vol 11 issue 4, Jan – Mar 2016

Crawfurd on Southeast Asia

  British colonial administrator John Crawfurd once wrote that the Chinese in 19th-century Southeast Asia have a “propensity to form secret societies [that] has sometimes proved inconvenient”. But on the whole “they are peaceable subjects”, he added, and in the event of a foreign invasion, “their cooperation might certainly be relied on by a British…

The First Newspaper

Long before the advent of modern communications and transportation systems, merchants in 19th-century Singapore relied on the humble newspaper to track shipping arrivals and departures. As the movement of cargo, people and mail was key to the island’s rise as a maritime port, the Singapore Chronicle‘s chief task was to disseminate commercial information and news.

About Babas and the Chinese

The Peranakan Museum in Armenian Street is probably the best place to go if you want to learn about the origins, history and culture of Singapore’s fascinating Straits Chinese or Peranakan community. But there was no such museum or repository of information more than a century ago. And so for the most part, people looked to a book written in 1879 by Jonas Daniel…

A Christian Sermon in Malay

Shortly after Stamford Raffles established a British trading outpost in Singapore on 6 February 1819, missionaries began arriving here in hopes of spreading Christianity to the people.The first of these missionary groups was the London Missionary Society (LMS) – a non-denominational Protestant society founded in 1795 in England – which sent a missionary named Samuel Milton from Malacca to Singapore. Milton was later joined by…