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Title: The constitutional history of Malaya, with special reference to the Malay States of Perak, Selangor, Negri and Pahang, 1874-1914
Author: Burns, P. L.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1966
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British Residents were appointed to the tin-producing States of Perak, Selangor and Sungai Ujong during 1874-5 and later to Negri Sembilan and Pahang. Although they were only sent to preserve order and give advice the Residents soon found it necessary to take charge of the affairs of these States. In most of the mining districts Malay authority had ceased to exist while British officers found Malay political institutions unsuited to implementing their advice. The indigenous political system was preserved, however, largely to ligitimize Resident rule and to a lesser extent to enable the British officers to govern the less productive districts. The indigenous institutions were subordinate to new ones which were centralised and bureacratic and organised to facilitate capitalist enterprise. The so-called federation of the four states in 1895 was designed to encourage even greater economic development. The prosperity which Federation helped to foster only intensified the centralisation of authority in the office of the chief executive authority - the Resident-General - and his federal officers. But this development provoked a reaction among the rulers and Resident who resented their loss of power and the intrusion of federal officers in State matters. It also resulted in excluding the High Commissioner, as the Governor was known after 1896, from any but nominal control over the administration of the Federated Malay States. Sir John Anderson's efforts after 1904 to effectively establish his authority in the Federation produced some important constitutional changes but made no appreciable effect on the actual rowers of the Resident-General, or his successor, the Chief Secretary to Government.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral