IN 1896, Colonel Sir Charles Mitchell, K.C.M.G. (afterwards G.C.M.G.), was the Governor of the Straits Settlements, promoted thither from Natal. The British Residents at that time were : in Perak, the writer; in Selangor, Mr. (now Sir William) Treacher, C.M.G.; in the Negri Sambilan, the Honourable Martin Lister ; and in Pahang, Mr. (now Sir John) Rodger, C.M.G.

Before the departure of Governor Sir Cecil C. Smith, in 1893, I had, for the reasons given in the previous chapter, and for others needless to mention, drawn up a scheme for the federation of the four States, and submitted it to him. This proposal was forwarded for the consideration of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and Sir Charles Mitchell went to the Straits with instructions to report as to the advisability of adopting the suggestion. Sir Charles Mitchell, after nearly two years' consideration, recommended that, if the Malay Rulers favoured the proposal, federation should be adopted. Mr. Chamberlain approved, and, acting on instructions, I visited the several States, explained the scheme very fully to the Malay Rulers and British Residents, and secured the written consent of the former and the verbal concurrence and entire sympathy of the latter. In a month the question was settled, and the new departure was formally inaugurated on 1 July, 1896; since which date the four Protected States have been federated under one administration, with a Resident-General in control, the Residents remaining, as before, the chief
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executive officers in each State, while every important department was placed under one federal head, who is responsible to the Resident-General for uniformity of system in all the States.

The Treaty of Federation was a very short document, and what it did was to make the States one for all general purposes of administration ; but, in agreeing to the appointment of a Resident-General, it was for the first time plainly stated that he should have executive control, under the direction of the Governor of the Straits Settlements, who would in future be also styled High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States.

The Malay rulers cordially approved this scheme, because it did not touch their own status in any way, though it formally recognized the right of the Resident-General to exercise a very large control in the affairs of the States. He was not styled an adviser ; his authority, both in the general administration, and as regards the Residents, was clearly defined. Then the Malay Rulers believed that, as a federation, they would be stronger, more important, their views more likely to receive consideration, should a day come when those views happened to be at variance with the supreme authority, be it High Commissioner at Singapore or Secretary of State in England. Two of the States, Perak and Selangor, were then very rich ; Negri Sambilan had a small debt, but was financially sound ; while Pahang was very poor, owed a large sum to the colony, and, though believed to be rich in minerals, had no resources to develop the country. By federation, the rich States were to help the poor ones ; so Pahang and Negri Sambilan hoped to gain by the arrangement, while the Rulers of Perak and Selangor were large-minded enough to welcome the opportunity of pushing on the backward States for the glory and ultimate benefit of the federation.

Further, they welcomed federation because it meant consistency and continuity of policy. It meant the aboli-


tion of inter-state frictions and jealousies, and the power to conceive and execute great projects for the benefit of the partnership, without reference to the special interests of any partner. Above all, they not only accepted but desired federation, because they believed that it would give them, in the Resident-General, a powerful advocate of their needs and their views, a friend whose voice would be heard further and carry more weight than that of any Resident, or of all the Residents acting independently. In the past, there had been times when they had had experience of the result of references to the Governor in distant Singapore, when the representations of their Residents carried little weight if opposed by an authoritative voice giving different counsel to an inexperienced or not much interested Governor. They foresaw that the future would accentuate the disadvantageous position of the States ; for the tried and experienced men would go, and their successors might not be able to command even as much influence in Singapore or Downing Street as those who had helped to steer the Malay craft through the troubled waters of the seventies into the calm of the nineties. Therefore, the Malay Sultans and Chiefs, whether they were clearly to gain by the new arrangement or apparently to lose --- at least for a time --- unanimously declared for federation.

It was perhaps more curious that the four Residents were equally in favour of a proposal which seemed likely to deprive them of some authority and status. Speaking of the others, I can say that, whilst quite alive to that view of the position, they cordially favoured federation because they realized that the existing arrangement was unsatisfactory and becoming impossible, while federation must make for unity of purpose and effort, for efficiency, for progress, for help where it was most wanted, and for a government no longer of one man but of five --- the Resident-General and the Residents --- with all the best special advice which federation could attract to the


service of the Malay States. The Residents of those days, or some of them, would have liked to see the Resident-General independent of the Governor at Singapore, and in direct correspondence with the Secretary of State for the Colonies. That idea went no further, because it was thought likely to meet with so much opposition that the rest of the scheme might be wrecked in one general condemnation. In order to ease possible friction, and to put the High Commissioner (supposing him to be a stranger with no experience of Malay matters) in a position to exercise something approaching effective control, the federation scheme provided him with a Secretary to be selected from the best of the rising men of the Malay States service --- some one who knew not only the work of all the States, but possessed a knowledge of the Malay language and people and men of other nationalities, Europeans and Chinese, engaged in the development of the Malay States. The reader will understand the necessity for such an arrangement, when it is stated that the Federated Malay States are more than ten times the area of the colony, with a larger population, and a revenue and a civil service each about three times as large as those of the Straits Settlements.

As soon as federation was accomplished, Kuala Lumpor, in Selangor, was, because of its central position, selected for the head-quarters of the Resident-General and of the heads of the Federal Departments. The writer was appointed Resident-General, and at once moved to Kuala Lumpor and began to organize the new form of administration. Mr. T. Kershaw was appointed Legal Adviser, Mr. G. T. Hare Secretary for Chinese Affairs, and the work these two officers did for the Malay States in the next few years was beyond all praise. On Mr. Kershaw devolved the labour of drafting all the legal enactments which, from this date forward, had to be passed in practically identical form by the Council of each State in


the Federation, while Mr. Hare visited every Chinese mine, plantation, and village throughout the four States, established a unique influence with the Chinese of all classes, wrote most valuable papers on every subject concerning the Chinese community, and obtained such a thorough knowledge of the Revenue Farm System and the methods and profits of farmers, that the Government was enabled, probably for the first time, to secure an adequate rent, and the receipts from this source increased enormously. Mr. Kershaw was compelled to retire from ill-health, no doubt largely due to his unflagging toil, and Mr. Hare died in Singapore a few months ago.

To the public, especially to Europeans working in or having any relations with the Malay States, one of the most notable results of the new regime was the appointment of a Judicial Commissioner (Mr. Lawrence Jackson, Q.C.) to try capital cases and appeals from the courts of the senior magistrates, whose jurisdiction, as well as that of other officers entrusted with magisterial powers, was reduced in accordance with a plan for the re-arrangement of judicial duties throughout the Federation. For the first time also, members of the legal profession were admitted to plead in the Malay States Courts, and rules of procedure were framed by the Judicial Commissioner. The jury system was not found to work satisfactorily, and it was abolished in favour of trial by a judge with assessors. Within the last few years the judicial system has been further remodelled and the Bench strengthened by the addition of two Assistant Judicial Commissioners. A Public Prosecutor has also been appointed to relieve European police officers of the work of getting up important cases and prosecuting in the various courts.

The various police forces were entirely reorganized under a Commissioner of Police (the late Mr. H. C. Syers), and Colonel Walker, C.M.G., undertook the task of forming a regiment of Sikhs and Pathans named the Malay States


Guides, which has been brought to such a high state of efficiency that last year in the general musketry competition open to all the regular troops and volunteers in the colony and Federated Malay States, the Warren Shield was won for the fourth year in succession, five companies of the regiment coming first on the list.

The Malay States Guides (900 strong) only accept recruits who satisfy a very high standard ; the officers are, in most cases, seconded from the British Army for a term of years ; and the regiment is always ready to start on active service, with stores, clothing, and equipment, at a few hours' notice. Officers and men have always volunteered for active service whenever there was an opportunity, and it is much to be regretted that they were not employed during the operations round Peking in 1900-1, when they were so much nearer the scene of action than the troops sent from India. The refusal to make use of them is all the more difficult to understand because the Imperial Government counts upon the Malay States Guides as a force which can be utilized to strengthen the garrison of Singapore in case of war between Great Britain and any foreign Power. It seems, therefore, short-sighted to have neglected any opportunity for proving the fighting value of the regiment. The head-quarters of the regiment are at Taipeng, Perak, on the main trunk line of railway, fifty miles south of Pinang.

The police force, which is now over 2300 strong, is composed of Indians and Malays ; the former are found useful for guard and town duties and to deal with Chinese, while the Malays do best in coast stations and rural districts, especially where the population is mainly Malay. All the senior officers are British, and they now form, with the Straits and Hong Kong, an eastern police service ; candidates must pass a competitive examination on entry, and undergo a special training to fit them for their duties. As these officers gain experience of the country,


the people, and their own duties, it may fairly be expected that this important department will increase in efficiency.

A financial commissioner was appointed, and the whole financial system, both as regards treasuries and audit, was reorganized, at some increase in expenditure, but with much more satisfactory results in uniformity of method and the prompt rendering of accounts. Similarly, the Public Works Departments of all the States were formed into one, under a director (Mr. F. St. G. Caulfeild, l.S.O.) responsible to the Resident-General for the timely submission of all new proposals, the preparation of all plans and estimates, and the due execution of approved schemes. The personnel of the department was rearranged and graded, with a new system of salaries, and instructions were drawn up exactly defining the duties of all members of the staff. So with the railway. The whole work, whether construction of new lines or management of those already working, was placed under one guiding hand, who in this case was styled general manager, to meet the wishes of the Colonial Office, though the more appropriate title would be Director of Railways. At the time when federation was adopted there were disconnected sections of railway in all the States, and the most important work then in view was to join them up and secure a main line from the Prai River, in Province Wellesley, right through the greatest agricultural and mining districts of Perak, to join the Selangor main line and continue it to Seramban, the head-quarters of the Negri Sambilan administration. This work was rapidly and very satisfactorily carried through by July, 1903, under the direction of Mr. C. E. Spooner, C.M.G., the head of the railway department. Since that date the Federated Malay States have continued their own line to the borders of Johore ; they have supervised the building of a branch line for the colony from the borders of Malacca and the Negri Sambilan to the town and port of


Malacca, and they are now constructing an extension of 120 miles from the boundary of Negri Sambilan and Johore, right through the latter State to its capital, Johore Bharu, exactly opposite the terminus of the Singapore Railway on the other side of the Johore Strait. This Johore State Railway is not only being built by the Railway Department of the Federated Malay States, the whole cost is being advanced, as a loan to Johore, out of the surplus balances of the Federation, just as the Province Wellesley Railway and the Malacca Railway, in the British Colony of the Straits Settlements, were built and paid for by the Federated Malay States.

I am responsible for the Malay States lines, with the exception of the eight miles branch in Larut, from Taipeng to Port Weld, and the twenty-four miles branch in Sungei Ujong, from Seramban to Port Dickson (which was built by and belongs to a private company), and I may recall the fact that when I first recommended the construction of the Province Wellesley line it was disapproved. But when I again repeated all the arguments in favour of the work and pressed to be allowed to undertake it, Mr. Chamberlain, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, gave his sanction on the ground that, if the value of a great work could be satisfactorily demonstrated, the sooner it was taken in hand the better. Mr. Chamberlain is one of the few public men who realize this principle. Nothing is so common as to express great interest in a new proposal, great sympathy and even high approval ; but when it involves the expenditure of money, the running of risk, the acceptance of responsibility, enthusiasm for the scheme is not only tempered, but often entirely counter-acted, by the decision to put off its accomplishment to the Greek Kalends.

The Malay States made, and paid for, the Province Wellesley Railway, and no benefit so great has ever been conferred on Pinang in the history of that Settlement;


but the people of the place were slow to appreciate the fact, and have never been demonstrative in thanks to the Malay States, which also lent them a large sum of money to complete their steamer pier, another public work the advantages of which escaped their foresight.

The reader will understand, from what has already been said, that the Malay States were, at first, only places whose nominal rulers had so failed to keep their houses in order that their unruly subjects had become a danger to neighbouring British Settlements, and for the safety of those Settlements, the Queen's Government sent " advisers " to strengthen the hands of the Malay chiefs and assist them in establishing peace and good government. Of course, the Malay States were not British possessions, and could not be so treated ; but, as matters settled down and the States began to prosper, they required many servants and much material which could best be supplied from England. For the selection of servants and the purchase of material the Residents were instructed to apply to the Crown Agents for the Colonies, and to them alone, and the Malay States are under a debt of gratitude to the Crown Agents for the great and valuable assistance given by them in trying to satisfy the multitudinous requests of rich and rapidly developing territories. Still, the Malay States were not like Crown Colonies, or any other dependencies of the British Empire, and they possessed and exercised a larger measure of authority than other countries even remotely connected with the Colonial Office. To take one instance alone : they began, completed, and from time to time extended their railways without reference to any one but the Governor at Singapore. The work was initiated in the Malay States, and carried out by engineers in the service of those States, from the first trial surveys to the public opening and working of the lines, without any assistance, except an occasional reference to the consulting engineers


when advice was required on any matter of unusual importance, such as a design for a large bridge. All rails, locomotives, and other rolling stock, iron bridges, machinery, etc., were, however, purchased through the Crown Agents, and in these matters they constantly referred to the consulting engineers, whose advice was almost invariably followed. Therefore, as time went on, the gentlemen selected by the Crown Agents to advise them on railway matters (and no dependency is allowed to choose its own consulting engineers) became more and more interested in the Malay States railways, and as their work increased the Malay States recognized the position in a generous spirit. After nearly twenty years of successful railway construction, so successful that the severest criticism by qualified professional men is that the open lines are " too good " (meaning thereby that the gradients are, to use common-place terms, needlessly flat, the curves needlessly wide, and all the works and buildings of a rather expensive character), the Colonial Office, or the Crown Agents, or the consulting engineers, awoke to the fact that the Malay States had been doing something quite novel, quite contrary to established custom, and therefore quite wrong. It appears that Colonies --- that is, of course. Crown Colonies, responsible Governments do as they please, and do not employ the Crown Agents --- are not supposed to possess engineers qualified to construct railways ; and, as a rule, it may be granted that that is a very proper supposition. Therefore there is an " established system " for the construction of Government railways in these places, and that system is, that the consulting engineers to the Crown Agents undertake the whole job. They select, survey, and set out the line, appoint as many engineers as they think necessary, and send them out to do the construction on salaries fixed by them or in consultation with the Crown Agents. They decide the weight of the rails, the type of the bridges and rolling-stock, purchase the


whole of the materials, and, when the line is completed, they inform the Government of the colony for whom it is made, whose only concern is to pay the bill. The advantage of this system is that the line is made --- in time --- and neither the colony's chief engineer, nor its Governor, nor its Executive or Legislative Council, have any real responsibility for the work, even though it takes twice as long to construct as the time originally estimated and costs twice as much. As the construction engineer is serving his masters in England and not the Colonial Government, it is difficult to interfere with him ; and as the colony has no concern with the railway till it is finished and handed over, it is no one's business to criticize. Moreover, if there is no one in the colony capable of constructing the railway, it is difficult to suppose that local criticism can have any value.

The objections to this " established system " are, that the work is executed thousands of miles from the people who are responsible for it, who very probably have no personal knowledge of the local circumstances, of the effects of climate and rainfall, of labour conditions, of local prices, of the usefulness or otherwise of local materials under certain conditions common in railway construction, of the resources of the place, and so on. The engineer in charge of the work is probably equally at sea until he has been many months in the place and bought his experience --- at the cost of the local government. Then, as already explained, the local government cannot interfere, cannot be always raising questions only to be asked to give its full reasons in writing, and perhaps, eventually, have to explain what title it has to offer an opinion on technical points. However much the time, or the estimated cost, of the work are exceeded, no one is responsible. The Secretary of State, of course, only insists on the system ; beyond that he washes his hands of the matter. The Crown Agents have clearly nothing to do with it ; the


whole business only gives them trouble. The consulting engineers cannot be held responsible if there is more rain, or more sun, than they expected at any particular time ; nor are they held responsible if their representative in the colony finds it impossible to get labour, or sleepers, or any other local commodity, at the prices named in the estimates. If a bank is washed away because the water-ways were not large enough to admit the passage of storm-water, or if a bridge tumbles down because the foundations were not properly constructed, the people in England cannot be made to suffer ; and as for the engineer in charge, the utmost that can be done is to dismiss him, and he is not serving the Government, but the consulting engineers.

Worst of all, the consulting engineers, as such, disappear and are replaced by construction engineers, who pass the work of their own man, or of the contractors they employ; being placed in the invidious and (to the Government) unsatisfactory position of having to sit in judgment on their own plans and estimates carried out by their own servants --- men who probably have to look to them for future employment.

Therefore, whatever the kind of work put in, the Government has to accept it ; whatever the bill, the Government has to pay it ; however the estimated time of construction is exceeded, the public must bear it patiently ; because this is the established system under which railways are made in Crown Colonies. It might almost be added that, unless a man believe in the system faithfully, he cannot be saved.

Well, after nearly twenty years of another method, that of local responsibility and construction by Government engineers under the eye of the Government, which sees that it is getting its money worth, calls in other opinions when necessary, and takes care that all the conditions required by local circumstances shall be fulfilled in every


particular ; after that experience, crowned by a very marked success, not only as regards the quality of the roads constructed, but also in profits earned on the open lines, it was urged that the Federated Malay States should give up their methods and adopt in future the system enforced in Crown Colonies where the circumstances are different. Naturally the Malay States preferred the plan they understood, which had served them so well in the past, and which no one suggested had failed in any particular. On public grounds it is probably fortunate that the change has not been insisted upon, for the Malay Rulers understand questions of this kind better than might be supposed, and they would have resented the introduction of a system the need for which must have been difficult to explain. Malays do not lack intelligence, if they have no inclination to apply it to sustained effort ; and, after spending thirty years in trying to interest them in our system of administration, it need not be doubted that the Rulers and chiefs understand, and have their own views upon, all important questions affecting the development of their country and the welfare of the people. A mistake to avoid is the idea that because Malays do not write to newspapers, or often disclose their real thoughts to comparative strangers, they do not feel very strongly indeed on all matters concerning Malay affairs.

One of the best results of federation was the opportunity it gave for the Resident-General to meet all the Residents (and any of the federal heads of departments) in consultation, and so settle in a few days matters which months or years of correspondence would have brought no nearer to finality. A signal instance was the fact that a Land Code for all the States was unanimously adopted at the first conference, and subsequently a Mining Code and many other measures of an equally important and controversial character were discussed, revised, and adopted, every one present showing a real desire to meet the


views of his colleagues, to secure unanimity, and to set aside local interests and individual opinions in favour of wider considerations of general advantage. As regards the land question and the terms on which Government land (and that was practically all land) should be alienated, held, and transferred, there had been for years the most serious controversy, the most divergent opinions ever called forth by any administrative question in the Malay States. A very simple set of almost identical regulations had been a sufficient guide for nearly fifteen years. Then something much more elaborate became necessary, and as by that time there were in the States British Residents with very strong views on this and other questions, the result had been that policies were in some cases reversed, in others maintained and accentuated, and there were in different States widely different land laws, causing much very natural dissatisfaction. It was therefore a notable achievement to secure unanimity on a matter of so great importance, and this early promise of enthusiasm for a common cause has been maintained in subsequent conferences of the Residents with the Resident-General.

The rapid and accurate survey of mining and agricultural land had always been a serious difficulty, and will give some dissatisfaction to the public, and cause anxiety to the Government for years to come. Mining land which proves rich in ore is exceedingly valuable, and it is of great importance to owners, to applicants, and to the Government that the land, when once it has been alienated, should be correctly demarcated, surveyed, and entered on the district maps as rapidly as possible. In a country covered by dense forest, with an enormous number of applications being constantly made and a limited staff of surveyors, it will be understood that this is no easy matter. Very early in the history of the Protectorate, a trigonometrical survey of the country was begun in Perak, and comparatively large sums have been expended annually


ever since in carrying on that survey all over Perak and extending it to the other States, This was a department which, from its inception, could best have been worked in the interests of all the States, as has been done since federation. The allotment surveys are now made in conjunction with the triangulation, and a uniform policy is pursued in all the States.

Survey work, even the survey of large or small allotments, and the preparation of the plans which accompany every lease issued by the Government, costs a good deal more than the fees paid for it, and, of course, the higher the class of work required the more expensive it is. It may be doubted whether any other administration, so early in its history, has spent so much money and made such efforts to secure high-class work, in all branches of survey, as the Federated Malay States. At least £80,000 has been spent on the trigonometrical survey for which there is no direct return. An inspection of the land offices throughout the Federation would show the standard of work done in the Malay States, and the efficiency of this department is largely due to the influence and practical experience of Mr. E. W. Birch, C.M.G., now Resident of Perak.

The Malay forests are exceedingly valuable, and federation enabled the Resident-General to put their conservancy on a really sound footing. An experienced conservator was obtained from the Forest Department of the Indian Government ; he has gradually collected a competent staff, forest reserves have been selected and surveyed, regulations have been introduced, and the whole matter has been systematized. It is some satisfaction to think that these steps were taken before the splendid timber and other valuable jungle products had been destroyed, and it may be mentioned that the existing system is the outcome of the best advice obtainable, for the Malay States secured the services of the head of the Indian Forest Department


to visit Malaya, inspect the country, and report on the whole question of forest conservancy.

Throughout their later history the Malay States have had no better friend than the Indian Government. If anything I can say will be accepted in acknowledgment of the deep obligation under which the Malay administration lies for a hundred cases of kindly help, rendered by that Great Dependency of the British Crown to the struggling little Malay States, I offer, on their behalf, very grateful thanks, not more for the actual assistance given, than for the splendid courtesy with which the Indian Government always conducts its correspondence, a refusal almost conveying the impression of a favour conferred. The Federation made the only return in its power by contributing generously, and at once, to the last serious Indian famine.

In the year 1900 the Government established an institute for medical research, under the direction of a highly trained and qualified pathologist. This institution is equipped with every modern appliance for carrying out valuable researches ; it is, in a measure, affiliated to the London School of Tropical Medicine, has already done valuable work, and may be expected to do much more. The Director has now two qualified surgeons as assistants.

Within the last few years the Federated States have made two new appointments, a Government Geologist and a Director of Agriculture, and much is expected from these officers. In a field so wide the gain to the Government, to miners, and to planters will depend entirely upon whether the knowledge and energies of these specialists are directed towards inquiries of a really practical character, or whether they follow the more inviting paths of purely scientific research, without reference to the special conditions of the country and the special needs of local enterprise.

In order to bring home to the Malays, in the most


striking manner possible, the reality of federation, arrangements were made to hold a Conference of Malay Rulers, members of State Councils and Chiefs, as nearly as possible on the first anniversary of the coming into operation of the new system. It was proposed that the High Commissioner should open and close the conference, that questions of federal interest should be discussed, and that the opinions of all concerned should be taken on a number of large measures of policy then pending. The Malay Rulers took up the suggestion with enthusiasm, Kuala Kangsar, the seat of the Sultan of Perak, was chosen as the meeting place, and, in July, 1897, the Conference was duly held and proved a most unqualified success. All the Sultans attended, even the aged Sultan of Selangor, and not a single notable chief was absent. The arrangements for transporting to Perak and there housing, entertaining, and amusing so large a company, for the space of a week, took months of preparation ; but all those who shared in the work were rewarded by the success of a scheme which enabled the leading Malays to meet as friends and join with the High Commissioner, the Resident-General, and Residents in real work for the benefit and advancement of Federated Malaya.

After the Sultan of Selangor had invited the High Commissioner to preside, and the Sultan of Perak had welcomed those present to Perak, the High Commissioner addressed the assembly and declared the Conference open. Before proceeding to any business the Resident-General, on behalf of the Malay rulers, requested the High Commissioner to forward to the Queen-Empress the following telegram, which was at once dispatched.

" We, the Sultans of the Malay States of Selangor, Perak, Pahang, and Negri Sambilan, by the invitation of Your Majesty's High Commissioner, are met together, for the first time in history, to discuss the affairs of our States confederated under Your Majesty's gracious protection. We


desire to offer to Your Majesty our respectful and cordial congratulations on a reign of unexampled length and unequalled progress, and we pray for Your Majesty's long life and the continuance of that protection which has already brought such prosperity to Malaya."

In the following days a great deal of very useful work was done, all the Sultans and many of the chiefs frequently speaking on the various questions under discussion, and taking a keen interest in all the proceedings.

The following is from the Resident-General's Official Report of the proceedings :-

" From every point of view the meeting has been an unqualified success, and it is difficult to estimate now the present and prospective value of this unprecedented gathering of Malay Sultans, Rajas, and chiefs. Never in the history of Malaya has any such assemblage been even imagined. I doubt whether anybody has ever heard of one Ruler of a State making a ceremonial visit to another ; but to have been able to collect together, in one place, the Sultans of Perak, Selangor, Pahang, and the Negri Sambilan is a feat that might well have been regarded as impossible. People who do not understand the Malay cannot appreciate the difficulties of such a task ; and I confess that I myself never believed that we should be able to accomplish it. It was hardly to be expected that a man of the great age of the Sultan of Selangor could be induced to make, for him, so long and difficult a journey, and to those who know the pride, the prejudices, and the sensitiveness of Malay Rajas, it was very unlikely that the Sultan of Pahang would join an assemblage where he could not himself dictate the exact part which he would play in it. It is not so many years since the Governor of the Straits Settlements found the utmost difficulty in getting speech with Malay Rajas in the States which are now federated ; Sir Frederick Weld, even


though accompanied by the present Sultan of Perak, by Sir Hugh Low, and the present Residents of Selangor and Pahang, all officers accustomed to deal with Malays, had to wait several hours, on the bank of the Pahang River, before any one could persuade the Sultan of Pahang to leave a game of chance in which he was engaged with a Chinese, in order to grant an interview to His Excellency. It is difficult to imagine a greater difference than between then and now, and, though the Sultan of Perak has been far more nearly associated with British officers than any other of the Sultans, he has always been extremely jealous of his rights as a Ruler. I was, therefore, surprised to hear the frank way in which, at the Council, he spoke of British protection, which he did not hesitate to describe as control.

“ The deliberations of the Council were both interesting and useful, and there is no doubt that, in some respects, we could not have arrived at the same ends by any other means than the meeting of the Rajas of the Federated States and their responsible advisers. All the proceedings of the Council were conducted in the Malay language, and I am convinced that, if ever it were necessary to introduce interpretation, no such successful meetings as those just concluded could ever be held. The Sultans and all their chiefs spoke on all the subjects which interested them, without either hesitation or difficulty, and on matters concerning the Muhammadan religion, Malay customs, and questions which specially touch the well-being of Malays, it would be impossible to find elsewhere such knowledge and experience as is possessed by those present at the recent meetings. Nothing can be decided at the Council, which is only one of advice, for no Raja has any voice in the affairs of any State but his own. This was carefully explained and is thoroughly understood. But it is of great value to get together the best native opinions and to hear those qualified to do so thoroughly discuss, from


varying points of view, questions which are similar in all the Federated States. On several important subjects the members of the Council expressed unanimous views, and it now only remains to take action in the various State Councils to secure identical measures embodying the opinions expressed."

This 1897 Conference was such a pronounced success that by the desire of the Malays, it was decided to repeat it from time to time as found desirable and convenient, and on each occasion to assemble in a different State, so that each Sultan in turn might have the pleasure of welcoming the neighbouring rulers, of showing them his country, and the hope was expressed that the friendships then so happily made might be renewed.

A second and equally successful Conference was held at Kuala Lumpor, in Selangor, in July, 1903. Again the deliberations of the assembly, after much interesting discussion, resulted in a number of important decisions chiefly connected with matters in which the Malay population was specially concerned. This Conference was rendered notable by the fact that the Rulers of all the western States were conveyed to Kuala Lumpor by train, only the Sultan of Pahang and his chiefs having to travel by sea, and also by reason of a remarkable speech delivered by the Sultan of Perak at the close of the proceedings, when His Highness gave a graphic account of British intervention in the Malay States, and the benefits which had been conferred on the country and people by the adoption of British methods of administration. The Sultan spoke freely of his own and his people's early suspicions and distrust of the white man and how they had gradually changed their minds. His Highness laid special stress on the fact that he and his people had given their confidence and lasting friendship to those Residents who came with the evident wish to secure them.

If in earlier pages I have been able to give the reader


an intelligible idea of this waste of jungles and swamps, of mountains and rivers, sparsely inhabited by a far from industrious or happy people, preying on each other and on the heaven-sent Chinese toiler in an atmosphere of eternal heat, tempered by frequent deluges of tropical rain; if I have been able to show him something of the extraordinary change which has passed over the country and the people, lighting the dark places, bringing freedom and comfort and happiness to the greatly oppressed, and wealth to the greatly industrious; if now the reader sees a country covered with prosperous towns and villages, with roads and railways, with an enormously increased population, with every sign of advancement and prosperity, and if he also understands, in a measure at least, how this change has been brought about, I will cease to trouble him with further details of this unique experiment in administration, and will only mention a very few of the most remarkable results of British intervention in Malay affairs.

In an old Parliamentary paper I have found the following passages which I wrote as Resident of Perak, in March, 1895, that is immediately before the federation of the States. I quote them now because they emphasize the true secret of administrative success in the Malay States. I draw a distinction between what, for want of a better word, may be called the political problem, and the administrative problem presented to the British Residents. The first was solved by the Residents identifying themselves with the Malays, by speaking their language, sympathizing with their customs, showing consideration for their prejudices, consulting them about everything, making friends with them and getting at their hearts. The other was done by developing the country before the means of paying for it were actually available. To do this intelligently, it was necessary to know the States as far as they could then be known, and


have the courage to spend money with the confidence that it would all come back again, directly or indirectly. How far that policy was justified is shown by the passages here quoted :-

"Since 1890 the revenue has increased 40 per cent, and by the end of this year the increase will probably be 75 per cent. The production of tin has increased by over 50 per cent. ; the export of padi (unhusked rice) is nearly twenty times what it was in 1890, and that of sugar is more than double. The value of the Customs revenue has doubled, and of the land more than trebled. The railway receipts last year were three times, and this year will be nearly eight times, as large as in 1890. The postal business has increased fourfold, and that of the telegraph offices has more than doubled, while the trade of the State has increased from a value of $17,000,000 to nearly $27,000,000. And this is not quite all. With the progress and prosperity of the State the well-being of its people has kept pace. I have already said that the position of our Chinese labourers --- the bone and sinews of the body politic --- has vastly improved. There are very few Europeans who are able to compare the condition of the Malays now with what it was when Sir Andrew Clarke signed the Treaty of Pangkor in January, 1874. The change for them has been certainly remarkable. I have no desire to enlarge on the greatness of their gain, but it is evident enough to those few who knew the Peninsula then and can see it now ; moreover, the Malays themselves are conscious of their altered condition and grateful for it. It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that the position of all classes of Malay society and all individuals has been bettered. The power of the governing classes is, in one sense, far less than it was when British assistance was invoked, but their influence is certainly wider. As a class they are better housed, better clothed, wealthier, and in every sense more comfortable.


The same is the case with the lower classes ; they have gained exactly in proportion to that power which their chiefs have lost. Their lands, which were valueless and in many cases abandoned, are now cultivated, fenced, cared for, and acquiring a value which in some cases is considerable and in all appreciable. The wealthiest Malays in the Peninsula are the Perak Malays. It is for them that the richest silks of Trengganu and Batu Bara are woven, it is they who vie with each other in the building of expensive houses and the possession of horses and carriages, while many of them own residences in the Sacred City of Mecca. The richest man in Malaya is a member of the Perak State Council and made all his fortune in this State.

" The lesson to be learned from these facts and figures is, I think, a very plain one. It is, that in the administration of a Malay State, revenue and prosperity follow the liberal but prudently-directed expenditure of public funds, especially when they are invested in high-class roads, in railways, telegraphs, waterworks, and everything likely to encourage trade and private enterprise ; and in this the Malay State is probably not peculiar. The Government cannot do the mining and the agriculture, but it can make it profitable for others to embark in such speculations by giving them every reasonable facility, and that we have tried to do. If we had kept our funds in Indian securities, or if we had simply devoted our energies to building up large balances for the pleasure of looking at and talking of them, the progress of the State would have been a good deal less marked, and it is impossible to say whether, hereafter, our funds might not have been diverted to some other purpose, and Kinta, years hence, be still no nearer the immense boon of a railway to the port of Teluk Anson than Singapore is to-day to that railway across the Island which was so strongly advocated nearly twenty-five years ago.

" I confess that I am inclined to carry this principle of


the value of liberal expenditure on well-considered objects into almost every department of the public service of this State. The money that is spent is only invested, and comes back in increased revenue, while the State gains in palpable benefits like roads, railways, and other works, or in the increased efficiency of the administration. Both add to the revenue. A new road, or an additional officer, equally proves this truth, if the road is in the right direction and the officer does his work. That, at least, is the experience of the past, and it may be peculiar to the opening of new countries, especially when they are so rich in resources as the Malay States.

" I am not personally anxious to see the mineral wealth of Perak exported, in ever-increasing quantities, when the price of tin has dropped in two years from  £90 to £63 a ton and is still falling ; and yet we are to a large extent responsible. The enormously improved facilities of transport that we have provided enable the miners to work great mineral fields so much more economically that they can now, even at the present price of tin, afford to turn over ground that ten or fifteen years ago would have been neglected as unpayable, and the enormous quantities of the metal exported from the Malay States have no doubt brought down the price. Perak alone has contributed  £16,500,000 worth in the last twenty years. It is true that our capital (in the shape of tin) is leaving the country, but what has gone is probably only a fraction of what remains, and beyond imposing a high export duty, there is no special reason to try to control the production. The duty that is paid to us is exceptionally high (if the price of the metal continues to fall, it may be necessary to reduce it), and as it is the revenue derived from this source that has enabled us to construct our roads and railways, we are building up a capital of another and better kind. Our lines of communication do something more than enable the miner to get his rice cheaply and


transport his produce to a market at particularly low rates ; the railways, besides their other advantages, yield a large and direct revenue ; this year in Perak it will amount to nearly $700,000, of which probably more than half will be profit, giving a return of about 10 per cent on capital invested ; the roads feed the railways, and themselves indirectly contribute largely to the revenue. But the main point is that both roads and railways will open up the agricultural capabilities of the country and give us the best thing we can hope for : a settled agricultural population and a body of Europeans who will bring their brains, their energy, and their money to convert our jungles into extensive estates of permanent cultivation, a form of enterprise such as no Asiatic has hitherto had the ability, experience, or determination to attempt.

" If the falling price of silver is helping the miners of the Malay Peninsula to crush all rivalry in Cornwall or Australia, the same cause will give a manifest advantage to the planter who sells his coffee, tobacco, or spices in a market where payment is made in gold. The conditions of soil, of climate, and rainfall that he requires are here ; the transport facilities are good and improving yearly ; labour is cheap and may be made plentiful ; and all that remains is that the Government should be liberal in the terms on which it alienates the land. It is the opportunity of the planter, and it is also the opportunity of the Government ; it would be a serious blunder if the fact were not grasped that the interests of both are identical.

" Failures cannot benefit the Government, and at this moment, when European planting in the Malay Peninsula is still in its infancy, the man who brings us his capital, invests it in agriculture and loses it, can only serve as a scarecrow to frighten away intending planters.

" Mining is and must ever be surrounded by risks ; it is an unfortunate fact that many Europeans have invested considerable sums in mining ventures in the Malay States


and have lost them ; and yet it is not and has not been urged that the Government has placed difficulties in the way of acquiring mining land. When the British Government undertook to advise the Malay chiefs in the government of their countries, there were no alluvial tin mines in any British territory nearer than Australia, and no objection has therefore been raised to the regulations framed in the Malay States for the conduct of an industry that has now no rival in the world in the magnitude of its operations. We give to the miner what is often fine land covered with magnificent forest, and when he has destroyed the timber, he turns the soil upside down and after a few years abandons it, leaving huge stretches of country a sightless waste of water-holes.

" Whilst the operations last the Government secures a large revenue, and, as I have already explained, that revenue has been very usefully employed.

" The case of the planter is the exact reverse. He converts the jungle into produce-yielding fields, he settles on the soil : it is to his interest to foster to the utmost a property which will only give him a fair return alter the investment of capital and years of toil. His object is to keep the land in cultivation, and when one product fails (as coffee failed in Ceylon) he immediately turns his energies to the introduction of another.

" Here also there is a permanent revenue to be gained from the export duty on produce, and it wants no great effort of imagination to see a day when the duty on agricultural exports may exceed that on minerals. The returns in the latter case are much more rapid; but to make it easy to mine successfully and difficult to plant with profit may be good shopkeeping, but seems indifferent administration.

" I feel very strongly that the Government cannot pursue a wiser policy than the encouragement of the planter. I have been told that the terms on which land


has been granted to planters in the Malay States under the regulations which I drafted are too liberal, that they are thriftless, and I have failed to safeguard the future interests of the Government and retain the power to share in the rising value of alienated lands. The revenue returns of the last five years, given in paragraph 63 ante, are some indication of the result of the policy hitherto pursued in Perak, a policy which was endorsed by the great experience and sound judgment of Sir Hugh Low. Up to the present time, planting in Perak has been confined, with very few exceptions, to small native cultivators ; but while the Government retains the power to determine the amount of the export duties, and while there remain millions of acres of land available for planting, and the total area granted is only 157,209 acres, I do not think the interests of the State can be said to have been greatly neglected in the past or seriously endangered for the future.

" The Native States have not, so far, suffered from want of initiative. Of what has been done (and that can best be seen on the spot) little is due to outside influence, but local efforts have not always been unhampered. Sometimes, no doubt, we may have been inclined to think we know our own needs best, and the excuse for that impression is to be found in the result of the last twenty years' administration, and the fact that those responsible for the initiative are not working for their personal profit but in the interests of the Malay States, interests which may be lost sight of when viewed from a distance."

That was written in 1895, and I am quite content to stand by every word of it now.

The latest details available carry us to the close of the year 1905, and though, in some respects, it might be more satisfactory to give the returns for each State separately, a true conception of the result would be blurred by the mass of figures.


The following table gives a general view of the progress of the States under British advice and control at intervals of five years, from the first appointment of Residents to 31 December, 1905. It shows the revenue and expenditure, the trade (that is, the value of imports and exports), the duty paid on tin, the land revenue, the forest revenue (which prior to 1901 appeared as land revenue), the postal and telegraph receipts, and the railway receipts.
The population of Perak was returned, in 1879, as 81,084, and in 1889 had risen to 194,801. The first year which records the population of the four States is 1891, when the total was returned as 424,218. In 1901 the numbers had risen to 678,595, and the estimate for 1905 is 860,000.

All these figures are so significant that it seems a small thing to mention that a country which, in 1874, had no post office and had never seen a postage stamp, in 19041 dealt with about 10,000,000 covers, issued money orders to the value of over $1,250,000, had $275,000 in the Post Office Savings Banks, and maintained over 2000 miles of telegraph wires. In the same year the prisons received 10,000 prisoners, the hospitals treated 46,000 in-patients and 130,000 out-patients at a cost of over £ 50,000 a year, and the schools were attended by over 13,000 scholars. In 1875 the States did not possess a mile of first class road, but in 1904 there were over 2500 miles, the greater part of which will compare favourably with the roads in any country, while 340 miles of railway, built at a cost of $32,000,000, were open for traffic, and, when the present extensions are completed, the Federation will have constructed and equipped close on 500 miles of railways, out of current revenue, without borrowing a farthing. Indeed, the Government balances at the end of 1905 amounted to

1 It is possible to give the following figures for 1905. Postal revenue, $296,323 ; money orders issued, $1,798,147 ; in-patients in hospitals, 55,467 ; out-patients, 120,304; schools attended by 15,241 ; cost of education, $322,512; railways open, 396 miles, at a cost of $37,261,922.



no less than $22,000,000. It may be questioned whether it is possible to find, in the history of British administration over-seas, a parallel to this record.

How far the present prosperity of the Federated Malay States is due (1) to Chinese, (2) to Europeans, and (3) to British officers in the service of the Malay Government, is an interesting question which admits of an unhesitating reply. Chinese enterprise and Chinese industry, as has been explained, supplied the funds with which the country was developed. But without the British officers to secure order and justice, the Chinese would never have entered the country in tens of thousands ; without British control of the revenues, there never would have been any money to spend on the construction of roads and railways and all the other works of development ; and without the exercise of foresight and intelligent direction, the funds available would have been much smaller and might have been spent in vain. European planters and miners only came into the States when the result of Chinese enterprise had already proved the rich resources of the land, but to these Europeans belongs --- especially in three notable instances --- the credit of valuable assistance in the advancement of the Protected States. They introduced hydraulic sluicing and other scientific methods in dealing with the alluvial tin deposits. They extended the use of machinery, and they were the first seriously to attempt underground mining, whether in alluvial deposits or in the rock, and whether in mining for tin or gold. Secondly, it was Europeans who introduced scientific planting on a large scale. They hold the field in this respect ; they are rapidly extending the cultivation of valuable and permanent products, and their work may in time prove as useful and contribute as largely to the revenue as the mining industry. Thirdly, it was the European planters, chiefly men who had migrated from Ceylon, who introduced, or influenced the introduction of, a very large pro


portion of those Indian immigrants on whom they and the spending departments of the Government depend so largely for cheap labour.

The Malays are rice growers and planters of cocoanuts and other fruit trees, and it is very satisfactory to know that in the last thirty years these cultivations have been enormously extended. The Chinese are miners, market-gardeners, artizans, shopkeepers, contractors, financiers, and revenue farm holders. In a few cases they are now planters on a large scale. Natives of India are labourers of all kinds, and when they have saved a little money they become cultivators, owners of cattle, cart drivers, and follow other useful avocations. It is, however, to the English servants of the Government that the present prosperity of the Malay States is mainly due. In the earliest days they strove, in a manner probably unknown elsewhere, to induce natives of all nationalities to settle in the States. They spared no pains to persuade Malays, Chinese, and Indians to come into the country to take up land, to build houses, to start industries, and then to bring their relatives and friends to do the same. The Government made advances to these settlers, and Government officers nursed them in every possible way, made things pleasant for them, knew them all, and took an interest in them, praised their cottages and their gardens, gave them the energy they lacked, and often endued them with a spirit of rivalry which led to the building of villages, the planting of orchards, the cultivation of profitable produce, and later taught them a pride in their surroundings which amounted to the gift of a new sense. In the strenuous labour of these early days, when every one lived in extreme discomfort --- a discomfort almost impossible to realize now --- the Residents and the District Magistrates took the leading part, and whilst it is impossible to mention the names of all those who gave of their best to secure success, I cannot omit these five --- Martin Lister,

Patrick Murray, Henry Syers, Noel Denison, and Arthur Butler--- all of whom died while still holding offices of great trust and responsibility in the service of the Malay States. It is a noteworthy fact that all of them enjoyed in a high degree the confidence of the Malays, to whose interests they had devoted themselves from their first arrival in the Peninsula.

Until 1903 all Government servants had been paid in dollars, the value of which constantly fluctuated, and for thirty years the general tendency had been downward, so that a coin which in 1870 had been worth 4s. 6d., in 1903 was worth less than 2s. This depreciation of the purchasing price of the currency had caused much dissatisfaction and hardship, and all sorts of devices, not very clever devices, had been resorted to in order to make up for the loss. From 1 January, 1903, the Colonial Office was at last persuaded to agree to the placing of all salaries of European and other servants drawing over £100 a year on a sterling basis, and the opportunity was taken to give a more generous scale of remuneration than that hitherto paid. Government officers in the Malay States have always enjoyed the great privilege of free quarters, and though their salaries are still very much smaller than those paid for similar duties in the Indian Presidencies, they compare favourably with the rates which obtain in any Crown Colony. Even so, the cost of the establishment (that is the charge for salaries and allowances) is less than one-fifth of the revenue, whereas in other places ---the neighbouring colony, for instance --- it amounts to about one-third. That the services performed have been, and are, efficient has never been questioned, but the moderate cost of the Malay administration has passed unnoticed.

Now that order has been firmly established for so many years, that the country enjoys in such a large degree the benefits of the most modern institutions, and that the temper of the Malay population has ceased to cause anxiety,


one is apt to forget the difficulties of persuading an extraordinarily isolated, peculiar, and conservative people to accept an entirely new scheme of things. It was, however, necessary, under the special circumstances of the case, to so persuade them, and to educate them to take their part in the reconstruction of the administration. In that work the Malay village head-men rendered the most valuable assistance. They were chosen partly on account of hereditary claims, partly by popular election, and the fact that they were induced to take the side of the Government, and use their influence in the interests of peace and order, was of such importance that without their sympathy and assistance the task of the Resident might at any moment have been rendered almost impossible.

Quite recently Lord Curzon said : " If I were asked to sum up what were the lessons which Eastern government had given me, I should say they were these : In the first place, remember always that you are not in India or in any foreign dependency for the benefit of what in diplomacy is called your own nationals. You are there for the benefit of the people of the country." I quote that statement because of the high authority of the speaker, because it cannot be repeated too often, and because, in all the East, I believe there is no country where it has been so faithfully observed by British officers as in the Federated Malay States. Two or three years ago a distinguished American, commissioned by his Government to visit the Malay States and see how far our methods there might be adopted in the Philippines, said, " You have done so much for the Malays that there is nothing left to do, unless you divide the surplus revenue amongst the people."

There are people who have no patience with the Malays, who say they are lazy and useless and have already received far too much consideration. That is a view which, I trust, will never find sympathy with those who have


authority to control the destiny of people who have passed through phases of dislike and suspicion to an absolute belief in the genuineness of our profession that we had undertaken our task in their interests. As for being lazy and useless, there are practically no Malay paupers, and in that enervating climate the easy life attracts. Malays do enough work to satisfy their needs, and nature is so bountiful that that is very little. They do not strive for riches, but they are probably as happy and contented as other people who regard life differently, and it is questionable whether we should deserve their thanks if we could teach them the tireless energy, the self-denying frugality of the Chinese. And for what? Often in order that their children, or the adopted children, may squander, in a few years, what their fathers have collected by a lifetime of toil. You cannot make people virtuous by Act of Parliament, and you cannot graft the Chinese nature on to the Malay body. The Malays are " the people of the country " ; we went to the Malay States for their benefit, and we have somehow managed to give them an independence, a happiness and a prosperity which they never knew before ; and while it is not the Malays alone who have thus benefited, but all classes and nationalities, the credit is due to a few British officers who strove ceaselessly for that object which Lord Curzon puts first amongst the lessons taught him by Eastern administration.

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