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MALAY STATES


The area of agricultural holdings has notably increased, but a considerable period must yet elapse before it will amount to even one-tenth of the whole. A line of railway connects the port General. of Teluk Anson with the great mining district of Kinta, whence the line runs, crossing the Perak River at Enggor, to Kuala Kangsar, the residence of the sultan, thence to Taiping, the administrative capital of the state, and via Krian to a point opposite to the island of Penang. A second line runs south from Perak and connects with the railway system of Selangor, which in its turn connects with the Negri Sembilan and Malacca line, thus giving through railway communication between the last-named town and Penang. Perak also possesses some 600 miles of excellent metalled cart-road, and the length of completed road is annually increasing.

For administrative purposes the state is divided into six districts: Upper Perak, Kuala Kangsar and Lower Perak, on the Perak River; Kinta; Batany Padang and Larut and Krian. Of these, Larut and Kinta are the principal mining centres, while Krian is the most prosperous agricultural district. The districts on the Perak River are mostly peopled by Malays. The administrative capital is Taiping, the chief town of Larut. Kuala Kangsar is chiefly memorable as having been the scene of the first federal meeting of native chiefs, who, with the British Residents from each state, met together in 1897 for friendly discussion of their common interests for the first time in history, under the auspices of the high commissioner, Sir Charles H. B. Mitchell. This, in the eyes of those who are acquainted with the character of the Malays and of the relations which formerly subsisted between the rulers of the various states, is perhaps the most signal token of the changes which British influence has wrought in the peninsula.

Selangor is situated between the parallels 2° 32′ and 3° 37′ N. and 100° 38′ and 102° E., on the western side of the Malay Peninsula. It is bounded on the N. by the protected native state of Perak, on the S. by the protected states of the Negri Sembilan, on the E. by Pahang and the Negri Sembilan, and on the W. by the Straits of Malacca. The coast-line is about 100 m. in length, greatest length about 104 m., and greatest breadth about 48 m., total area estimated at about 3000 sq. m.

The state consists of a narrow strip of land between the mountain range which forms the backbone of the peninsula and the Straits of Malacca. Compared with other states in the peninsula, Selangor is poorly watered. The principal rivers are the Selangor, the Klang and the Langat. The principal port of the state is Port Swettenham, situated at the mouth of the Klang River, and is connected with the capital, Kuala Lumpor, by a railway. The geology of the state closely resembles that of Perak. The state is possessed of most valuable deposits of alluvial tin, and mining for this metal is the chief industry of the population. Kuala Lumpor is also the federal capital of the Malay States.

According to native tradition, the ruling house of Selangor is descended from a Bugis raja, who, with two of his brothers, settled in the state in 1718, the son of the youngest brother eventually becoming ruler of the country. In 1783 the History. then sultan of Selangor joined with the Iang-di-per-Tuan Muda of Riau in an unsuccessful attack upon the Dutch who then held Malacca. In retaliation the Dutch, under Admiral Van Braam, invaded Selangor and drove the sultan out of his country. In 1785, aided by the Bendahara of Pahang, Sultan Ibrahim of Selangor reconquered his state; but the Dutch blockaded his ports, and eventually forced him to enter into a treaty whereby he consented to acknowledge their sovereignty. The earliest British political communication with Selangor began in 1818, when a commercial treaty was concluded with the governor of Penang. In 1867 Sultan Abdul Samad of Selangor appointed his son-in-law, Tungku Dia Udin, to be viceroy; and this gave rise to a civil war which lasted almost without intermission till 1873, when the enemies of Tungku Dia Udin were finally vanquished, largely by the agency of the Bendahara of Pahang, who, at the invitation of the governor of the Straits Settlements, sent a warlike expedition to the assistance of the viceroy. In 1874 the occurrence of an atrocious act of piracy off the mouth of the Langat River led to the governor, Sir Andrew Clarke, appointing, at the request of the sultan, a British Resident to aid him in the administration of his kingdom. Since that date there has been no further breach of the peace, and the prosperity of Selangor has increased annually.

By the census taken on the 5th of April 1891 the population of Selangor was given at 81,592 souls, of whom 67,051 were males and only 14,541 were females. The census taken on the 5th of April 1901 gave a total population of 168,789 souls, of whom 136,823 were males and 31,966 females. Of these 108,768 were Chinese, 33,997 were Malays, 16,748 were Tamils, and only 487 were Europeans. The returns deal with nearly a score of different nationalities. Since 1901 the population has been much increased and now certainly exceeds 200,000 souls. Now, however, that instead of a single port of entry there exist easy means of access to the state by rail both from the north and the south, it is no longer possible to estimate the annual increase by immigration with any approach to accuracy. It will be noted that the inhabitants of this erstwhile Malayan state were, even at the time of the census of 1901, over 64% Chinese, while the Malays were little more than 20% of the population. In Selangor, as elsewhere in the Malay Peninsula, the deaths annually far outnumber the births recorded (e.g. in 1905 births 8293, deaths 12,500). The disproportion of the female to the male sections of the population is greater in Selangor than in any other part of the colony or Malay States. The development of planting enterprise in Selangor, and more especially the cultivation of rubber, has led during recent years to the immigration of a considerable number of Tamil coolies, but the Tamil population is still insignificant as compared with the Chinese.

The revenue of Selangor in 1875 amounted to only $115,656; in 1905 it had increased to $8,857,793. Of this latter sum $3,195,318 was derived from duty on tin exported, $1,972,628 from federal receipts, and $340,360 from land revenue. The Finance, Trade, &c. balance is chiefly derived from the revenue farms, which include the right to collect import duty on opium and spirits. The expenditure for 1905 amounted to $7,186,146, of which sum $3,717,238 was on account of federal charges and $1,850,711 for public works. The value of the imports in 1905 was $24,643,619 and that of the exports was $26,683,316, making a total of $51,326,935, equivalent to £5,988,000. Tin is the principal export. The amount exported in 1905 was 17,254 tons. The total area of alienated mining land at the end of 1905 amounted to 65,573 acres, and it was estimated that over 60,000 Chinese were employed in the mines.

The main trunk line of the Federated Malay States railways passes through Selangor. It enters the state at Tanjong Malim on the Perak boundary, runs southward through Kuala Lumpor and so into the Negri Sembilan. It runs for 81 m. in Selangor territory. A branch line 27 m. long connects Kuala Lumpor with Port Swettenham on the Klang Straits where extensive wharves, capable of accommodating ocean-going vessels, have been constructed. A second branch line, measuring rather more than 4 m. in length, has been opened to traffic. It connects the caves at Batu with Kuala Lumpor. Frequent communication is maintained by steamer between Port Swettenham and Singapore, and by coasting vessels between the former port and those on the shores of the Straits of Malacca. All the principal places in the state are connected with one another by telegraph.

For administrative purposes Selangor is divided into six districts: Kuala Lumpor, in which the capital and the principal tin-fields are situated; Ulu Selangor, which is also a prosperous mining district; Kuala Selangor, which is agricultural, and poorly populated by Malays; Ulu Langat, mining and agricultural; Kuala Langat, the residence of the late sultan Abdul Samad, agricultural; and Klang, the only prosperous port of the state. Much money has been expended upon the capital, Kuala Lumpor, which possesses some fine public buildings, waterworks, &c., and where the principal residence of the Resident-General is situated. In some sort Kuala Lumpor is the capital not only of Selangor, but also of the whole federation. Its scenery is very attractive.

Negri Sembilan (the Nine States) is a federation of small native states which is now treated as a single entity, being under the control of a British Resident, and is situated between parallels 2° 28′ and 3° 18′ N. and 101° 45′ and 102° 45′ E., on the western side of the Malay Peninsula. It is bounded on the N. by the protected state of Pahang, on the S. by the territory of Malacca, on the E. by Pahang and the independent state of Johor, and on the W. by the Straits of Malacca. The coast-line is about 28 m. in length, and the extreme distance from north to south is 55 m., and that from east to west about 65 m. The estimated area is about 3000 sq. m. Port Dickson, or Arang-Arang, is the only port on the coast. It is connected with the capital, Seremban, by a railway 24 m. in length. Most of the states comprising the federation depend largely for their prosperity upon agriculture, but in some of the districts tin is being worked in considerable quantities, with good results.

As is the case with the history of most Malayan states, much rests upon no surer ground than tradition, in so far as the records of the Negri Sembilan are concerned. At the same time the native story that the states which now form the History. federation of the Negri Sembilan were originally peopled by tribes of Sakai, or aborigines of the peninsula, who descended from the mountains of the interior and peopled the valleys, is supported by much corroborative evidence. Not only does the Malay’s contempt for the Sakai make it exceedingly unlikely that the tradition, which is hardly a matter for pride, should have been preserved if it were not true, but also many of the laws and customs in force in these states are wholly foreign to those of the Malays, and can plainly be traced to the aborigines. As an instance, the custom of inheriting rank and property through the mother instead of through the father may be mentioned. Tradition further relates that towards the end of the