Biographical Dictionary of Mercantile Personalities of Penang
Following the settlement of Penang by the British East india Company in 1786 the island quickly developed into a maritime port of exchange. By 1805 the population was ‘so diversified as at this day to write in13 distinct alphabet, & speak in 28 distinct dialects’.
The 200 concise biographies of early Penang mercantile personalities included in this volume offer the reader a rare and invaluable glimpse into their lives. The selection is a veritable cultural cross-section of those who pioneered the growth of Penang in the nineteenth and twentieth centurie. It highlights not only their contribution to the economic, social, political and cultural development of Penang, but also of Malaysia and Southeast Asia as a whole.
Table of Contents
Explanatory Note on Entries
List of Entries
Author Index (entries)
Index of Names
“Penang was built on commerce, and without an understanding of the personalities who initiated and sustained this commerce, our knowledge of the history of the island will inevitably be partial. This volume thus does us a great service by detailing an extensive range of the merchants and business people from all communities who, over two centuries, built Penang into a major trading and commercial centre.”
— Dr. Geofrey Wade, author of Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource. Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, 2005