e s . Of comparative minor importance was the third element i n the web of Southeast Asian commerce, the China trade. The pivotal position of Malacca at the junction of the Indian, China and Java Seas was f u l l y appreciated by the shrewd Portuguese apothecary, Pires, whose description of the economic regimen of Malacca can stand repetition here: "Malacca is a c i t y that was made for merchandise, f i t t e r than any other i n the world; the end of monsoons and the beginning of others. Malacca i s surrounded and l i e s i n the middle, and the trade and commerce between the different nations for a thousand leagues on every hand must come to Malacca."^" The fundamental basis of Malaccan trade was an exchange of the staple raw products of the.Archipelago for the staple manufactures of India through chiefly Indian intermediaries who formed the most important 1. Tome Pires, op.cit.. p.286. - 166 -link. Malacca was in effect a collecting centre for the spices of the Banda and Molucca islands and a distributing centre for the textiles of Gujerat, Bengal, and the Coromandel and Malabar coasts. In addition to the not inconsiderable quantity of cloves and nutmegs brought to Malacca by traders of the Archipelago, yearly eight ships sailed from that port directly to the Moluccas where they bartered coarse Cambay cloth and the tails of white Bengal cattle for a total of five or six thousand 1 banars of cloves. From Malacca these were shipped westwards, mostly in Indian ships, together with a rich variety of island products such as nutmegs, mace, Borneo camphor, sandalwood, lignum aloes, benzoin, musk, seed-pearls, batiks. carpets, Javanese krises and bird-plumes. From her own Peninsular territories, Malacca contributed consignments of tin. For her trade relations with the West, Malacca was dependent on the intermediary of the entrepot of Cambay. "Malacca", says Pires, 2 "cannot live without Cambay, nor Cambay without Malacca." Merchants from the Middle East took eighteen months to journey from the Red Sea to Malacca. During the Southwest Monsoon they converged on Cambay with cargoes of arms, scarlet-in-grain, woollens, coral, copperware, trinkets, opium, rose-water, liquid storax, raisins, indigo and such-like commodities. In that city merchants from Cairo, Mecca, Aden and Ormuz, together with those from the Levant, Asia Minor and East Africa formed themselves into companies preparatory to sailing for Malacca in March, 1. Tome Pires, op.cit., pp.212-4. A bahar is a Malay measure, the equivalent of approximately 400 lbs. 2. Ibid., p.45. • ': •• •' = 167 -that is, at the beginning of the next favourable Monsoon. According to Pires, they dealt in a wide range of merchandise, including thirty kinds of cloth, rose-water, opium, seeds, grains, tapestries and incense. Merchants from the rest of the Indian littoral formed their companies either at Calicut, Pulicat or in Bengal. Yearly three or four vessels voyaged to Malacca from the Coromandel coast, together with another one or two from Pulicat, bringing "rich cloths of great value". While the Gujeratis monopolized the cream of the Malacca trade, the merchants from Coromandel handled the greater part of the bulk. Principally they exchanged textiles for white sandalwood, camphor, alum, white silk, seed-pearls, a few spices, a great deal of copper but l i t t l e tin, fruseleira, calamsac, damasks, Chinese brocades and gold. The brocades were fed into the main stream of trade by the annual arrival from China of upto ten junks, which also bartered large quantities of silk, both raw and processed, satins, taffetas, and other textiles, seed-pearls, musk, camphor, alum, saltpetre, sulphur, copper and iron-war, trinkets, bric-a-bac and rhubarb mainly for pepper, together, with other spices, aromatics, drugs, ivory, tin, red beads, camelians, coloured woollens and "infinite quantities of the black wood that grows in Singapura (Singapore)".^" Nor were commercial relations lacking between the Malacca merchants and peninsula Southeast Asia. Cochin-China's trade links were orientated towards China and Champa was a l l but excluded from the 1. Ibid.. p.270. - 168 -southern trade by Siam, but this last sent up to thirty vessels annually with cargoes of lac, benzoin, brazil-wood, ivory, copperware, precious stones, precious and base metals and quantities of coarse Siamese clotho On the return voyage the bottoms were loaded with a variety of merchandise itemized by Pires as follows: slaves, white sandalwood, spices, quicksilve vermillion, opium, muslins, Kling cloths, manufactured specially for the Thai market, camlets, carpets, Cambay brocades, rose-water, wax, white cowries, and gallnuts. From Pegu there came annually to Malacca in February and March (the end of the Northeast Monsoon) some fifteen vessels, bringing rice and other foodstuffs, aromatics, rubies and silver<> On the f i rs t of July each year these vessels set sail for Pasai, where they supplemented their cargoes made up from the China and island trade with consignments of pepper. In August they sailed for Martaban and to home. Throughout the whole of the Archipelago trade focussed on Malacca. A dozen Palembang vessels visited the port each year bringing mainly provisions, jungle products and slaves in exchange for coarse Indian cloths, while from Java, Borneo, Celebes, the Philippines and other lesser kingdoms prahus converged on the Strait during the Northeast Monsoon and scattered again throughout the unnumbered islands during the succeeding period of the South-Westerlies (Fig. %) Despite the wealth and importance of Malacca, the immediate hinterland of the port appears to have been almost wholly undeveloped. 1. Ibid. . pp.270-4. - 169 -Fig. 34."?. The Trade 'df-.Malacca, • c."' 1500. Source: As f o r F i g . 31. GUJERAT B E N G A L FORMOSA amphor) I L IPP1NES Sugar) Trade routes to Malacca. Return voyage by opposite Monsoon. Subject to Malacca. J A V A . - R i c e , beef, sheep, pigs, fowls, garlic, onions, iron weapons. - 170 -I t was covered with f o r e s t , interspersed with occasional groves of kampong f r u i t t r e e s . Some timber f o r masts and b u i l d i n g purposes and jungle products appear to have been the only economic products.^ The r e s t of the Malaccan empire, too, consisted p r i m a r i l y of forested land, punctuated here and there, at i r r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s , by small c o a s t a l r i v e r i n e settlements, inhabited l a r g e l y by communities of padi farmers and fishermen with the exception of a few centres, l i k e f o r example, Dinding and Bruas, which depended on t i n production f o r t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d . 2 ( F i g . 31). The most important of the coastal settlements were the ports of Pahang and Kedah. Pahang, which had become an appendage of Malacca i n the f o u r t e e n — - s i x t i e s , was a port with a good harbour frequented by prahus from the Archipelago and inhabited by c i t i z e n s versed i n the ways of commerce. I t featured i n an overland t r a n s i t trade across the Peninsula to Malacca, and also exported i t s jungle products, t i n and pepper to places as f a r d i s t a n t as China, while importing t e x t i l e s , ironware and sundry luxury goods i n return. Kedah, on the opposite coast, was more important though now i t was only a shadow of the wealth and p r o s p e r i t y and the f e l i c i t i e s and elegance that characterised i t i n the former years. But although Kedah was t h i n l y populated and had declined g r e a t l y since i t s heyday as an important node i n the S r i Vijayan Empire, yet i t s p o s i t i o n at the gateway to a trans-peninsular trade-route 1. I b i d . . p.260. 2. Tome Pires records a t o t a l of 2,000 men at Muar, to the south of Malacca. This would imply a settlement of at l e a s t 4,000 persons. This i s probably g r o s s l y exaggerated. Most of the other settlements had between 200-500 inhabitants ( I b i d . , pp.260 f f . ) . - 171 -was s t i l l ensuring a mild and limited prosperity for its few inhabitants. Even as early as then, Kedah had already assumed i t s role as a rice-bowl of Malaya and in addition exported about 400 bahars of pepper a year. Some of this was sent overland by way of the Kedah River to Patani and thence to China but most of the remainder was collected by a Gujerati ship which paid an annual visit to the west coast ports. Kedah also had long established trade relations with the Sumatran ports of Pasai and Pedir and even this limited trade, too, must have passed through Indian hands. ^ The rest of Malaya was under the jurisdiction of Siam, the east coast being governed by a Thai o f f i c i a l from Ligor and the west by another residing in Tenasserim.^ Like the other parts of Malaya, this area was also largely forested, with a few ports, for example, Kelantan, dotting the coastline. Most of these ports seem to have engaged in a coastal trade which extended to Cambodia and Champa, Java, Malacca and the ports of eastern Sumatra. Although no record is made by Pires in his detailed account of early Malacca, in a l l probability much of their chief export, pepper, must have passed directly or through local intermediaries into Indian hands too. Although Indian merchants called at other Malayan ports on trading voyages, a l l available evidence, to date, records Indian settlement only in the Malacca entrepot, during the period of the Malacca Sultanate. Here, the international port was administered on the lines practised in India from the time of Chandra Gupta to the days of the 1. Ibid.. pp.109-10. - 1 7 2 -Great Moghuls. There were rules f i x i n g port fees and the duty payable on exports l i k e t i n and elephants and on imports l i k e c l o t h and slaves. Standard weights and measures were prescribed and rules l a i d down f o r the ships' manifests and f o r the c o l l e c t i o n of money due from t r a d i n g captains. A H shipping from the West, Arabia, India, Cylon and Pegu, paid f i x e d dues and presents to the Sultan, Bendahara, the Temenggong ^ and the Shabandar f o r the nation i n question. Shipping from the East 3 paid no dues but only gave presents to the above c h i e f s . In the port the merchants of the d i f f e r e n t nations were under the charge of t h e i r respective Shabandar, who was a s o r t of municipal-cum-port o f f i c e r . There were four Shabandars. one each f o r the merchants of: Gujerat; Bengal; Pegu; Sumatra; China; and the other Indonesian i s l a n d s . Each of the merchants applied to h i s nation's Shabandar on a r r i v a l i n Malacca. The Shabandars received the captains of the junks and presented them to the Bendahara under whose j u r i s d i c t i o n they operated. They also a l l o t t e d the traders warehouses, dispatched t h e i r merchandise, provided them with lodging ( i f needed) and i f they had documents ready, gave orders f o r elephants to be provided. Of the Shabandars the "most important of a l l " was the Gujerati 4 representative. This i s not s u r p r i s i n g . Although the Hindu Tamil 1 . Richard Winstedt, Malaya and i t s H i s t o r y (London, 1 9 5 1 ) , P« 3 6 . 2 . Temenggong. Malay f o r Regent or M i n i s t e r . 3 . Tome P i r e s , p p . c i t . , pp.2.68 ff„ 4 . I b i d . . p.2 6 5 . - 173 -merchants (Klings) had the bulk of the trade, the co-religionist Muslim Gujeratis, who were equally wealthy, were the most influential in the Malacca court. Through diplomatic marriages, erection of mosques, bribery and general goodwill these "Moors became great favourites with the king and obtained whatever they wanted."^ " During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, these merchants were not only prominent in the commerce of the area, but also had become a powerful force in the Royal court intrigues of Malacca, and were in a position to make or mar kings and mantris (ministers), as for example, the appointment of the " f u l l blooded Tamil trader" Raja Kassim, as Mantri in the fifteenth century Malacca. In this way the Muslim Indian merchants exerted a tremendous influence over Malacca's commercial and foreign policy. It was largely they, together with the mullahs. kathis (priests) and Arabs, who managed to persuade the Sultan to take strong action against the Portuguese, when 2 the latter appeared in Malaccan waters as trade rivals. They had heard alarming reports of Portuguese interference with the Indian trade and urged the Sultan to have no truck whatsoever with the frangis (Portuguese) but instead prepare to wage a Holy War, "for as India was already in the 3 hands of the Portuguese, Malacca should not pass to the infidels." 1. Ibid.. p.241. 2. Richard Winstedt, op.citpp.40-5. 3. Tome Pires, op.cit.. p.280. - 174 -Many of the Hindu merchants, on the other hand, were f o r the most part uncommitted and i f anything, l i k e i n India, their sympathies l a y with the Portuguese, l a r g e l y because of strong r e l i g i o u s prejudices against m i l i t a n t Islam and also because of intense commercial r i v a l r y between the Muslim and Hindu t r a d e r s . It was a Tamil Hindu trader, Naina Chetu (Chetty) who succoured the Portuguese prisoners who were kept at Malacca between 1509 and 1511. I t was thus no mere coincidence that when Afonso de Albuquerque appeared before the port of Malacca i n 1511, with a large force of warships and men that there should be non-Muslim mercenaries-' among his f i g h t i n g men, while opposing him on the opposite, were Gujerati and other Muslim ships, merchants and others 4 among the Sultan's f o r c e s . This was j u s t another example o f the diverse character of the peoples of India — t r u l y a nation of nations! 1. The Portuguese s a i l o r , Diogo Lopes de Sequiera, who a r r i v e d i n Malacca on 11.9.1509 with a f l e e t of 5 ships to explore trade p o s s i b i l i t i e s was attacked by the Malays and some of his men taken prisoner and kept i n Malacca. On his return to India, Sequiera reported the incident to Albuquerque, the Portuguese Governor-General. This incident and the prisoners provided the l a t t e r with the excuse to attack Malacca, the capture and con t r o l of which had anyway become imperative i n Portugal's plan f o r a monopoly of the spice trade. (See p. 164footnote 3 above). 2. I.A. Macgregor, "Notes on the Portuguese i n Malacca", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.28, Pt.2 (1955), P.25. 3. There i s s t i l l some uncertainty regarding the exact number of Indian mercenaries under Albuquerque's command. Richard Winstedt ( o p . c i t . . p.41), mentions "300 Malabar f i g h t i n g men" together with 800 Portuguese. His figures are probably based on the e a r l i e r work of Duarte Calvao (Cartas, Vol.1, Lisbon, 1884, p.397) who l i s t s "750 white and 300 Malabaris" under Albuquerque's command. Fernao Lopez de Castanteda ( H i s t o r i a do descobrimento e conquista da India perlos Portuguezes, Vol.3, Coimbra, Portugal, 1930, Book 1) w r i t i n g i n the nmteenth century, believes that there were only "200 native (Indian) foot s o l d i e r s besides 800 Portuguese." Joao de Barros ( o p . c i t . , Book 5, Chapter 9), an unusually conscientious and d i s c r i m i n a t i n g h i s t o r i a n , records "600 Malabaris" among the Portuguese f o r c e . 4. Tome Pi r e s , o p . c i t . . p.279. - 175 -D„ The Coming of the Europeans and the Decline and Disappearance of Indian Shipping (i) The Portuguese Period. 1511-1641? The Portuguese captured Malacca i n 1511 following the f l i g h t of Sultan Mahmud, the last Malay ruler of the Malacca Sultanate, and his retinue to Johore, and retained i t t i l l driven out by the Dutch i n 1641. The most authentic account of Portuguese Malacca i s that of Emanuel Godinho de Eredia,^ the Portuguese explorer, who was i n Malacca i n 1613. It seems that Albuquerque immediately set about changing the town plan of Malacca to f i t in with Portuguese needs. The Sultan's palace and mosque, on present day St. Paul's H i l l , were demolished and in their place the Portuguese, with the help of some "Indios" (Indians), who told them 2 where to get the masonry and lime, built a mortar and stone for t . 1. Declaracam De Malacca E. India Meridional Com 0 Cathay ("Description of Malacca and Meridional India and Cathay"), translated into English by M.V. Mills, J.M.B.R.A.S., Vol.8, P t . l (1930), pp.16-85. 2. Rev. Fr. R. Cardon, "Portuguese Malacca", J.M.B.R.A.S.. Vol.12, P t . l (1934), p.13. The Indians (Hindus) i n Malacca discovered a kind of stone (coral?), called Madrepores, probably a corruption of the Portuguese Madra parala, meaning "mother of pearl", with which to make lime. At the same time, to get masonry, they told Albuquerque that i f "he would open and quarry i n the sides of the h i l l upon which were the graves of the old kings of Malacca, he was sure to get enough stone materials, to carry out his purpose." Incidentally these tombstones were imported into Malacca from India by Gujerati merchants, and according to D.G.E. Hall (qp.cit., p.177), formed an important item in the Indo-Malay trade. In 1807 — the Malacca fort which t i l l then had remained i n a tolerable state of preservation, being valued at M$700,000, — was destroyed by order of the British Government, which had taken over Malacca from the Dutch i n 1795, at the enormous expense of 260,000 rupees (£70,000) (T.J. Newbold, P o l i t i c a l and St a t i s t i c a l Account of the Bri t i s h Settlements i n the Straits of Malacca. Vol.1, London, 1839, p.126). To-day, with the exception of one of the fort gates, l i t t l e remains of the old Portuguese fort, that guarded the port of Malacca for some three hundred years. - 176 -Within this were housed a l l the o f f i c i a l and religious buildings. The rest of the town consisted of three suburbs: Upe on the right bank of the Malacca River; Yler on the l e f t bank and Sabac to the north of the fort, along the river. Yler was inhabited by farmers mainly, probably padi-planters, who lived i n pile-raised wooden palm thatched dwellings while similar structures also housed the fishermen, the chief inhabitants, of Sabac. Upe, was the wealthiest and best developed of the suburbs. In i t was the bazaar and the residences of the foreign merchants, chiefly Indians, Chinese and Javanese, who lived i n their respective kampongs. not unlike the modern "China Towns" and " L i t t l e Indias" of many present-day Eastern and Western cities (Fig. 35). The Indian residential area of Upe was known as "Campon Chelim" (Kampong Kling) and according to Eredia, i t extended from the "Bazar of the Jaos (Bazaar of the Javanese) on the beach, i n a northwesterly direction" and ended "at the stone bastion" (Fig. 35). Here the wealthier merchants lived i n country houses, of timber and t i l e s , set amidst orchards and tanks, while maintaining business offices on the riverside."*" The Portuguese, i n their singlemindedness took no count of the various races inhabiting Malacca, and only distinguished between Christians and i n f i d e l s . Thus Eredia records that there were 7,400 2 Christians i n Malacca, the rest being "i n f i d e l natives". The exact numbers of Indians i n Portuguese Malacca i s unknown. Excluding the 1. E.G. de Eredia, op.cit., p.19. 2. E.G. de Eredia, op.cit.. pp.19-20. - 177 -Fi-g 0 35. Portuguese Malacca. Source: Based on the l i t e r a r y * e v i d e n c e ^ of--Emanuel do •Sredia, "Description of Malacca".,'. J , . 'M.B. -R.A .S . . . . Vol.,8, Pt, 1 (393P), pp.. 16-35, and of-Rev. F r . Rv- .Cardoe-, "Portuguese' Malacca", J;;M.B;R,A;S,.; Vol.. 1 2 , Pt. 2.(1934), pp. 1 - 2 3 . : I - 178 -mercenaries, the number of Indian merchants could not have been as large as during the heyday of the Malacca Sultanate, in view of the f l i g h t of most of the Muslim merchants to non-Portuguese ports. Furthermore the composition of the Indian population had changed, for, though some Muslim Gujerati, Malabari ani Bengali merchants came back to Malacca, after 2 sometime, Muslim merchants generally avoided the stronghold of their arch-enemies, the Portuguese. Consequently the majority of the Indian merchants in Malacca were Klings who included among them also the Tamil Chettiar merchants of South India who, Duarte Barbosa observed, "are very corpulent with big bellies, (and) go bare above the waist and wear cotton clothes 3 below". The Klines had most of the trade now and according to Pires, "this i s the nation which brings the most honour to Malacca".^ In lesser numbers there were also other Hindu merchants from Bengal and Malabar besides a few Muslims from Gujerat, Malabar and Bengal. In addition, a cross unearthed i n the compound of an Indian, Raya Modiliar, suggests the presence of some Christian Indians too. Eredia, i s of the 1. It appears that the Portuguese retained a permanent force of Asian mercenaries i n Malacca for even as late as 1640-1641, during the Dutch siege of Malacca the Portuguese had some "500 black troops" (Rev. Fr. R. Cardon, op.cit.. p.l6). Most of these "black troops" were probably Indians, for Portuguese had great d i f f i c u l t y in getting local non-Muslim troops. In addition, their attempts to raise a pro-Portuguese population through marriage with local women had failed miserably. 2. Tome Pires, op.cit., p.283. 3. Duarte Barbosa, op.cit., p.177. 4. Tome Pires, op,cit.. p.255. - 179 -opinion that t h i s p a r t i c u l a r cross belonged to "some C h r i s t i a n convert from Meliopor (Malipore), who came to Malacca i n company with the merchants from Choromandel (Coromandel) and was favourably received by the Hindu 1 Raya ( M u d i l i a r ) " . Not unlike the custom, to-day, the Indian merchants of the seventeenth century, too, appear to have taken petty servicemen, l i k e cooks, cleaners, etc., of t h e i r own kind, along with them. For example, Eredia records the presence of mainatos (washermen) l i v i n g on the o u t s k i r t s of the Upe suburb of Malacca" ( F i g . 35). These washermen, besides washing the l i n e n of the Indian merchants, also served the needs of the 2 Portuguese. There appears to have been some fu r t h e r development of the hi n t e r l a n d of Malacca, during the Portuguese era, f o r Eredia mentions indigenous people r a i s i n g l i v e s t o c k ( c a t t l e and farm animals) and 3 foodstuffs i n t h e i r orchards and gardens along the banks of the r i v e r . 1. E.G. de Eredia, o p . c i t . . p.27. 2o I b i d . . p.72. "In washing" Eredia continues, "they show a marvellous de l i c a c y , withal i t cost, but l i t t l e .... The Menates (Mainatos) w i l l b ring you your s h i r t and a p a i r of drawers very white and cleaned with soap f o r two bousuruques. (Bazaruco, a coin generally of copper, sometimes of t i n and tutenacy — of i r o n as Pyrard puts i t — which was minted a l l through the Portuguese time; i t va r i e d g r e a t l y i n value; Pyrard gives i t the value of a f a r t h i n g (The Voyage of. Pyrard of Laveal. Haklyut Society, London, V o l . I I , P t . l , pp.67-9).... Moreover they return i t a l l crisped and folded i n a p r e t t y fashion, f o r they soak i t so and then leave i t to dry, so that t h i s c r i s p i n g l a s t s a long while, and the l i n e n seems damasked and made i n that way. They use t h i s l i n e n as w e l l at tables as f o r t h e i r beds, f o r s h i r t s , bands, handkerchiefs, e t c . Most of them change t h e i r l i n e n everyday." 3. Ibid. j p.27. - 180 -But for i t s rice supply, Malacca s t i l l depended on neighbouring countries, especially Java, the granary of the Archipelago."'' The landscape and economy of the rest of Malaya did not change much during the Portuguese Period. There were few, i f any, Indians resident i n the small Malay villages and ports that dotted the coastline of the country. The Muslim merchants who had evacuated from Malacca, went to Indonesian ports, with the exception of a few who sailed to trading centres l i k e Patani, Kedah and possibly Pahang and Kelantan. This, however, does not mean that the former trade of Indian merchants with the Malay coastal ports had ceased. The system for this trade was now quite similar to the days of the Malacca Sultanate; — viz., — occasional goods collecting-and-distributing, through local middlemen, cal l s from the headquarters i n Malacca. In Malacca, commerce was s t i l l the life-blood of the entrepot, and the basis of this commerce was the traditional exchange of Indian cloths, now chiefly from the Coromandel coast and Bengal, for the precious metals, t i n , pepper, spices and other similar low-bulk-high-value products of Southeast Asia. Barter was the usual mode of trade and i n this the Indian merchants, chiefly Hindus, who were now i n the forefront following the departure of their Muslim compatriots,were the most prominent. 1. Rev. Fr. R. Cardon, op.cit., pp.1-23. - 181 -Hindu Indians, from the Coromandel, had the most contact with the Portuguese. Some of these Indian merchants were useful to the Portuguese. First to help the Portuguese was Naina Chetu. ^e succoured the Portuguese prisoners i n Malacca between 1509 and 1511. After the conquest of Malacca, while Timuta Raja, the chief of the Muslim merchants lost his head, Naina Chetu's services were rewarded by the grant to him of the office of ^endahara. This was s t i l l a high office, though i t no longer had the same significance under the Portuguese rule that i t had during the Malay Sultanate. In the next three years he helped the Portuguese to open up trade with the surrounding areas, though i t was insinuated that he took very good care of his own interests at the same 2 time. In theory he was supposed to hold office for l i f e and to pass i t on to his descendants, but by the time royal confirmation of his grant arrived, Chetu had been deposed and had, i t i s said, committed suicide. 3 The office seems to have been restored to his family at a later date. Other Indian merchants assisted the Portuguese i n business matters and loaned them their slaves i n time of war and sometimes, money as well.^" On the whole, however, Portuguese relations with the peoples of Southeast Asia were far from cordial. The Portuguese were traders, but f i r s t and foremost they were crusaders. Their methods of conversion 1. Tome Pires, op.cit., p.281. 2. Duarte Calvao, op.cit., pp.94-5. 3. Tome Pires, op.cit., pp.258; 287-8. 4. I.A. Macgregor, op.cit., p.26. - 182 -made them deadly enemies of not only the Muslims of Malaysia and India but also of other indigenous people with the r e s u l t that f o r most of t h e i r 129 years of occupation of Malacca, they were almost constantly at war with neighbouring countries. Concurrent with t h i s was t h e i r general monopolistic p o l i c y , regarding trade. The Portuguese wanted monopoly of the spice trade. In s t r i v i n g f o r t h i s , they i n s i s t e d that any ship passing through the S t r a i t s , had on pain of death, to pay t o l l of 3 to 9 per cent of the value of goods c a r r i e d , i r r e s p e c t i v e whether i t "broke cargo" or not. As pressure was applied on merchant ships, traders avoided Malacca. In 1530, Afonso Mexia, the Captain of Cochin, wrote to the King of Portugal: "The whole trade i s being l o s t which afforded the revenues of your f a c t o r y . " ^ And by about 1620, smuggling was c a r r i e d out so extensively that i n 1633, the revenues of Malacca had dwindled to p r a c t i c a l l y nothing. About 1635, according to Resende, the rate of duty "was 10 per cent with a fu r t h e r 2 per cent which was given to the town f o r the f o r t i f i c a t i o n and a r t i l l e r y . " Furthermore the behaviour of the captains of the f o r t r e s s was not such as to induce the trade ships to resort to Malacca, as they used to buy the merchandise at a p r i c e much lower than the current p r i c e of the country and to compel the merchants to accept t h e i r money. Even the c i v i l i a n Portuguese captains of the port were prone to s e i z i n g the wares of merchants, "assessing them at a pric e below t h e i r r e a l value and using much abuse." 2 1. W.W. Hunter, A History of B r i t i s h India. Vol . 1 (London, 1889), pp.176-7. 2. Resende, "An Account of Malacca, 1636". t r a n s l a t e d i n t o E n g l i s h by C. Maxwell, d.R.A.S.S.B.. Vol.60 (1911), pp.1-24. - 183 -The corrupt and exclusive monopolistic policy of the Portuguese slowly strangled the entrepot trade of Malacca, besides bringing them into c o l l i s i o n with other nations, f i r s t l y neighbouring Asians and later with their European rivals, the Dutch. Malacca was besieged a number of times and suffered heavy losses of l i f e from want of food. Especially appalling was the last siege of 1640-1641 by the combined Dutch and Malay forces. Danvers avers that "the famine was so severe and food such a price that i t had been found necessary to send a l l the women and children out of the town to reduce the numbers dependent upon available supplies. A story was told expressive of the severity of the famine, that a mother had exhumed the body of her dead child for food."''' By the time the Dutch occupied Malacca i n 1641, i t was a ruined c i t y . ( i i ) The Dutch Period. 1641-1795: The Dutch had followed i n the wake of the Portuguese, i n quest of the same trade. Their power i n the East Indies was based at Batavia i n Java, and their capture of Malacca was, like the Portuguese before them, part of an overall aim of securing a complete monopoly of a l l the spice and pepper trade i n the Straits and the A r c nipelago, besides elimination of a l l unfriendly foreign interests. As such their efforts were directed to the functioning of their monopoly rather than extending p o l i t i c a l control. The exports of Malacca and the rest of Malaya included gold, pepper, t i n , bezoar and elephants* tusks, while the imports were a l l sorts 1. F.C. Danvers, The Portuguese i n India. Vol.11 (London, 1894), pp.228-34. - 184 -of cloths — Surat cloths, Bengal cloths, salampories (half-wool-half-cotton cloth) bafta brots.jar (Indian cotton cloth) bethilis (fine Indian linen ) — silver rupees, opium, and red wollens.^ Of these items of trade the most important were cottonpiece goods while t i n was the most valuable export. These two articles could only be traded through Dutch hands. Besides this the Dutch also tried to take t o l l from a l l shipping passing through the Straits and as far as possible make them c a l l at Malacca. In pursuance of their s t r i c t policy of monopoly, the Dutch East India Company forced contracts on the weak Malay States, making them trade with the Dutch only. Unlike the Portuguese the Dutch had no religious feud with the Mohammedans, but to force their monopoly, they enlarged and maintained the fort at Malacca, besides two other factories at Perak and Kedah. Furthermore, like S r i Vi.iaya, the Malacca Sultanate and the Portuguese before them, they kept a constant patrol of ships up and down the Straits and did their best to direct a l l the trade to Malacca, even at the expense of their friends and a l l i e s of Johore. They also blockaded Perak and Kedah to prevent the exports of t i n from these states from going elsewhere.^ 1. "Valentijn's Description of Malacca, 1726", translated into English by Muller and published by D.F.A. Harvey. J.R.A.S.S.B., No.13 (1884), pp.49-74; No.15 (1885), pp.119-38. 2. "Report of Governor Balthasar Bort on Malacca, 16?8", translated into English by M.J. Bremmer, J.M.B.R.A.S., Vol.2, Pt. 1 (1927), pp.9-205. - 185 -The Dutch legislated that Moors from Coromandel and Bengal had to have a tenth of their merchandise unloaded by the Shabandar and commissioners i n their presence to be then turned into money by public sale. The duty for wheat and butter had to be paid i n cash. But i f any of the Indian Muslims remained at Malacca and exported any of their goods to Johore no duty was levied on them, but on their return, they had to give 10 per cent pro rata (na rato) of the goods exported, because they were suspected of smuggling gold.'*" A similar rate of 10 per cent was also extracted from Indian merchants trading with Kedah. In addition to the above rates, merchants had also to pay 2 guilders (guilder = 1 sh. 9^d) a month for the Moorish • cloth sold i n shops in Malacca besides a f l a t rate of 5 per cent on a l l Indian cloth imported. On the other hand only a guilder was charged for the Dutch East India Company's cloth. Similarly cloth hawkers also had to pay a guilder i n taxes just as the provision dealers. The Dutch, however, l i k e the Portuguese and others before them, found great d i f f i c u l t y i n imposing their monopoly and legislation governing trade. They were i n effective occupation of only the town of Malacca, about half of i t s territory and the island of Pangkor, off Perak, while their naval power was being threatened by other European powers. It was thus quite foolhardy to carry out their plan of control of the Straits trade. As such, despite their efforts, Moorish ships went to Perak for the purpose of buying elephants for export to Bengal and the 1. Ten per cent was the importation rate for gold and other precious metals and stones, (Ibid., p.109). - 186 -Coromandel coast. For example, one Nabob Mamet Aminchan, took elephants in his yacht, "Chafferie" to India, from Perak, i n 1677.1 Similarly Moorish ships from Surat were trading i n t i n directly with Kedah and thus 2 breaking the Dutch ban, while many Moors got round the ban on Msoflgh. 3 shipping by flyi n g French, Portuguese, Danish or English flags. Unable to suppress this " i l l e g a l " trade completely i n the i n i t i a l stages, the Dutch wisely decided to leave the Moors alone, as long as they did not directly contravene the trade set up at Malacca, i t s e l f . They f e l t that i t was better to permit them to enter Dutch harbours, so as not to lose the dues, as they certainly would have i f the Moors had been refused permission and consequently frequented the places neighbouring the Dutch factories. If this happened both those ports and the Dutch factories would be " f i l l e d with Moorish cloth" and there would be no prospect of a "better or greater demand for the Company's cloths", but probably of a decreased t r a f f i c with neighbouring peoples, who now came here to buy these Moorish cloths and thereby increased the trade and dues. If these traders were not admitted then the others would for the most part, stay away too, and would go to places where these Moors would then be, as for example, Kedah, Achin and Junk Ceylon, where the 4 t r a f f i c was already far too great. 1. Ibid., p.145. 2. Ibid., p.156. 3. Ibid., p.133. 4. Ibid.. pp.131-2. - 1 8 7 -Bort, on his retirement as Governor of Malacca i n 1678, warned his successors that since everything had to be ordered according to and brought i n harmony with present times, the Dutch had to do, not what they wished, but what they could, taking into consideration, that, even i f they were to prevent the Moors from sailing to the said places and several others, the Honourable Company would a l l the same not attain i t s object, since the English, Portuguese, French and Danes, principally, the f i r s t named, would i n time of peace frequent the said places so much the more, whereas since the Moors were there, they mostly stayed away, knowing that, as regards the trade i n cloth in competition with them they, l i k e the Dutch, had no chance. This had been clearly proved at Aatchin (Achin) to the English, who had to stop their trade i n that place so long as the Dutch allowed the Moors to t r a f f i c there, but as soon as the Dutch kept the Moors away they (the English) were able to "come back (according to their old usage) to fis h i n troubled water."*" The warning was largely disregarded by the Dutch and they continued to interfere, though ineffectively, with Moorish shipping i n the Straits. More important was the fact that the Malaccan trade had traditionally been a part and parcel of the Southeast Asian trade pattern and the s t r i c t Dutch monopoly rules threw everything 'out of gear'. Traders began to quit and avoid Malacca to escape the heavy taxes and inconvenience. This naturally had an adverse effect on the prosperity 1. Ibid. - 188 -of Malacca. Valentijn, the Dutch trader, who visited Malacca i n 1669, records that "in former times there were 12,000 souls (in Malacca) but now there were not more than 200 or 300 families." 1 In 1678, Bort counted 4,884 persons i n Malacca of whom 761 were "Indians" made up of: 372 Moors, and Gentoos (Hindus), 100 Womenfolk, 75 Children, 35 Male slaves, 51 Female slaves, 2 128 Children of slaves. The womenfolk, enumerated by Bort, must have been Malay converts or slaves. Muslim merchants were again i n ascendancy following the decline of the Portuguese - their arch-enemies. The Dutch had no religious feud with the Moors but feared them as trade rivals.. ^ i t h their better organization and relations with co-religionist Archipelago ports, the Muslims quickly superceded their Hindu brethren; furthermore, the Madras area, the home of many of the Hindu Tamil merchants, was i n turmoil following the seventeenth century English and French, incursions into Peninsula India. This interfered both with their markets and sources of supply. Another feature that emerged with the rise of the Dutch power was the fact that the Muslim Gujerati merchants never appear to have recovered from their reverses suffered following Portuguese capture of Malacca, for no mention i s made of Gujerati merchants i n either Valentijn's or Bort's account of the trade of the area. 1. D.F.A.. Harvey, op.cit.. p.51. 2. Balthasar Bort, op.cit., p.40. - 189 -Furthermore, unlike their predecessors, not a l l of the Indian merchants were now prosperous for we hear of nine Moors being imprisoned for "debt" i n l665*"and a Hindu, Nachodar Giantij, having his debt cancelled 2 on 18.4.1673 "because he died without any estate." The more wealthy Indian merchants, now, however, lived i n brick houses. Twenty-seven such houses were occupied by Indians i n a total of 137 brick and 583 atap houses that constituted the town of Malacca. The other Indians lived i n 3 thirty-two atap houses. The large number of brick houses represents an expansion of Malacca town compared to the Portuguese period. Now i t had "broad and handsome streets, planted on both sides with trees", though the houses 4 were closely packed. This i s especially striking when viewed i n the lig h t of the fact that even as late as 1848 much of the rest of Malaya was l i t t l e more than a "vast desert".^ But despite this early affluence, Dutch power and the port of Malacca, gradually declined as more and more traders kept away from the stringent and inconvenient trade system. Furthermore, Dutch relations with the neighbouring states were far from cordial. There were frequent 1. Ibid., p.94. 2. Ibid.. p.123. 3. Ibid., pp.32-42. 4. J.J. Sheehan, op.cit.. p.72. 5. Rev. P. Favre, "A Journey i n Johore", J.I.A.. Vol.3 (1849), p.56. - 190 -clashes between them and the war-like Minangkabaus of Nanning. As Francis Careri observed on his v i s i t to Malacca i n 1695, Dutch control i n Malacca reached "but three miles round the city, because the native being a wild 2 people ... w i l l not easily submit to bear the Holland yoke". Coupled with these troubles of the Dutch was the rise of English power i n A s i a . Penang was founded by the British i n 1786, and proved to be a tremendous blow to Malacca. The Br i t i s h rule, with which the merchants i n the Straits had come into contact in other parts of Southeast Asia and which they viewed favourably, i n Penang together with their laissez faire trade policy led to numerous merchants fleeing Malacca for Penang. In addition, Malacca's harbour i s shallow and as ships increased i n size following improvement i n navigation and ship-building, i t became a formidable hindrance. The founding of Singapore i n 1819 f i n a l l y sealed the fate of Malacca as a trading centre, for with i t s superior location i n relation to ocean shipping and better harbourage f a c i l i t i e s , Singapore soon outgrew not only Malacca but Penang too. By 1824, when i t passed into British hands, following the Dutch withdrawal, Malacca was l i t t l e more than a "sleepy hollow". 1. The Dutch had some 30 Moors among their garrison against Nanning while they also used, unsuccessfully, a Moor, Ossenina Matadja, an emissary of the King of Johore to Malacca i n 1677, to take a message to Nanning and t r y and stop the marauding forays of the Minangkabaus into Dutch territory (Balthasar Bort, op.cit.. pp.70-3). Formerly a part of the State of Negri Sembilan, Nanning now forms part of Malacca State. 2. J.J. Sheehan, op.cit.. p.103. - 191 -Concurrent with the rise of English power in Asia was the gradual decline and, finally,, disappearance of Indian shipping and merchants from the Southeast Asian seas, a scene that they had dominated for nearly 1,500 years. The smaller ships of the Indians found competition with the huge merchant-men of the Europeans d i f f i c u l t while with the establishment of B r i t i s h rule i n India and Malaya, they also lost their markets and sources of supply. Indian cloth industries were legislated out of production by the British while Indian merchant activity was curtailed and discouraged. With the eclipse of Indian shipping and mercantile enterprise, Indian influence, too, declined i n Malaya. The Indians who reappeared i n Malaya during the present century were quite a different class of people and came under entirely different circumstances.*" Summarizing, i t could be said that Indian contacts with Malaya go back to prehistoric times. The f u l l implications of the wealth of the region were, however, not realized by them t i l l about the beginning of the Christian era. From then on, for more than a thousand years, there was a constant movement of Hindu and Buddhist traders, adventurers, priests and l i t e r a t i to the veritable E l Dorados of Malaya and other Southeast Asian areas — the Suvarnabhumi (The Land of Gold). This t r a f f i c led to the Indianization of the Malay way of l i f e and the foundation and growth of a number of city-states in the central sections of the strategic Siamo-Malay Peninsula. Several of the Indianized c i t y -states prospered and featured prominently i n Southeast Asian affairs 1. See Chapter IV. - 1 9 2 -during the f i r s t millenium of the present era. Subsequently, although some of them lingered on, the majority of these city-states mysteriously disappeared and Hindu and Buddhist rituals were superceded by the Muslim way of l i f e following the establishment of Islam i n Malacca i n the fifteenth century. With the growth of Muslim power and the rise of Malacca as a great port and the hub of Muslim influence i n Southeast Asia, the focus of attention shifted from the northern to the southern parts of Malaya. Malacca prospered for nearly a hundred years and then i t too declined. The eclipse of Malacca and the rise of the European power in Asia also saw the disappearance of Indian shipping from Malayan and other waters and the consequent decline of Indian influence in Malaya. The apogee of Indian influence i n Malaya was probably reached during the f i r s t millenium of this era. Subsequently, although Indians featured prominently during certain periods of Malaya's history, (as for example in the Malacca Sultanate and the present century) they never recovered their past commanding position. - 193 -CHAPTER IV INDIAN MIGRATION TO BRITISH MALAYA; ORIGINS AND CHARACTERISTICS, 17Q6-1957 Thy c a l l reaches me once again across hundreds of speechless years. I come to thee, look i n thine eyes, and seem t o see there the l i g h t of the wonder at our f i r s t meeting i n t h y f o r e s t glade, of the gladness of a promise When we t i e d golden threads of kinship round each other's w r i s t . That ancient token, grown pale has not yet slipped o f f thy r i g h t arm, and our wayfaring path of o l d l i e s strewn with the remnants of my speech. They help me to retrace my way to the inner chamber of thy l i f e where s t i l l the l i g h t i s burning that we kindled together on the forgotten evening of our union. Remember me, even as I remember thy face, and recognise i n me as thine own, 2. the o l d that has been l o s t , to be regained and made new. A. Causes of Indian Migration to B r i t i s h Malaya There are 900,000 Indians i n Malaya to-day but nearly every one of them i s e i t h e r a recent immigrant or descendant of immigrants of the nineteenth and e a r l y twentieth centuries. Modern Indian migration to Malaya i n s u b s t a n t i a l numbers only began i n the l a t t e r h a l f of the nineteenth century following the establishment of B r i t i s h paramountacy i n India and the consolidation of t h e i r power i n Malaya. Whereas the e a r l i e r immigrants were ambassadors of a great c i v i l i z a t i o n or traders i n the rare 1. R. Tagore, o p . c i t . . p.14. - 194 -commodities, the modern Indian migrant was c h i e f l y an unlettered labourer s e t t i n g out to work f o r a pittance on some pl a n t a t i o n or government project.*" Furthermore unlike the e a r l i e r phase, the modern migration was not spontaneous but rather p o l i t i c a l l y arranged by Europeans and brought about to a considerable extent by the 2 persuasions of agents and r e c r u i t e r s . The causes f o r thxs metamor-phosis were mainly p o l i t i c a l and economic though s o c i a l changes i n India, f o r example, the growing r i g i d i t y of caste, the growth of prejudice against crossing the seas and the purdah, or s e c l u s i o n of women, system discouraged migration by the middle and upper cla s s e s . By the mid-ninettenth century nearly the whole of Indian Sub-Continent had come under B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l and economic c o n t r o l . Henceforth, u n t i l India's independence i n 1947, Indian i n t e r e s t s were subordinated to the needs of the paramount power. Following the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution, the i n d u s t r i a l and commercial needs of England necessitated the transformation of India from a manufacturing power to th a t of a market f o r the supply of raw materials and the consumption 3 -of B r i t i s h manufactures. 1. C. Kondapi, Indians Overseas: 1838-1949 (New D e l h i , 1951), pp.1-2. 2. "Mr. J . Geoghegan's Report on Coolie Emigration from India," , B.S.P. (1874). Vol.17, Paper 314, p.431 f f . J Lanka Sundaram, International Aspects of Indian Emigration (London, 1930), p.4. 3. L.C.A. Knowles, The Economic Development of the B r i t i s h Overseas Empire. Vol.1 (London, 1928), pp.53-4. - 195 -To understand t h i s i t should be pointed out that i n the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, India supplied the markets of Asia and Europe with a number of manufactured goods, the chief d i s t r i b u t o r s of which were Indian merchants who had t r a d i n g contacts a l l over Asia, Europe and B r i t a i n . India began to f l o o d the B r i t i s h markets with her goods. But repeated p e t i t i o n s from the growing B r i t i s h industry, r e s u l t e d i n the B r i t i s h Government imposing heavy customs duties on, f o r example, Indian cotton i n 1677, on Indian c a l i c o e s i n 1658 and on Indian s i l k i n 1696. F i n a l l y the year 1720 saw the complete p r o h i b i t i o n not only of the importation but also of the consumption of Indian cloth.*" The i n t e n t i o n and e f f e c t of t h i s mercantile p o l i c y was to change the whole face of i n d u s t r i a l India i n order "to render i t a f i e l d of the produce of crude 2 materials subservient t o the manufacturers of Great B r i t a i n . " Indian commercial competition was curbed i n the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the B r i t i s h manufacturer (through pressure on the Government) employing "the arm o f p o l i t i c a l i n j u s t i c e to keep down and u l t i m a t e l y 3 strangle a competitor with whom he could not have contended on equal terms." S i m i l a r l y immigration of Indian merchants i n t o Malaya was not encouraged and attempts were taken to prevent the r i s e of Indian entrepreuners who might compete on a f o o t i n g of e q u a l i t y with Europeans, or i n c e r t a i n cases, with the indigenous community. On the other hand, immigration of Indian 1. C„ Kondapi, o p . c i t . . p.3« 2. Romesh Dutt, The Economic H i s t o r y of India under E a r l y B r i t i s h Rule (Seventh E d i t i o n , London, 1950), pp.256-67. 3 . Pramathanath Bannerjee, F i s c a l P o l i c y i n India (London, 1922), pp.50-1. - 196 -labour was not only welcomed and openly solicited, but even procured through "a regularly organised system of kidnapping,, " X This o f f i c i a l attitude, i n the earlier stages of the modern Indian migration, i s succintly summarized in Sir Thomas Hyslop's often quoted phrase: "We 2 want Indians as indentured labourers but not as free men," This policy 3 was surreptitiously, i f not openly, pursued during the nineteenth century and largely explains the preponderance of labourers in the stream of modern Indian migration to Malaya. (i) Labour Migration: Indian labour migration to Malaya began shortly after the establish-ment of the Br i t i s h Crown Colony of Penang i n 1786, the immigrants being employed as domestic servants and as agricultural labourers.^ By the end of the eighteenth century, there were nearly a thousand of these coolies i n 5 Penang. and their numbers kept increasing following the foundation of Singapore i n 1819. But the demand for labour nearly always exceeded the supply. After 1825, when Singapore, Penang and Malacca were opened up as 1. " J . Geoghegan's Report on Coolie Emigration from India", op.cit., p.421. 2. C. Kondapi, op.cit.. p.7. 3. The Malay Mail (Kuala Lumpur), August 18, 1910, p.7. 4. "J. Geoghegan's Report on Coolie Emigration from India", op.cit.. p.314. 5. P.L.C. S.S. (1870). Paper lai d on table on June 20, 1870. - 197 -penal s t a t i o n s , t h i s shortage of labour was p a r t i a l l y o f f s e t through employment of Indian convicts who had been sentenced here to terms o f transportation*" (Appendix B). But t h i s d i d not l a s t long as following continuous protests from the l o c a l B r i t i s h s e t t l e r s against accepting "expatriated v i l l a i n s from the j a i l s of India", the S t r a i t s Settlements penal stations were f i n a l l y closed i n 1873 and the convicts removed to the 2 Andaman Islands. The withdrawal of convict labour l e f t a gap i n the labour needs which became gradually more and more acute as both planters and the Government embarked on ambitious programmes of economic development a f t e r about the mid-nineteenth century. Demand f o r Indian Labour i n Malaya. The I n d u s t r i a l Revolution and the development of large scale production i n B r i t a i n l e d to attempts at e x p l o i t a t i o n of the colonies f o r the supply of raw materials f o r production and markets f o r consumption of manufactured goods. The m e r c a n t i l i s t p o l i c y of the East India Company and l a t e r on of the home government was espoused with great enthusiasm by the e a r l y B r i t i s h c o l o n i s t s i n Malaya. Not only was the country to be a s t r a t e g i c asset but i t was also to y i e l d exportable products wherewith to pay f o r i t s protection and administration, and, not l e a s t , to provide an o u t l e t f o r the s e t t l e r s '.-.surplus c a p i t a l . Many of the c o l o n i s t s , too, were of that c l a s s of lower English gentry accustomed to the management of land, and were f a m i l i a r from t h e i r e a r l i e s t days with 1. Ronald St. J . Braddel, "Crime: I t s Punishment and Prevention", One Hundred Years of Singapore. W. Makepeace and T. Reid (eds.), Vol.1 (London, 1921), p.283. 2. P.L.C. S.S. (1870). Paper l a i d on table on June 20, 1870. - 198 -such words as "improvement" and " a g r i c u l t u r a l geology"„ They were f i r m l y convinced that the future of Malaya l a y i n the development of crops f o r export f o r which i t was eminently suited: "The s o i l i s good, - the climate f i n e - the s i t u a t i o n excellent, - and nought i s wanting but the 2 hand of man to b r i n g abundance to our own doors." Beginning with the c u l t i v a t i o n o f spices f o r export i n the 1830's, the nineteenth century m e r c a n t i l i s t experiments were soon extended to the c u l t i v a t i o n of sugar i n the 1840*s, coffee i n the 18?0's and f i n a l l y rubber i n the 1890's. Simultaneously the Government launched an ambitious programme of road and railway construction, p a r t i c u l a r l y the l a t t e r , f o r which an Imperial loan of £500,000 had been granted i n l a t e 3 1899, to f a c i l i t a t e economic development of the country. As nearly a l l the work had to be done cheaply by hand to make the ventures competitive with o l d e r established areas, there soon grew up a tremendous demand f o r lowljr paid labour i n nineteenth century Malaya. This demand kept increasing as the pace of economic development accelerated i n the f i r s t two decades of the present century. S e v e r a l avenues were explored to meet the growing needs f o r 4 cheap labour. A f r i c a n slave labour, which had b u i l t up the plantations of the West Indies, was out of question as slavery had been abolished i n 1. By which was meant an i n t e r e s t i n s o i l s (P. Wheatley, "Land-Use i n the V i c i n i t y of Singapore i n the Eighteen-Thirties" M.J.T.G. Vol.2, 1 9 5 4 : , p p . 6 3 - 6 ) . 2. A g r i c o l a (Pseudonym of an e a r l y B r i t i s h s e t t l e r i n Singapore), The Singapore Free Press, June 9, 1836, c i t e d by P. Wheatley, o p . c i t . p.64, footnote 3. 3. P.L.C. S.Sa (1900), Correspondence r e l a t i n g to Indian immigration, Paper l a i d on the table on May 29, 1900. 4. I.M.Cumpston, Indians Overseas. 1834-1854 (London, 1953)> pp.7 f f . . 199 -the British Empire i n 1833-1834. White labour was not only expensive 2 but well nigh impossible to recruit for plantation work i n the tropics, which were then, among the Europeans, referred to as the "white man's 3 grave". The indigenous Malay , by custom and inclination, was a peasant farmer or fisherman and did not approve of fixed hours of labour day i n and day out<A Being a native of the country and owner of land he could obtain a l i v i n g usually i n a more congenial manner than by working on estates or other similar foreign undertakings. As such i t was d i f f i c u l t 5 to obtain Malays i n sufficient numbers to work regularly for wages. Employers thus had of necessity had to turn to immigrant labour. In the nineteenth century Singapore gradually developed into a great emporium of Chinese, Javanese and Indian labour, with the Chinese predominating. The Chinese for a long time had been engaged i n t i n mining i n Larut, Perak. "They were the most adaptable people, willing and able to do whatever the situation called for, whether manual labour 1. W.L. Mathieson, Great Britain and the Slave Trade (London, 1929), pp.80-1; 149-69. 2. iPeter Ruhomon , Centenary History of the East Indians i n Bri t i s h Guiana (Georgetown, 1939), p.7. " 3. A. Grenfell Price, White Settlers i n the Tropics (American Geographical Society, New York, 1939), pp.20-32. 4. L.A. Mills, British Rule i n Eastern Asia (London, 1942), p.218. 5. T.H. H i l l ' s letter to Resident, Selangor, 19.3.1884, The Selangor Records. Miscellaneous 526/84; W.J. Hinton, Government of the Pacific Dependencies: Br i t i s h Malaya (Honolulu, 1929), p.l4» - 200 -or crimping, merchandising, mining or prospecting, usury or p i r a c y or gang robbery. Nothing was impossible to them, H ± but they were " i n c l i n e d to be d i s o r d e r l y , cost more i n p o l i c e and supervision and gave more 2 trouble." They seemed to prosper be t t e r under the employ of t h e i r own countrymen and consequently d i d not cherish the idea of serving under an a l i e n employer. They emigrated to Malaya on t h e i r own i n i t i a t i v e 3 motivated almost wholly by economic considerations. Javanese labour was on the whole d i f f i c u l t to import, l a r g e l y because of the cumbersome procedure required by the Dutch a u t h o r i t i e s . In a d d i t i o n many of them were p h y s i c a l l y u n f i t while i t was also s a i d that they were l a z y and hard to manage.^ In these circumstances, where the Malay would not work as a f i e l d labourer, the Chinese found other, and more remunerative, occupations and the Javanese being both d i f f i c u l t to acquire and suspect as a worker, the Indian labourer became indispensable. 1. W.J. Hinton, o p . c i t . . p.14. 2. R.L.C.. 1890. para: 451. 3. V. Thompson, Labour Problems i n Southeast A s i a (New Haven, U.S.A., 1947), p . 6 l . 4. "Report of the Royal Commission on the Labour Question i n the Crown Colonies", B.S.P. (1892). Vol . 3 6 , Part 5, Paper C 6795 -XI. - 201 -Altogether the South Indian was perhaps the most satisfactory-type of labour for he was a good worker, not too ambitious and easily manageable,L He had none of the self-reliance nor the capacity of the 2 Chinese, but he was the most amenable to the comparatively lowly paid and rather regimented l i f e of estates. He was a British subject, 3 accustomed to British rule and was well-behaved and docile. The great majority of the Indian labourers who emigrated to Malaya were of low caste - Pariahs, Pallas, Padyachis and Goundans J* "The relegation of the low castes to a sort of ghetto is carried to great lengths i n South 5 India, where the intolerance of the Brahmin is very conspicuous." There were castes (especially the Pariahs and Pallas) whose members defiled a Brahmin at a distance of 24 or 36 or even 64 feet. The Pariahs. the lowest caste i n India, formed the great labouring caste of the southern 6 d i s t r i c t s of Madras Province from where Malaya drew her supply of Indian labour. The relegation of these depressed classes to the level of animals naturally tended to deprive them of i n i t i a t i v e and self-respect, and made them a servile group. They neither had the education nor the 1. D.W. Figart, The Plantation Rubber Industry i n the Middle East (U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Washington, D.C., 1925), p.174. 2. C.A. Vlieland, "The Population of Malaya: A study i n human migration", Geographical Review. Vol.24 (1934), p.67. 3. R.L.C.. 1890. para. 452. 4. N.E. Marjoribanks and A.T. Marakkayar, Report on Indian Labour Emigration to Ceylon and Malaya (Madras, 1917), p.42. 5. H.H. Risely, The People of India (Calcutta, 1908), p.135. 6. T.W. Holderness, Peoples and Problems of India (London, n.d.), p.101. - 202 -enterprise to r i s e , as the Chinese often d i d , abo
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Indian migration and population change in Malaya, c.100-1957 A.D. : a historical geography Sandhu, Kernial Singh 1961
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