IT is an article of popular belief that Englishmen are born sailors ; probably it would be more true to say that they are born administrators. The Englishman makes a good sailor because we happen to have hit upon the right training to secure that end ; but, though the Empire is large and the duties of administration important, we have no school where they are taught.
Still it would be difficult to devise any responsibility, how ever onerous and unattractive, which a midshipman would not at once undertake, though it had no concern with sea or ship. Moreover, he would make a very good attempt to solve the problem, because his training fits him to deal intelligently with the unexpected. One may, however, question whether any one but a midshipman would have willingly embarked upon a voyage to discover the means of introducing order into the Malay States, when that task was thrust upon the British Government in 1874.
The object of this book is to explain the circumstances under which the experiment was made, the conditions which prevailed, the features of the country and the character of the people; then to describe the gradual evolution of a system of administration which has no exact parallel, and to tell what this new departure has done for Malaya, what effect it has had on the neighbouring British possessions. A comparison is also drawn between the progress made in the Malay States under British protection and the other States of the Peninsula, whether independent or under Siamese control. In order to give the reader an intelligible account of these matters, it has been necessary to deal briefly with the early history of the Malays and of those Settlements forming the British colony of which the capital is Singapore.
The main idea is to set out accurately the important facts which led to the intervention of Great Britain in the domestic affairs of the countries now known as the Federated Malay States, and to record exactly the steps by which they have been led to their present position as Dependencies of the British Crown. The unique character of the experiment and the success which has attended it are sufficient reasons for describing the efforts which have raised the Malays to a condition of comfort and happiness never before known in their history, and have conferred benefits on Chinese, Indians, and British alike, while opening a new and valuable market to British manufacturers.
A further incentive was supplied by the desire of the writer to tell truthfully a story never yet told, though the facts, as far as they concern the Federated States, are no discredit to the British nation, either as the paramount Power in Malaya, or simply as a friend who can sympathize with, and be generous to, a poor neighbour, without considerations of self-interest.
I have felt the disadvantage of writing from intimate knowledge of the events of my time, and, while I could not kill the personal pronoun, for it has a thousand lives and some uses, I have made an effort to scotch it
My thanks are due to Mr. Basil H. Soulsby, F.S.A,, of the Map Department of the British Museum, and to Mr. C Atchley, I.S.O., Librarian of the Colonial Office, for their kind assistance.

Sir Frank Swettenham, K.C.M.G
19 July, 1906

Sir Henry Keppel and Frank Swettenham in Singapore, 1903

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