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The British As Rulers


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The British As Rulers

  1. 1. What you will learn … Impact of Colonial Rule in Singapore 1) How the British system of government worked in Singapore 2) What the British did to improve law and order 3) What the British did to improve social services 4) How the British treated the Asians
  2. 2. Question: What is the difference between Executive Council and Legislative Council?
  3. 3. Singapore as a Crown Colony Queen Victoria British Government in London (Colonial Office) Governor of the Straits Settlements Executive Council Legislative Council British officials and non-officials mainly Asian & European traders British officials Make laws Help to run the Settlements
  4. 4. Involvement of Locals in the Government • Limited – few locals appointed into Legislative Council • Decisions ultimately made by the majority British officials • Examples: Eunos Abdullah Lim Boon Keng
  5. 5. Source A: Adapted from The British as Rulers by Edwin Lee “The keeping of the law and order was the responsibility of the police, but for a long time in Singapore’s history, they could not do it. There were riots, stealing during the riots and frequent and daring robberies committed by gangs of men in the 1840s and 1850s.” What is the message behind Source A?
  6. 6. Where and what is this place? Source B:
  7. 7. Geylang Police Station c1905 Source B:
  8. 8. 1) Policemen were very poorly paid • Few wanted to join the police force • The first police force in 1820 consisted of 11 people • Too small to control several thousand settlers • The early policemen had no uniform and had to go barefooted when on duty Source C: How useful are Sources B and C in showing the poor standards of the police force?
  9. 9. 2) Most immigrants did not understand British laws 3) Growth of Chinese secret societies
  10. 10. CHINESE RIOTS “None of the shops dared re-open, and when any of the streets was left unguarded the men on both sides would rush out and commence the fight again. Finally, finding that they could only fight at short intervals and in small numbers in the town, the two clans marched out in large bodies into the country, where many pitched battles took place, and large numbers were killed on both sides, the heads of the dead being cut off and carried on the spears of their adversaries.” One Hundred Years of Singapore, Volume One
  11. 11. 4) Abuse of Chinese immigrants 5) The British did not care for the people in Singapore
  12. 12. Result? Late 19th century: more immigrants → Increase in secret societies → more VIOLENCE → Disrupted trade • Many Asian and British merchants wrote to the Governor • Urged him to take strong action to improve the police force Solution? Measures undertaken? The governme nt has also employed more governme nt officials
  13. 13. Solution? Measures undertaken? The Chinese Protectorate • Set up in 1877 to handle all matters and problems related to the Chinese, esp the problems of coolie trade and the secret societies • William Pickering? • Guess how many dialects he knew? • Can u name them?
  14. 14. Solution? Measures undertaken? • All Chinese societies, agents and coolies had to be registered with the CP • Hence, Pickering got to know many Chinese leaders • Sought their help to keep law and order among the Chinese • CP had some effect in controlling the coolie trade
  15. 15. Solution? Measures undertaken? Duties of CP: - deal with in-coming immigrants, check abuse in the coolie traffic, licence the vessels and go on board in-coming Chinese junks and ships. They had also to register societies, prevent forced prostitution and protect Chinese woman and girls.
  16. 16. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was formed in 1906
  17. 17. Refer to graphic organizer: Overview Key Pointers: - The police were very ineffective for the most part of the 19th century. - New measures to improve law and order were implemented by the government only upon pressure from the merchants. - Eg: Improved the police force, set up the CP and the CID Law and Order
  18. 18. SOCIAL SERVICES EDUCATION British needed English-educated Asians to work for the govt •British did not treat all schools the same √ English and Malay schools X Chinese schools
  19. 19. Not too long ago, in the 19th century… before the dawn of SARs, bird flu, mad cow disease, dengue fever… SOCIAL SERVICES HEALTH Smallpox as a bioterrorist threat Smallpox & Cholera
  20. 20. The following pictures may be disturbing to some viewers… WARNING
  21. 21. SOCIAL SERVICES HEALTH • Public Health Department • Early 20thC – Asian leaders pressured govt to set up a medical school -> A need to train more doctors • Govt agreed on condition that people raised a large sum of money to build the college
  22. 22. SOCIAL SERVICES HEALTH Asian leaders: • $87,000 • 1905 – First medical school established to train doctors • 1920 – The school became King Edward College of Medicine Govt: • built more hospitals • cleared dirty streets and drains • By early 1940s, govt was providing better medical care and services • Spread of disease reduced
  23. 23. Key Pointers: - The government was only interested in the economic aspect  Trade - Neglected social aspect  Education & Health services - Only towards 1900s: more involved in providing education and health services Social Services
  24. 24. The Rulers and the Ruled Refer to Source D. The British considered the Chinese merchants as one of the most important group of people. Do you agree? Inference Qn! Yes, Source D shows the Prince of Wales chatting with the Chinese merchants during his visit to Singapore in 1922. For a high- ranking member of the British royal family to spend time chatting with the Chinese merchants, it proves that the British must have valued them as one of the most important group of people in Singapore. Moreover, the Chinese merchants had an important part to play in helping the trade in Singapore to grow. Thus, the British sometimes considered their views and tried to meet their needs. Source D:
  25. 25. The Rulers and the Ruled • 19thC – the British considered the European and Chinese merchants as the most important group of people • Mainly because they helped trade to grow • But did not treat other Asians in the govt well • The officials in control of govt depts were all Europeans • Believed that Europeans were superior to Asians • The British rewarded people according to their race, not their talents or contributions
  26. 26. The Rulers and the Ruled • “Discrimination” – Inside and outside the government Europeans Asians •Senior/more important positions Eg: Only European officials were in control of the government departments •Junior/less important positions •Higher salaries •Lower salaries •Railway: Separate carriages for Asians and Europeans. •Shops & hotels: Europeans treated as more important than Asians
  27. 27. The Rulers and the Ruled Key Pointers: - All these made Asians dislike the British for their unfair treatment - By 1942 (when Japan invaded Singapore), the British still had not done enough in the social and political aspects: Social: Inadequate education and medical facilities Political: Non-official members of the LC were still chosen by the Governor and not elected by the people - Discrimination against Asians remained in and out of government
  28. 28. The main reason why the British government ruled with little Asian participation because the locals were quite contented to leave the ruling of the island to the British. Do you agree? Steps: 1) Start with the given factor 2) Then move on to other factors eg: Factor 1 Factor 2 3) Reach a conclusion and decide if it was the main factor or not. • 2 reasons for limited Political Participation by Asians: 1. Locals were not interested • More interested in making their own living • Quite contented to leave the ruling of the island to the British 2. Europeans and Asian traders (also known as merchants) were the only ones interested in government • Some Asian traders nominated to become non-official members in the Legislative Council • An important step in getting Asians involved in the affairs of the settlement • Asian non-official members were more familiar with the situation in Singapore • Helped to passed laws that benefited the people Structured Essay Qn
  29. 29. Acknowledgements Images and photographs were reproduced in the interest and pursuit of education and not for profit. All copyrights belong to the respective owners : • Understanding Our Past, 1999 CPDD-MOE, Singapore • Paul Thomas, British Monarchy, Oxford University Press 1989 • One Hundred Years of Singapore, Volume One • Singapore Historical Postcards : From the National Archives Collection, Times Editions