THE long correspondence between Sir William Jervois and the Secretary of State for the Colonies was concluded by a despatch dated I June, 1876, in which Lord Carnarvon laid down the future policy of H.M.'s Government towards the Malay States. This despatch embodied the only detailed instructions ever issued by the Colonial Office in regard to the functions of the British Residents, and the following are the most important paragraphs : -

" I need not, however, delay longer to say that on a general review of the correspondence which has come before me, I fail to see any proof that the system under which Residents were appointed to the Native States has had such a trial as to justify me in pronouncing that it has failed, or that any other course which has been indicated is not open to graver risk, larger expenditure, and more doubtful results. The obstacles which have interfered with its success are apparently such as can be removed."

On receipt of this despatch in Singapore, copies were forwarded to each of the Residents with a covering letter, which contained these passages : -

" You will observe that in continuing the Residential system, Her Majesty's Government define the functions of the Resident to be the giving influential and responsible
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advice to the ruler, a position the duties of which are well understood in the East.

" The Residents are not to interfere more frequently or to greater extent than is necessary with the minor details of government ; but their special objects should be, the maintenance of peace and law, the initiation of a sound system of taxation, with the consequent development of the resources of the country, and the supervision of the collection of the revenue, so as to ensure the receipt of funds necessary to carry out the principal engagements of the Government, and to pay for the cost of the British officers, and whatever establishments may be necessary to support them."

It must be again noted that Lord Carnarvon, after months of correspondence, finally refused to sanction the proposals of Sir William Jervois, but still wrote of the " system " under which Residents were appointed ; whereas nothing with any pretensions to a system had ever been formulated. That was all to come, and to be worked out by the Residents themselves in their efforts to act up to the peremptory instructions contained in Lord Carnarvon's despatch of 1 June, 1876, and repeated in the covering letter just quoted.

For one white man to maintain the law --- something unwritten and unknown --- and preserve the peace in a foreign State of which he knew very little, initiate a sound system of taxation and get it observed, develop the resources of the country, supervise the collection of revenue so as to provide means to meet all the costs of administration, and yet " not interfere more frequently or to a greater extent than is necessary with the minor details of government " was surely an impossible task.

A couple of years later a Resident was held to have exceeded his authority, and he and his colleagues were again reminded of Lord Carnarvon's instructions, with this additional and solemn warning : " The Residents have


been placed in the Native States as advisers, not as rulers, and if they take upon themselves to disregard this principle, they will most assuredly be held responsible if trouble springs out of their neglect of it." The matter was reported to the Colonial Office, and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, then Secretary of State, wrote : " I fully recognize the delicacy of the task imposed on the Residents, and am aware that much must be left to their discretion on occasions when prompt and firm action is called for.

" The letter which was addressed to the Residents by your advice on 17 May appears to be both necessary and judicious in the terms, and I am glad to be able to add that I feel that I can rely on your keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings of the Residents and taking care that they do not exceed their proper functions."

The Colonial Office said the Malay States were to be wheeled into line, everything was to be done on the most approved principles, and one white man was to do it, but the means to secure this very desirable end were not mentioned ; only the Resident was not to carry his interference too frequently into the minor details of government. Then the Governor was determined that he would bear no responsibility for any trouble that might arise, so he warned the Residents that they were in the Malay States to give advice only, and if they did more than that, it would be at their peril. Another Secretary of State approved this warning, and there the matter ended.

It seems to have been supposed by the highest authorities in Downing Street and Singapore, that the " passive resistance " of tens of thousands of Malays could be successfully met by the " peaceful persuasion " of two or three Residents, but thirty years later it is recognized that, even in England, " peaceful persuasion " is only effective when the persuaders largely outnumber the passive resisters. When the conditions are reversed the results are negative, and it


is too much to expect that one white Christian will be able to impose his will upon a Muhammadan people who have never had any experience of Europeans and never known any outside interference. To the Malay the situation was obvious, and in the silence of the night he more than once explained to me that I and the other Residents were thrown out as bait by the British Government. If the Malay chiefs swallowed the bait, they would find themselves on the British hook; of course no one would worry about the bait.

It is absolutely necessary that these facts should be thoroughly understood, if a correct judgment is to be formed of the means by which this very novel experiment in administration was to be carried to a successful issue.

When the first Residents were appointed, in 1874, they spent most of their time travelling about the country, and when they had anything to say, they reported it to the Governor, through the Secretariat in Singapore. Larut and Selangor were not affected by the subsequent disturbances, and, therefore, those places were the first to feel the effect of the British Adviser's presence. In Larut Captain Speedy's Indians became the nucleus of a police force, and, as the Chinese were only anxious to get to work again, and there were hardly any Malays in the district, the Assistant Resident was able at once to open a treasury, organize a customs service, establish a court where he sat as magistrate, create a Land and Survey Office, and to begin, in a small way, to get together a staff of European and native officers to assist him in evolving order out of chaos. No doubt he consulted the local chief, the Mantri, in all matters of importance, but he received no help from that quarter, and simply pushed on alone when he could not carry the Mantri with him. A mining population could not be dealt with by either a divided authority or indefinite procrastination, and as Larut at once started on the road to prosperity, and the


Chinese interest enormously outweighed every other, no one had anything to say, and people of all nationalities united to give a helping hand. Whilst the rest of Perak was standing absolutely still, Larut was already forging ahead, and when the assassination of the Resident came, and the subsequent military expedition, this district was practically unaffected. Even the removal of the Mantri for his complicity in Mr. Birch's murder aroused only a passing interest.

In Selangor, the Viceroy and the Resident (Mr. Davidson) were old friends, and the latter was able to establish a Government Treasury with a proper system of accounts, to organize a police force, and initiate such simple reforms as were required in a small place like Klang. Owing to the distance and the absence of any kind of road, the Captain China was allowed to continue his benevolent despotism over his countrymen in and around Kuala Lumpor and the mines.

In Sungei Ujong, once the Klana reigned alone, his anxiety was to have everything done in accordance with English methods ; so the Assistant Resident had no trouble in introducing the rudiments of government, including a police force, a magistrate's court and a prison, a treasury, and the collection of all revenue in the name of the State. The subsequent disturbances, and the temporary military occupation of Sungei Ujong and the neighbouring States, delayed their advancement, but a new and better start was made in 1876 when these troubles were over, and Sir William Jervois, before he left the colony, was able to bring six of the nine States together again, and their chiefs made an agreement electing Tunku Antar as their head, with the title of Yam Tuan of Sri Menanti. Sungei Ujong, Rembau, and Jelebu, declined to join, and they were recognized as being outside and independent of this arrangement. Since then, however, all these small States have happily


settled their differences and made another treaty acknowledging Tunku Muhammad, C.M.G., the successor of Tunku Antar, to be their Raja with the title of Yang di Pertuan of Negri Sambilan.

The ground having been cleared, the Residents were able to push on their work under much more favourable conditions than they had previously enjoyed. The most obstructive chiefs had been removed, the long arm of England was no longer a myth, some posts were still occupied by British troops, and those Malays who formerly had ignored or openly defied all forms of advice were now inclined to do nothing worse than show their objection to the interference of Europeans by sulking and indirectly thwarting the wishes of the Government. This attitude only gave trouble in Perak, where the Malay population was much larger, and the people much more difficult to deal with, than in either of the other States. The period of " passive resistance " was eventually overcome by infinite patience and consistent firmness, so that in the end the ever-decreasing band of irreconcilables found themselves without either sympathy or support, and with no valid ground of complaint.

It will be understood that even from the first the Residents had exercised, or tried to exercise, an influence which could not be truthfully defined as the simple offer of advice, and when, in 1878, they were warned that if they departed from the role of advisers they would be held answerable for any trouble which might occur, they accepted the responsibility as preferable to a position of impotence and an attitude which no native in the country could have either understood or appreciated.

The first thing to be done was to organize a reliable police force, and the States were fortunate in securing the services of able and energetic officers, assisted by a number of excellent non-commissioned officers obtained from the British forces stationed in the colony.


Under Malay rule it had been the custom to levy duties on every article imported into, or exported from, the States, and the net result of this policy was a revenue which, in 1874, could not have amounted to $400,000 for all the three States, though, of course, there were no means of ascertaining the exact figures. All the most vexatious imposts were abolished, and the sources of revenue were confined to an import duty on opium and spirits, a farm of the sole right to open, in specified places, public gambling-houses for Chinese, and to license the opening of pawn-shops. The import duty on tobacco was continued, but this was abolished after a short time. The main source of revenue was an export duty on tin (a very high duty, but yet lower than that previously charged), and a 10 per cent ad valorem duty on all jungle produce and the export of salt fish. The last was abolished later. Internal revenue made a small contribution for the sale of land, and an annual quit rent on all land granted for building and agricultural purposes ; for the fines and fees of the courts ; for the issue of fishing and other licences, and so on. The revenue collected in each of the three States in 1875, the first completed year of the new regime, was as follows : - 
Perak . . ……..     Mexican dollars 226,233 equal to about £45,000
Selangor ……       Mexican dollars 115,651 equal to about £23,000
Sungei Ujong         Mexican dollars   66,472 equal to about £13,000
                                          Total   $408,356                       £81,000
For the period under review, 1876 to 1888, the figures of revenue and expenditure are sufficiently interesting to be quoted in extenso : -


The first trade returns were compiled for the year 1882, when the imports were valued at $5,669,078 and the exports at $5,538,641. In 1888 the values had risen to: imports, $17,327,392 and exports, $19,784,110. In 1876 the value of the dollar was 4s., and it gradually but constantly depreciated, so that in 1882 it was about 3s. 9d., and in 1888 about 3s. In 1879 the population was roughly estimated at, Perak 81,000; Selangor, 40,000; Negri Sambilan, 30,000.

One of the special objects of the Resident was, " to initiate a sound system of taxation, with the consequent development of the country, and the supervision of the collection of the revenue so as to ensure the receipt of funds necessary to carry out the principal engagements of the Government and to pay for the cost of the British officers and whatever establishments may be necessary to support them."

After the preservation of peace that was the injunction of greatest importance. It has been already stated that the Mantri of Larut had incurred heavy liabilities in his attempts to restore order in Larut. The Viceroy of Selangor had deeply pledged the credit of that State in his efforts to drive out his adversaries, the formidable band of Rajas who defied his authority. But when the British Government interfered and had to send a considerable military expedition to Perak and Sungei Ujong, the available balances of the colony were quickly exhausted, and it was necessary to borrow funds to defray the expenses of the Imperial troops, and to provide the Malay States with means to carry on the administration. All these debts and advances had to be repaid, so the advisers began their work heavily handicapped. Almost the first " advice " the Resident had to give (and insist upon) was that all revenue must be collected by Government officers, in the name of the Government, and be paid into a Government Treasury. That in itself was a very


unpopular measure, only carried into effect by the " peaceful persuasion " of an armed police force. The result was that every chief in the country was immediately deprived of his income, and the Government had to provide for him by giving him a fixed allowance at least as large as the income he had hitherto enjoyed. The heavy liabilities incurred in the name of the State, the cost of the British military expedition, the Malay Civil List, the general charges of administration, the allowances of one very long list of Malay Rajas and officers, and the pensions of another, made the Resident's early days a perpetual nightmare, a ceaseless struggle to make bricks without straw. As soon as the people realized that the Resident held the State purse, the poor and needy, the indigent Rajas and manumitted slaves, went quite naturally to him for relief, and as they could not understand matters of which they had no practical knowledge, they simply refused to believe that the representative of the British Government was not in possession of an inexhaustible supply of dollars, and their importunity and insistence were so great that the only means of securing a little peace was by dispensing private charity as long as the Resident had anything to give. Inability to do more than give all he had, and still leave many unsatisfied, was one of the reasons which induced Mr. Davidson to resign his post as Resident of Perak ; the other contributing causes being differences between himself and Singapore on matters of policy. His successor, Mr., afterwards Sir Hugh, Low, G.C.M.G., who came from Labuan in 1877, and remained as Resident of Perak till 1889, was probably more victimized than any of his colleagues, either before or since, for his private generosity had no bounds.

Sir Hugh Low assumed his duties at a critical moment for though the forces of disorder were broken, the obstructive chiefs dealt with, and both Abdullah and Ismail had been removed, there were still powerful chiefs in covert


opposition to the Resident if they dared not resort to open resistance. Their influence, however exercised, was sufficient to determine the attitude of large villages like Kota Lama, already mentioned, and others, the headmen of which had either been punished for the part they had taken in the murder of Mr. Birch and the subsequent fighting, or who were related to those who had paid this penalty. Most of the crime of the country could be traced to these places, and whenever an arrest had to be made the task was one of great delicacy and danger.

Raja Yusuf had been appointed Regent of Perak, and partly for his own safety he had settled himself in a village called Sayong, on the opposite bank of the Perak River to Kuala Kangsar, where the Resident lived. The Regent knew the country better than any man, and his loyalty to the British Government was never questioned ; but his unpopularity continued to the day of his death, when the posthumous title given to him was " the late Sultan God-pardon-him." It will be understood, therefore, that in times of difficulty it was seldom advisable to act on the Regent's suggestions, for his principal aim was to " get at " those who had declined to support his claims to the position of Sultan.

Fortunately a great safety-valve was discovered in the constitution of a State Council, on which the Regent, the principal chiefs, two or three of the leading Chinese, and the Resident and Assistant Resident had seats. The functions of this Council were mainly legislative. They discussed and passed all the legislative enactments required by the State. All death sentences were referred to them, and they decided whether they should be carried out or modified ; they dealt with the appointments and salaries of all Malay chiefs and head-men, with Civil and Pension Lists ; the annual estimates of revenue and expenditure were laid before them for their information, and the Resident discussed with the Council all matters of


importance in which the members were likely to be interested. The institution served its purpose admirably ; the Malay members from the first took an intelligent interest in the proceedings, which were always conducted in Malay, and a seat on the Council is much coveted and highly prized. A tactful Resident could always carry the majority with him, and nothing was so useful or effective in cases of difficulty as for those who would have been obstructive to find that their opinions were not shared by others of their own class and nationality. It was perhaps not altogether surprising that the Regent not infrequently found himself in a minority of one.

The Perak State Council proved such a success that similar Councils were instituted in each of the States, and the procedure in all is identical.

When Sir Hugh Low went to Perak he was a stranger to the Malay States, his previous service having been in Borneo ; he was therefore furnished with very full instructions, his attention was directed to every important question then pending, and he was advised as to the lines on which they should be dealt with. Debt slavery was then one of the chief stumbling blocks, and it was not till 1 January, 1884, that it was finally abolished in Perak, though it was quickly got rid of in the other States. Sir Hugh Low had some difficulty with Chinese secret societies, but his principal anxiety was to raise enough revenue to meet the administrative charges and reduce the liabilities with which the State was burdened. In this he was completely successful, for by nursing the revenue and insisting upon strict economy in expenditure, he completely freed the State of all debt in six years. When it is stated that these liabilities amounted to $800,000 (about £160,000) this must be regarded as a very remarkable performance. The Selangor debt had been bonded, and the bonds were drawn and paid off as funds were available.


To the people of the country the greatest innovation was the institution of courts of justice (presided over by European magistrates, often assisted by Malay magistrates), where all classes and nationalities, Europeans, Malay Rajas and raiats, Chinese capitalists and coolies, were treated alike. The law administered was the Penal Code of the Straits (an adaptation of the Indian Penal Code), with codes of civil and criminal procedure and other measures drawn on the pattern of Indian and Colonial Acts and Ordinances. For many years the present Sultan of Perak sat as judge of the Kuala Kangsar Court (the centre of the largest Malay population), and discharged his duties most satisfactorily. Every State was divided into districts, and in each district there were one or more European magistrates, and usually one or two Malay magistrates with limited jurisdiction. The districts were again sub-divided into Mukim and villages with their own Malay head-men, called Peng-hulu, and these most useful officers were armed with commissions setting out their manifold duties, which mainly consisted in keeping the peace, arresting offenders, and sending them to the nearest police station ; reporting accidents and the outbreak of infectious disease, collecting land and other revenues, settling small disputes, and dealing with minor offences within their very limited power as magistrates.

All the States depended for their revenue upon the tin mines, and it was of the first importance to provide regulations to govern the mining industry, and to supply the miners with means of transport in the shape of roads or navigable rivers. Many otherwise navigable streams were rendered impassable by great forest trees falling across them, and by the bed of the stream being blocked by the accumulated timber of ages. Such rivers were cleared at considerable expense, and kept free of timber by working parties until other and better means of transport were provided.


Tin mines in the Malay States are, in the enormous majority of cases, open workings, because the alluvial deposits are rich, and their exploitation is much less expensive, and involves less risk than underground and rock mining. The presence of tin is ascertained by boring, by general appearances and the proximity of existing mines, or by divination and the employment of a Malay Pawang, in this case a tin-finder, who, working on almost identical principles to those used by water-finders in England, prospects the surface of the land with a wand, and declares that it contains or does not contain tin. The Chinese, the first real miners in the country, have always employed the Pawang and followed his advice with great confidence, often with the happiest results; but in old days it was usual, especially in shallow ground, to support the Pawang's opinion by digging pits ; nowadays boring is practically universal. When a block of land has been selected and the authority of the Land Office obtained to work it, a great hole is dug in the ground ; the spoil is thrown on one side, on worked-out land, or wherever permitted by the mining inspectors, and the tin-bearing stratum may be on the actual surface or at depths which vary in different localities from one or two to 250 feet. The average depth is about twenty-five feet from the surface. This stratum may be from a few inches to many feet in thickness, and it lies on bed rock consisting of limestone, decomposed granite, schist or slate, or on beds of clay which in some cases are fine kaolin. In old days it used to be supposed that this kaolin rested on bed rock, and that whether that were so or not there was no tin beneath it. That theory is now exploded, and a second and even a third layer of tin ore has often been discovered at some depth below the first layer of kaolin. The tin ore appears mixed with alluvial detritus in various forms, from great boulders to pebbles, and more commonly fine or coarse, black or white or grey grains, mixed with ordinary


sand. Sometimes also tin ore is found mixed with stiff clay, which has to be "puddled" by hand or machinery. The layer containing this “wash-dirt" is called karang in Malay, and the value of the mine depends upon the thickness and richness of the karang and, to some extent, on the depth of the overburden. The Chinese work their mines on a primitive but very effective plan. First, the land is cleared of jungle by Malays or aborigines. Simultaneously the erection of the living houses is commenced. The laying out of the mine and the arrangements for bringing in water for dressing the tin ore and working the water wheel for the Chinese pump next engage the attention of the miner. The Chinese method of bringing in water for the purposes of the mine, is simple and economical. The miner may have to make a dam and lead the water by means of a race for some hundreds of yards. He is ignorant of the use of a level, and dispensing with the services of an engineer he makes his calculations entirely with his eye with marvellous accuracy. In laying out the mine due care is taken to provide a suitable site for the washing of the ore, and for the continuation of the watercourse at a suitable level as the mine is opened up. The preliminary operations concluded, the work of removing the overburden is commenced. This is either done by labourers on contract, in which case the owner of the mine takes any profit there may be; or by labourers working the land on tribute, in which case the landowner only receives his tribute, and is not liable to the labourers if his mine does not turn out a financial success. Except in mines worked on tribute, the karang, or wash-dirt, is generally raised by labourers on wages. The reason for this is that the karang does not lie evenly, the richest pockets often occurring in crab holes or under huge boulders, the removal of which would not pay the labourer working on contract. As the overburden is removed and the workings


are constantly deepened, the bottom of the mine is reached by step-ladders made by cutting flat steps, at an acute angle, in the trunk of a tree. The Chinese run up and down these ladders with bare feet, carrying baskets of spoil slung at either end of a carrying-stick. The mine is kept comparatively dry by one or more endless Chinese lifting pumps, driven by a stream of water working on a small overshot wheel at the surface of the mine. For many years all large mines have been drained by English steam pumps. When the karang or wash-dirt, is reached the surface is cleared of overburden, and the wash-dirt is carried up in baskets and stacked in heaps ready for washing. The washing is done in a coffin-shaped wooden trough, through which a stream of water is run while one or two skilled coolies, standing in the trough, rake the wash-dirt as it is thrown in. The floor of the trough is inclined at a slight angle, and as the wash-dirt is constantly raked, and pushed by the workers' feet to the top end of the trough, the heavy ore remains, while the sand and pebbles are carried away by the water. The clean ore is then ladled out of the trough, placed in buckets, and carried away to be smelted in charcoal furnaces, or done up in bags and sent to the great smelting works of the Straits Trading Company in Singapore and Province Wellesley. Clean ore of the oxide of tin yields about seventy per cent of pure tin.

I have said that the protected Malay States depended mainly on the tin mines for their revenue, and it was the first care of the Government to foster the industry by every legitimate means. As early as 1882 a French company began to mine tin in the Kinta district of Perak, and has extended its operations to the other States. Since then other Europeans have formed companies for the same purpose ; but it was the Chinese who began the work, who have continued it ever since, and whose efforts have succeeded in producing more than half of the


world's tin supply. Their energy and enterprise have made the Malay States what they are to-day, and it would be impossible to overstate the obligation which the Malay Government and people are under to these hardworking, capable, and law-abiding aliens. They were already the miners and the traders, and in some instances the planters and the fishermen, before the white man had found his way to the Peninsula. In all the early days it was Chinese energy and industry which supplied the funds to begin the construction of roads and other public works, and to pay for all the other costs of administration. Then they were, and still they are, the pioneers of mining. They have driven their way into remote jungles, cleared the forest, run all risks, and often made great gains. They have also paid the penalty imposed by an often deadly climate. But the Chinese were not only miners, they were charcoal-burners in the days when they had to do their own smelting ; they were woodcutters, carpenters, and brickmakers ; as contractors they constructed nearly all the Government buildings, most of the roads and bridges, railways and waterworks. They brought all the capital into the country when Europeans feared to take the risk ; they were the traders and shopkeepers, and it was their steamers which first opened regular communication between the ports of the colony and the ports of the Malay States. They introduced tens of thousands of their countrymen when the one great need was labour to develop the hidden riches of an almost unknown and jungle-covered country, and it is their work, the taxation of the luxuries they consume and of the pleasures they enjoy, which has provided something like nine-tenths of the revenue. When it is possible to look back upon a successful experiment, it is always of interest to ascertain the determining factors, and how far each affected the result. The reader should understand at once what is due to Chinese labour and enterprise in the evolution


of the Federated Malay States. The part played by the Malay has already been told : it was mainly negative ; how far the Government officials, the European planters, and the Indian immigrants contributed to the general development of the country and the position it now occupies will be described in a subsequent chapter.

In the first ten years or so after the appointment of British Residents mining was usually carried on by a few Chinese capitalists working with their own imported and indentured labourers. The contract was for 360 days' work, and the coolie received hardly any wages at all, though his passage from China was paid ; he was fed and clothed, occasionally received small sums of money for himself, and about twenty shillings to send to his friends in China. In those days there was a great demand for labour, and the main difficulty was to prevent indentured coolies absconding from the employer who had introduced them, or taking service with some one else, probably in another State. An attempt was made to put a stop to this practice by the issue of discharge tickets and free man's tickets, without which it was understood that an employer would not engage strangers asking for work at the mines. The system worked fairly well, but it had inconveniences, and it was abandoned, partly because indentured labour gradually became less popular as the country developed, and partly because men who had returned to China came back with their friends, and a system of co-operative working grew up and to a large extent took its place. By the co-operative system the owner of a likely piece of mining land looks out for and engages a mine manager, who has full control over the coolies, and works the mine under the occasional inspection and direction of the owner (usually called the " advancer ") or his agent. A large shed is then built to house the coolies, and a board is posted on the land stating the terms on which labourers are invited to work.


Roughly speaking, the terms are that the advancer will find all the capital and will supply the coolies with whatever they require (including small advances of money) at rates above the market price. Every coolie who likes the prospect gets his name written on the board, and is supplied with a small book, in which are entered all the goods and money supplied to him from time to time. The notice on the board also sets out that the tin recovered will be sold, and the accounts made up, at the end of six months' work, when the net profits, after payment of all expenses of every kind, will be divided in certain proportions, so many shares to the advancer (not necessarily the owner of the land, but he who finances the whole undertaking), so many to the mine manager, and so many to each coolie.

In every building where the coolies are quartered there is posted a roll with the names of the labourers in that shed. This roll is entered up daily, and totalled at the end of each Chinese month, so that the coolie can compare it with his own book, and when the accounts are finally made up he can calculate his own share of the profits. The result is that, if the ground is rich in ore, the advancer makes a very good profit, and the manager and coolies also get a respectable share. If the value of tin produced does not quite cover the expenses, the advancer still makes a profit on everything supplied to the coolies, though the enterprise seems to be a failure. In that case the coolies get nothing, but they have been fed and clothed and housed for six months, and received cash advances as well. When the venture is a complete, or nearly complete, failure, the coolies lose the value of their labour as before, but the whole money loss falls on the advancer. When one advancer has been ruined over a mine another will take it up, possibly with the same result, and a third advancer with more means may make a large profit out of the business. In these cases local


custom governs the very intricate questions which arise ; and, if the mine finally pays, the expenditure of the last advancer is first settled, then the debt to the previous advancer, and finally the man who originally opened the mine is paid. The disposal of further profits may be a matter of arrangement amongst the parties, or may all go to the last advancer. The local theory is, that it is the man who eventually makes the mine pay who deserves the most consideration.

Besides the co-operative method, a popular plan amongst small men who have no capital is for a few of them to club together to take out and work a mining licence. The area does not exceed five acres, and the work done is really " fossicking," but it often yields a very good profit, and eventually enables the licence-holders to take out a mining lease (the term is twenty-one years, which can be renewed), and work it in the ordinary way. The mining licence is for twelve months, and is renewable.

The most important and valuable rule laid down in the Malay States in connexion with land of any kind was that every stream and water-course in the country should remain under the absolute control of the Government, and no acquisition of any quantity of land, for any purpose, should give the lessee any rights whatever in regard to water. The most valuable mines are in large valleys drained by one or two streams, and it is therefore of the utmost importance for the workers at the tail of a valley that those with land at the head of it should not be able to shut off the water, or take more than their fair share. Government inspectors of mines see that the water is fairly apportioned and prevent disputes which, in times of drought, would inevitably lead to daily fights. It is impossible to over-estimate the value of this apparently simple but probably unique regulation. It gives the Government complete authority over the working of all


mines, makes anything like a monopoly of water supply impossible, and secures to all a fair share of that force which is indispensable to successful mining. Miners from California, Australia, and other parts of the world have expressed their great satisfaction with this regulation, which was introduced by the British Residents in the beginning of their regime.

At first the duty on tin was high, and, as the price of the metal is subject to great fluctuations, the duty pressed hardly on miners when the price was low. To meet the difficulty it was often necessary to vary the duty, but after the introduction of Federation the duty was adjusted to a sliding scale in proportion to the market value of the metal.

For some years the land laws were of the simplest possible kind, and, until the construction of roads, the land had no market value outside the towns. Indeed, the Malays, especially in Perak, strongly objected to the payment of any land rent on that ground, and it took some time to convince them that they would be great gainers by being put in possession of an indefeasible, easily saleable and transferable title, in return for an almost nominal quit rent. The construction of roads, the growth of towns and villages, and the general increase of business and prosperity brought this home to them, and landowners of all classes are now almost as ready to quarrel about their boundaries as they are in other countries. Until the administration was properly organized, with complete staffs of land and survey officers, it was impossible to undertake a regular land settlement. That has all been done since, but the object at first was to see that every man's claim was properly demarcated and roughly surveyed, that the owner was furnished with a permit to occupy, an agreement for lease, or a lease, and that he paid the annual quit rent. The leases issued are for 999 years or in perpetuity.


About five years after the appointment of British Residents, several experienced Ceylon planters visited the Malay States, and applied for about 100,000 acres of land, in Perak, for agricultural purposes. The Resident was very anxious to grant it on terms which would satisfy the applicants, but an order was sent from Singapore refusing a longer lease than ninety-nine years. All the applications were withdrawn, and, when a more liberal and enlightened policy was adopted, it took a long time and much trouble to induce reliable men to invest their money in a country so little known and so undeveloped as the Malay Peninsula. Thus the mistake of the Indian Government in the Straits was repeated, but fortunately was not allowed to retard the advancement of the country for more than a few years.

All the money which the Residents could borrow from the Colony, and all the surplus revenue at their disposal after meeting the absolutely necessary charges of administration, was expended in the construction of roads. The mines, on which, as has been explained, the Government depended almost entirely for revenue, were situated inland, around the foot hills of the main range of mountains. They were distant from the sea from ten to about thirty-five miles as the crow flies, and the earliest attempt to open the country was the construction of cart roads from the mining centres --- Taipeng, in Larut ; Kuala Lumpor, in Selangor ; Seramban, in Sungei Ujong --- to the nearest water navigable by small steamers. That done, it was necessary to begin a network of roads from the mining centres to all the nearest and richest known mining fields. It is not an easy task to construct really good well-graded roads through an unexplored country, covered with virgin forest and the dense undergrowth of a moist tropical climate, with hill and swamp alternating, and a rainfall of from 80 to 160 inches annually. Those who see the splendid roads which now traverse the Protected


Malay States in every direction will not understand the difficulties experienced in these early days, but they can get a good idea of them if they like to make their way into a State outside the Federation and try to travel through it. The funds for road-making and other public works were, for the first few years, very small, and it was only by the most rigid economy that any construction at all could be done, for it was understood that, however the estimates were framed, the expenditure must always be kept within the actual receipts. In 1882-3 a system of road-making was introduced into Selangor to meet these conditions. Six-foot bridle roads were constructed, with a good gradient, no metalling, and very simple and cheap bridges. This was done at about £150 a mile, and as soon as the traffic justified the expense, the bridle road was made wide enough for cart traffic, and eventually the earth road was converted into a first-class metalled road with permanent bridges. A road of that class, if made of that type in the first instance, cost from £1000 to £I200 a mile.

This system of road-making was soon adopted in the other States, and it had these advantages : the rapid provision, at a small cost, of means of transport by a well-traced road which could be kept in order at very small expense ; the opening of the country and the opportunity --- quickly seized --- of putting up small native houses in the middle of a few acres of good land, on the side of a track which was almost certain to become a great highway. Malays, Chinese, and Indians, but specially Malays, were thus induced to take a large interest in the earlier stages of development. A bridle road was no sooner completed than small houses, plantations, and fruit and vegetable gardens sprang up along its whole length. When funds were available and the traffic showed that the road was proving its use, it was widened and metalled, villages sprang up beside it, and all the land served by the road


appreciated in value. There were no rich men in the States, so, to encourage the development of mines and settlement on the land, the Government made advances to enterprising Chinese miners and immigrant agriculturists of all classes. All advances made to Chinese were faithfully repaid.

Efforts were made to encourage the building of villages all over the country, and round the head-quarters of every district settlers congregated, small towns were laid out, shops and markets were built, and everything was done to induce the people to believe in the permanence of the new institutions. The visitor who now travels by train through a succession of populous towns, who lands at or leaves busy ports on the coast, can hardly realize the infinite trouble taken, in the first fifteen years, to coax Malays and Chinese and Indians to settle in the country, to build a better class of house than the flimsy shanties or adobe structure hitherto regarded as the height of all reasonable ambition.

As the villages grew and the roads joined up the various mining fields and scattered hamlets, village councils, styled Sanitary Boards, were instituted to regulate the markets, sanitation, slaughter-houses, laundries, water supply, and the hundred and one improvements of rapidly growing centres of population. Every nationality is represented on these boards, and the members take an intelligent interest in municipal administration.

Post offices were opened as soon as there was a building in which to transact the business, and the construction of telegraphs was carried on pari passu with the making of roads, sometimes even ahead of them.

The first railway undertaken was a line of only eight miles from Taipeng, the mining centre of Larut, to a point called Sa-petang (afterwards named Port Weld), on a deep water inlet of the Larut River navigable for small steamers. That line was constructed by two divisions of Ceylon


pioneers, lent by the Government of Ceylon, and before it was completed (in 1884) Selangor had embarked upon a much more ambitious scheme--- the construction of a railway from its mining centre, Kuala Lumpor, to the town of Klang, a distance of twenty-two miles, through difficult country, with a considerable bridge over the Klang River. But the railway was a necessity if the State was to be properly developed, and application was made to the colony to advance the funds required. The application was granted and the work was at once begun ; but long before it could be completed the colony, being in want of money, applied for immediate repayment, and it was fortunate that the rapid progress of the State made it possible to satisfy this demand and still complete the line out of current revenues. As soon as the railway was opened for traffic the receipts so far exceeded the working expenses that the line earned a profit equal to 25 per cent on the capital expended. It may be questioned whether that record has ever been equalled in railway history. Both the Selangor and the Perak railways are metre gauge, and that system has been maintained in all subsequent railway construction in the Malay States ; but the weight of the rails, originally 46 1/4 lb. to the yard, has been increased to 60 lb., and the extensions now in hand (the Johore State Railway, financed and constructed by the Federated Malay States) are to have 80-lb. rails. In this earliest railway work a very high standard of excellence was adopted ; no gradient was steeper than 1 in 300, and no curve more severe than 15 chains radius. In subsequent work it was found advisable to relax these conditions ; but the financial success of the Selangor line was, to a large extent, due to their observance.

The railway undertaking was not allowed to interfere with the construction of roads, and by 1885 Selangor had driven a cart road through the jungle from its boundary with Perak in the north to the borders of Sungei Ujong in


the south. Selangor was thus the first State to complete its section of the main road which runs in an unbroken line from Province Wellesley to the boundaries of the Negri Sambilan and Malacca ; but a main trunk railway now traverses the same country, and the Federated Malay States have already, at their own expense, carried it for another twenty-five miles through Province Wellesley to a terminus on the Prai River, opposite Pinang, they are completing the southern extension, 120 miles through Johore territory, to the capital of Johore on the Johore Straits, and they have built and just purchased from the Colony the Malacca railway, from their own main line to the town of Malacca.

In such a country as the Malay Peninsula, with the climate of a perpetual Turkish bath, and a mining population of aliens working in newly cleared and newly turned ground, it was certain that there must be a great deal of sickness and a high death rate. Amongst the first Government buildings constructed were hospitals, and one of the heaviest charges on the revenues was the upkeep of these establishments. The Federated Malay States contain prisons built on the most approved designs and managed on a system which leaves little to be desired, but it is doubtful whether any other Eastern administration has done so much for its sick. The calls on the resources of Government were so heavy that Sir Hugh Low levied a capitation fee of one dollar per head on all Chinese, as a contribution to the expenses of building and maintaining the State hospitals. All food, medicine, and attendance was, and is, given free, but the Chinese strongly objected to this tax : it never was levied in the other States, and was abolished in Perak in 1884. Every district in each of the States has its hospital, often more than one, and in populous districts the institution consists of many wards and other buildings arranged in carefully laid out grounds, planted with palms,


beautiful trees, and flowering shrubs, very restful to the eye. The numbers of patients treated in the course of a year run to many thousands (in 1884 over thirteen thousand cases were treated in Perak alone), and the sums expended by the Government on the medical department, with all its surgeons and assistants, nurses, dispensers, dressers, attendants, cooks, gardeners, gate-keepers, etc., amount to a very large total. Though Malays, as a rule, decline to enter the hospitals as in-patients, the Chinese and Indians have no hesitation in doing so, and the Government has every right to be proud of the work it has done in the care of sick people of all nationalities.

For the first twenty years of the residential regime, when that system which may now be taken as established was being worked out by personal endeavour under the eye, the hand, and the authority of the Resident, with only common sense and his own intelligence to guide him, his main supports were the officers in charge of districts, originally styled District Magistrates. Just as when the Resident was alone he had to do everything himself, so they, being alone, were, in their districts, the Magistrate, the Chief of Police, the Public Works and Survey and Land Officer, the Surgeon, the Treasurer, the Coroner, the Superintendent of the Prison, if there was one, the Inspector of Mines in a mining district, or the Harbour Master in a coast district. The magistrate had to travel all over his district, to learn its capabilities, encourage people to take up land and build houses, know every one and be pleasant to good citizens, with at least one eye on the naughtily inclined. He was liable to be called upon at any moment of the day or night to go anywhere and do anything. The curious thing is that the men who held these posts, though they had passed no competitive examination and had no special training for the work, somehow managed to do what was required of them, and in most cases did it exceedingly well. The


Malay States were certainly very fortunate in their earliest servants, and it is extremely probable that the work would not have been done so successfully by others with greater intellectual gifts or higher training ; just as it is certain that the men who did so well then would not succeed now that everything has been systematized, and the work of every department and every office is of a different and far higher quality. In the Malay States the old order has changed, but the merits and the work of the old order should be recognized at their real value.

A hundred instances might easily be given to illustrate the statement that in early days a man might be called upon at any moment to perform any kind of service ; one, however, will suffice. Governor Sir William Jervois was in Perak with a dozen Europeans in attendance, and a large number of boats and men had been got ready at Kuala Kangsar to take the party down the River Perak, a journey of several days. The start had been arranged for daylight the next morning, but about midnight the Resident, Mr. J. W. Birch, woke me up and told me that one of the boatmen had died of cholera, and, as he came from a place down stream, his people wanted to take the body home for burial. This, the Resident explained, was impossible, for it might result in an epidemic of cholera, and as it was very advisable that no alarm should be caused, the fact of the man's death must be kept a profound secret. For the general safety, the Resident proposed to bury the body at once, and he invited me to join him in seeing that done. I went with him, and we did see it done; very much against the wishes of the Malays, who strongly objected to the whole proceeding. Then I went back to bed, and at daylight we started down river, with a great concourse of boats and rafts, a very brave show. No one knew anything about either the death or the midnight burial ; but a few days afterwards I discovered that his friends had dug up the dead man, either just before or


just after we started, had put him in a boat, joined the rest of the fleet, and, after journeying with us for two days, had landed the body at the man's own village, where his relatives reburied him with due ceremony. There were no other cases of cholera, either amongst our party or in the village where the man found his last resting-place. On another occasion, when the provocation was far less, five hundred deaths resulted from one imported case of cholera.

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