Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/235699
Title: NAVIGATING INDENTURE: EXAMINING THE POLITICS OF LABOUR IN THE COOLIE TRADE IN BRITISH MALAYA, 1870-1910
Authors: LEE SHU PING
Keywords: British Malaya
Dutch East Indies
Indenture
Labour
Labour migration
Coolie
Subaltern
Agency
Resistance
Plantation
British Empire
Imperialism
Politics of Labour
Issue Date: 25-Oct-2022
Citation: LEE SHU PING (2022-10-25). NAVIGATING INDENTURE: EXAMINING THE POLITICS OF LABOUR IN THE COOLIE TRADE IN BRITISH MALAYA, 1870-1910. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Despite knowledge of coolie abuse on plantations, the colonial government in Malaya was hesitant to embark on labour reforms or regulations to implement safeguards for the coolies. This thesis studies the reasons behind the colonial governments’ reluctance, focusing on how the politics of labour in colonial Southeast Asia had hampered the government’s ability to enact labour bills or ordinances that could alleviate the plight of the coolies. By examining news reports, colonial correspondences and labour bills, I illustrate the concerns and priorities of the colonial government, and how it resulted in their action (or lack thereof) in regulating the labour trade. I highlight how the colonial government had prioritised economic profits over the wellbeing of coolies. Additionally, I illustrate how the intervention of other stakeholders such as planters and businessmen had pushed the government towards action (or inaction). Through this thesis, I argue that the regulation of coolie labour was made difficult and largely inefficient by the interaction of labour politics that resulted in government handicaps in regulating labour.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/235699
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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