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to the Chinese that, although the junk master cannot detain their persons for the debt contracted by them, he has a good action against each, by agreement, for the amount of passage money, and that if he prosecute them by law, they will most likely be cast in heavy costs. Jf this were told them and if the law were capable of being put in force easily few would leave the junk. But the police go on"j board, and content themselves with informing the Sinkays that they are free to go; for which gift of free passage, as they consider it, the Sinkays feel greatly obliged. The junk master, well knowing the folly of attempting any legal measures, where the people would be distributed over the Archipelago long before he could get a hearing, accepts the loss quietly, and determines to be more cautious in bringing emigrants to the Straits again. Thus is closed up a means of improving their condition to countless thousands who would otherwise be willing to bind themselves on such reasonable terms.
In addition to the large number of Chinese thus yearly arriving, there are now considerable numbers of country-born Chinese in the three settlements, particularly at Malacca. Having been born and educated for several generations under European governments, this class of men, free from all prejudice and alien feeling, enjoy great advantages in the race of competition. Devoting themselves almost exclusively to trade, they have hitherto had a monopoly against their less fortunate countrymen from China, who, as before said, are of an inferior class, and not qualified either by the possession of capital or knowledge of business to compete with men born among traders, in. all the advantages of better education and previous establishment. The Malacca born Chinese have a virtual monopoly at Singapore, which has itself not yet been long enough established to have produced a generation of adult Chinese.
In the 2nd volume of the Journal of the Indian Archipelago will be found a table shewing the occupations and numbers of the several tribes of Chinese is Singapore, drawn up by a Chinese trader. The estimate of the population is considerably too high, the nearest census taken, that of December 1849, shewing a total population of male Chinese amounting only to 24,790, and of all ages and both sexes the total was only 27,988, while in this table the numbers of tradesmen &c. is given at 39,400. The table however is interesting as shewing the ideas of an intelligent Chinese and perhaps is a nearly correct comparative account of the different professions and callings.
Estimate of numbers and occupations of Chinese resident in the Island of Singapore, in the Year 1848.
Shopkeepers and traders 3100
Gambier & Pepper Planters.
Bricklayers and Masons
Labourers of Ditto
Cabinet & Wooden-box makers.
Ship and Boat builders
Tailors, and Shoemakers......
Revenue Peons and preparers of
Arrack and Opium
Grand Total |9000| 19000110001600014000[ 70°
In the government census, 23rd January 1850, the employments and numbers of Chinese inhabitants are given as under;— Merchants and Clerks • OS
The position of the Chinese in native states at the present day is somewhat anomalous. It would appear that few Chinese settle permanently in any of the native stales in this part of the Archipelago; they establish their families, and make a sort of head quarters at the nearest European Settlement; and from thence trade to the native states, making them a place of residence for periods, longer or shorter, but rarely making them their permanent abode. In the tin countries an exception appears, but there they are in such numbers as to be able to protect themselves, and, in consequence, the native chiefs ace careful of interfering, and are content with the exaction of their proper proportion of tax on production. In cases where the Chinese have not been able to protect themselves against the Malay chiefs, the latter invariably encroach, and, if not checked, never cease extorting and exacting till they compel the Chinese to leave the country. Owing to the want of strong governments, any chief powerful enough to exercise an influence is permitted to do so without attempt at check on the part of the sovereign, (If there is one) who is paralysed by the neighbourhood of Europeans. With the exception of the native tin districts in Junk-Ceylon, Salangor and Sungi Ujong, Chinese are now only found at the ports and harbours of the native states, exclusively occupied in commercial pursuits, and chiefly as temporary residents. The immense numbers on Borneo appear formerly to have been strong enough for self-government; and having established themselves before the decadence of the native powers, they were protected in the commencement, and afterwards were strong enough to protect themselves, resisting the aggressions of the petty chiefs who sprung up on the ruins of the old Malayan sovereignties. Their long continued freedom from interference, made them especially impatient of the restraint on their movements
which followed on the Dutch assuming the rule of the several districts in which they were settled.
It is difficult to form any adequate idea of the numbers of Chinese scattered over the Archipelago and with our knowledge of the numbers which have, for at least two centuries, been crowding to the various islands, we cannot conceive any feasible cause for the fact that hitherto they have not had a sensible effect on the population. Unaccompanied by females of their own race they always, as soon as able to afford the expence, unite themselves to the native women of the countries they visit and with them give birth to children. In Malacca we find that all classes of the population have been altered from their primitive type. The Chinese physique is kept pure only by the most solicitous care, by constant intermarriages with men fresh from China, and by carefully excluding all females with less than the attainable purity of blood; that is, the first generation had half Malay blood but ever since the first stock of females was procured they keep within that line. None but the agriculturists and poorer classes intermarry with the Malays. In spite of all this care the Chinese of Malacca now, though not distinguishable to strangers, have features foreign to their ancestors. The face is fuller and more rounded; the check bones and features are not so marked and prominent; and, lastly, the triangular eye is decidedly more rounded. These effects, in a highly artificial state of society, where every effort is made to retain purity, must have a much more extended operation in rude agricultural communities and the enquiry naturally arises whether the Chinese in the islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and in the Malayan peninsula, have already exercised a decided influence on the physique of the Malayan inhabitants, and if so what have been and are likely to be the moral consequences of the change?
According to the last census the numbers of Chinese in these Settlements were:—
In Singapore 27,988
„ Malacca 10,608
„ Pinang 15,457
„ Province Welleslev 8,731
Great numbers are also to be found at the tin mines at Junk Ceylon, Salangor, Sungi Ujong and Banka, but no approximation beyond the merest guess can be obtained of their numbers, except at Banka, where they are said to exceed 10,000, all engaged in tin mining. The intellect of the Straits Chinese, as compared •with the ordinary home Chinese, must be considered as of an inferior order. This may be owing perhaps to the want of education of those born among us, and to the original inferior condition of the immigrants from China, their fathers.
The Chinese are not deficient in self assertion in their own country, as the history of our intercourse with them will abundantly prove. The head men of the junks and the few chance visitors of higher order appear to be very different from the cringing submission and want of personal independence which characterize the very highest Chinese to be met with in the Straits. Like the miserable Hindoo, ever ready to fall down and worship wealth and power, little can be expected from these people, if left to their own devices, in the way of improving their status among other classes. Content with the wealth which their cunning and habits of business provide, they look alone to material wants, leaving the moral man uncared for, and in consequence the Chinese, who ought to occupy a high and distinct position among our native classes, are content to remain unmarked. The same want of truth, absence of what we call honor, or, in other words, a refined perception of right and wrong, observed in the native of Hindostan, is found in the Chinese, surely not from want of capacity for improvement, but rather from absence of any means of education. One of the least talked of but in reality most valuable of Sir Stamford Raffles' projects, was the provision of adequate means for a high degree of education for the natives, and particularly tha Chinese. He must have been struck with the anomaly of seeing a class of men occupying a high position in commercial circles in his new colony, and capable of most materially influencing by their talents for business, the future prospects of the Settlement, placed beyond ihe pale of European intercourse by moral inferiority, and he easily foresaw that education was the only cure for such an evil. Immediate attention ought doubtless to be directed to the provision of general education for all, and a higher stand