1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Malay States (British)
MALAY STATES (British). The native states of the Malay Peninsula under British protection are divided into two groups: (1) federated, and (2) non-federated.
The federated states, under the protection of Great Britain, but not British possessions, are Perak, Selangor and the confederation of small states known as the Negri Sembilan (i.e. Nine States) on the west coast, and the state of Pahang on the east coast. Each state is under the rule of a sultan, who is assisted in his legislative duties by a state council, upon which the resident, and in some cases the secretary to the resident, has a seat, and which is composed of native chiefs and one or more Chinese members nominated by the sultan with the advice and consent of the resident. The council, in addition to legislative and other duties, revises all sentences of capital punishment. The administrative work of each state is carried on by the resident and his staff of European officials, whose ranks are recruited by successful candidates in the competitive examinations held annually by the Civil Service commissioners. The sultan of each state is bound by treaty with the British government to accept the advice of the resident, who is thus practically paramount; but great deference is paid to the opinions and wishes of the sultans and their chiefs, and the British officials are pledged not to interfere with the religious affairs of the Mahommedan community. In the actual administration of the Malay population great use is made of the native aristocratic system, the peasants being governed largely by their own chiefs, headmen and village elders, under the close supervision of British district officers. The result is a benevolent autocracy admirably adapted to local conditions and to the character and traditions of the people. A recognition of the fact that the welfare of the Malays, who are the people of the land and whose sultans have never ceded their territories to the British, must be regarded as the first consideration has been the guiding principle of the administration of the Malay States, and this has resulted in an extraordinary amelioration of the condition of the natives, which has proceeded concurrently with a notable development of the country and its resources, mineral and agricultural. To the work of development, however, the Malays have themselves contributed little, sound administration having been secured by the British officials, enterprise and capital having been supplied mainly by the Chinese, and the labour employed being almost entirely Chinese or Tamil. Meanwhile the Malays have improved their ancestral holdings, have enjoyed a peace and a security to which their past history furnishes no parallel, have obtained easy access to new and important markets for their agricultural produce, and for the rest have been suffered to lead the lives best suited to their characters and their desires. Each principal department of the administration has its federal head, and all the residents correspond with and are controlled by the resident-general, who, in his turn, is responsible to the high commissioner, the governor of the Straits Settlements for the time being.
The estimated aggregate area of the Federated Malay States is 28,000 sq. m., and the estimated population in 1905 was 860,000, as against 678,595 in 1901. Of these only about 230,000 are Malays. The revenue of the federation in 1905 was $23,964,593 (about £2,795,000), and the expenditure was $20,750,395 (about £2,460,000). The imports for the same year were valued at $50,575,455 (about £5,900,000), and the exports at $80,057,654 (about £9,340,000), making a total trade of nearly 15¼ millions sterling. The principal sources of revenue are an export duty on tin, the rents paid for the revenue farms of the right to collect import duties on opium, wine and spirits, and to keep licensed gambling-houses for the exclusive use of the Chinese population, railway receipts, land and forest revenue and postal revenue. The tin is won from large alluvial deposits found in the states of the western seaboard, and the mines are worked almost exclusively by Chinese capital and labour. Since 1889 the Federated Malay States have produced considerably more than half the tin of the world. Recently there has been a great development in agricultural enterprise, especially with regard to rubber, which is now grown in large quantities, the estates being mainly in the hands of Europeans, and the labour mostly Tamil. The states are opened up by over 2500 m. of some of the best metalled cart-roads in the world, and by a railway system, 350 m. of which, extending from the mainland opposite Penang to the ancient town of Malacca, are open to traffic. Another 150 m. of railway is under construction. The government offices at Kuala Lumpor, the federal capital of the states, are among the finest buildings of the kind in Asia. The whole of this extraordinary development, it should be noted, has been effected by careful, sound and wise administration coupled with a courageous and energetic policy of expenditure upon public works. Throughout, not one penny of debt has been incurred, the roads, railways, &c., being constructed entirely from current balances. This of course has only been rendered possible by the extraordinary mineral wealth which the states on the western seaboard have developed in the hands of Chinese miners amid the peace and security which British rule has brought to these once lawless lands. The value of the tin output for the year 1905 amounted to $69,460,993 (£8,104,199). Although agricultural enterprise in the Malay States is assuming considerable proportions and a growing importance, the total value of the principal agricultural products, including timber, for the year 1905 only aggregated $2,435,513 (£289,143).
The whole of the Malay Peninsula is one vast forest, through which flow countless streams that form one of the most lavish water-systems in the world. The rivers, though many of them are of imposing appearance and of considerable length, are uniformly shallow, only a few on the west coast being navigable by ships for a distance of some 40 m. from their mouths. In spite of the notable development above referred to, only a very small fraction of the entire area of the states has as yet been touched either by mining or agricultural enterprise. It is not too much to assert that the larger half of the forest-lands has never been trodden by the foot of man. (For information concerning the botany, geology, &c., of the Malay States see Malay Peninsula. For the ethnology see Malays.)
Perak is situated between the parallels 3° 37′ and 6° 5′ N. and 100° 3′ to 101° 51′ E. on the western side of the Malay Peninsula. It is bounded on the N. by the British possession of Province Wellesley and the Malay state of Kedah; on the S. by the protected native state of Selangor; on the E. by the protected native state of Pahang and the independent states of Kelantan and Petani; and on the W. by the Straits of Malacca. The coast-line is about 90 m. in length. The extreme distance from the most northerly to the most southerly portions of the state is about 172 m., and the greatest breadth from east to west is about 100 m. The total area of the country is estimated at about 10,000 sq. m.
The Perak river, which runs in a southerly direction almost parallel with the coast for nearly 150 m. of its course, is navigable for small steamers for about 40 m. from its mouth, and by native trading boats for nearly 200 m. The Plus, Batang, Padang and Kinta rivers are its principal tributaries, all of them falling into the Perak on its left bank. The other principal rivers of the state are the Krian, Kurau, Larut and Bruas to the north of the mouth of the Perak, and the Bernam to the south. None of these rivers is of any great importance as a waterway, although the Bernam River is navigable for small steamers for nearly 100 m. of its course. The mountain ranges, which cover a considerable area, run from the north-east to the south-west. The highest altitudes attained by them do not exceed 7500 ft., but they average about 2500 ft. They are all thickly covered with jungle. The ranges are two, running parallel to one another, with the valley of the Perak between them. The larger is a portion of the main chain, which runs down the peninsula from north to south. The lesser is situated in the district of Larut. There are several hill sanatoria in the state at heights which vary from 2500 to 4700 ft. above sea-level, but the extreme humidity of the atmosphere renders the coolness thus obtainable the reverse of enjoyable.
Mr Leonard Wray, curator of the Perak museum, writes as follows on the subject of the geological formation of the state: “There are really only four formations represented—firstly, the granitic rocks; secondly, a large series of beds of Geology. gneiss, quartzite, schist and sandstone, overlaid in many places by thick beds of crystalline limestone; thirdly, small sheets of trap rock; and fourthly, river-gravels and other Quaternary deposits. The granites are of many varieties, and also, in all probability, of several different geological periods. The series of quartzites, schists, and limestone are of great age, but as no fossils have ever been found in any of them, nothing definite can be stated as to their exact chronological position. Their lithological characteristics and the total absence of all organic remains point to the Archaean period. The failure to discover signs of life in them is, of course, merely negative evidence, and the finding of a single fossil would at once upset it. However, until this happens they may be conveniently classed as Laurentian. It is at present impossible to form anything approaching an accurate estimate of the thickness of this extensive series, but it is probable that it is somewhere between 4000 and 5000 ft. Unconformability has been noticed between the limestones and the beds beneath, but whether this is sufficient to separate them or not is a matter for future investigation. . . . The taller hills are exclusively composed of granite, as also are some of the lower ones. . . . The ores of the following metals have been found in the formations named: Granite—tin, lead, iron, arsenic, tungsten and titanium; Laurentian—tin, gold, lead, silver, iron, arsenic, copper, zinc, tungsten, manganese and bismuth; Quaternary—tin, gold, copper, tungsten, iron and titanium. This is not to be considered a complete list, as small quantities of other metals have also been found.”
The early history of Perak is obscure, the only information on the subject being obtained from native traditions, which are altogether untrustworthy. According to these authorities, however, a settlement was first made by Malays in Perak at Bruas, and the capital History. was later moved to the banks of the Perak River, the site chosen being a little village called Temong, which lies some miles up stream from Kuala Kangsar, the present residence of the sultan. When the Malacca sultanate fell, owing to the invasion of the Portuguese in 1511, a member of that royal house is said to have migrated to Perak, and the present dynasty claims to have been descended from him. As this boast is also made by almost every ruling family in the peninsula, the tradition is not worthy of any special attention. What is more certain is the tradition that Perak was twice invaded by the Achinese, and its rulers carried off into captivity, one of them, Sultan Mansur Shah, subsequently becoming the ruler of Achin. The first European settlement in Perak was made by the Dutch in 1650, under a treaty entered into with the Achinese, but the natives of the country rose against the Dutch again and again, and it was abandoned in 1783, though it was afterwards reoccupied, the Dutch being finally ejected by the British in 1795. In 1818 the Siamese conquered Perak, but its independence was secured by a treaty between the British and Siamese governments in 1824. From that date until 1874 Perak was ruled by its own sultans, but in that year, owing to internal strife, Sultan Abdullah applied to the then governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Andrew Clarke, for the assistance of a British Resident. The treaty of Pangkor was concluded on the 20th of January 1874, and the first resident, Mr J. W. W. Birch, was murdered on the 2nd of November 1875. A punitive expedition became necessary; sultan Abdullah and the other chiefs concerned in the murder were banished, the actual murderers were hanged, and Raja Muda Jusuf was declared regent. He died in 1888, and was succeeded by the sultan Raja Idris, K.C.M.G., a most enlightened ruler, who was from the first a strong and intelligent advocate of British methods of administration. Sir Hugh Low was appointed resident, a position which he held until 1889, when he was succeeded by Sir Frank Swettenham. Since then the history of Perak has been one of continuous peace and growing prosperity and wealth. Although the federal capital is Kuala Lumpor in Selangor, Perak still enjoys the honour of being the senior and leading state of the federation.
By the census taken on the 5th of April 1891 the population of Perak was shown to be as follows: Europeans, 366; Eurasians, Jews and Armenians, 293; Malays, 96,719; Chinese, 94,345; Tamils, 13,086; aborigines, 5779; other nationalities, Population. 3666; thus making a grand total of 214,254, of whom 156,408 were males and 57,846 were females. The estimated population in 1905 was 400,000, of whom 200,000 were Chinese and 160,000 were Malays, but owing to the disparity of the proportions between the sexes the deaths in each year largely outnumber the births, and the increase in the population is accounted for solely by the number of immigrants, chiefly from the mainland of China, and to a lesser extent from India also.
The revenue of Perak in 1874 amounted to $226,333. That for 1905 amounted to $12,242,897. Of this latter sum $4,876,400 was derived from duty on exported tin, $2,489,300 from railway receipts, $505,300 from land revenue and $142,800 from postal and telegraphic revenue. The remainder is mainly derived from the revenue farms, which are leased to Chinese capitalists for a short term of years, conveying to the lessee the right to collect import duties upon opium, wine and spirits, to keep pawnbroking shops, and to keep public licensed gambling-houses for the use of Chinese only. The expenditure for 1905 amounted to $10,141,980. Of this sum $4,236,000 was expended upon railway upkeep and construction and $2,176,100 upon public works. The value of the imports into Perak during 1905 was over $20,000,000, and that of the exports exceeded $40,000,000, making a total of over $60,000,000, equivalent to about seven million sterling. The output of tin from Perak ranged between 18,960 tons, valued at $23,099,506 in 1899, and 26,600 tons, valued at $35,500,000, in 1905. The fluctuating character of the output is due, not to any exhaustion of the mineral deposits of the state—that is not to be anticipated for many years yet to come—but to the uncertainty of the labour supply. The mining population is recruited exclusively from the districts of southern China, and during certain years an increased demand for labourers in China itself, in French Indo-China, in the Dutch colonies, and in South Africa temporarily and adversely affected immigration to the Straits of Malacca. The output has, moreover, been affected from time to time by the price of tin, which was $32.20 per pikul in 1896, rose to $42.96 in 1898, to $74.15 in 1900, and averaged $80.60 in 1905. Exclusive of tin, the principal exports were $108,000 worth of Para rubber, $181,000 of copra, $54,000 of hides, $48,000 of patchouli, and considerable quantities of timber, rattans and other jungle produce. The agricultural development of the state is still in its infancy, but rubber is cultivated in rapidly increasing areas, and the known fertility of the soil, the steady and regular rainfall, the excellent means of communication, and the natural and artificial conditions of the country, justify the expectation that the future of Perak as an agricultural country will be prosperous.
Although so much has been done to develop the resources of Perak, by far the greater portion of the state is still covered by dense and virgin forest. In 1898 it was calculated that only 330,249 acres of land were occupied or cultivated out of a total acreage of 6,400,000. The area of agricultural holdings has notably increased, but a considerable period must yet elapse before it will amount to even one-tenth of the whole. A line of railway connects the port General. of Teluk Anson with the great mining district of Kinta, whence the line runs, crossing the Perak River at Enggor, to Kuala Kangsar, the residence of the sultan, thence to Taiping, the administrative capital of the state, and via Krian to a point opposite to the island of Penang. A second line runs south from Perak and connects with the railway system of Selangor, which in its turn connects with the Negri Sembilan and Malacca line, thus giving through railway communication between the last-named town and Penang. Perak also possesses some 600 miles of excellent metalled cart-road, and the length of completed road is annually increasing.
For administrative purposes the state is divided into six districts: Upper Perak, Kuala Kangsar and Lower Perak, on the Perak River; Kinta; Batany Padang and Larut and Krian. Of these, Larut and Kinta are the principal mining centres, while Krian is the most prosperous agricultural district. The districts on the Perak River are mostly peopled by Malays. The administrative capital is Taiping, the chief town of Larut. Kuala Kangsar is chiefly memorable as having been the scene of the first federal meeting of native chiefs, who, with the British Residents from each state, met together in 1897 for friendly discussion of their common interests for the first time in history, under the auspices of the high commissioner, Sir Charles H. B. Mitchell. This, in the eyes of those who are acquainted with the character of the Malays and of the relations which formerly subsisted between the rulers of the various states, is perhaps the most signal token of the changes which British influence has wrought in the peninsula.
Selangor is situated between the parallels 2° 32′ and 3° 37′ N. and 100° 38′ and 102° E., on the western side of the Malay Peninsula. It is bounded on the N. by the protected native state of Perak, on the S. by the protected states of the Negri Sembilan, on the E. by Pahang and the Negri Sembilan, and on the W. by the Straits of Malacca. The coast-line is about 100 m. in length, greatest length about 104 m., and greatest breadth about 48 m., total area estimated at about 3000 sq. m.
The state consists of a narrow strip of land between the mountain range which forms the backbone of the peninsula and the Straits of Malacca. Compared with other states in the peninsula, Selangor is poorly watered. The principal rivers are the Selangor, the Klang and the Langat. The principal port of the state is Port Swettenham, situated at the mouth of the Klang River, and is connected with the capital, Kuala Lumpor, by a railway. The geology of the state closely resembles that of Perak. The state is possessed of most valuable deposits of alluvial tin, and mining for this metal is the chief industry of the population. Kuala Lumpor is also the federal capital of the Malay States.
According to native tradition, the ruling house of Selangor is descended from a Bugis raja, who, with two of his brothers, settled in the state in 1718, the son of the youngest brother eventually becoming ruler of the country. In 1783 the History. then sultan of Selangor joined with the Iang-di-per-Tuan Muda of Riau in an unsuccessful attack upon the Dutch who then held Malacca. In retaliation the Dutch, under Admiral Van Braam, invaded Selangor and drove the sultan out of his country. In 1785, aided by the Bendahara of Pahang, Sultan Ibrahim of Selangor reconquered his state; but the Dutch blockaded his ports, and eventually forced him to enter into a treaty whereby he consented to acknowledge their sovereignty. The earliest British political communication with Selangor began in 1818, when a commercial treaty was concluded with the governor of Penang. In 1867 Sultan Abdul Samad of Selangor appointed his son-in-law, Tungku Dia Udin, to be viceroy; and this gave rise to a civil war which lasted almost without intermission till 1873, when the enemies of Tungku Dia Udin were finally vanquished, largely by the agency of the Bendahara of Pahang, who, at the invitation of the governor of the Straits Settlements, sent a warlike expedition to the assistance of the viceroy. In 1874 the occurrence of an atrocious act of piracy off the mouth of the Langat River led to the governor, Sir Andrew Clarke, appointing, at the request of the sultan, a British Resident to aid him in the administration of his kingdom. Since that date there has been no further breach of the peace, and the prosperity of Selangor has increased annually.
By the census taken on the 5th of April 1891 the population of Selangor was given at 81,592 souls, of whom 67,051 were males and only 14,541 were females. The census taken on the 5th of April 1901 gave a total population of 168,789 souls, of whom 136,823 were males and 31,966 females. Of these 108,768 were Chinese, 33,997 were Malays, 16,748 were Tamils, and only 487 were Europeans. The returns deal with nearly a score of different nationalities. Since 1901 the population has been much increased and now certainly exceeds 200,000 souls. Now, however, that instead of a single port of entry there exist easy means of access to the state by rail both from the north and the south, it is no longer possible to estimate the annual increase by immigration with any approach to accuracy. It will be noted that the inhabitants of this erstwhile Malayan state were, even at the time of the census of 1901, over 64% Chinese, while the Malays were little more than 20% of the population. In Selangor, as elsewhere in the Malay Peninsula, the deaths annually far outnumber the births recorded (e.g. in 1905 births 8293, deaths 12,500). The disproportion of the female to the male sections of the population is greater in Selangor than in any other part of the colony or Malay States. The development of planting enterprise in Selangor, and more especially the cultivation of rubber, has led during recent years to the immigration of a considerable number of Tamil coolies, but the Tamil population is still insignificant as compared with the Chinese.
The revenue of Selangor in 1875 amounted to only $115,656; in 1905 it had increased to $8,857,793. Of this latter sum $3,195,318 was derived from duty on tin exported, $1,972,628 from federal receipts, and $340,360 from land revenue. The Finance, Trade, &c. balance is chiefly derived from the revenue farms, which include the right to collect import duty on opium and spirits. The expenditure for 1905 amounted to $7,186,146, of which sum $3,717,238 was on account of federal charges and $1,850,711 for public works. The value of the imports in 1905 was $24,643,619 and that of the exports was $26,683,316, making a total of $51,326,935, equivalent to £5,988,000. Tin is the principal export. The amount exported in 1905 was 17,254 tons. The total area of alienated mining land at the end of 1905 amounted to 65,573 acres, and it was estimated that over 60,000 Chinese were employed in the mines.
The main trunk line of the Federated Malay States railways passes through Selangor. It enters the state at Tanjong Malim on the Perak boundary, runs southward through Kuala Lumpor and so into the Negri Sembilan. It runs for 81 m. in Selangor territory. A branch line 27 m. long connects Kuala Lumpor with Port Swettenham on the Klang Straits where extensive wharves, capable of accommodating ocean-going vessels, have been constructed. A second branch line, measuring rather more than 4 m. in length, has been opened to traffic. It connects the caves at Batu with Kuala Lumpor. Frequent communication is maintained by steamer between Port Swettenham and Singapore, and by coasting vessels between the former port and those on the shores of the Straits of Malacca. All the principal places in the state are connected with one another by telegraph.
For administrative purposes Selangor is divided into six districts: Kuala Lumpor, in which the capital and the principal tin-fields are situated; Ulu Selangor, which is also a prosperous mining district; Kuala Selangor, which is agricultural, and poorly populated by Malays; Ulu Langat, mining and agricultural; Kuala Langat, the residence of the late sultan Abdul Samad, agricultural; and Klang, the only prosperous port of the state. Much money has been expended upon the capital, Kuala Lumpor, which possesses some fine public buildings, waterworks, &c., and where the principal residence of the Resident-General is situated. In some sort Kuala Lumpor is the capital not only of Selangor, but also of the whole federation. Its scenery is very attractive.
Negri Sembilan (the Nine States) is a federation of small native states which is now treated as a single entity, being under the control of a British Resident, and is situated between parallels 2° 28′ and 3° 18′ N. and 101° 45′ and 102° 45′ E., on the western side of the Malay Peninsula. It is bounded on the N. by the protected state of Pahang, on the S. by the territory of Malacca, on the E. by Pahang and the independent state of Johor, and on the W. by the Straits of Malacca. The coast-line is about 28 m. in length, and the extreme distance from north to south is 55 m., and that from east to west about 65 m. The estimated area is about 3000 sq. m. Port Dickson, or Arang-Arang, is the only port on the coast. It is connected with the capital, Seremban, by a railway 24 m. in length. Most of the states comprising the federation depend largely for their prosperity upon agriculture, but in some of the districts tin is being worked in considerable quantities, with good results.
As is the case with the history of most Malayan states, much rests upon no surer ground than tradition, in so far as the records of the Negri Sembilan are concerned. At the same time the native story that the states which now form the History. federation of the Negri Sembilan were originally peopled by tribes of Sakai, or aborigines of the peninsula, who descended from the mountains of the interior and peopled the valleys, is supported by much corroborative evidence. Not only does the Malay’s contempt for the Sakai make it exceedingly unlikely that the tradition, which is hardly a matter for pride, should have been preserved if it were not true, but also many of the laws and customs in force in these states are wholly foreign to those of the Malays, and can plainly be traced to the aborigines. As an instance, the custom of inheriting rank and property through the mother instead of through the father may be mentioned. Tradition further relates that towards the end of the 18th century a raja of the royal house of Menangkabu came from Sumatra to rule over the federation of small states, each of which continued to be governed in all its local affairs by its own chief and by the village and other councils sanctioned by ancient custom. The Sumatran raja took the title of Iang-di-per-Tuan of Sri Menanti. Although they bore the name of the “Nine States,” only six seem to have belonged to the federation during the time of which history speaks. These are Sri Menanti, Johol, Tampin, Rembau, Jelebu, and Sungei Ujong. Later the two latter separated themselves from the confederation. Ancient tradition says that the names of the nine states were originally Klang, Jelebu, Sungei Ujong, Johol, Segamat, Pasir Besar, Naning, Rembau and Jelai. Of these Klang was annexed by Selangor, Segamat and Pasir Besar by Johor, and Naning by Malacca. During the last years of the 18th century the Iang-di-per-Tuan appointed an Iang-di-per-Tuan Muda to rule Rembau, and the state of Tampin was created to provide for the family of the new chief. In 1887 the governor of the Straits Settlements sent Mr Martin Lister to the Negri Sembilan, which had become disintegrated, and by his influence the ancient federal system was revived under the control of a Resident appointed by the governor. The states which formed this new confederation were Johol, Ulu Muar, Jempol, Terachi, Inas, Gunong Pasir, Rembau, Tampin and Gemencheh. Prior to this, in 1873, owing to a civil war in Sungei Ujong, Sir Andrew Clarke sent a military force to that state, put an end to the disturbances, and placed the country under the control of a British Resident. Jelebu was taken under British protection in 1886, and was thenceforth managed by a magistrate under the orders of the Resident of Sungei Ujong. In 1896, when the federation of all the Malayan states under British control was effected, Sungei Ujong and Jelebu were reunited to the confederation of small states from which they had so long been separated and the whole, under the old name of the Negri Sembilan, or Nine States, was placed under one Resident.
The population of the Negri Sembilan, which according to the census taken in April 1891 was only 70,730, had increased to 96,028 by 1901, and was estimated at 119,454 in 1905. Of these 46,500 are Chinese, 65,000 Malays, 6700 Tamils, and 900 Europeans and Eurasians. The births registered slightly exceed the deaths in number, there being a large Malay population in the Negri Sembilan among whom the proportion of women to men is fair, a condition of things not found in localities where the inhabitants are mostly Chinese immigrants.
The revenue of the Negri Sembilan amounted to only $223,435 in 1888. In 1898 it had increased to $701,334, in 1900 to $1,251,366, and in 1905 to $2,335,534. The revenue for 1905 was derived mainly as follows:—customs $1,268,602, land Finance and Trade. revenue $145,475, land sales $21,407, while the revenue farms contributed $584,459. The expenditure in 1905 amounted to $2,214,093, of which $1,125,355 was expended upon public works. The trade returns for 1905, which are not, however, complete, show an aggregate value of about $13,000,000. The value of the tin exported during 1905 exceeded $6,900,000, and the value of the agricultural produce, of which gambier represented $211,000 and damar $80,000, amounted to $407,990.
Seremban, the administrative capital of the Negri Sembilan, is connected with Port Dickson by a railway line, owned by the Sungei Ujong Railway Company, which is 24½ m. in length. It is also situated on the trunk line of the General. Federated Malay States, and is thus joined by rail to Selangor on the north and to Malacca on the south. Frequent steam communication is maintained between Port Dickson and the ports on the Straits of Malacca and with Singapore.
For administrative purposes the Negri Sembilan is divided into five districts, viz. the Seremban District, the Coast District, Jelebu, Kuala Pilah and Tampin. Each of these is under the charge of a European district officer, who is responsible to the Resident. The Iang-di-per-Tuan lives at Kuala Pilah, but the capital of the federation is at Seremban in Sungei Ujong, where the Resident is stationed. The hereditary chiefs of the various states aid in the government of their districts, and have seats upon the state council, over which the Iang-di-per-Tuan presides. The watering-place of Magnolia Bay, where excellent sea-bathing is obtainable, is one of the pleasure resorts of this part of the peninsula.
Pahang, on the east coast of the peninsula, is situated between parallels 2° 28′ and 3° 45′ N. and 101° 30′ and 103° 30′ E. It is bounded on the N. by the independent native states of Kelantan and Trengganu; on the S. by the Negri Sembilan and Johor; on the E. by the China Sea; and on the W. by the protected states of Perak and Selangor. The coast-line is about 112 m. in length; the greatest length is about 210 m., and greatest breadth about 130 m. The state is the largest in the peninsula, its area being estimated at 15,000 sq. m. The ports on the coast are the mouths of the Endau, Rompin, Pahang and Kuantan rivers, but during the north-east monsoon the coast is not easy of approach, and the rivers, all of which are guarded by difficult bars, are impossible of access except at high tides.
The principal river of the state is the Pahang, from which it takes its name. At a distance of 180 m. from the coast this river is formed by two others named respectively the Jelai and the Tembeling. The former is joined 20 m. farther up stream by the Lipis, which has its rise in the mountains which form the boundary with Perak. The Jelai itself has its rise also in a more northerly portion of this range, while its two principal tributaries above the mouth of the Lipis, the Telom and the Serau, rise, the one in the plateau which divides Perak from Pahang, the other in the hills which separate Pahang from Kelantan. The Tembeling has its rise in the hills which divide Pahang from Kelantan, but some of its tributaries rise on the Trengganu frontier, while the largest of its confluents comes from the hills in which the Kuantan River takes its rise. The Pahang is navigable for large boats as far as Kuala Lipis, 200 m. from the mouth, and light-draught launches can also get up to that point. Smaller boats can be taken some 80 m. higher up the Jelai and Telom. The river, however, as a waterway is of little use, since it is uniformly shallow. The Rompin and Kuantan rivers are somewhat more easily navigated for the first 30 m. of their course, but taken as a whole the waterways of Pahang are of little value. The interior of Pahang is chiefly noted for its auriferous deposits. Gunong Tahan is situated on the boundary between Pahang and Kelantan. Its height is estimated at 8000 ft. above sea-level, but it has never yet been ascended. Pahang, like the states on the west coast, is covered almost entirely by one vast forest, but in the Lipis valley, which formerly was thickly populated, there is a considerable expanse of open grass plain unlike anything to be seen on the western seaboard. The coast is for the most part a sandy beach fringed with casuarina trees and there are only a few patches of mangrove-swamp throughout its entire length.
The ancient name of Pahang was Indrapura. It is mentioned in the history of Hang Tuah, the great Malacca brave, who flourished in the 16th century, and succeeded in abducting a daughter of the then ruling house of Pahang for his master, the History. sultan of Malacca. Prior to this, Pahang had been ruled by the Siamese. When Malacca fell into the hands of the Portuguese in 1511 the sultan, Muhammad Shah, fled to Pahang, and the present ruling house claims to have been descended from him. The title of the ruler of Pahang was Bendahara until 1882, when the present (1902) ruler, Wan Ahmad, assumed the title of sultan, taking the name of Sultan Ahmad Maatham Shah. Up to that time the Bendahara had been installed on his accession by the sultan of Riau, and held his office by virtue of that chief’s letter of authority. About 1855 the father of the present sultan died at Pekan, and his son Bendahara Korish, who succeeded him, drove Wan Ahmad from the country. After making three unsuccessful attempts to conquer the land and to dethrone his elder brother, Wan Ahmad at last succeeded in 1865 in invading the state and wresting the throne from his nephew, who had succeeded his father some years earlier. From that time, in spite of two attempts to shake his power by invasions from Selangor which were undertaken by his nephews Wan Aman and Wan Da, Bendahara Ahmad ruled his country with a rod of iron. In 1887 he consented to enter into a treaty with the governor of the Straits by which he accepted a consular agent at his court. This treaty was finally signed on the 8th of October 1887. In February of the following year a Chinese British subject was murdered at Pekan in circumstances which pointed to the responsibility of the sultan for the crime, and in October 1888 a Resident was appointed to assist the sultan in the administration of his country, that being, in the opinion of the British government, the only guarantee for the safety of the life and property of British subjects which it could accept. In December 1891 disturbances broke out in Pahang, the nominal leaders of which were certain of the sultan’s most trusted chiefs. The sultan himself took no part in the outbreak, but it undoubtedly had his sympathy, even if it was not caused by his direct commands. The rebels were driven to seek safety in flight in November 1892, but in June 1894 they gathered strength for a second disturbance, and raided Pahang from Kelantan, in which state they had been given shelter by the Mahommedan rulers. This event, added to the occurrence of other raids from across the border, led to an irregular expedition being led into Trengganu and Kelantan by the Resident of Pahang (Mr Hugh Clifford) in 1895, and this had the desired result. The rebel chiefs were banished to Siam, and no further breach of the peace has troubled the tranquillity of Pahang since that time. Pahang joined the Federated Malay States by a treaty signed in 1895, and the sultan and his principal chiefs were present at the federal durbar held at Kuala Kangsar in Perak in 1897.
The census taken in April 1901 gave the total population of Pahang at 84,113, of whom 73,462 were Malays, 8695 Chinese, 1227 Tamils and other natives of India, 180 Europeans and Eurasians, and 549 people of other nationalities. The population Population. in 1905 was estimated at 100,000, the increase being due to immigration mainly from the states on the western seaboard. In former days Pahang was far more thickly populated than in modern times, but the long succession of civil wars which racked the land after the death of Bendahara Ali caused thousands of Pahang Malays to fly the country. To-day the valley of the Lebir River in Kelantan and the upper portions of several rivers near the Perak and Selangor boundaries are inhabited by Pahang Malays, the descendants of these fugitives. The Pahang natives are almost all engaged in agriculture. The work of the mines, &c., is performed by Chinese and foreign Malays. In the Lipis valley the descendants of the Rawa Malays, who at one time possessed the whole of the interior in defiance of the Pahang rajas, still outnumber the people of the land.
The revenue of Pahang in 1899 amounted to only $62,077; in 1900 to $419,150. In 1905 it was $528,368. The expenditure in 1905 amounted to $1,208,176. Of this sum $736,886 was expended on public works. Pahang is still a source of expense Finance and Trade. to the federation, its progress having been retarded by the disturbances which lasted from December 1891 until 1895, with short intervals of peace, but the revenue is now steadily increasing, and the ultimate financial success of the state is considered to be secure. Pahang owes something over $3,966,500 to Selangor and $1,175,000 to Perak, which have financed it now for some years out of surplus revenue. The value of the imports in 1905 was $1,344,346, that of the exports was $3,838,928, thus making a total trade value of $5,183,274. The most valuable export is tin, the value of which in 1905 amounted to $2,820,745. The value of the gutta exported exceeded $140,000, that of dried and salted fish amounted to nearly $70,000, and that of timber to $325,000.
The geological formation of the states lying to the eastward of the main range of mountains which splits the peninsula in twain differs materially from that of the western states. At a distance of about a dozen miles from the summits of General. the mountains the granite formation is replaced by slates, which in many places are intersected by fissures of quartz, and in others are overlaid by vast thicknesses of limestone. Those of the quartz fissures which have been exploited are found to be auriferous, and several mining companies have attempted to work the deposits. Their efforts, however, have not hitherto been successful. A magnificent road over the mountains, with a ruling grade of 1 in 30, joins Kuala Lipis, the administrative capital of Pahang, to Kuala Kubu, the nearest railway station in Selangor. The road measures 82 m. in length. Pekan, where the sultan has his residence, was the capital of Pahang until the middle of 1898, when the administrative headquarters were transferred to the interior as being more central. None of these towns is of any size or importance. In the Kuantan valley, which lies parallel to the Pahang River, a European company is working tin lodes with considerable success. These lodes are the only mines of the kind being worked in the Federated Malay States. Pahang is fertile and well suited for agriculture of many kinds. The rainfall is heavy and regular. The climate is cooler than that of the west coast, and the full force of the monsoon is felt from October to February in each year. For administrative purposes Pahang is divided into four districts—Ulu Pahang, in which the present capital is situated; Temerloh, which includes 80 odd miles of the Pahang valley and the Semantan River; Pekan, which includes the coast rivers down to Endau; and Kuantan. Each of these is under the charge of a district officer, who is responsible to the resident. The boundary with Johor and the Negri Sembilan was rectified by a commission which sat in London in 1897-1898.
Authorities.—Journal of the Eastern Archipelago (Singapore); Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Singapore); Maxwell, Proceedings of the Royal Colonial Institute, vol. xxiii.; Swettenham, ibid. vol. xxvii; Clifford, ibid. vol. xxx. (London, 1892, 1895, 1899); Swettenham, About Perak (Singapore, 1893); Malay Sketches (London, 1895); The Real Malay (London, 1899); British Malaya (London, 1906); Clifford, In Court and Kampong (London, 1897); Studies in Brown Humanity (London, 1898); In a Corner of Asia (London, 1899); Bush-whacking (London, 1901); Further India (London, 1904); De la Croix, Les Mines d’etins de Perak (Paris, 1882); Bluebook, C. 9524 (London, 1899); The Straits Directory (Singapore, 1906); Skeat, Malay Magic (London, 1900); Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula (London, 1906).
- (H. Cl.)
In 1909 a treaty was made between Great Britain and Siam, one provision of which was the cession to the former of the suzerain rights enjoyed by the latter over certain territories in the Malay Peninsula. These territories consisted of the four Siamese Malay States: Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis, very ancient dependencies of Siam, all of which except Trengganu, were in a flourishing condition and had been administered by British officers in the service of Siam for some years prior to their transference. Though the four states were loyal to Siam and wished to retain their former allegiance, the change was effected without disturbance of any kind, the British government on assuming the rights of suzerainty placing an adviser at the court of each raja and guaranteeing the continuance of the administration on the lines already laid down by Siam so far as might be compatible with justice and fair treatment for all. The four states lie to the north of the Federated Malay States, two on the east and two on the west side of the peninsula.
Kelantan.—This state on the east coast, bounded N. and N.E. by the China Sea, E. by Trengganu, S. by Pahang and W. by Perak and Ra-ngé, lies between 4° 48′ and 6° 20′ N. and 101° 33′ and 102° 45′ E. The greatest length from north to south is 115 m. and the greatest breadth from east to west 60 m. The area is about 5000 sq. m. The northern part of the state is flat and fertile, but the southern district which comprises more than half the total area, is mountainous and uncultivated.
Next to the Pahang, the Kelantan River is the largest on the east coast. It is 120 miles long and is navigable for shallow-draft launches and big country boats for about 80 miles, and for vessels of 8 ft. draft for about six miles. Its principal tributaries are the Galas, Pergau and Lebir. The Golok and Semarak rivers water the west and east parts of the state, falling into the sea a few miles on either side of the mouth of the Kelantan River. The climate of Kelantan is mild and singularly healthy in the open cultivated regions. The population is about 300,000 of which 10,000 are aboriginal tribes (Sakeis and Jakuns), 10,000 Siamese and Chinese and the rest Malays. The Chinese are increasing and natives of different parts of India are resorting to the state for purposes of trade. Kota Bharu (pop. 10,000) is the only town in the state. It lies on the right bank of the river, about six miles from the sea. Since 1904 it has been laid out with metalled roads and many public and private buildings have been erected. The town is the commercial as well as the administrative centre of the state. Tumpat and Tabar on the coast, with population 4000 and 3000 respectively, are the places next in importance after Kota Bharu. A network of creeks render communication easy in the northern districts, the river and its tributaries afford means of access to all parts of the south; 20 miles of road have been made in the neighbourhood of Kota Bharu. Kelantan is connected by telegraph with Bangkok and Singapore, and maintains regular postal communication with those places. Rice cultivation is the principal industry and is increasing rapidly. Coco-nut and betel-nut growing are also largely practised. Much livestock is raised. About 400,000 acres of land are under cultivation. Though reputed rich in minerals, past misrule prevented mining enterprise in Kelantan until, in 1900, a large concession was given to an Englishman and the country was opened to foreigners. In 1909 three mining syndicates were at work, and several others were in process of formation. Gold, tin and galena have been found in several localities and during the years 1906-1909 28,000 ounces of gold were dredged from the Kelantan River. The Kelantanese are expert fishermen, some 30,000 finding employment in fishing and fish-drying. Silk-weaving is a growing industry. Foreign trade, which in 1909 reached the value of two and a half million dollars, is chiefly with Singapore. Principal exports are copra, rice, fish, cattle and gold; chief imports are cotton goods, hardware and specie. The currency is the Straits Settlements dollar and small silver coin, supplemented by a locally made tin coin of low value.
By virtue of a mutual agreement made in 1902 Siam appointed a resident commissioner to Kelantan and consented, so long as the advice of that officer should be followed, to leave internal affairs to be conducted locally. Under this arrangement a council of state was appointed, departments of government were organized, penal, civil and revenue laws were passed and enforced, courts were established and a police force was raised. Though formerly of an evil reputation, the people were found to be naturally peaceful and law-abiding, and serious crime is rare. The state revenue, which was practically nothing in 1902, amounted to $320,000 in 1907. Islamism was adopted about 300 years ago but the old animistic superstitions are still strong. The state is divided into mukim or parishes, but the imam no longer exercise temporal authority. There are three schools at Kota Bharu, education in the interior being in the hands of the imam assisted with government grants.
No historical records of Kelantan exist, and the state was not noticed by the European merchants of the 16th and 17th centuries. Consequently little is known of its early history beyond what is to be gathered from brief references in the Malay annals and the old chronicles of Siam. The sites of ancient towns and the remains of former gold diggings are visible here and there, but all knowledge of the men who made these marks has been lost. The present ruling family dates from about 1790. Siam was frequently called upon to maintain internal peace and in 1892 a royal prince was sent to reside in Kelantan as commissioner. Complications brought about by the incapacity of the ruler led to the making of the agreement of 1902 above mentioned, to the fixing of a regular tribute in money to Siam, and ultimately to the merging of the state from chaotic lawlessness into the path of reform. On the 15th of July 1909 the state came under British suzerainty and the commissioner of Siam was replaced by a British adviser, from which date the liability to payment of tribute ceased, though in all other respects the administrative arrangements of Siam remained unaltered.
Trengganu.—This state on the east coast, bounded N. and N.E. by the China Sea, S. by Pahang and W. by Pahang and Kelantan, lies between parallels 4° 4′ and 4° 46′ N. and 102° 30′ and 103° 26′ E. The greatest length from north to south is 120 m., and the greatest breadth from east to west 50 m. It has a coast-line of 130 m. and an estimated area of about 5000 sq. m. There are several islands off the coast, some of which are inhabited. The surface is generally mountainous.
Principal rivers are the Besut, Stiu, Trengganu, Dungun and Kmamun, none of which is navigable for any distance. The climate is mild and fairly healthy. The population numbers about 180,000, almost all Malays, and mostly clusters round the mouths and lower reaches of the rivers. The capital, which is situated at the mouth of the Trengganu River, contains, with its suburbs, not less than 30,000 people. Difficulty of access by river and by land render the interior districts almost uninhabitable. Communication is maintained by boat along the coast. There are no roads and no postal or telegraphic communications.
The majority of the people are sailors and fishermen. Rice is grown, but not in sufficient quantities to supply local needs. Much pepper and gambier were at one time grown and exported, but about the year 1903 agriculture began to fall off owing to prevailing insecurity of life and property. Not much livestock is raised, the few head of cattle exported from Besut being mostly stolen from across the neighbouring Kelantan border. A successful tin mine under European control exists in the Kmamun district, but as everything possible was done in the past to discourage all foreign enterprise, the probable mineral wealth of the country is still practically untouched. Silk-weaving, carried on entirely by the women, is a considerable industry. The silk is imported raw and is re-exported in the form of Malay clothing (sarongs) of patterns and quality which are widely celebrated. The manufacture of native weapons and of brassware was at one time brisk but is declining. The trade of Trengganu is not increasing. It is valued roughly at about one and a half million dollars a year, is chiefly with Singapore, and is to a great extent carried in Trengganu-built ships, which latter also do some carrying trade for other states on the east coast.
The Trengganu sultanate is one of the most ancient in the peninsula and ranks with that of Riau. The state was feudatory to Malacca in the 13th century and during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries its possession was frequently disputed between Malacca and Siam. The present sultan is the descendant of an ancient family, the members of which have quarrelled and fought with each other for the succession from time immemorial. The last serious disturbance was in 1837 when the grandfather of the present sultan stole the throne from his nephew. Until the acquisition of the state by Great Britain a triennial tribute of gold flowers was paid to Siam, and this with occasional letters of instructions and advice, constituted almost the only tangible evidence of Siamese suzerainty. Of government there was practically none. The sultan, having alienated most of his powers and prerogatives to his relatives, passed his life in religious seclusion and was ruler in no more than name. The revenues were devoured by the relatives, a small part of those accruing from the capital sufficing for the sultan’s needs. There were no written laws, no courts and no police. All manner of crime was rampant, the peasantry was mercilessly downtrodden, but the land was full of holy men and the cries of the miserable were drowned in the noise of ostentatious prayer. In fine, Trengganu presented in the beginning of the year 1909 the type of untrammelled Malay rule which had fortunately disappeared from every other state in the peninsula. In July of that year, however, the first British adviser or agent arrived in the state, which was shortly afterwards visited by the governor of the Straits Settlements, who discussed with the sultan the changed conditions consequent upon the Anglo-Siamese treaty and laid the foundations of future reform.
Kedah.—This state, on the west coast of the peninsula, lies between parallels 5° 20′ and 6° 42′ N., and is bounded, N. by Palit and Songkla, E. by Songkla and Raman, S. by Province Wellesley and Perak, and W. by the sea. The coast-line is 65 m. long, the greatest distance from north to south is 115 m. and the greatest breadth 46 m. Off the coast lies a group of islands, the largest of which is Langkawi, well peopled and forming a district of the state.
The total area of Kedah is about 4000 sq. m. The land is low-lying and swampy near the coast except towards the south where the height known as Kedah Hill rises from the shore opposite Penang, flat and fertile farther inland, and mountainous towards the eastern border. The rivers are small, the Sungei Kedah, navigable for a few miles for vessels of 50 tons, and the S. Muda, which forms the boundary with Province Wellesley, being the only streams worthy of notice. The plains are formed of marine deposit, and in the mountains limestone and granite preponderate. The population is estimated at 220,000, of whom about 100,000 are Malays, 50,000 Siamese and Samsams and 70,000 Chinese and Madrassis (Klings). There are three towns of importance. Alor Star, the capital, on the Kedah river, 10 miles from the sea, in a flat, unhealthy, but fertile locality, is a well laid out town with good streets, many handsome public and private buildings, and good wharfage for small vessels. The population is about 20,000, of whom more than half are Chinese and the remainder government servants and retainers of the local aristocracy. Kuala Muda (pop. 10,000) and Kulim (pop. 8000) situated in the south, are unimposing collections of small birch houses and thatched bamboo huts; the latter is the centre of the Kedah tin mining industry. The bulk of the population is scattered over the plains in small villages. A good road runs north from Alor Star to the border of the state, a distance of 40 miles, and other roads are being constructed. The state has 185 miles of telegraph line and 75 miles of telephone line. Mails are closed daily at Alor Star for Penang and there is a good internal postal service. The chief industry is rice cultivation. Coco-nut, betel-nut and fruit plantations are many, and the cultivation of rubber has recently been taken up with prospects of success. The estimated area under cultivation is about 300,000 acres. There are rice-mills at Alor Star and at Kuala Muda. The principal exports are rice, cattle and tin. The chief imports are cotton goods, provisions, hardware and raw silk. Accurate trade statistics are not available. The ruler holds the rank of sultan and is assisted in the government by a council and by the British adviser who since the state passed from Siamese to British protection in 1909, has replaced the officer formerly appointed by Siam. The sultan comes of a family long recognized by Siam as having hereditary right to the rulership. The penal and civil laws are administered in accordance with the precepts of Islamism, the official religion of the state. Though much has been done to improve the courts, justice is not easily obtainable. A land registration system is in force but is in a state of confusion, though a land law passed in 1905 gives security of tenure over lands newly acquired. The mining laws are similar to those of Siam. In 1905 the Siamese government advanced two and a half million dollars to Kedah, to pay the debts of the state, which sum was refunded by the British Government on assuming the position of protector. The annual revenue is $1,000,000 and the expenditure about the same. Chief heads of revenue are opium and land tax. Many revenue monopolies, created in the past, have not yet expired; but for this the revenue would be greater than it is. There is no army. In 1906 the police service was reorganized under British officers, resulting in great improvement to this department. The state is divided into a number of administrative districts under Malay officials. Each district comprises several mukim or parishes, the imam of which exercise both spiritual and temporal control. There are schools in the chief towns, but education has not yet been seriously undertaken.
Kedah was founded by colonists from India in A.D. 1200, about which time the Siamese had subdued Nakhon Sri Tammarat and claimed the whole Malay Peninsula. When the rise of Malacca shook Siamese authority in the peninsula, Kedah oscillated between them, and on the conquest of Malacca by the Portuguese, fell to Siam, though the capital was raided and burnt by the Europeans. The ruler and his people were converted to Islam in the 15th century. In 1768, the Siamese kingdom being disorganized, the sultan of Kedah entered into direct political relations with the Hon. East India Company, leasing the island of Penang to the latter. Further treaties followed in 1791 and 1802, but in 1821 Siam reasserted her control, expelling the rebellious sultan after a sanguinary war. The sultan made several fruitless efforts to recover the state, and at length made full submission, when he was reinstated. In 1868 an agreement between Great Britain and Siam was substituted for the treaties of the East India Company with the sultan. The present sultan succeeded in 1881, and for 14 years governed well, but in 1895 he began to contract debts and to leave the government to his minions. The result was chaos, and in 1905 the Siamese government had to intervene to avert a condition of bankruptcy, adjusting the finances and reorganizing the general administration to such effect that when, four years later, the state became a British dependency, a government was found established on a sound basis and requiring nothing but the presence of a firm and experienced officer as adviser to maintain its efficiency and assist its further advance.
Perlis (Palit).—This small state, consisting of the left bank drainage area of the Perlis River, lies between Setul and Kedah, which bound it on the N. and W. and on the E. respectively. It touches the sea only round the mouth of the river.
The population is about 10,000, Malays and Chinese. The chief town, Perlis, is situated about 12 m. up the river. A good deal of tin is worked, and rice and pepper are grown and exported. In the early part of the 19th century Perlis was a district of Kedah, but during a period of disturbance in the latter state it established itself as a separate chiefdom. In 1897 Siam restored the nominal authority of Kedah, but the measure was not productive of good. In 1905 the Siamese government advanced a loan of $200,000 to Perlis, and appointed an English adviser to assist in the general administration. This money was refunded to Siam and the adviser relieved by a British officer when the state became British in July 1909. The condition of the state has improved, but the revenue, $80,000, is not sufficient for the immediate needs of government.
Authorities.—Norman, The Far East (London, 1895); H. Clifford, in the Geographical Journal (London, 1896); Carter, The Kingdom of Siam (London, 1904); Graham, Reports on Kelantan (Bangkok, 1905-1909); Skeat and Blagden, Pagan Races of the Malay Peninsula (London, 1906); Hart, Reports on Kedah (Calcutta, 1907-1909); Graham, Kelantan, a Handbook (Glasgow, 1907).
- (W. A. G.)