atans1

Historian talks cock about Raffles

In Uncategorized on 08/01/2018 at 8:05 am

“Nearly 200 years ago, British merchant Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore searching for a place to establish an East India Company settlement to service the company’s trade to China,” began an article, in ST last Friday, that among other things, covered the history of S’pore between the end of the 14th century and 1819.

Raffles was never a “British merchant”. He and other senior East India Co officials would have considered being called “a British merchant”, an insult.


Raffles’s career

Raffles started work as a clerk in the East India Co aged 14 in 1795. He was posted to Penang (as it is now known) as the assistant secretary to the new Governor of Penang, in 1805. When the British seized Java from the Dutch in 1811, he was made Lieutenant-Governor of Java. he left the post in 1814 under a cloud, having to return to London to explain why the occupation of Java lost money: Dutch rule was very profitable for the Dutch East India Co.

After being at a loose end for a while, he was made Governor-General of Bencoolen (a backwater posting) in 1818. He founded S’pore in 1819.

When he ran Java, Bencoolen and S’pore, the East India Co lost money in these places: expenses exceeded revenue. The East India Co was most unhappy. His management skills remind me of our SAF generals turned GLC CEOs.

(Sources: Any reputable book on Raffles, example: Raffles And the Golden Opportunity reviewed here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/9729413/Raffles-by-Victoria-Glendinning-review.html)

———————————————————

How can anyone make such a silly mistake?

That anyone isn’t an FT ST newbie.

He is Kwa Chong Guan “the author of the recently published Pre-Colonial Singapore, in the series Singapore Chronicles co-published by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Straits Times Press.”

He is also

a Senior Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University and an Adjunct Associate Professor (Hon) at the History Department at the National University of Singapore. He is also affiliated to the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Whatever his credentials, if he can make such a simple cock-up, how can I take the rest of the article and his other writings seriously?

More on him.

KWA CHONG GUAN
Adjunct Associate Professor (Honorary)
Department of History
National University of Singapore
Kwa Chong Guan works on the intersections of history, security studies and
international relations of Southeast Asia. As an Honorary Adjunct Associate
Professor and Visiting Fellow at the Archaeological Unit of the Nalanda-Sriwijaya
Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Kwa is interested in the long
cycles and emerging deep history of Southeast Asia’s past. As Senior Fellow at the
S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological
University he works on a range of regional security issues with a focus on the implicit
narratives underlying our framing of regional security issues. He started his career
working on policy analysis in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then the Ministry of
Defence before being assigned to reorganize the Oral History Department in the
National Archives and concurrently, the old National Museum which he lead through
a strategic planning process to transform it into the current three museums under the
National Heritage Board. He continues to be associated with these heritage
institutions in various advisory capacities and as Chairman of the National Archives
Advisory Committee. As Chairman of the National Library Advisory Committee he is
involved in the integration of the National Archives with the National Library under
the National Library Board. He was previously Head of the old Department of
Strategic Studies at the SAFTI Military Institute where he taught military history and
strategic studies while concurrently teaching history at the School of Arts at the
National Institute of Education. Kwa was called up for National Service after
graduating from the old University of Singapore in Philosophy and History, and
continued to serve as a reservist officer in various command and staff appointment for the next 20 years.

http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/hist/doc/Prize/Kwa%20CG.pdf

 

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  1. he, stamford raffles, was a brit govt employee ?

  2. Everybody knows Raffles was an imperial civil servant. Yes including Kwa.

    Btw no need such a long background for him. Just need 1 sentence: Cousin of PM.

  3. I guess u don’t know he us the nephew of mrs lee

  4. Tony tan’s son in law works in nus. He is also a nephew, by marriage once removed

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