Sunday, October 8, 2017

Larut War

The discovery of tin in the Malay Straits in the 1840s, like the example of piracy, betrays one of the real purposes of empire: control of markets. When Long Jaafar died in 1858 his son, Ngah Ibrahim, inherited Larut’s considerable wealth as well as its large Chinese population. The majority of these were Chen Sang Hakka who was members of the Hai San.

In 1861, in what is sometimes termed the first Larut War fighting broke out when another Hakka group from the Fei Chew clan, most of whom were Ghee Hin adherents, attempted to gain control of a water-course feeding the mines of both factions.

Sir Andrew Clarkes
The second war took place in 1865. This was sparked off by a gambling quarrel between two opposing secret society. The third, which took place in 1872, was over a scandal including two families connected with the two different secret societies, and the fourth in 1873 involved the Perak Royal family and another Malay faction.

The “troubles” referred to as the Larut War, dragged in until 1874 when Raja Abdullah managed to influence Andrew Clarkes, the British governor of the Straits Settlement in Singapore to intervene. This led to the signing of the Pangkor Engagement.
Larut War

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