The Chinese in Malaya – Victor Purcell (1948)


The Chinese in Malaya – Victor Purcell (1948)


The first comprehensive history of the Chinese in Singapore and Malaya, written by an Eastern Cadet in the Malayan Civil Service. With one large foldout map and a smaller foldout map.

Title: The Chinese in Malaya

Author: Victor Purcell

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1948. First edition.

Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Ex-library book with all the usual library markings. One or two annotations in text, but most clean with sound binding. Two foldout maps, one larger than the other, in excellent condition with no markings. Dust-soiling to top edge. 319pp., app 8″x5″.

The first comprehensive history of the Chinese in Singapore and Malaya, beginning with the early history of the region to post-war Malaya.


Early History

  1. Chinese Emigration
  2. The Chinese in Early Malaya and in Malacca to c. 1795
  3. The Chinese in Penang and Province Wellesley, 1786-1867
  4. The Chinese in Singapore, 1819-67
  5. The Chinese in the Malay States to c. 1900

Special Aspects of the Chinese in Malaya

6. Chinese Religion in Malaya
7. Anglo-Chinese Relations in Malaya
8. Chinese Secret Societies in Malaya
9. Chinese Social Problems in Malaya
10. Chinese Labour and Immigration
11. Chinese Political Societies in Malaya, 1911-41
12. Chinese Education in Malaya
13. The Chinese in Malayan Industry

Recent Developments, 1939-46

14. The Chinese in Malaya During the War of 1939-45
15. The Chinese in Malaya after the Liberation
16. The Chinese and the New Malayan Constitution
17. Retrospect and Prospect

The Baba Language
Malayan Population Statistics, 1941
Population According to the Main Racial Divisions
Sex Ratio
Chinese by Tribe


About the author (from Wikipedia):

Victor Purcell (26 January 1896 – 2 January 1965) was a British colonial public servant, historian, poet and Sinologist in Malaya (now Malaysia).

After World War I, Purcell pursued his undergraduate study in Cambridge University, studying history at Trinity College.

During his service in Malaya he dealt in particular with the role of the local minority Chinese and published on this subject some significant works.

In 1926 he spent seven months as District Officer on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, with wide-ranging but largely undemanding responsibilities in that remote mining community (Magistrate, Assistant District Judge, Port Officer, Port Health Officer, Postal Agent, Assistant Protector of the Chinese plus others).

From 1949 he was a lecturer in Far Eastern History at Cambridge University.

In 1978 he was honoured by a postage stamp of Christmas Island.