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Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Frank Swettenham the Malay Straits Setllement Governor 1901-1904.

Earlier days of Port Swettenham (now Port Klang) on the Straits of Malacca.

I first came to know about Swettenham when I read his book Malay Sports and Meng-Gelunchor (a kind of water-tabogganning) when I was in Form 1 or so.

Swettenham, Frank Athelstane, Sir, G.C.M.G., C.H.- b.28.3.1850, Belper, Derbyshire, England. Famous as one of the chief figures in the formation of British Malaya during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To the Malays he was known as one who lived with them, spoke their language, respected their faith, participated in their interests, humored their prejudices, sympathized with and helped them in trouble, and shared their pleasures and their risks. His interest in the country and its people was reflected in the wide range of his stories and sketches. Such varied subjects as The Real Malay, A Silver-Point (a record of his experience of living in a Malay kampong), Malay Sports and Meng-Gelunchor (a kind of water-tabogganning) – just to name a few – bear witness to his love for the people and their pastimes. Adapted after Roff WR, 1967

Swettenham, Frank Athelstane. 1875. Report of Her Britannic Majesty’s Acting Assistant Resident at Salangore. Great Britain, Accounts and  Papers, 1875, 53:159-65. Other versions have separate pagination
1878. A Malay nautch. JSBRAS 2
1880a. Some account of the independent native states of the Malay Peninsula especially the circumstances which led to the more intimate relations recently adopted towards some of them by the British Government. J.S.B.R.A.S. 6(I):161-202. Reprinted 1980
1880b. From Perak to Slim and down the Slim and Bernam Rivers. JSBRAS 5
1885. Journal kept during a journey across the Malay Peninsula. J.S.B.R.A.S. No. 15 pp1-37
1890. About Perak. Singapore Straits Times, Singapore
1895. Malay Sketches. John Lane Bodley Head, London
1896. British rule in Malaya. In Kratoska PH (ed) Honourable Intentions: Talks on the British Empire inSouth-East Asia Delivered at the Royal Institute 1874-1926. Proc Royal Colonial Institute; reprinted OUP, Singapore 1983
1898a. Unaddressed Letters. John Lane Bodley Head, London
1900. The Real Malay: Pen Pictures. John Lane Bodley Head, London
1907. British Malaya, an Account of the Origin and Progress of British Influence in Malaya. John Lane Bodley Head, London. Revised ed Allen and Urwin, London 1948
1912. Also and Perhaps. John Lane Bodley Head, London
1929. British Malaya. London
1942. Footprints in Malaya. Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., London 176pp
1951. Sir Frank Swettenham’s Perak journal 1874-1876. JMBRAS 24(4), Cowan CD (ed)
1967. Stories and Sketches by Sir Frank Swettenham. OUP, K Lumpur, Roff WR (ed)
1975. Sir Frank Swettenham’s Malayan Journals 1874-1876. OUP, K Lumpur, Burns PL and Cowan CD (eds)
1993. A Nocturne and Other Malayan Stories and Sketches. OUP, K Lumpur 216pp. First published as Stories and Sketches, OUP, K Lumpur 1967

Barlow HS. 1995. Swettenham. Southdene Sdn Bhd, K Lumpur
Chiew, Edwin. 1968. Sir Frank Swettenham and the Federation of the Malay States. Modern Asian Studies II9:61-9
Cowan, Charles Donald. 1951 (ed). Sir Frank Swettenham’s Perak Journals, 1874-1876. JMBRAS 24(4):3-148

Roff, William R. 1967a(ed). Stories and Sketches by Sir Frank Swettenham. OUP, K Lumpur 216pp

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