British Malaya – Sir Frank Swettenham (1948)


British Malaya – Sir Frank Swettenham (1948)


Title: British Malaya

Author: Sir Frank Swettenham

Publisher: Geroge Unwin & Allen, 1948.

Condition: Hardcover, cloth, with dust jacket. Some edgewear and closed tear on dust jacket, which is in average condition. Book itself is in good condition, with some foxing of the interior. Previous owner’s bookplate on inner front board.

“An account of the origin and progress of British influence in Malaya”. One of the most important and probably the most authentic account of colonial Malaya.


PREFACE Sir Frank Swettenham, K.C.M.G.
CHAPTER I The Outward Appearance of the British Possessions in the Straits of Malacca.
CHAPTER II Malacca Early History.
CHAPTER III Pinang – Early History- Lord Minto’s Expedition to Java.
CHAPTER IV Singapore – Early History – Sir Stamford Raffles.
CHAPTER V The Straits from 1825-67 – The Arrangement made to Settle the Claims of the Sultan and Temenggong in Regard to Johore.
CHAPTER VI The Straits from 1867-73 – Sir Harry Ord’s Administration – Anarchy IN the Malay States.
CHAPTER VII The Malay : his Customs, Prejudices, Arts, Language, and Literature.
CHAPTER VIII 1874 – Sir Andrew Clarke – British Intervention in the affairs of the Western Malay States.
CHAPTER IX 1875-6 – Sir William Jervois – British Resident of Perak Assassinated – Punitive Expedition.
CHAPTER X The Evolution of the Residential System – Tin Mining -What the Malay States owe to Chinese Labour and Enterprise – Roads – Railways.
CHAPTER XI The Continued Evolution of the Residential System – Revenue Farms – Education – Land Settlement – Irrigation – Rubber Cultivation – Currency – Pahang.
CHAPTER XII 1895-1906 – Federation and its Results.
CHAPTER XIII Concerning the Malay States which are not included in the Federation.
CHAPTER XIV How the Development of the Malay States has affected the neighbouring British colony, and the Relations of Both with the Colonial Office – The Singapore Harbour and Docks – The Civil Service – The Malay Administrator – The Future OF British Malaya.

About Frank Swettenham (from Wikipedia):

Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham GCMG CH (28 March 1850 – 11 June 1946) was the first Resident General of the Federated Malay States (part of the then Royal Colonies, now independent Malaysia) which was formed by combining a number of sultanates. He served from 1 July 1896 to 1901. He was also an amateur photographer. He was born in Belper, Derbyshire,Britain.

He was one of close to forty former British empire officials to actually oppose the Malayan Union.

He created a dictionary “Vocabulary of the English and Malay languages”. He also published two books “Malay Sketches” and “Unaddressed Letters”.

Swettenham was a British colonial official in British Malaya, who was famous as highly influential in shaping British policy and the structure of British administration in the Malay Peninsula.

In 1871 Swettenham was first sent to Singapore as a cadet in the civil service of the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Malacca, and Penang Island). He learned the Malay language and played a major role as British-Malay intermediary in the events surrounding British intervention in the peninsular Malay states in the 1870s.

He was a member of the Commission for the Pacification of Larut set up following the signing of the Pangkor Treaty of 1874 and he served alongside John Frederick Adolphus McNair, and Chinese Kapitan Chung Keng Quee and Chin Seng Yam. The Commission was successful in freeing many women taken as captives during the Larut Wars (1862–73), getting stockades dismantled and getting the tin mining business going again.

More than a decade later, in 1882, he was appointed as resident (adviser) to the Malay state of Selangor. In Selangor office, the development of coffee and tobacco estates had successfully promoted by him, while in the meantime, helped boost tin earnings by constructing a railway from Kuala Lumpur (it was capital of Selangor at that time), to the port of Klang, which was later named Port Swettenham in his honour.

He attended the federation, along with the title of resident-general after he secured an agreement of federation from the states of Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, and Pahang in 1895, when he was a resident of Perak state. In 1897 he was knighted by Queen Victoria, and in October 1901, three years before his retirement, he was appointed Governor and Commader-in-Chief of the Straits Settlements.

Through Swettenham’s huge efforts to convince that the British Foreign Office reversed its policy of accepting Siamese control of the northern tier of Malay states. His portrayal of their maladministration under native rulers and his warnings of possible intervention by rival European powers led to British penetration of those states in the early 1900s.