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Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Malaya beckoned Bruce Lockhart in 1908 to help open a rubber plantation in Pantai, N. Sembilan. Several of his relatives were already here either with the plantations or tin mines. After 3 years his health deteriorated so badly to the point of death due to malaria that his uncle bundled and shipped him home to Scotland in 1910.

After recovery he went to Europe and Russia probably as a spy for his book 'Secret Agent' was quite a seller but was banned in Malaya. His 'Return to Malaya' tells of his nostalgic visit after a lapse of 25 years to meet his love for Amai, the Dato' Klana's (Sg. Ujong) daughter, his former friends and haunts among other things.

He was a lover of Malays just like Clifford, Speedy, Lewis, Dussek, Winstedt, and Swettenham. People like Carey, Shepard, Hutson, Tate stayed back and converted. I could relate with him somewhat in the grounds he covered al beit partly, the rubber crop he was trying to grow, and perhaps the romance!

After visiting Malaya, Lockhart travelled to many parts of Indonesia.

Blogging has done a good service to me for it provides a reason to browse many books and other publications in keeping to look for pictures and interesting anecdotes. For example, this 'Return to Malaya', has not been read since I bought it from a used book store in the US, a lapse of 25 years!

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