Chinese Capitalism in Colonial Malaya: 1900-1941

Product Code: 9789674120214
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  • ISBN 9789674120214
  • 508 pages (paperback)
  • William Tai Yuen

 

This book delineates the development of the Chinese sector of the economy in colonial Malaya under the rubric of Chinese capitalism during the period 1900-1941. It traces the growth of Chinese business enterprises to their origins 1n the nineteenth century and against a backdrop of the global expansion of Western capitalism and the political and socioeconomic framework of colonial Malaya. Based on large amounts of primary and secondary sources, this book provides an overview of Chinese business endeavours m major sectors of the economy, including tin mining, rubber planting, the secondary industries, sh1pp1ng, pawnbroking and banking. The role of entrepreneurship IS highlighted 1n the careers of numerous Chinese businessmen across a wide range of trades and industries, while the contribution of the working class to the making of Chinese cap1tal1sm is duly acknowledged. Locating the growth of Chinese capitalism within the context of socioeconomic framework, state policies and the international environment, this study demonstrates that British colonialism provided the nurturing ground for Chinese capitalism whilst imposing a fetter on its further growth. Within the overall structure, emphasis is given to human agency as the dynamic factor driving business growth. The author argues that the Weberian theory or 1ts Asian version is not an appropriate framework for an understanding of Chinese cap1tal1sm.

"The work 1s clearly written and carefully argued, the methodology sound, the sources and references rich, and the quality of research consistently good. It 1s a very significant contribution to knowledge." - Professor Wang Gungwu, Chairman of the East Asian institute, National University of Singapore, and Emeritus Professor, Australian National University.

WILLIAM TAI YUEN, Ph.D., is a scholar with research interests 1n the history of MalayS1a and Singapore, the economic history of Southeast Asia, the Chinese diaspora, and Chinese business studies. His previous publications include Labour Unrest in Malaya, 1934-1941: The Rise of the Workers' Movement (2000), The Origins of China's Awareness of New Zealand, 1674-1911 (2005), and The Historical Experience of the Rise and Fall of Tan Kah Kee's Enterprise (2012).

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