WHEN Sir William Jervois left Singapore, early in 1877, he was succeeded by a civilian, Sir W. C. F. Robinson, who never visited the Malay States during the eighteen months he remained in Singapore. After a short interregnum, during which Colonel Sir A. E. H. Anson, Lieutenant-Governor of Pinang, administered the government, Mr., afterwards Sir Frederick, Weld, G.C.M.G., came from Tasmania, and remained in the Straits till he retired, in the autumn of 1887, when he was succeeded Sir Cecil C. Smith, whose term of office expired in 1893.

During these twenty years---to be exact from 1874 till 1895---the British Residents gradually built up the system of administration which seemed best suited to the peculiar circumstances, without much more than routine references to the Governor. It was well for the Native States that the men entrusted with this wide authority proved themselves fitted to wield it, and it was proof of the foresight and wise judgment of the Governors that they interfered very little with their officers. The Residents themselves were nominated by the Governor and approved by the Secretary of State. They were chosen as the best and most experienced men for this very special service. A knowledge of the Malay language and character were almost indispensable ; though, as has been explained, the
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real character of the Malay was in 1874 practically an unknown quantity. But the disturbances had taught a great deal, and a man who spoke Malay well, who sympathized with the people, and possessed the other necessary qualities already described, felt his way carefully, and, living day and night in a Malay atmosphere, had only himself to blame if he failed to get at the heart of the people and win their respect and confidence.

As funds became available and the administrative machine was built up bit by bit, the Resident collected about him a number of men, Europeans, Eurasians, Malays, Chinese, and Indians to help him in his task. In the first instance, the Resident was quite alone ; then he had a clerk or two ; a native or a European non-commissioned officer at the head of his police ; a Eurasian apothecary in charge of his first hospital ; a Malay warder to look after the flimsy building dignified by the name of prison. But things moved quickly, the country was very rich, and only required peace and order to develop with amazing rapidity. Therefore the work contemplated for twelve months was often done in six, villages grew like mushrooms, and the revenue increased so fast that funds were available by the middle of a financial year for services which were considered out of reach at the beginning. Under such circumstances to have tied the hands of the man on the spot, the only man who knew, would have been to retard the progress of the country, simply in order to propitiate the fetish of red tape and follow dictates laid down for totally different circumstances. As the States progressed and the establishments, of necessity, grew to keep pace with the ever-advancing prosperity of the country, the Resident's experience of tropical colony government in all its departments, his foresight, common sense, courage, and adaptability were called into requisition almost hourly. For several years it was understood that only the Residents were servants of the British


Government ; all subordinates were servants of the State which employed them. That rule narrowed the field of selection, but no man who could enter a recognized service through the gate of competition was anxious to seek exile, " to scorn delights and live laborious days" in the wilds of a Malay jungle. Still, for posts of trust and responsibility it was necessary to have Englishmen,1 while the clerical service was mainly recruited from Eurasians of the Straits or Ceylon, the rank and file of the police from India and Malay countries, and the railways, post, and telegraph offices from India and Ceylon, Subordinate posts requiring intelligence and financial skill in the holders were best filled by Chinese. Appointments to and promotions in the more important of these subordinate offices were subject to the approval of the Governor ; the Resident could only deal with appointments carrying very small salaries.

From 1876 to 1882 the Governor had, in Singapore, a Secretary for Malay Affairs, who not only knew the country and the people, but periodically visited all the protected States, travelled about in them, audited the accounts of the various stations, made suggestions to the Residents on all subjects, and did something to secure uniformity of method when dealing with similar matters in different States. Before and after those dates, until the year 1896, there was no one in Singapore who had knowledge enough to criticize successfully the action of the Residents. Of the States, their topography, chiefs, people, industries, needs, and resources, the Secretariat in Singapore only knew what the Residents chose to tell, and they had not much time for correspondence, or any but rare opportunities of despatching letters to Singapore, or even to a neighbouring State. If there had been any

1 A name which in this book includes Scotchmen, Irishmen, Welshmen, Channel Islanders, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and other white British subjects.


one in the Singapore Secretariat who, at any time during those twenty years, had possessed a fair personal knowledge of the Malay States, in five years, or far less, it would have been useless, indeed worse than useless, it would have been very misleading ; for the States advanced so rapidly along the path of progress and development that in twelve months a considerable mining town would spring up in the midst of what had been virgin forest, and the Resident would write of roads and places never before heard of, and not to be found on any map. Of course there were no maps ; they also were the product of the Malay administration, and as articles of comparative luxury, they only came much later, when the value of land, the extension of mines and agriculture, the general development of the country, and the construction of roads and railways, made accurate surveys and plans a necessity. Therefore knowledge of Malay affairs, to be valuable, had to be kept up to date, and that could only be done by constant visits to the country.

The impossibility of a Governor in Singapore exercising any really effective control over men so circumstanced as the British Residents, and with such a difficult task to occupy their whole time, had been so quickly and fully recognized that they were instructed to keep journals of their daily proceedings, and to send these records to Singapore from time to time, as opportunity permitted. Beyond that the Residents sent every year, in October or November, a detailed estimate of revenue expected to be raised from all sources during the ensuing financial year, and of all expenditure proposed to be defrayed for every government service during the same period. This annual Budget had to receive the approval of the Governor before it could be acted upon, and no vote could be altered or exceeded without special reference and sanction. That of course was a very great and necessary safeguard, and it was supplemented by an annual report, furnished about


April or May, giving the actual result of the past year's working, with all financial and other particulars, together with a general review of the year's transactions, an account of the doings of every department of government and the Resident's own remarks on the general progress of the State. Besides furnishing this Annual Budget and Annual Report, the correspondence of the Resident with Singapore was mainly occupied with the appointments, promotions, salaries, and complaints of Government officers.

After about ten years, the Residents found they no longer had time to keep journals of their daily doings, and that method of supplying information to the Governor was abandoned. The annual Budget and the annual Reports are furnished to the present time, and the latter have always been forwarded by the Governor to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, who causes them to be printed and presented to both Houses of Parliament.

Up till 1896, a Governor who was interested in the Malay States (and it must always be remembered that his first charge was the Straits Settlements Colony) and wished to exercise some influence there, could only do so by visiting the States, getting some idea of their geography, their then condition and requirements, and by making the personal acquaintance of the rulers, the more important chiefs, and the leading Chinese miners and capitalists. That done, it has been easy in modern times (since roads and railways were constructed and the Residents provided with steam yachts) to make opportunities for seeing the Residents and discussing with them and the Malay Rulers any projects of unusual importance. Sir Frederick Weld took an immense interest in the Malay States, and spent a good deal of time travelling about in them, seeing the country and making the acquaintance of the Rulers and chiefs. What he saw convinced him that the Residents could be trusted with the large authority they had


gradually acquired, and while supporting every project for the development of the States, he stood for the strict observance of our obligations towards the Malays and the improvement of their well-being. Sir Cecil Smith, with a much wider experience of Chinese, Malays, and all the circumstances of this special problem, was not less anxious to help the Malay administrations along the path of progress on which their feet were now so firmly placed. If Sir Cecil Smith's connexion with the Straits will always be remembered by his firm suppression of the Chinese secret societies (a policy in which at the time he received so little support, though his action has been so fully justified by results), his sympathy with the Malay States was evidenced by his strong support of railway development and his keen interest in the advancement of education.

It is not easy to convey a correct idea of the difficulties of correspondence between any Malay State and Singapore, between one State and another, and between the more remote districts of a State and the head-quarters of the Resident. Those difficulties continued until quite recently (1903), when the main trunk line of railway traversing all the western States, with a terminus in Province Wellesley, opposite Pinang, was completed. Until railway communication was established, though the actual distances were comparatively insignificant, the carriage of letters depended upon, first, runners over jungle tracks, then pony carts, and finally railways, in the case of those places which enjoy a train service. That was so far as land carriage was concerned, and when a seaport was reached the mails were carried by small steamers, some of which were subsidized for the purpose, while others were not, but all of them called at sundry coast ports on their way to or from Singapore. Therefore correspondence was irregular, and often subject to very trying delays. Communication between the States was even more uncertain


until they obtained a through railway service. These circumstances partly explain the fact that each Resident followed his own line in his own State, without any particular reference to his neighbours. Very often he had no experience of any State but the one he was in. He seldom knew or concerned himself with the affairs of his neighbours, and he probably thought that he was as capable of dealing with any question of administration as another Resident, who might be older or younger than himself, or who had had a longer or shorter experience of Malays and Malay affairs. As already stated, there had been, for the six years from 1876 to 1882, a more or less effective control from Singapore with an attempt to secure uniformity. But when that ceased with the abolition of the post of Secretary for Native Affairs (and the control had never been absolutely effective) each Resident went his own way and was inclined to resent either suggestion or interference. Some important matters, such as the system of revenue farms, the amount of tin duty, and the rate of quit rent on Government lands, had been established, as regards principle, in the earliest days, and only details were open to varying treatment. Where there was an opportunity for trying experiments it was usually taken advantage of, for the reasons and owing to the circumstances already described. The result was often useful, for amongst a variety of experiments it was possible to realize which had proved most successful. But as time went on and the States grew in importance, these differences, at first irritating, became unbearable and led to federation. The weak point of the system, as then developed, was that it placed too much power in the hands of one man. It may be said that whether that is a bad or good arrangement depends upon the man ; but as it is unlikely that there will always be a succession of good men, a satisfactory system must be so conceived that a bad man cannot do an infinity of harm without hindrance. The


reader must therefore bear the facts in mind, the peculiar circumstances under which the Residents were appointed, the burden of their stewardship and the necessary assumption of large authority if they were to render a good account of it, their isolation and the absence of effective control, the gradual increase of responsibility with the rapid development of the States, the difficulties of correspondence and the want of uniformity in the treatment of administrative details, so that, when the time comes to deal with federation, he will understand why a system which on the whole worked so admirably for twenty years had to give place to the natural outcome of that system.

The year 1889 was notable in the history of the protected States, for in that year Sir Hugh Low retired from his post as Resident of Perak. Then Pahang, which had come into the fold late in 1888, for the first time appeared as a protected State, and the first bank, a branch of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China, was opened at the head-quarters of the Perak Government. I have already mentioned Sir Hugh Low's appointment in 1877 and his successful management of Perak affairs at a critical time. It would be difficult to overstate the value of his twelve years' work. He arrived when Perak was overwhelmed by a heavy debt, with no visible resources to meet it. He left the State with a flourishing revenue (over two millions of dollars) and a credit balance of $1,500,000. If those figures, the peace and order of the State, and the many useful public works completed during the period of his office were the outward signs of his successful administration, the real value of Sir Hugh Low's work was to be found in the influence he exerted to prove to the Malays the meaning of justice, fair dealing, and consideration for their claims, their customs, and their prejudices. That influence was not less firmly and wisely used to teach his officers a lesson of strict integrity, and to insist upon their


treating all natives with the same courtesy and consideration which he showed himself. Sir Hugh Low understood what others in authority should never forget, that the only way to deal with a Malay people is through their recognized chiefs and head-men. To gain their co-operation it is necessary to show them at least as much consideration as if they were Europeans, and infinitely more patience. Moreover, they should be consulted before taking action, not after. When Sir Hugh Low retired, the Imperial Government recognized his services by bestowing upon him the Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George ; but the people of Perak, of all classes and nationalities, having already given him their esteem and affection, kept his memory green, and when he died last year they would mourn him as a friend who " had gone home to the mercy of God."

Reference has been made to the practice of " farming" certain sources of revenue, the principal amongst them being the right to prepare and sell opium for smoking, to manufacture and sell a Chinese spirit called arak or samshu and collect the duty on all imported spirits, to keep pawnshops and receive articles in pledge, and to open and manage halls where public gambling on certain games was carried on during certain prescribed hours. The regulations governing the right to open pawnshops and deal with pledges, and to tax, manufacture, and sell spirits, are practically the same as those in force in the neighbouring British colony. As regards opium, the Malay States adopted a method different to and perhaps less objectionable than the one recognized in the Straits Settlements. In the Straits the farmer alone has the right to deal with raw opium and convert it into the preparation called chandu, which is used for smoking. With the consent of the Government, he issues licences for the retail of chandu, and the interference of the Government is practically confined to seeing that the chandu is up to a certain standard


of purity, and that it is not sold at a higher price than that fixed by the Government contract. A chest of fine Indian opium contains forty balls of the raw product. While the price is constantly fluctuating, from under $750 to over $1200 a chest, the forty balls of raw opium, when "cooked" and made into chandu, will sell for $2500 to $3000, according to the limit of the Government price. It will be understood that when opium is cheap the farmer is likely to make very large profits, which will be adversely affected by a rise in price. On the other hand, the farmer has to provide the whole preventive service to protect himself against smuggling, and, though his profits are usually very large, his risks are greater than most speculators would care to run. This system is objectionable principally because of the enormous power it places in the hands of the farmer for a period of three years, during which he holds the monopoly. In order to give him a profit and a fair equivalent for the risks the consumer has to pay rather a high price for his chandu. While, therefore, from one point of view, the consumer suffers in order that first the Government and then the farmer may gain, from another point of view the moralist may urge that the more expensive the drug the better for the community.

The Residents in the Malay States understood this system and did not altogether favour it. The miners, the back-bone of the revenue, declared that, if introduced, it would put a stop to their enterprise and ruin the country. They objected to the power which might be wielded by a monopolist who was also a miner, and they declared that unless the coolies could buy cheap opium, they would riot first and then leave the country. The truth or otherwise of these arguments was not put to the test, for the Residents adopted the following system.

The country --- for the purposes of these revenue farms --- was divided into a coast farm (where there were no mines, and into which it was exceedingly easy to smuggle


such a portable and valuable drug as opium), and a rest-of-the-country farm, which of course included the mines and all the up-country. The coast farm was let and worked on the same system as that pursued in the Straits Colony, only that the maximum price of chandu was a good deal lower than that charged in any of the colony's settlements. The coast districts were, and still are, of much less importance and contained much fewer inhabitants (principally Chinese woodcutters and fishermen) than the mines. Except for use in the coast districts, any one could import raw opium on paying the Government duty, which was at first about $7 a ball, and is now $14 a ball. The Government licensed all retail shops, while mine owners and other large employers of Chinese labour imported their own opium, converted it into chandu, and dispensed it to their own employees. After a good many years the Government, in some States, farmed the collection of the opium duty, and while that policy made not the slightest difference to consumers, it enabled the Government to calculate with certainty on the receipts from this source for each successive period of three years. The risks of opium smuggling are small compared with those of chandu smuggling, because every chest of opium exported from India to the Straits, and thence to the Malay States, can be traced through every step of its passage. A great deal of inferior opium is, however, grown in China, and attempts are sometimes made to smuggle this stuff into the colony and the Malay States.

As regards public gambling, which is permitted to Chinese, and always has been permitted in the Malay States, any one can supply reasons against it. To argue the question at length would be foreign to the purposes of this book. It is not necessary to do more than state briefly some of the causes why the British Advisers have supported the retention of the custom. First of all, the Chinese will gamble, whether the law


allows or forbids it. The habit is inveterate and ineradicable with those who have the money to do it. With miners living in the jungle, with no sources of amusement open to them and plenty of time on their hands, no power short of an incorruptible police constable, attached day and night to each Chinese, could stop it. The facilities for clandestine gambling, in such a country as the Malay States, are so great that if the practice were forbidden the law would be broken, with impunity, every hour of the day. The Protected Malay States began their new life with such straitened means that it was only possible to employ a police force just sufficient to deal with ordinary crime ; the country is so large, the distances so great, the jungle so all-pervading, that the comparatively large force of police now employed is always overworked in its efforts to protect life and property, To have made gambling illegal, would have been to expose the whole police force to an irresistible temptation. They would have been corrupted and rendered untrustworthy in other and more important matters, while gambling would have been suppressed in name only. The Malay Rulers and Chiefs strongly objected to the introduction of measures to make public gambling illegal ; they said it was an old-established custom, they knew the evils which would certainly follow its nominal suppression, and they declined to sacrifice the revenue which was derived from sanctioning the practice under strict control. Therefore the gambling farm has been continued. It is only permitted in places and buildings approved by the police, and during very limited hours. It is to the farmer's interest to see that no other form of gambling is carried on, and his servants, not the police, are engaged in preventive work. There is no particular inducement, for the class of Chinese who indulge in this habit, to play in places other than those set apart for the purpose. All gambling is for ready money, and as the players are nearly all miners and the


halls are public, the better-class Chinese in the Malay States go to the Colony --- where gaming is illegal --- when they wish to play. There of course a man can only indulge surreptitiously, but in the country house "of a friend these things are easily managed, and there is the added attraction of risk. All forms of wha-wei, or Chinese lottery, are absolutely forbidden in the Malay States, and Government has the invaluable assistance of the farmer in suppressing them, because it is to his interest to do so and is also a condition of his contract. In the colony, on the other hand, it is admitted that these lotteries are always rife and do an infinity of mischief.
As was natural, an administration which aimed at developing the country for the benefit of the people gave early attention to the cause of education. The whole business of the country was carried on in Malay. Every one except the more newly arrived Chinese and Indians spoke it. It was the lingua franca by which white, and brown, and black, and yellow men exchanged ideas and did business ; it was the language of the State councils and the courts, of hospitals and police stations, and of all Government departments in their dealings with natives of any nationality. Most of the courts and police stations, and many of the Government offices, gradually found it necessary to employ Chinese writers and interpreters, and, as the States advanced in prosperity and grew in population, Tamil and Hindustani interpreters have been added ; but for all that, the general medium of conversation remains Malay. From very small beginnings, the Government established in all the States a system of vernacular schools, where Malay reading and writing, arithmetic, and some geography are taught. There are also schools of the same class for girls, and in both the teachers are Malay men and Malay women respectively. The Government has power by law to compel the compulsory attendance of children at an accessible vernacular school in any country


district where parents neglect their duty. The education in all vernacular schools is free, and the Koran is taught in all Malay schools. In towns there are English schools with English masters, where the standard of education is much the same as that taught in similar institutions in the neighbouring British Colony. The most promising boys in the vernacular schools are helped, if they desire it, to pass on to a school where English is taught. In the centres of Chinese and Tamil populations there are Chinese and Tamil schools ; but the children of these nationalities usually manage to attend a school where English is taught. There are also a few State-aided schools founded under the auspices of Roman Catholic, Methodist, and other Christian denominations. Special efforts have been made to provide a suitable education for the children of Malay Rajas and chiefs ; but the Government has not aimed at educating the children of any class or nationality to unfit them for the lives they will probably have to lead. A critic might say that the Protected States have spent, and continue to spend, too small a proportion of their revenues on education. That may be so, but the results obtained are not unsatisfactory, and the Government has never desired to give to the children a smattering, or even a larger quantity, of knowledge which will not help them to more useful and happy lives than they now lead. To the Malay the principal value of school attendance is to teach him habits of order, punctuality, and obedience. Reading, writing, and arithmetic will always be useful to him ; but beyond that, what the Government has tried to introduce are agricultural and technical schools and classes where a boy may learn the principles and practice of a useful industry. Unfortunately there is at present such a demand for clerks, both in and out of the Government service, that every intelligent boy who has passed one of the higher standards (not necessarily the highest) can at once secure remunerative employment. The consequence is that in-


telligent boys leave school too soon, and very few of them can be found to devote themselves to a technical education. As in the Colony, the Native States offer every year a scholarship, which can be held for five years and is valuable enough to give the holder five years' teaching in a British University. Rightly or wrongly, the Malay administrations have tried to avoid a system likely to create an imitation, however remote, of the occasionally startling, sometimes grotesque, and often pathetic product of the British Indian schools.

I have referred to Sir Cecil Smith's interest in the cause of education. When he finally left the East in 1893, he wrote as follows to the Marquess of Ripon, then Secretary of State for the Colonies :-

" Next, I wish to refer to the result of the policy regarding the education of the Malays for employment in the administration. This has been kept steadily in view as a cardinal feature in the government of the States, and has met with a considerable measure of success. Throughout the States there is an increasing number of Malays who, with ‘hereditary or customary claims to office,' are being trained and are helping to educate themselves to take an active and responsible share in the Government. The importance of the policy referred to, whether as regards our simple duty towards the Protected States or as regards the expediency of doing all that is feasible to make the natives have the greatest interest in the welfare of their own country, cannot be overrated."

While mining was the important industry in all the States, the northernmost district of Perak, called Krian, was specially suited to the cultivation of rice. It is a coast district adjoining Province Wellesley ; almost the whole of it is quite level, and it is drained by several considerable rivers. Prior to 1874, a very small portion of this district, right on the coast, had been partially cultivated for rice ; the rest of the district was unbroken


jungle. In the years which followed, the entire district was, by the great exertions of Government officers, cleared, roaded, occupied by Malays and a few Tamils, and turned into an immense rice field. Dotted about are some sugar estates, owned by one European company and a number of Chinese planters. Low country ricefields depend for success on a supply of water when the fields are ploughed and the grain planted --- or, to be more accurate, when the young plants are transferred from the nurseries to the fields ---and for some months later. The only water-supply in Krian was an uncertain rainfall which either made or marred the harvest. Moreover, the rivers were tidal, the water brackish, and the land so low and flat that, in a drought, the supply of drinking-water ran short, and the people were either compelled to leave the place or to run the risk of disease which not seldom developed into epidemic. By permission of the Sultan of Kedah, the Government of Perak obtained from some hills in Kedah territory a supply of drinking-water sufficient for the head-quarters of the district, but that of course did not supply the needs of the agricultural population miles away. Under these circumstances a scheme was, in 1895, elaborated to create a lake (by the construction of works at a gorge in some hills through which a large stream forced its way), and thence to carry the water in a great canal, raised above the level of the surrounding country, and by side canals, at intervals throughout its length, to irrigate nearly seventy thousand acres of rice land and supply the cultivators with drinking-water from the same source.

Mr. Claude Vincent, of the Indian Public Works, was deputed, on special service, to visit Perak and report on the scheme prepared by the Department of the Perak State Engineer, Mr. F. St. George Caulfeild. The scheme was approved, with some alterations, has been under construction ever since, and was only lately completed at a


cost exceeding £150,000. There has been great delay in carrying out this work, but the difficulties were also great. The estimates made, from time to time, of the probable cost of the work have been largely exceeded, but the benefits to the district will justify the outlay, and a water-rate should give a moderate interest on the capital expended.

With the advancing prosperity of the country, the rapid development of new and old mining fields, and the construction of roads and railways, many populous towns sprang up, and the Government expended large sums of money in supplying them with pure water. In many cases it was necessary to construct considerable head-works, and in all the water is conveyed long distances, from the source of supply to the centre of distribution. Kuala Lumpor, in Selangor, is lighted by electricity, and other Malay towns will, in time, be similarly provided. There is no coal and no gas in the Malay States, and all lighting has hitherto been done with imported mineral oil.

Tin-mining has enabled the administration to rapidly open up and develop a country which, thirty years ago, was practically covered by virgin forest. It was the clear policy of the Government to encourage the mining industry by every legitimate means, and though, for twenty-five years, Europeans have been prophesying the exhaustion of the alluvial tin deposits, I have never shared that view, and the production is to-day larger than ever, and likely to continue for many years to come. Still, no effort has been spared to secure a settled population of agriculturists, and what has been accomplished in the Krian district of Perak is a striking proof of success. Rice and cocoanuts are probably the two forms of cultivation best suited to Malays. The Chinese are successful sugar-growers, and years ago the Government introduced into Perak the cultivation of the pepper vine, and that is an


established industry. The Government also endeavoured to introduce silkworms, but the experiment met with indifferent success. While Resident of Perak, Sir Hugh Low started Government plantations and gardens, at high and low levels, and large sums were expended on the introduction and cultivation of Arabian coffee, cinchona, tea, and rubber. The cinchona failed, but very fine qualities of Arabian coffee and tea were grown, and the suitability of the climate and soil having been proved, these estates were sold or abandoned. Having regard to the importance which the cultivation of rubber has now assumed in the Malay States, it is interesting to record here the following passage from a report written by Sir Hugh Low so long ago as July, 1883 :-

"All kinds of india-rubber succeed admirably, and seeds and plants of Hevea Braziliensis have been distributed to Java and Singapore, to Ceylon and to India, and supplies will be forwarded on application to any person or institution which will take care of these valuable plants."
In the report which Sir Hugh Low wrote in February, 1884, just before taking leave to England --- a leave lasting nearly two years --- he said : " Specimens of the rubber from six years old plants of the Hevea Brasiliensis, in the Government experimental gardens, have also been collected, as well as of that from the Manihot Glaziari (Ceara Scrap), and will be sent to England for report."

A little further on, in the same report, Sir Hugh Low wrote : " British capitalists have, with the exception of the enterprising merchants from Shanghai, as yet done little or nothing in Perak ; a feeble commencement only being yet apparent on the part of two concessionaries from Australia, to whom large grants have been given." Those grants were for mining land, and it is worth remembering that British capitalists declined to risk even small sums in the Malay States till years after the enterprise and


industry of the Chinese had established and developed the mines, and the Government had, in their experimental plantations, proved the capabilities of the soil. It is also highly interesting to note that nearly thirty years ago a Malay State not only imported and successfully cultivated Para rubber, but even distributed plants and seed to Java and Singapore, to Ceylon and India ; though no one then thought it worth his while to cultivate rubber, either the indigenous (such as Ficus elasticd) or the imported varieties. Whilst in Perak in 1884-51 planted four hundred seeds from Sir Hugh Low's trees, and in due time the seedlings were planted out. Those trees yielded a great quantity of the seed from which the Hevea plantations of Malaya were formed.

It has been stated that narrow-minded directions from Singapore discouraged Ceylon planters for a while, but when efforts were made to repair the mistake and land was granted on very easy terms, a number of experienced men settled in all the western States, especially in Selangor, and there took up the serious cultivation of Liberian coffee, which then promised exceedingly well. The venture, in the hands of these able and determined men, was quite successful, but almost as soon as the trees began to yield a crop the price of coffee fell to almost one-third of what it had been, and all hope of fair profit depended upon a greater recovery in price than has yet taken place. It was a very trying time for men who had put almost, or quite, all they possessed into the land, but the Ceylon planter has won a reputation for " grit " and resource which places him very near the head of his profession. Times were very bad indeed for some years : prices were hopeless, unforeseen enemies attacked the coffee trees, labour was scarce, and funds were almost exhausted. At this crisis the planting of Para rubber was taken up, first on a small, but very soon on a rapidly increasing scale. Those who began the movement have nothing to


regret, except their own caution, or the limitations imposed upon them by want of capital. Now, every one understands the value of an acre of Para rubber in the Malay States, and what profit it will yield at seven, fourteen, and twenty-one years of age. The real difficulty is to believe the facts which can no longer be questioned, but, at present prices, an acre of land planted with 108 Para rubber trees, should, when the trees are seven years old, yield a profit of £20 an acre; when the trees are fourteen years old they might give a profit of £80 an acre, and from over twenty years onwards a profit of £150 an acre is possible. Possible, but very unlikely, because, though a given tree of a certain age has yielded so many pounds of rubber in a year, it is hardly conceivable that every tree on an acre of land will give a similar quantity. A very reasonable estimate will, however, show a more than satisfactory return. These estimates do not allow for the payment of any export duty, and the Government of the Federated Malay States at present imposes a duty on exported rubber of 2 1/2 per cent ad valorem, and can, of course, vary these conditions in the future alienation of land.

The following extract from a report by the Acting British Resident, Perak, dated 15 April, 1901, shows that the above estimates are not extravagant, for the present price of the best plantation rubber is about 6s. the pound.

" The result of a sale in the London market of a parcel of Para rubber was received early in the year : 327 lb. of the best quality rubber fetched 3s. 10d. per pound, and 23 lb. of scrap, i.e. fragments of rubber picked off the stems of the trees after tapping, were sold at the rate of 2s. 6d. per pound. Eighty-two trees of an average age of fourteen years were tapped to give this result ; the yield is thus a little over 4 lb. to the tree, but the Superintendent, Mr. Derry, reports that exceptionally heavy rains


frequently interrupted the work, and threatened, in conjunction with the tapping, to damage the seed crop, and that therefore the tapping was stopped in many cases long before the supply of latex was exhausted. From the eleven best trees over 97 lb. of dry rubber were obtained, one tree yielding 12 lb. 1 ½ oz. A small sample of gutta ramboug (ficus elastica) was reported on in England as 'good clean Java character,' and sold at the rate of 3s. 10d. per pound. A tree in the Kuala Kangsar garden yielded 25 lb. at a single tapping ; this tree is nineteen years old and about 90 feet high ; measured round the aerial roots, at 3 feet from the ground, it has a girth of 88 feet."

The following interesting particulars are from the latest report of the Director of Agriculture :-

" Last year's production in the Federated Malay States may be estimated at 300,000 lbs. The total world's consumption as found in the official statistics of net imports of the seven great rubber-consuming countries---viz. United States, Germany, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Austria- Hungary, and Italy --- was 137,530,458 lbs., or 61,397 tons. These official figures fall short of the total world's consumption probably as much as 15 or 20 per cent., but if we take these approximate figures we find that the Federated Malay States in 1905 produced 1/300 part of the world's consumption.

" Taking the area planted in the Federated Malay States, on 1st January, 1906, at 40,000 acres, this will give us at 100 lbs. per acre in 1912 a yield of 4,000,000 lbs, or 1785 tons, that will be if the consumption remains stationary 1/34th of the total consumption. But the world's consumption as shown by official statistics is :-

1903 . . 112,860,478 lbs. . . 50,384 tons.
1904 . . 123,817,903 lbs. . . 55,275 tons.
1905 . . 137,530.458 lbs . .  61,397 tons.


an increase of 10 per cent, roughly per year, so that in 1912 we may expect at the same rate of increased consumption 70 per cent, more than in 1905 --- i.e., a demand for and perhaps a supply of 232,288,000 lbs., or 103,700 tons, and of that we could only supply 1/55th part.

" Thus, as far as statistics show, the price of rubber is not likely to seriously decrease owing to over-production, and very much larger areas will have to be planted before the production is in excess of the demand."

In very early days the Perak Government established at head-quarters a museum of Malay flora, fauna, minerals, grain, implements, weapons, dress, pottery, artwork of all kinds, and, indeed, everything Malayan. The institution was admirably managed by Mr. Leonard Wray, l.S.O. ; it has proved most useful and most instructive to all classes and nationalities, and it will bear comparison with any museum in the East. A similar museum was begun many years ago in Kuala Lumpor, and has lately been placed under Mr. Wray's direction.

Wherever the Englishman goes he carries his sports, and Malaya has been no exception to the rule, but rather the contrary.

At first the officers were too few for any kind of combined game ; they were too scattered ; the country was jungle and had to be cleared ; and there was no leisure for amusement. Gradually some European ladies joined the exiles, and it became politic, if not absolutely necessary, to supply, at the head-quarters of each district, a reading-room where all Europeans could find journals and books, and where they could meet on common ground. The Government supplied the buildings and contributed an annual subscription, and the members did the rest and undertook the management. Billiard-tables, cricket, foot-ball, tennis, and hockey grounds were added as the European population grew and funds were available. In a country where there are no places of public amusement


these clubs have supplied a very useful and civilizing element, and the Government has no need to regret the comparatively small amounts expended on providing healthy recreation for their officers, and for all those who have benefited by this somewhat unusual generosity. It is, however, very doubtful whether those who obtain a large amount of amusement at very small cost properly appreciate their good fortune. In the most populous towns, where the European community is sufficiently numerous, they have founded other clubs, of much the same character, at their own expense. Race-courses and golf-courses are now to be found in all the western States.

As a further means of preserving the health of their officers, in a very relaxing and not always healthy climate, the Government established hill bungalows at various elevations, from 1500 to 4500 feet above the sea. Short visits to these stations (which enjoy a temperature varying from 60° F. to 73° F.) have saved many a man a long and expensive journey to Europe. It is, however, not unusual for Europeans, Eurasians, and natives to visit Java, India, China, and Japan for health and amusement. In the centre of the main range of Malay hills there are about 100,000 acres of undulating country at a height of 4000 feet, and it is probable that in time a large station may be established there, more especially if planters find that the soil is suitable for profitable cultivation. The highland referred to, originally explored by Mr. W. Cameron under Government auspices, is less than forty miles from a point on the Perak trunk railway.

For many years an adequate supply of coin was a serious difficulty in the Malay States. The Mexican dollar, the Japanese yen, and later the British trade dollar, with the Straits Settlements small silver and copper coinage and the notes of the Eastern chartered banks, were the recognized currency. The supply of


notes, silver, and copper was often quite inadequate to the needs of a rapidly advancing country, and great inconvenience was the rule rather than the exception. For sixteen years I urged the issue of Government notes, but the first reply was that such a proposal was premature, because neither the Straits Colony nor Hong-Kong possessed a note issue of its own. I could not quite see that the argument was very convincing, but later I understood that the Imperial Treasury raised some objection to the proposal. In the end the Straits Government issued the notes, and the Malay States were not allowed to share in the profits of the transaction, though a proportion of the profits of the Straits copper and subsidiary silver coinage has been granted.

Another instance of the curious application of the view that venerable theories must not be interfered with is worthy of mention. The terrible disease leprosy is not indigenous in Malaya, but Chinese lepers have for years passed into the Malay Peninsula, and in an up-country district of Perak a few Malays contracted the malady. Years passed and it was noticed that the number of Malay lepers was steadily increasing, so that when a census of them was taken, it was found that there were close upon a hundred Malay lepers of both sexes and all ages. Malays have a great horror of, and loathing for, this terrible disease, and as they, and the best authorities locally available, were convinced that all those afflicted had contracted the malady by contagion, the Perak State Council passed a measure to compulsorily segregate the lepers in an uninhabited island at the mouth of the Perak River. It was also proposed to allow any of their relatives who desired it to accompany the lepers to the island and remain there. This enactment was, as customary, forwarded to Singapore and transmitted to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. In due time orders came from England disallowing the measure and stating that as the


Royal College of Physicians had decided that leprosy is not contagious, the proposals of the Perak Government could not be sanctioned, but that any lepers who desired exile on the island might have their wishes gratified. Voluntary segregation is not popular with lepers, and it was not considered advisable that the Government should go to the expense of erecting buildings to house patients who would never occupy them ; but the Malay members of Council suggested that the lepers might be sent to England, where they could do no harm, while Perak would be free of them. Fifteen years later a circular from the Colonial Office stated that as the high medical authorities in England had changed their minds, and now consider that leprosy is contagious, there would be no objection to the compulsory segregation of the unclean ! In those fifteen years, of course, a number of poor wretches had contracted the disease. It is only another instance of the advisability of letting people who live eight thousand miles away, under somewhat different conditions, manage their own domestic affairs without foreign interference. Mistakes made locally, in such cases, are paid for locally ; but if the mistake is made at a distance, it still has to be paid for locally.1

An invasion of all sorts and conditions of men and women brought with it many evils to which the Malays, as a people, had hitherto been strangers. The drinking of intoxicants was one, and others will occur to the reader. Malays of all classes, and especially of the higher classes, felt these things very strongly, and wished to legislate to prevent the evil and, where possible, to cure it: but because the conditions of life in England are totally different, and what was proposed to be done in Malaya would not be sanctioned by public opinion if done here, the Malay has to accept the imported horror, and is not allowed to protect

1 See p. 334, note. No effort has been made to look for instances to support this statement, but one has come very recently without seeking.


himself, his family, and his people, for whose benefit alone he wishes to legislate.

Reference has been made more than once to Pahang. It is a very large State on the east coast of the Peninsula, and in 1888 had a population of about fifty thousand Malays and a few hundred Chinese. The State was supposed to be very rich in gold, less so in tin. But it was undeveloped and unregenerate ; the Government was despotic, the Raja Bendahara being the despot, and the people suffered in the ways described in the earlier chapters of this book, only rather more so in Pahang than elsewhere. It may be said that that was their misfortune, and not the concern of any one outside Pahang. Possibly matters might have remained as they were to this day, but a British subject was murdered in Pahang under circumstances which made the responsibilities of the ruler so manifest that Sir Cecil Smith, then Governor of the Straits, felt compelled to demand explanation and satisfaction. The explanation was altogether unacceptable, and, as satisfaction was not forthcoming, it seemed that there must be serious consequences. The Bendahara, however, mainly owing to the advice of the Sultan of Johore, expressed his regret for what had occurred, and asked for the appointment of a British Resident. This request was granted, and in October, 1888, Mr. J. P. Rodger (now Sir John Rodger, K.C.M.G.) was appointed Resident of Pahang, while Mr. Hugh Clifford, who had already spent some years in Pahang as Governor's agent, remained there to assist the Resident. The size of Pahang made it unwieldy, and the fact that during the prevalence of the north-east monsoon, from October to April, the shore was almost unapproachable for steamers, severely handicapped the country as regards development. There were many important chiefs, and only a small revenue from which to give them suitable allowances and provide for the costs of the most economical administration. To


add the last straw, some chiefs took up arms against all that the new regime stood for, and the consequence was a long, a harassing, and an expensive "war," which was only brought to a conclusion by hunting the rebels out of Pahang and even following them into the independent neighbouring States, Kelantan and Trengganu, where they were eventually secured, mainly by the efforts of Mr. Hugh Clifford. Some of the rebels lost their lives in these prolonged operations, some were done to death by the Siamese who took part in their arrest, and the remainder were deported to Siam, where a number of the survivors remain to the present time.

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