1st Edition

Chinese Business in the Making of a Malay State, 1882-1941 Kedah and Penang

By Wu Xiao An Copyright 2003

    This book examines how Chinese family and business networks, focused around activities such as revenue farming, including opium, the rice trade, and pawnbroking, and related legal and labour organization activities, were highly influential in the process of state formation in Malaya. It shows how Chinese family and business networks were flexible and dynamic, and were closely interlocked with economic and social structures, around which government, and states, developed. It considers the crucial role of wealth and power in the process of state formation, and challenges accepted views of Chinese ethnicity and migration.

    1. Introduction
    2. Settings
    3. Networking Regional Interactions 1882-1889
    4. Family and State 1889-1895
    5. Old Framework and New Development 1895-1905
    6. Transition 1905-1909
    7. Confrontation and Accommodation 1909-1918
    8. Another Round of Adjustment 1918-1928
    9. A New Profile of Community and Business 1928-1941
    10. Conclusion


    Wu Xiao An received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He held a lectureship at Xiamen University (1991-93) and was awarded fellowships at the University of Amsterdam (1993-99), The National University of Singapore (2000-1) and Kyoto University (2002).
    His research interests include the modern history of Southeast Asia and the Chinese overseas.

    'The richness of both the thematic approaches as well as the breadth of the source materials used will surely make this book compelling reading. Readers interested in colonial history, state formation, social change, family business networks, and legal institutional development will all find challenging views and interesting description. Moreover, Wu Xiao An has shown us convincingly that these diverse issues not only can be analysed in an integrated fashion, but that they should be.' - Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

    'The book is a major contribution to studies of nineteenth and twentieth century Malaysian history, studies of the overseas Chinese and studies of colonialism and it should be seen as an important complement to other works which show the role played by Penang in its neighbouring territories.' - Journal of Southeast Asian Studies