Coming of British in Malaysia

Since the 17th century, English traders had been introduce in Malay Waters till the entered of the British European power came to be entirely obvious in Malaysia. More and more British traders came to Malay States as a result of expanding trade activities in Southeast Asia at the time. British concerned about mainly economic and small concern in territorial control before the mid-19th-century. The British look toward southeast Asia for new resources after they were the most powerful coloniser in India. The Company’s desire increased by reason of the developing of the China trade in British ships for bases in the region. Different islands were used for this objective and the first constant procurement was Penang which hire from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786. This tack shortly after the mendacity of territory on the Province Wellesley. During the Napoleonic Wars in year 1795, the British occupied Dutch Malacca to forestall possible French interest in the area with the assent of the Netherlands.

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Stamford Raffles, the British governor, looked for an alternative base when Malacca was handed back to the Dutch in 1815, and in 1819, he acquired Singapore from the Sultan of Johor. The British colony of Bencoolen exchange for Malacca with the Dutch left the British as the sole colonial power on the peninsula. British hegemony in Malaya was formalised by the Anglo-Dutch Treaty in 1824, which divided the Malay archipelago between Britain and the Netherlands.


British Intervention in the Malay States

The British government employed a policy of non-intervention in the Malay states before 1873 year, as it was considered undesirable as it could bring about collision, declare the resources of Britain and destroy the commerce. Making boot through peaceful commerce was their major benefit. Yet, in 1870s, the Industrial Revolution established a need for a sustained supply of raw materials for the dilation of industries. As the tin-plating and tin-canning industries grew, the requirement for tin keep on to ascend, so the British expect for place that had rich tin deposits. Finally, the British looked to Malaya that Malaya could also play the role as markets for British goods.

In the 1870s, when the main tin-producing states of Malaya. Especially Perak, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan proficient extensive anarchy, the intervention turn into even more essential. There were constant internal disorder brought by feuds between Chinese secret socities and series controversy among the Malays, making the local government weak and unstable. Another problem was piracy off the Malayan coast. The involution was harmful to British commerce and the Straits merchants began to clamour for British.

In 1869, the opening of the Suez Canal raised European interest in overseas dilaiton as the East-West path was shortened. Since most of the territories which depose along the way had either been colonized by other powers or had harmonious commerce with Britain, it became necessary for the British to intervene in the Malay states to ensure the security of their commerce path to the East.The British also dreaded intervention by other foreign power such as French, Dutch, Germans and the Americans


Local Community Reaction to British Occupation

The inhabitant of Malaya were pleased to struggle and immolate their lives to release their homeland. Although they were once protectorates of Siam, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis frequently start attacks to struggle for their freedom.
Moreover, the Sultanate of Melaka also frequently fought the Portuguese in Melaka to restore what was rightfully to theirs.

(References: Malaysian Studies (Second Edition), Mardina Nordin, Hasnah Hussiin, pg.49.)

The Straits Settlements (SS)

Straits Settlements, previous British crown colony on the Strait of Malacca, consist of four trade centres, Penang, Singapore, Malacca, and Labuan.established or taken over by the British East India Company. The British settlement at Penang was founded in 1786, at Singapore. Malacca occupied by the British during the Napoleonic Wars in 1819 and was transferred to the East India Company in 1824. The three territories were publicly known as a crown colony in 1867. Labuan, which turn into part of Singapore Settlement 1907, was compose a fourth seperate settlement in 1912.


The Federated Malay States (FMS)

The Federated Malay States was a federation of four protected states in Malay Peninsula- Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan dan Pahang, established by Bitish government in 1895, which lasted until 1946.Rapid growth of the tin trade from around the mid-19th century had brought with it an influx of Chinese labour to the tin-producing west coast states of Perak, Selangor, and Negri Sembilan. Fierce competition between Chinese secret societies, rival business and social groups formed around dialect and clan membership, coincided with disputes for the control of imposts on tin coupled with intense political rivalry among local Malay rulers. The British, responding to sections of the Straits Settlements trading community who were financing the mines, intervened to safeguard and strengthen their commercial interests in lands that they perceived to be rich in natural resources.

The Unfederated Malay States (UFMS)

In 1826 Great Britain, through the East India Company, signed a secret treaty known as the Burney Treaty with the Kingdom of Siam. The rulers of the four northern and eastern Malay states, Kedah, Perlis, Trengganu, and Kelantan, were not present during the signing of the agreement. The British acknowledged Siamese sovereignty over those states, and Siam accepted British ownership of Penang and Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai) a narrow hinterland opposite the island of Penang, and allowed the East India Company to trade freely in Trengganu and Kelantan. In 1909, the Anglo-Siamese Treaty was signed by the same parties and through it Siam agreed to give up its claim over Kedah, Perlis, Trengganu, and Kelantan, which formally came under British control, while Pattani remained Siamese territory.