Penang and Its Region: The Story of an Asian Entrepôt

Yeoh Seng Guan, Loh Wei Leng, Khoo Salma Nasution & Neil Khor, editors
2009. National University of Singapore
Soft cover. 23cm x 15cm, 284 pages
11 black and white illustrations
ISBN No: 9789971694234


From its beginnings in the late eighteenth century, the vibrant colonial port of Penang attracted a diverse range of peoples, enabled pioneering commercial enterprises, and fomented inter-ethnic collaboration and inter-cultural borrowings. The island came to be known as the `Pearl of the Orient’, and for many travellers it was their first port of call in Southeast Asia. In the early nineteenth century, Singapore displaced Penang in international trade, but the island remained a major focus of regional trade. For this reason, the story of Penang’s relations with the Malay Peninsula and other parts of Southeast Asia reveal a great deal about conditions within the region. This collection discusses the personal networks that have linked prominent individuals in Penang with neighbouring areas and considers the position of the island as a whole within the Southeast Asian region.

Editorial Reviews

“Penang and Its Region is a must-read for those who not only wish to “deconstruct” Penang’s past but also reconstruct its future.” Penang Economic Monthly

“This collection is absolutely worth reading…Clearly, too little attention has been given to this fascinating place.” David Kloos

“… the book is a fascinating collection of essays examining the various elements that went into the making of Penang. It is very well arranged, with broad holistic sketches narrowing down to very specialised studies.  It is a useful guide for visualising how this one part of Malaysia looked throughout the more than two hundred year period that spanned the heyday and the decline of the British presence in Malaya and also how it made the transition to serving the needs of an independent nation.” Dhara Anjaria, researcher at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Contributors xi
Foreward xv

Introduction Penang and Networks 1
Loh Wei Leng

Chapter 1
Conjunctures, Confluences, Contestations: A Perspective of Penang History – 7

Chapter 2
Penang’s Changing Role in the Straits Settlements, 1826-1946 – 30
C. M. Turnbull

Chapter 3
Tanjong, Hilir Perak, Larut and Kinta: The Penang-Perak Nexus in History – 54
Khoo Kay Kim

Chapter 4
Penang’s Trade and Shipping in the Imperial Age – 83
Loh Wei Leng

Chapter 5
From Regional Entrepôt to Malayan Port: Penang’s Trade and Trading Communities, 1890-1940 – 103
Chuleeporn Virunha

Chapter 6
Penang to Songkhla, Penang to Patani: Two Roads, Past and Present – 131
Philip King

Chapter 7
Perceptions of Penang: Views from across the Straits – 150
Abdur-Razzaq Lubis

Chapter 8
Migration and Enterprise: The Eu Yan Sang Firm and the Eu Kong-pui Family in Foshan, Penang and Hong Kong – 180
Stephanie Chung Po-Yin

Chapter 9
A Prominent Chinese Towkay from the Periphery: The Choong Family – 190
Wu Xian An

Chapter 10
Koh Seang Tat and the Asian Opium Farming Business – 213
Carl A. Trocki

Chapter 11
Secret Societies and Politics in Colonial Malaya with Special Reference to the Ang Bin Hoey in Penang (1945-1952) – 224
Leong Yee Fong

Chapter 12
Riding the Storms: Radicalization of the Labour Party of Malaya, Penang Division, 1963-1969 – 244
Tan Kim Hong

Index 270

Weight 400 g
Dimensions 23 × 15 × 1.7 cm

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