The lost race in British Malaya: revisiting the problems of south Indian labourers

Sundara Raja, Sivachandralingam and Raymond, Shivalinggam (2018) The lost race in British Malaya: revisiting the problems of south Indian labourers. Diaspora Studies, 11 (2). pp. 115-134. ISSN 0973-9572, DOI

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This article discusses the history of socioeconomic and political exclusion of south Indian labourers in Malaya in relation to the racial policy of the British administration from 1907 until the early 1950s. During these years, Indian labourers were susceptible to Britain’s policy of accommodating the political and economic needs of the Malays and the Chinese. Since colonial racial policy and economic factors interchangeably affected the position of Indian labourers in Malaya, the origins of Britain’s racial preference policy in Malaya are first constructed, followed by how Indian labourers were integrated and subsequently marginalized through and in the capitalist-economic system from 1907. The subsequent sections trace the extent to which they were politically and socioeconomically affected by the colonial politics of racial inequality. The article also discusses how the Japanese occupation period during the Second World War accentuated the position of Indian labourers in postwar Malaya. Following that, the long-term implication of the colonial racial policy on Indian labourers in post-independent Malaya is evaluated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indian labourers; pro-Malay policy; Chinese; capitalistic system
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2019 08:31
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 08:31

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