The First Teochews in Singapore: Part 3 - The First Captain China & Oldest Temple in Singapore

2019 is officially the bicentennial year of Singapore. In the previous parts of this "The First Teochews in Singapore" series, we looked into the claims about a group of Chinese settled on the island even before Raffles arrived and firm evidences substantiating a long forgotten Teochew oral tradition revealing them to be Teochew recruited from Siam and linked to the gambier planting industry in Bintan's old Riau settlement. 

In this concluding part, we find out about their leader, whom the Singapore government later appointed as the settlement's first Captain China, as well as the historical links of Wak Hai Cheng Bio (粵海清廟, a.k.a. Yueh Hai Ching Temple) - the oldest Teochew (possibly Chinese) temple here - to two temples in Riau and Bangkok's Chinatown. 

Who was Captain China?

If the Teochew oral account’s accuracy is assumed, then Captain China in Farquhar’s statements had to refer to either Heng Kim (王欽) or Heng Hong Sung (王豐順)?. Yet for unknown reason(s), the actual name of Captain China was never disclosed in his writings, or those of his peers.

Assurance that the portrayals of Heng Kim and Heng Hong Sung were not without basis: it is supported by a positive identification of their purported home Dang Khoi (東溪),­ with an existing village of same name in the Teochew region located some 20 kilometres from the town of Ampou (庵埠) (see Map 5). Residents there claim lineage from a common ancestor with the surname Heng.[1] They also reportedly recall a period of local affluence after the mid-Qing dynasty brought on by shipping and ventures abroad,[2] which could be related to the installation of the Teochew prefecture’s chief maritime customs office at Ampou in 1730. All these support the conjecture that both Teochew leaders in Singapore were Dang Khoi­ natives.

Map 5: Map of Han River (韓江) delta in the Teochew region, China with location markings of Ampou, Dang Khoi, Hua Pu (ancestral village of King Taksin), Tai Mui and and Changlim (a port town reputed as “home of the red head junks”). Map data © 2017 Google.

However, this does not corroborate the Teochew oral account’s representation that either Heng Kim, or both men, descended from Tsap Poih Buan Seng (十八萬勝), who was found to bear the surname Tan and have roots in the village of Tai Mui (岱美).

An answer to this conundrum has been elusive in Singapore. Fortunately, a wooden board in Senggarang’s second temple worshipping the martial deity Xuan Tian Shang Di (玄天上帝) has the date of its commission (the commencement of Qing Emperor Daoguang’s reign, 1821) inscribed on both ends, as well as the title and name of its donor Kapitan Tan Heng Kim (陳亨欽) (see Image 1).[3] In spoken Teochew, the Chinese characters 王 (from Heng Kim 王欽), in the context of a surname, and 亨 (from Tan Heng Kim 陳亨欽), are both pronounced as “Heng”.[4]

Image 1: Wooden plaque in Senggarang Xuan Tian Shang Di temple commissioned by Kapitan Tan Heng Kim, with enlarged view of his title and name 甲必丹陳亨欽 on left. Picture taken by author on 5 November 2014.

Further, a Dutch list of the Teochews who were the Chinese captains of Riau from 1818 to 1828 contains the names Tan-Hoo, Tan-Tiauw-Goean and Tan-Ahooi[5] — none sounding close to Tan Heng Kim. What can be surmised from these clues is that the benefactor of the temple Tan Heng Kim was the Heng Kim mentioned in the Teochew oral account (where his surname was apparently lost) and he was simultaneously the enigmatic Captain China in Farquhar’s letters.

The reverence of Xuan Tian Shang Di is not without implication. This deity was not only held in deference by the Teochews in Singapore as Tua Lau Ia (大老爺), or “Chief Guardian Deity”,[6] but was also the resident idol in Lao Pun Tao Kong Shrine (老本頭公廟, built before 1824), the oldest Chinese temple in Bangkok’s Sampheng district, where the Teochew merchant community serving King Taksin had resettled after his rule ended in 1782.[7]

Worthy of note is that the same Xuan Tian Shang Di temple in Senggarang contained another artefact contributed in 1814 by a devotee with the partially-legible name Heng Hok [illegible character] (王福?),[8] while government records in Singapore registered the sale of gambier plantations by three persons — Tan Ngun Ha, Tan Ah Loo and Heng Tooan — to Captain James Pearl in May 1822.[9] The recurrences of the surnames Tan and Heng allow us to surmise that the first commercial enterprise in modern Singapore was formed by a Teochew partnership between members of a Tan clan based in Siam and a Heng clan from Dang Khoi.

Founding of Wak Hai Cheng Bio

Unlike a typical Chinese temple, Wak Hai Cheng Bio has not one, but two resident deities — Xuan Tian Shang Di and Mazu. The pair are housed in an edifice with adjoining prayer halls first built by Ngee Ann Kongsi between 1852 and 1855. While there is scant documentation of the temple’s early years, temple traditions hold that its site was once occupied by a lone attap hut sheltering a Mazu altar, before a Xuan Tian Shang Di shrine was added in 1826.[10]

This chronology of events dovetails with the Teochew oral account’s depiction of Wak Hai Cheng Bio being co-founded by Tan Heng Kim and Heng Hong Sung. Moreover, the account’s claim of the temple’s premises being used for the landing of travellers and goods is affirmed by the Malay reference to the Sua Kia Deng area as “Lorong Tambangan”, meaning “ferry lane”, as well as the recorded presence of the Master Attendant Captain William Flint’s residence and an “old fish market” nearby.[11]  

As for when the Mazu shrine was built, it is conceivable that this happened only after end-June 1819, as inferred from Phua’s assertion in Teo-chews in Malaya that the Wak Hai Cheng Bio land was a grant from Temenggong Abdul Rahman, as well as Munshi Abdullah’s report that the Singapore River south bank had “nothing to be seen” before Chinese settlement.[12] Further, considering the practice that every Teochew junk plying the route between China and Siam carried on board an idol of Mazu, which had to be invited into a temple or shrine at the destination port before goods were unloaded,[13] this structure must have already stood along the Singapore River prior to Farquhar’s notice on the first junks from China and Siam in end-March 1820.

The estimation of dates is supported by the transaction record, dated 18 September 1822, of a house in Chinatown, whose location was reported to be “on the sea side of the Road leading past the old Chinese temple” [emphasis added].[14]

Oddly enough, differing information was presented in a write-up in Teo-chews in Malaya on the temple: Phua had penned instead that “Wak Hai Cheng Bio, as told, was at first an attap hut built by Lim Phueng [林泮], which till the 3rd reign year of Qing Emperor Qianlong [i.e. 1738] was rebuilt many times…” In yet another part of the book, Phua characterised Lim Phueng as the founder of Ban See Soon Kongsi [萬世順公司] — reportedly an entity in Singapore set up to manage monetary gifts to Mazu from Teochew travellers from the Teochew region, Siam or Vietnam, and reported that this man was in Singapore in the early Qing period but died under execution by a government official in China in 1738.[15]

Any possible connection between Lim Phueng and the first sojourners from Hai Ior was not raised.

Phua subsequently revised in his other publications the year of Wak Hai Cheng Bio’s foundation to the final year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1796).[16] However he did not make the change because he saw it was implausible that the Teochew people were active in Singapore some 80 years ahead of British arrival. For he later reverted in a 1976 newspaper article to his original position that the Mazu attap shrine had been erected before 1738, but substituted Heng Hong Sung for Lim Phueng as the Ban See Soon Kongsi founder.[17] Phua’s back and forth changes were seemingly compelled by his realisation that Lim Phueng, a merchant with a well-documented life, could not have been in Singapore in the 1730s. Famed for building a luxurious garden-mansion in the Teochew port town of Changlim (樟林) in 1799, Lim Phueng was put to death following a high-profile legal case in 1805.[18]

Despite uncertainty on his part, Phua did not relent on the existence of a Mazu shrine before the end of the 18th century. His insistence appears to be based on knowledge of oral traditions tied to Ban See Soon Kongsi. Similar to Phua’s writings, a working report issued by the Singapore Teo Chew Sai Ho Association in 1949 linked Wak Hai Cheng Bio’s foundation to Ban See Soon Kongsi. However it stated that the latter was formed at the beginning of Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign in 1735, through the funding of Teochew red head junk travellers in Singapore obligated to Mazu.[19] The Teo Chew Sai Ho Association report made no reference to Lim Phueng.

In view of established knowledge on Singapore’s history, the possibility that a group of Teochew traders were active on the island before 1800 is remote. On the other hand, the notice in Tuhfat al Nafis about “Chinese from China” being brought into Riau in around 1740, as well as markings of a “Chinese compound” there in British navigation charts between 1750 and 1762 (see Map 6), show that it was a place where Chinese traders congregated. While the 1779 Mazu deity tablet in Senggarang is the oldest-known physical proof of Teochew presence in Riau, Scottish sea captain Alexander Hamilton’s observation that about 1,000 Chinese families were settled in the towns of Johor at the beginning of the century supports the likelihood that some Teochew merchants might have been active there as early as the 1730s.[20]

Map 6:Plan of Rhio in HM Ship Vigilant by Alexander Scott 1750, shown as an insert in Dalrymple, Alexander. (1807). Chart of the south side of the island Byntang with the track of the Royal George in January 1762. Courtesy British Library Board & National Library Board, 2016.

Accordingly, it would not be unreasonable to conjecture that the oral traditions speak of two separate Mazu attap shrines. One being Wak Hai Cheng Bio’s forerunner that Tan Heng Kim and Heng Hong Sung set up by the Singapore River circa 1819 as the Teochew oral account reported, and the other erected in the 1730s by Ban See Soon Kongsi that must have stood in Riau. An uncanny resemblance between Wak Hai Cheng Bio’s façade and the front view of Senggarang’s Mazu - Xuan Tian Shang Di twin temples (see Image 2) serves a strong reminder that the Teochews on either side of the Singapore Straits were in fact two faces of one single community.

Image 2: Photos of Teochew twin temples in Senggarang (left, taken by author on 5 November 2014) and of Wak Hai Cheng Bio in circa 1958 with Fort Canning Hill overlooking in the background (right, from 潘醒農. [Pan, X.N.] (1958). 新加坡指南 (第六版) [A guide to Singapore (6th Ed.)] (p.108). 新加坡: 南島出版社)

Nearly every historical writing and material evidences originating from the Malays, Chinese, British or Dutch concur that until 1819 Riau fulfilled the role of the much-needed entrepôt on the Singapore Straits. The intertwined traditions of Wak Hai Cheng Bio and the Senggarang temples call to attention the need to comprehend modern Singapore’s sudden emergence within the context of preceding developments in its surroundings, especially in Riau. An important point in relation to this, is the often overlooked fact that Raffles himself was bound for Riau to set up an EIC station when he set sail from Calcutta on 7 December 1818, and he only re-directed his course to Singapore after receiving news from Farquhar in Penang that the principal port of Johor had fallen under Dutch control.[21]

A Final Question

By November 1821, Singapore was reported to have a “regularly built Chinese town” on the south bank of the Singapore River, while “plantations of gambier, pepper and other spices are already making their appearance in many parts”.[22] Corroborations of its nearly every detail by other historical sources prove the Teochew oral account to be from the voices of the Chinese behind these various progresses.

Yet, one question remains: What made the Teochew gambier planters move to Singapore before the British came, especially if they knew the Malays there had previously slain their kinsmen?

The background of these Teochews as “sojourners recruited from Siam” suggests that they did not come to Singapore on their own initiative. The identity of the person who arranged for their migration, is given away by a clause in the June 1819 Arrangement Made for the Singapore Government: “the gardens and plantations that now are, or may hereafter be made” to be placed “at the disposal of the Tumungong, as heretofore”.[23] Crucially, Temenggong Abdul Rahman was also documented to have provided for the cost and expenses of gambier plantations opened at Mount Stamford (now Pearl’s Hill) prior to the arrival of the British and “in some instances” advanced money to Teochew cultivators with the understanding he would be repaid in the form of gambier or other produce.[24] An impression Farquhar got from the Captain China — “one of the principal persons concerned” — was that the Temenggong’s interests in these plantations were represented by his brother-in-law named Baba Ketchil, which adds more weight to the importance of these arrangements.[25]

Raffles’ characterisation of Singapore’s inhabitants as “new settlers” on 8 January 1819 implied that the Teochews only arrived on the island towards the end of 1818. The timing exposes a relationship to another key event, which was the conclusion of a treaty on 28 November 1818 by which Raja Jaafar permitted the Dutch to re-occupy Riau.

Besides Tengku Long, Temenggong Abdul Rahman was said to be the most vocal in opposing this agreement.[26] This is hardly surprising as he professed to be an exile in Singapore,[27] apparently as an outcome of Raja Jaafar’s political coup. More pertinently, the “head of the pirates” was manifestly the target of various articles in the Johor-Dutch pact, which obliged the Sultan of Johor to eradicate piracy and even grant the Dutch a host of powers to ensure this outcome.[28]

Inexplicably it was the Temenggong who ratified this treaty by affixing his seal on it, after the incumbent sultan (Tengku Long’s younger brother) refused to be involved. A plausible explanation for this situation is that Raja Jaafar had struck a bargain with Temenggong Abdul Rahman, permitting him to commence gambier planting in Singapore in return for rubber stamping his own deal with Melaka.

This episode was referred in Raffles' report to the EIC government on his signing of the Singapore Treaty, albeit with stress on the Temenggong's ties with the Dutch. He wrote:

"Subsequently to this declaration [of Sultan Abdul Rahman's refusal to admit the settlement of the Dutch in his territories] the Tummungung was requested by the Dutch authorities to affix his Seal to the Treaty which they had concluded with Rhio as a mark of his friendship and good will towards their Nation  – To this application the Tummungung replied that he was desirous of always remaining on terms of amity with the Subjects of His Netherlands Majesty with whose Power he was well acquainted – he had however been always more intimately connected with the English and provided a compliance with the request did not tend to interrupt that intercourse and could not be considered to commit him with regard to that Nation or to his own Sovereign he could have no objection to attest the deed which they had executed and he accordingly affixed his Seal to it in compliance with their request - He did not however consider himself by any means a party to the Treaty in question. His Name and that of Singapore is not mentioned in it to his knowledge, he did not then nor has he since received any Copy nor has he had any communication verbal or written from the Dutch regarding it."[29]

Interestingly, the diary of Captain John Crawford recorded that shortly after Raffles landed in Singapore, his request to disembark his soldiers and plant the British flag was acceded to by the Temenggong with the exclamation that “nothing could give them greater happiness than to be in alliance with the English”.[30] Only after this did the two leaders seal their first agreement, by which the EIC was committed to not only pay the Johor minister 3,000 Spanish dollars a year, but also to protect him. To this end, there seems little question to the Malay chief’s intention for rebellion against the powers in Riau. From his perspective, Raffles’ unexpected appearance with generous offers of money and military support could not have been more timely and helpful.

Conclusion

The struggle Temenggong Abdul Rahman was bent on was not military, but trade through the creation of a rival port in Singapore.  His negotiation in the 6 February 1819 treaty for “a moiety or full half of all the amount collected from Native Vessels” amply hints at this.[31]

This leaves room to ponder if the commercial value of gambier, as well as Raffles’ excited anticipation of Singapore’s access to “rice, salt, and other necessaries” from Siam (a country the British had no official trade with since an English community was massacred in Mergui in 1687), might not be signs that the Temenggong already had an understanding with Tan Heng Kim to start a trading centre in Singapore before Raffles’ arrival.

By persistently insisting in his writings that he arrived at “an insignificant fishing village" in January 1819 and alluding to be responsible for an immediate influx of Chinese migrants, Raffles managed to whitewash the roles of Temenggong Abdul Rahman and his Teochew partners behind Singapore’s much-vaunted rise as a centre of commerce and at the same time convince others of the achievement being entirely his own.

However an old Teochew oral account, validated by a body of evidences from multiple sources, including the earliest British reports about Singapore by Raffles, no less, now shines light that it was the coming together of many, and not just the brilliance of one man, that sparked the Singapore miracle.

Footnotes 

[1] “潮汕王氏" [Heng Clan in the Teochew region]. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2016, from汕頭大學圖書館-潮汕特藏網 [Shantou University Library –Teochew Special Collection website]:http://cstc.lib.stu.edu.cn/chaoshanzixun/lishiwenhua/4925.html

[2] 潮汕書齋軼事 [The Teochew Study Houses Anecdotes]. (2007, November 09). Retrieved November 13, 2016 from 潮人在線 [Chaoren.com] http://www.chaoren.com/culture/chaoxue/news/2013-11-08/86432.html

[3] Franke, W. (Ed.) (1988). Chinese epigraphic materials in Indonesia (Vol. 1) (p.358). Singapore: South Seas Society.

[4] 張曉山 [Zhang, X.S.] (2015). 新潮汕字典 [The New Teochew Dictionary]. 廣州:廣東人民出版社.

[5] Netscher, E. (1854). Beschrijving van Een Gedeelte Der Residentie Riouw. In Bleeker, P., Munnich, E., & Netscher. E. (Eds.). Tijdschrift voor Indische taal-, land-, en volkenkunde, II (p.159). Batavia: Lange & Co. 

[6] 潘醒農 [Pan, X.N.] (1976, July 26). 新加坡華人古神廟粵海淸廟 [Wak Hai Cheng Bio, A Historical Temple of the Singapore Chinese]. 南洋商報 [Nanyang Siang Pau], p. 14.

[7] Also known as Da-Bentougong miao (大本頭公廟). Lao Pun Tao Kong Shrine. (n.d.). About The Shrine. Retrieved February 06, 2014, from Lao Pun Tao Kong website: http://laopuntaokong.org/history/index_en.asp; Franke, W., & Pornpan Juntaronanont (Eds.). (1998). Chinese Epigraphic Materials in Thailand.(p.13). Taipei: Xinwenfeng Chuban Gongsi]. .

[8] Franke, W. (Ed.) (1988). Chinese epigraphic materials in Indonesia (Vol. 1) (p.357). Singapore: South Seas Society.

[9] Acknowledgements of sale made before the Registrar of Land dated 10 May 1822 (by Tan Ngun Ha and Tan Ah Loo) and dated 13 May 1822 (for Heng Tooan) in Straits Settlements Records, L6: Singapore: Letters to Bencoolen, as cited in Bartley, W. (1933, December). Population of Singapore in 1819. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 11 (2), 177.

[10]  潘醒農 [Pan, X.N.] (1976, July 26). 新加坡華人古神廟粵海淸廟 [Wak Hai Cheng Bio, A Historical Temple of the Singapore Chinese]. 南洋商報 [Nanyang Siang Pau], p. 14.; Ngee Ann Kongsi (n.d.). Wak Hai Cheng Bio (Yueh Hai Ching Temple). Retrieved February 24, 2017, from The Ngee Ann Kongsi website: http://www.ngeeann.com.sg/en/wak-hai-cheng-bio/

[11] Abdullah Abdul Kadir, & Hill, A.H. (1985). The Hikayat Abdullah: the autobiography of Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, 1797-1854: An annotated translation. (p.145). Singapore: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1969) (Call no.: English RSING 959.51032 ABD); Letter from W Farquhar to JF Bernard Esquire dated 7 Jan 1823, Straits Settlements Records, L13: Raffles: Letters from Singapore, no.11. [Microfilm: NL 58].

[12] Abdullah Abdul Kadir, & Hill, A.H. (1985). The Hikayat Abdullah: the autobiography of Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, 1797-1854: An annotated translation. (p.145). Singapore: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1969). (Call no.: English RSING 959.51032 ABD)

[13] Gützlaff, K.A.F. (1833). The journal of two voyages along the coast of China, in 1831, & 1832 (pp.47-50). New York: John P. Haven. (Call no.: English RRARE 915.10433 GUT); 陳靜瑩 & 李揚 [Chen, J.Y. & Li, Y.] (2014, August 14). 媽祖 “海絲之路”守護神 [Mazu, protectress deity on the “Maritime Silk Road”]. 汕頭日報 [Shantou Ribao], p. 10. Retrieved from http://www.stdaily.com.cn/html/2014-08/14/content_551355.htm

[14] Straits Settlements Records, L6: Singapore: Letters to Bencoolen, p.17.

[15] 潘醒農 (主編). [Pan, C.L. (Ed.).] (1950). 馬來亞潮僑通鑑 [Teo-chews in Malaya] (p. 351 & pp.333-334). 新加坡: 南島出版社.

[16] 潘醒農. [Phua, C.L.] (1954). 東南亞名勝 [Celebrated places in S.E. Asia] (p.12). 新加坡: 南島出版社; 潘醒農. [Phua, C.L.] (1958). 新加坡指南 (第六版) [A guide to Singapore (6th edition)] (p.108). 新加坡: 南島出版社; 潘醒農[Phua, C.L.] (1961). 星馬名勝 [Celebrated places in Singapore-Malaya] (p.41). 新加坡: 南島出版社.

[17] 潘醒農 [Pan, X.N.] (1976, July 26). 新加坡華人古神廟粵海淸廟 [Wak Hai Cheng Bio, A Historical Temple of the Singapore Chinese]. 南洋商報 [Nanyang Siang Pau], p. 14.

[18] 陳春聲 [Chen, C.S.] (2003). 鄉村的故事與國家的歷史—以樟林為例兼論傳統鄉村社會研究的方法問題 [Stories from the Villages and History of the Country - a Discussion on Methodological Challenges in researching Traditional Village Societies using Changlim as an Example].中國農村研究 (第二輯) [Rural Studies of China (2nd Ed.)].中國:商務印書館.

[19] 新加坡潮州西河公會. [Singapore Teochew Sai Ho Association] (1949). 新加坡潮州西河公會: 中華民國卅八年一月至六月份會務報告書 [Singapore Teochew Sai Ho Association: Working Report for January to June 1949] (“崇奉祖姑天后聖母略歷 [Description of the Worship of the Ancestral Heavenly Queen Holy Mother]”, para 3). 新加坡: 新加坡潮州西河公會.

[20] Hamilton, A. (1727). A new account of the East Indies (Vol. 2)(p.94). Edinburgh: John Mosman. 

[21] Raffles was mandated by Lord Hastings to form an EIC trading station in Riau after Farquhar had concluded a commercial treaty with Raja Jaafar on 19 August 1818. See Bastin, J., The Founding of Singapore 1819 (pp.20-23).  Singapore: National Library Board. 

[22] Extract of an anonymous letter dated onboard an unnamed ship at the Singapore Roads on 1 November 1821, as cited in The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British and Foreign India, China, and Australia (July to December 1822), 14, 308.

[23] Buckley, C.E. (1902). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore (Vol. 1) (p. 58). Singapore: Fraser & Neave. 

[24] Acknowledgements of sale made before the Registrar of Land dated 10 May 1822 in Straits Settlements Records, L6: Singapore: Letters to Bencoolen, as cited in 莊欽永. [Chng, D.K.Y.] (1990). 新呷華人史新考 [History of the Chinese in Singapore & Malacca: some notes] (pp.37-38). 新加坡: 南洋學會; Letter from Lt. L.N. Hull to Lieutenant Colonel Farquhar dated 4 February 1823, Straits Settlements Records, L17: Raffles: Letters to Singapore (Farquhar), pp.321-322.

[25]Letter from W Farquhar to Lt. L.N. Hull, dated [?] February 1823, Straits Settlements Records, L13: Raffles: Letters from Singapore, no.137. 

[26] Raja Ali Haji Ahmad., Hooker, V. M., & Andaya, B. W. (1982). The Precious Gift (Tuhfat al-Nafis): An annotated translation (p.340). Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. 

[27]Abdullah Abdul Kadir, & Hill, A.H. (1985). The Hikayat Abdullah: the autobiography of Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, 1797-1854: An annotated translation. (p.141). Singapore: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 1969). 

[28] Netscher, E. (1870). De Nederlanders in Djohor en Siak (pp.255-257).Batavia: Bruining & Wijt. 

[29] Bastin, J., The Founding of Singapore 1819 (pp.51-52).  Singapore: National Library Board. 

[30] How Singapore was Founded. (1937, 11 October). The Straits Times, p.10. Conspicuously Temenggong Abdul Rahman would (without knowledge of the British) write separately in February 1819 to a Dutch official in Melaka Adrian Koek and Raja Jaafar pleading that he and his men were startled by the sudden arrival of seven British vessels and they were “powerless to say anything” when Raffles landed his men and stores after declaring his intention to settle in Singapore. At the same time Tengku Long wrote also to Raja Jaafar claiming he went to Singapore after receiving news from the Temenggong about there being “a great many ships” and the British were landing “numerous soldiers and quantities of stores”. He added further he was laid hold on by Raffles who insisted on making him a “Raja with the title of Sultan”. See Maxwell, W.E. (1885). Notes and Queries (No. 1) (pp. 104-111). Singapore: Printed at the Government Printing Office.

[31] Buckley, C.E. (1902). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore (Vol. 1) (pp. 39-40). Singapore: Fraser & Neave. 

 

Article is adapted from "An Old Teochew Oral Account Sheds New Light on the 1819 Founding of Singapore", a research paper originally commissioned by the National Library Board, Singapore during the Author's tenure as a Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow attached to the National Library, Singapore during 2016-2017. 

 ~o0o~

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  • Nannette Slayton says...

    To the theteochewstore.org Admin, exact right here: Link Text

    January 20, 2023

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