A Splendid Little Colony: British Singapore 1819 - 1963

Postcard of colonial officer in white and a Malay postman

1906 postcard of Singapore, typically depicting the dominance of colonial society over the locals, in this case, a “Malay postman.”

The Malaysian academic Farish Noor has pointed out that a Eurocentric view of Asians was very common in the Nineteenth Century. Whether in official documents, travelogues (even those of famous female travellers such as Isabella Bird) or postcards such as these, Asians were typically depicted as degenerate and backward, incapable of ruling themselves. (“The Sultan who could not stay put: the extraordinary life of Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor,” in The Other Malaysia: Writings on Malaysia’s Subaltern History, p 43.)

A Splendid Little Colony: British Singapore 1819 - 1963 | Singapore

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by Stephen