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Research Master Thesis
Lim Jian Ming Gary History department/0856150 email@example.com Steeenstraat 3A, 2312 BS Supervisors: Blussé van Oud Alblas, Prof.dr.J.L. Dr. Thomas Lindblad ENCOMPASS PROGRAMME History department Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands August 2011
a. Aim and introduction …………………………………………………… 4 b. Debate and methodologies …..……………………………………….….. 7 c. Structure of the thesis ………………………………………………….... 11
Chapter One: Geography and socio-political settings of West Borneo
1.1 Geographical information of West Borneo residency ……………………. 16 1.2 The Dayak and Malay peoples….................................................................. 20 1.3 The population of West Borneo residency from 1895-1930 (Official and rough estimates)……..…………………………..…….……. 24 1.4 Early trading contacts and the coming of Chinese gold miners ….……..... 26 1.5 Sino-Dutch relations during the late nineteenth century …………….…… 31
Chapter Two: The Chinese society and their social institutions in West Borneo residency
2.1 The Chinese community of West Borneo residency………………………. 35 2.2 The issue of Chinese “ethnicity”…………………………………………... 40 2.3 Place of origins: The Chinese dialect groups in the residency ………........ 42 2.4 A study of Chinese distributions and population in West Borneo residency during 1850s to1930 …………………………….…...... 46 2.5 Chinese settlements in urban region: with Pontianak region as an example ………………………………………………………………... 48 2.6 The rural Chinese settlement: Sintang division (afdeeling) ………..……… 55 2.7 A study of Overseas Chinese through their religious cult-beliefs, ancestral worship and social organisations ……………………………….. 62 2.7.1 Chinese “rebellion” of 1914: organising through social institutions ……. 71 2.7.2 Chinese temple as a form of socio-economic institution …………………73 2.7.3 Chinese secret societies: Yi-Xing Guan (Ngee Hin Kongsi) …………….77
Chapter Three: Chinese economic activities and the Colonial interests
3.1 Private investors versus Smallholder cultivation ………………..……….. 80 3.2 Coconut and rubber cultivation …………………………………………... 82 3.3 Rice cultivation, irrigation projects, shortages and import of rice supplies ……………………………………………………………… 87 3.4 Credit system versus banking institutions ……………………………..…. 90
3.5 Other Dutch colonial measures: The extension of KPM shipping networks, coinage purges and closure of revenue „farms‟ in West Borneo residency ……………………………………………………………………... 92
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………….....…95 Appendix (English-Chinese translation)……………………………..…….. 98 Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………101
Maps: 1.) Map of West Borneo residency (17) 2.) Map of Southeast China (42) 3.) Map of Chaozhou (Teochew) and Meizhou (Hakka) regions (45) Tables: 1.) West Borneo‟s Inlandsch zelfbestuur and gouvernementslanden (19) 2.) West Borneo population 1895-1930 (24) 3.) The eight counties of Guangdong province with the smallest proportion of cultivable land (43) 4.) Sub-ethnic or dialect groups among Chinese in West Borneo, 1930 census (47) 5.) Total number of Chinese in Lara and Lumar districts in 1857 (Bengkayang region, used to be part of Da-Gang kongsi) (47) 6.) Distribution of Chinese in Lara and Lumar districts according to dialect groups 1857) (48) 7.) Table 7a. The distribution of different Chinese dialect groups in Pontianak and its surrounding, including Sungai Kakap (51) Table 7b. Overview of the different occupation by Chinese people in the Pontianak district, surroundings and Sungai Kakap (52) 8.) List of Information about the Chinese people, community and economic activities in Sintang districts (57-62) 9.) List of agricultural concessions issued by the Dutch colonial government during the period 1911-18, in the region of Pontianak (81) Charts and model: 1.) Population growth in West Borneo 1895-1930 (25) 2.) Abstract model for exchange between a drainage basin centre and an Overseas power (Bronson‟s theory) (93) Photographs: 1.) Chinese Taoist temple: Xuan Tian Shangdi miao, Sungai Kakap (52) 2.) Epigraphic material: A horizontal inscribed board hanged in the inner hall of the temple (53) 3.) The hall of the Reverent Lord of Broad Compassion (Baosheng Dadi) (54) 4.) An example of a Southeast Asian Chinese Clan, Huang clan (69) 5.) Epigraphic materials: He fo temple, Pontianak (76) 6.) Blank diploma of Chinese secret societies (Ngee Hin) (78) 7.) A 1861 diploma confiscated by the Dutch authority in Sekajam, West Borneo (79)
Introduction a. Aim and Introduction
This thesis examines the Chinese community and economic developments of West Borneo residency 1 when the Dutch attempted to extend formal rule over the territory and population, particularly in the decades from 1880s to 1930.2 It especially studies the Chinese social institutions and expansion of economic activities like forestproduct collection and cash crop cultivation of rubber- and coconut- related products. My survey shows that during this period, the Chinese community and economy of West Borneo residency were undergoing several changes to cope with the demands of colonial administration and its transformation into a modern export-oriented economy. Like other parts of Indonesian archipelago, the Chinese began to spread across the countryside and moved into new spheres of economic activity during this period. While trade and commerce were still the mainstay of their economic life, Chinese also began to operate as landlords over large domains of private land best suitable for their agricultural needs, or as moneylenders and revenue farmers who were perceived by the colonial government in a very negative light. 3 As a result, the Dutch colonial government tried to intervene, divert, and even came close to replacing some of the Chinese networks and institutions
West Borneo residency or in Dutch: „Westerafdeeling van Borneo‟ (Borneo West Division) covered more or less the same area as the contemporary West Kalimantan province (KALBAR, Kalimantan Barat) of Indonesia. This thesis analyses the Chinese community during the Dutch colonial period and „West Borneo‟ is preferred to „West Kalimantan‟. Official Indonesian statistics give the land area of the province as 146,760 square kilometres, larger th an the islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok combined. The Residency of the Western Division of Borneo was established in 1848, but this thesis shows that Dutch colonial government resumed full control over the residency only from 1880s onwards.
The Dutch resumed possessions of the south and west Coasts of Borneo early in the nineteenth century but it was not until after the foundation of Sarawak by James Brooke in 1841 that they re-exerted their supremacy, mainly through subjugation of Chinese mining kongsis and signing of contracts with indigenous „Malay‟ kingdoms. With the demise of powerful Chinese gold mining kongsis in the west coast, for instance Da-Gang 大港 and Lan-fong 蘭芳, the Dutch colonial government ended the de facto independence of Chinese community living in the so-called “Chinese Districts”. Besides the Dutch and British territories of Sarawak (Brooke family) and Sabah (British North Borneo), the Sultanate of Brunei, or Brunei Darussalam was a former British protectorate situated also in the northern part of the island but share no common border with Indonesia. A final correction to the latter‟s borders (Dutch -British) was made in 1892-4, while border of the northern territories – now part of Malaysia – was delineated in 1884, 1891 and 1912. For more information see: Treaty Series, No.11, 1892, Convention between Great Britain and The Netherlands defining boundaries in Borneo, signed in London on May 11, 1892. London: Printed for Her Majesty‟s Stationery Office, Harrison and Sons, St. Matin‟s Lane. People and goods of today continue to cross the international borders easily and events have often spilled across them. For more information, refer to J. B. Avé, V. T. King and Joke G.W. De Wit, West Kalimantan: A Bibliography, Leiden, 1983, 5; M. Somers Heidhues, Golddiggers, Farmers, and Traders in the “Chinese Districts” of West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Ithaca, NY 2003, 17; G. Irwin, Nineteenth-Century Borneo: A Study in Diplomatic Rivalry, Singapore, 1967, 206-7 and 215; see also Koloniaal Verslag 1891: 2 (Bijlage, Verslag der Handelingen van de Staten-Generaal (Appendix, Minutes of the Estates-General) title varies, 1866-1923.
M. R. Fernando and D. Bulbeck, Chinese Economic Activity in Netherlands India selected Translations from the Dutch, ASEAN Economic Research Unit: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore 1992, 1.
with new ones in the residency, especially during the time when the Dutch was consolidating their power over the Outer islands. This can be seen from the introduction of Dutch-appointed Chinese officials in the Chinese settlements and the establishment of the Javasche Bank (Java Bank) in Pontianak which competed against local Chinese money-lending or credit services. With regard to the Dutch colonial interests in West Borneo, one should think not only in terms of political ambitions of the Dutch government per se, but also the economic projects of the colonial government as well as the private Dutch and other European business interests. The implementation of these policies was largely possible due to the social and military presence of the colonial government which re-defined the political playing field and power structure of the region. However, members of the Chinese community of West Borneo residency were not passively accepting the colonial policies and western competition. In most situations, they responded through social organisations and mutual-aid groupings to protect their socio-cultural interests and continuation of economic networks, trade routes and political affiliations with the regional Chinese communities and their homeland in southeast China. Chinese organisations, like Kongsi, existed since the period of Chinese gold-mining of the lateeighteenth century and had survived in one form or another for more than a century before the eventual colonial crackdown. Even though the ability to hold coercive power was played down and abolished after the Dutch suppression in 1884, other Chinese groupings like temple organisation, secret societies, “sworn brotherhoods”, and Chinese cultural practices like ancestral worship survived and continued to play an important role in Chinese socio-economic life.4 All in all, the proliferation of Chinese organisation in West Borneo had to a large extent, enabled the community to maintain a high degree of socio-cultural autonomy in a largely non-Chinese, on occasion hostile environment. The topic of Chinese organisations has been of substantial research concern to historians of Southeast Asia, particularly when they look at the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This focus has come into being no less because the colonial states had been fearful of the various Chinese brotherhood groupings, or what they coined “secret” and/or “dangerous societies”. To contest the negative image by colonial historians, various historians render sympathetic readings to these societies as mutual-help associations or even as a kind of temple or religious organisation. Most scholars explain that these institutions were established because the Chinese migrants were following traditions from home and they needed these institutions to survive the challenges in the alien environment.
There was tension between the Chinese social groupings and newly formed nation-states after 1950s which further diminished their prowess.
The aim of this thesis is to track the extension of Chinese community and their economic networks in various parts of West Borneo, from the coastal to hinterland regions. By linking them to the studies of Chinese social institutions and economic activities in general, as far as possible, I will try to explain how the Chinese of West Borneo maintained their economic dominance and high degree of socio-cultural autonomy, which were unique in the Indies. The focus of this thesis is to provide an important link in the study of Chinese in West Borneo which was connected by various regional networks based on religious, cultural and economic contacts. With respect to these various links, it is argued that it is important to study the porous-ness of the boundaries – whether in geographical terms (land-sea, hulu-hilir), or in political terms (as established by the Dutch and British colonial powers) so that one could then grasp the full extent of Chinese business and social networks in the region. Some of these networks which existed prior to the coming of Dutch colonialism were seen as the main obstacles faced by the colonial administrators in their attempts to tame the West Borneo region. However, the biggest challenge of this research lies in the inconsistencies and oblivious characteristics/features seen in some of these Chinese socio-cultural practices; for instance in the form and variants exhibited in Chinese deity- or religious-cult beliefs. While, there was a lack of conformity or common understanding which we can easily pinpoint and determine the distinctive links and relations which existed vaguely between Chinese cultural-religious groupings and economic institutions, especially from the perspective of an outsider and non-member. In this narrative, we can also see that not only connections with the Chinese homeland provided a compass for the preservation of Chinese culture. Singapore, a vital economic focus for the trade of West Borneo as well as cultural and political centre of Chinese-ness in Southeast Asia, mediated the influence and sympathy from the homeland which to a large extent overshadowed and deviated from the influential Dutch presence in Batavia.5 Under such social links, the economy of the residency which was dominated by smallholder cash crop cultivators was actually highly centrifugal and linked with places beyond its colonial boundaries like Sarawak, Singapore and other destinations abroad. Dominated and ran by Chinese traders and smallholder plantation owners, the nature of West Borneo‟s economy and trading networks was one of the primary reasons for the recurrent tensions and conflicting economic interests between the colonial state and Chinese community. To a large extent, the cluster of socio-economic networks brought West Borneo residency closer to the regional and international communities during 1880s to 1930 and enables us to have a broader historical understanding of the Chinese in West Borneo.
H. A. Poeze, Politiek-Politioneele overzichten van Nederlandsch-Indië, Deel 1 1927-8, The Hague, 1982, 265.
Besides the local and regional socio-economic ties, the Chinese community of West Borneo was also ushered into the new era of Chinese nationalism and “ethnic awakening” during the early twentieth century. Socio-political bodies like Tiong Hoa Hwe Koan (T.H.H.K) (M. Zhonghua Huiguan), Siang Hwe (M. Shang Hui) and “political reading rooms”, or otherwise known as Soe Po Sha (M: Shu Bao She) were responsible in disseminating information and news from China to West Borneo residency. These associations quickly became a recognisable force which influenced the Chinese peoples who were also divided internally by different dialect groups, occupational specialisations and social class. Some of them promoted Confucian Chinese culture and modern Chinese-language education in the residency while others were affiliated to political parties like Kuomintang (Nationalists party, KMT) and later the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Coupled with the huge influx of new Chinese immigrants during this period, the colonial officials were gradually concerned with the revolutionary thinking embedded in these associations and people who appeared highly suspicious, provocative and dangerous to the colonial state and governance. However little was done to curb these Chinese „threats‟, while policies and laws were introduced to assuage or anticipate the anti-colonial sentiments from the Chinese community instead. Unlike the strong political and economic grips enjoyed by the Dutch colonial government over Java and east Sumatra, the extent of colonial influence and political control over the Chinese peoples and West Borneo residency remained generally limited, inefficient and sometimes unchecked by the authorities. The discussion of my thesis will end around the period of economic depression during the 1930 when West Borneo‟s cash crop cultivation, like other places in the Netherlands Indies, was severely affected by the falling prices and demand in raw materials. It also marked an important stage in the study of West Borneo history as the population and economy stabilised after a period of economic developments and population boom. Excessive Chinese labour was forced to return to their homeland and cash crop production, like rubber, was adjusted and capped to a certain amount to meet the lower demands of the global market. Due to the political events in China, the study of Chinese community in West Borneo after 1930s is closely related to the Japanese occupation during 1942 to 1945. Anti-Japanese movements and trading boycotts happened occasionally in West Borneo residency due to the rise of Chinese nationalism and Sino-Japanese war in 1937; while communism started to play a more active and important role after this period. b. Debates and methodologies With the demise of western colonialism in Southeast Asia and China‟s emergence as a major communist power in the 1950s and 1960s, various historians and
anthropologists have examined how the shifting social and political developments affected the Chinese in individual Southeast Asian countries and territories.6 Most studies on Chinese in Southeast Asia tended to demonstrate how the Chinese peoples exhibited social organisations that were significant to the understanding of a plural society7 or a society with several pluralistic aspects, while studies on the Chinese in Indonesia mostly discussed their participation and roles in the national politics and largely focused on the economic developments in urban regions of Java and Sumatra. With all these debates and methodologies when depicting overseas Chinese community, T‟ien Ju K‟ang‟s The Chinese in Sarawak8 (1953)9 is an exception among others and is noteworthy due to Sarawak‟s historical and geographical proximity with West Borneo. His research methodology of the Chinese in Sarawak raises a different approach in understanding overseas Chinese communities. By applying his knowledge of south China‟s socio-cultural characteristics, surname lineages and family ties when analysing and dissecting the internal socio-economic structure of Chinese in Sarawak, T‟ien probably because he is Chinese himself, is more aware of the divisions among the Chinese. Through his interviews and field surveys, he examines carefully the precise prefecture, village and lineage backgrounds of the Chinese people. This approach not only provides us with a detailed description of Chinese economic networks and organisations in rural and urban settings but also highlights how the Chinese community was divided according to dialect groups, occupation and trading specialisation in the territory. Much emphasis is also given to the sociological and economical analysis of
Some of the most important works on Southeast Asian Chinese communities include: G. William Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand: An Analytical History, Ithaca, NY, 1957; E. Wickberg, The Chinese in Philippine Life 1850-1898, New Haven and London, 1965 and W. E. Willmott, The Chinese in Cambodia, Vancouver, Canada, 1967.
J. S. Furnivall, Netherlands India: a study of plural economy, Cambridge: 1939, p.446 and 451. According to Furnivall a “plural society” refers to a society made up of disparate ethnic categories, which live side by side, yet without mingling, in one political unit. Looking primarily at the economic structure, this theory suggests that in most circumstances, the different ethnic groups lack common social values and individuals of differing ethnicity meet only in the market place or a bazaar, where economic relations predominate over all other aspects of life. In this case, he explains that Netherlands India was a typical tropical dependency where the rulers and the ruled are of different races.
Sarawak was from 1841 governed by a self-ruling British colonialist and adventurer named James Brooke. In 1839 Brooke first arrived in the area where he helped the Sultan of Brunei in putting down a local rebellion. For his help in ending this rebellion, Brooke became the sovereign ruler of Sarawak. A few years later, in 1845, he was appointed British agent in Borneo (G. Irwin 1955, 103). The Brooke family administered the area for three generations until it was passed on to the British crown after World War Two.
T‟ien Ju-K‟ang, The Chinese of Sarawak: A Study of Social Structure, The London School of Economics and Political Science, 1953.
informal relationships that underpinned the lives of ordinary Chinese people in Sarawak.10 However gaps still remain in our knowledge as many of these studies have been concerned primarily with the present or the Chinese communities of a very recent past and most have been the work of anthropologists or sociologists in the mid-twentieth century. As sinologists preoccupy themselves with questions on why China fell back behind Western Europe in the late nineteenth century, various scholars are struck by the general Chinese economic success in the history of Southeast Asia. For this, Denys Lombard who applies Fernand Braudel‟s longue durée and the Mediterranean Sea paradigms in his analysis of Southeast Asian history was especially a strong advocate for the integration of south China and Southeast Asia as a field of study.11 Kwee in her recent article, points out the problem that both fields of study – early modern Southeast Asia and late imperial southeast China have ignored each other. 12 In response to these shortcomings and debates, studies are undertaken to identify the characteristics of a village society, Chinese lineage and/or other cultural-religious institutions/practices found in southeast China. Likewise, there has been a lot of interest about the genealogies and lineages, and relevance for Chinese overseas research, which the scholars believed that it may be beneficial to the understanding of Chinese overseas studies. 13 The collection information would be useful to understand how the overseas Chinese maintained bonded in one way or another. In general, these organisations had enabled overseas Chinese to remain socially connected, economically segregated from the local society, creating what Furnivall coined as a plural colonial society. In terms of geographical landscape, my analysis will not only include the west Borneo coast but also encompass the hinterland towns and settlements of Sanggau and Sintang into the research scope. There were a significant number of Chinese traders and miners settling in the upstream rural regions during the late nineteenth- and early twentieth centuries. Most upriver Chinese lived in the designated Chinese districts demarcated by the colonial authority and continued to maintain close socio-economic relationships with their urban counterparts in Pontianak and Singkawang. Others were
In a book review by J. D. Freedman, Tien was criticised for confining his work solely to the Chinese and unknowingly overlooked the entire social structure and economy of the British territory. See, J. D. Freedman, Reviewed work (s): The Chinese of Sarawak: A Study of Social Structure, by T‟ien Ju -K‟ang, Man, 54 (Aug., 1954), 128-9.
See also, N. Cooke and Li Tana, Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 17501880, Singapore, 2004, 2.
Kwee Hui Kian, „Pockets of Empire: Integrating the Studies on Social Organizations in Southeast China and Southeast Asia‟, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 27:3 2007, 616.
See: Maurice Freedman, Chinese lineage and society: Fukien and Kwangtung, University of London: The Athlone press, 1966. David Faure, Emperor and ancestor: state and lineage in South China , Standford, 2007.
found living near the international borders with Sarawak and some were believed to be involved in smuggling activities of contraband items like opium and firearms. Together with the more widely-known “Chinese districts” of Mandor, Monterado, Bengkayang, Singkawang and Pontianak (just to name a few), this study aspires to remedy the limitations of previous works where most emphasis is given only to those urban towns or cities 14 . This research also attempts to shift away from an urban-centric focus and delineates Chinese urban-rural networks and interactions in an economy dominated largely by river systems, particularly in terms of the financing of agricultural production and marketing of commodities. The residency‟s demographic composition also comprised several indigenous groups like Dayak and Malay peoples and without their participation in various cash crop cultivation and forest product collection, it will be impossible for the Chinese to carry out most trading activities in the residency. Socio-economic interactions among ethnic groups were not something new but intensified as a result of Dutch colonialism and economic expansion. During this period, the Chinese „internal‟ migration from the coastal regions to agricultural lands and into the interiors for trade was the result of the declining gold deposits and closing of kongsis; while Dayak and Malay entered into closer commercial relations with Chinese petty traders who used small motor- or steamdriven boats to tow large, flat bottomed freight transporters to the river mouth for good transportation purposes. 15 However, the coming of Chinese traders at the coastal and interior regions had also displaced and threatened some of the former economic activities of Malay court-sponsored traders and reduced economic dependency of Dayak over their Malay rulers. Last but not least, due to the fame of powerful mining „republics‟ or kongsi of the early- and mid-nineteenth century, Chinese communities of West Borneo have attracted much historical attention. 16 Most accounts, however, ended before the post-kongsi transitional periods and only a few discussed about the area and Chinese since then, and most of those concentrated on the violence occurred in the residency.17 In sum, studies on
According to Somers Heidhues, 11, the “Chinese Districts” and the town of Pontianak consisted of a high proportion of the inhabitants who were ethnic Chinese. The Chinese communities left a special cultural stamp upon these districts, thus giving them this name.
J. Ozinga, De Economische Ontwikkeling der Westerafdeeling van Borneo en de Bevolkingsrubbercultuur , Wageningen: Zomer en Keuning, 1940, p.17.
J. C. Jackson, Chinese in the West Borneo Goldfields: A Study in Cultural Geography , 1970; Yuan Bingling, Chinese Democracies: A study of the Kongsis of West Borneo (1774-1884), Leiden, 2000; L. Blussé, “Nuggets from the Gold Mines, Three Tales of the Ta-kong Kongsi of West Kalimantan”, (with Ank Merens) in Blussé and Zurndorfer (eds .), Conflict and Accommodation in Early Modern East Asia: Essays in Honour of Erik Zurchër, Leiden 1993, 284-321. 17 An example of violence of Chinese in West Kalimantan during the period discussed, please refer to: The Siauw Giap, „Rural Unrest in West Kalimantan, the Chinese Uprising in 1914‟ in: Leyden Studies in Sinology, Paper Presented at the
the Chinese community between late nineteenth and early twentieth century are still wanting and fragmented, save for the general historical overview by Somers Heidhues.18 c. Structure of the thesis This thesis is divided into three chapters. Chapter one gives a brief description of the geographical landscape of West Borneo residency. Map will be used to show the locations of important cities, towns and geographical features of the residency. Next, a description of the Malay and Dayak ethnic group and demographic composition of West Borneo residency will provide some background information about the people living in the residency. A historical background of the pre-colonial trade links between southeast China and Borneo Island will then illustrate the long historical discourse between these two regions. Lastly, the discussions about the socio-political settings of the Netherlands Indies explain the relations and problems faced by the Chinese community and Dutch colonial government. For Chapter two, I will give a critical description and analysis of the Chinese community. A description of how the West Borneo Chinese organised their own migration and extended settlements in West Borneo will be discussed. The study and distribution of Chinese economic activities in West Borneo is also related to the places of origin where they came from in southeast China. Customs, practices and beliefs of the Chinese dialect groups in West Borneo, i.e. Hakka, Teochew, Cantonese, Hokkien and others, differed in detail from one another and require intensive fieldwork and literature surveys to determine how their individual cultures have evolved or transformed under new social and geographical settings. Through the literature survey of J. J. K. Enthoven (1903), rough estimations and distributions of Chinese population in Sintang and Pontianak divisions will be tabulated. The Memorandum of transfer or (Memorie van Overgave, MVO) and other secondary literatures will further provide an overview of the Chinese population during the late nineteenth- and early twentieth centuries. As mentioned, the socio-economic relationships of Chinese institutions will be discussed using the case studies of Chinese secret societies and temple organisations in West Borneo. In the twentieth century, most Chinese entered West Borneo through Singapore (and also Sarawak) and most local products were imported and exported to the global market via that port-city. Smuggling of contraband items like firearms and opium
Conference held in Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Sinological Institute of Leyden University December 8-12, 1980, 1981, 138-153.
Somers Heidhues, Golddiggers, Farmers, and Traders….. Even then, she focuses mainly on the economic transition of Chinese gold miners to cash crop cultivators and traders.
was common between the land borders of Sarawak and West Borneo. 19 Through my research, I have encountered several interesting journals and reports that suggested the existence of „illegal‟ trading activities and trans-national secret societies networks. The study goes beyond the locality to examine the various forms of socio-economic relationships between Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. It will also examine how smuggling activities in the eyes of Europeans contested and tested those emerging boundaries, while pursuing both a profit-making enterprise and vigorous project of resistance against the new system.20 In other words, we can see that through the drawing of nation-state boundaries, the colonial government implemented politico-economic policies to counter and regulate problems of smuggling and other illegal activities which threatened their strategic interests. Last but not least, I will evaluate the position and strategies imposed by the colonial authorities when dealing with the various Chinese dialect groups residing in different parts of the residency and the migration policies which restricted the arrivals of excessive Chinese immigrants during the early twentieth century. Chapter three analyses specifically the Chinese socio-economic activities and networks in the West Borneo residency. The smallholding system adopted by local population dominated the cash crop production in West Borneo while trade concessions were also given out by the Dutch authorities to encourage economic activities in West Borneo residency. Lindblad and Van Tijn describe the economy of the early twentieth century Netherlands Indies as a complex system of economic incentives and also a specifically Dutch intervening link between private capital interests and public policy. This mentality later developed into an ironic imperialist attitude of mind, culminating in the form of Ethical Policy in twentieth century21, which resulted in a debate between economic policy and moral responsibility. Like the Malay-Dayak‟s hulu-hilir system, the Chinese economic network in West Borneo was shaped according to the residency‟s geographical and demographic settings, based primarily on river transportation. This study will explain the infiltration and settlements of Chinese gold miners in the interiors and evaluate the expansion of cash
J. J. K. Enthoven, Bijdragen tot de geographie van Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, Leiden, 1903, 464-5. In this example, there were regular smuggling activities from Sarawak to Sintang during the early years of twentieth century. It was said that from the end of the navigable Ketoengau river (which flows in Sarawak and Sintang), it would lead one to a watershed where there was a footpath. Dutch informants mentioned that there were many Chinese spotted in the region and were suspected of importing or smuggling commodities like opium into the residency.
E. Tagliacozzo, Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915, New Haven & London, 2005, 19.
J. T. Lindblad, “Economic Aspects of the Dutch expansion in Indonesia, 1870 -1914”, Modern Asia Studies, 23:1, 1984, 3. See also, Th. Van Tijn, „Een nabeschouwing‟, Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden 86 (1971), 79-89.
crop cultivations in the residency. Unlike the plantation system in the Deli, Serdang and Langkat regions, rubber and other cash crops remained largely a smallholding system in West Borneo, managed largely by Chinese, Malay and Dayak enterprises. Other Chinese became money-lenders, shopkeepers or small-scale „floating‟ traders in the upstream regions. Some were collecting and trading in forest- and merchandised- products with local Chinese miners, inhabitants and indigenous peoples living along main rivers and tributaries of the residency. To support my analysis of interior West Borneo‟s economy, I will use Bronson‟s 22 theory (hypothesis). In his theory, he explains how commercial goods were transported from upstream to downstream settlements and vice-versa. The locations of Chinese settlements in rural and urban West Borneo assisted and expanded the movement of goods in the residency, which integrated well with the indigenous economy. Lastly, the thesis will also highlight the Dutch policies when trying to divert the economic networks from Singapore to Batavia. The aim was to control the lucrative economic activities in West Borneo residency; some of these examples were the implementation of coinage act (1901) and establishment of Peoples‟ Credit System, Volkskreditwezen (1917) in Pontianak, Singkawang and Mempawah. To strengthen my discussion of Chinese economic dominance in West Borneo residency, some of the socio-political developments in colonial administration and impacts of rising Chinese (proto-) nationalism during the early twentieth century will be highlighted. My discussion investigates how Chinese institutions such as the Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan and Soe Pao Sha established their branches in West Borneo and played important roles in the Chinese community. These organisations attracted much attention and memberships among Chinese people in the early twentieth century owing to the rise of Chinese nationalism. Debates on taxation system and citizenship issues of Indies-born Chinese in West Borneo were brought up and discussed. Dutch-appointed Chinese officials also formed the new mediating link between the colonial government and local Chinese community. The social and political activities carried out by Chinese associations were always under the watchful and suspicious eyes of the Dutch authorities. Some of these institutions were seen as “rebellious” and harmful while others cooperated with the colonial administration to gain official recognition. Many however acted independently and like the former gold mining kongsis, wanted less interference from the colonial government. Work on this study has proceeded intermittently over the past three years when I spent some time in West Kalimantan visiting the former “Chinese districts” on two occasions. During these field trips (2009, 2010), I noted that there are numerous
B. Bronson, “Exchange at the Upstream and Downstream Ends” Notes toward a Functional Model of the Coastal State in Southeast Asia,” in Karl L. Hutterer (ed.), Economic and Social Interaction in Southeast Asia, Ann Arbor, 1977, 39-52.
epigraphic materials in the Chinese temples and graveyards dating back to the late nineteenth century. Although these materials are in fragments, in this paper, I will try to use them to provide essential supporting evidence about Chinese communities and their ancestral backgrounds in China. Combined with oral interviews with older people on their memories of the early- and mid- twentieth century, I hope to provide a preliminary study of the Chinese networks and social groupings in West Borneo from 1880s to 1930. Given the limited number of non-European sources on the Chinese in West Borneo, my thesis relies heavily on Dutch archival and printed materials. European officials, missionaries, Dutch sinologists, adventurers, and visitors provide most of these sources. Dutch sources that I have consulted come mostly from the Memorie van Overgave, Koloniaal Verslag and Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indië. With regard to European sources, we must be wary about their prevailing viewpoint which originated mainly from that of outsiders and administrators who often portrayed the Chinese community from a hostile perspective. In the words of Somers Heidhues, “they were usually from the standpoint of competitors in a battle for control and suppression.” 23 From the earlier records of eighteenth century, we can see that the initial Western response to the Chinese in West Borneo residency was rather positive. Most of them commented about the enterprising spirits and talent of the Chinese miners and traders. However, other observers soon complained about these mining and trading practices which threatened the livelihoods of innocent Dayaks. They did so especially during the period of “Kongsi wars”24 when the colonial government tried to win over the support of Dayak and Malay peoples against the powerful Chinese kongsis. Later in the twentieth century, the implementation of Ethical Policy was seen as a colonial attempt to uplift the livelihoods of indigenous people and eradicate the economic system which was thought to favour the Chinese traders Lastly, difficulties and confusion often arise in a work of this nature in the rendering of names. To prevent unnecessary confusion, modern English spellings will be used for all place-names in the Indonesian part of Borneo. Malay terms and Malay and
Somers Heidhues, 44.
The “Kongsi Wars” refers to three periods of warfare in 1822 -24, 1850-54 and 1884-5. The 1822-24 Kongsi war happened due to an internal split within the Fosjoen zongting (M. Heshun zongting or federation) partly due to the Dutch presence and military intervention of the kongsi affairs. The Samtiaokioe members of the Fosjoen federation in Monterado sought helped from the Sultan of Sambas and Dutch against the Thaikong (M. Da-gang) kongsi (which was also part of the Foesjoen federation). The incident happened when a Thaikong man murdered and stole the money belonging to one of their people. The second Kongsi war which lasted from 1850 to 1854 was one of the bloodiest wars fought between the Dutch and Thaikong kongsi. Thaikong was defeated by the Dutch and the colonial government took control over the Sambas and Monterado regions. The third Kongsi war (1884-5) was fought between the Dutch and loyalists of Lan-fong kongsi (M. Lan-Fang). The Lan-fong Kongsi was in decline by the late nineteenth century due to poor mining returns. The military resistance against the Dutch colonial troops happened when the last Kapthai Liu ASeng passed away in 1884. For more information about the “Kongsi Wars”, please refer to Heidhues‟s Golddiggers, chapter 2 & 3 and Yuan Bingling‟s Chinese Democracies.
Arab personal names are also given in their modern English spellings, for instance „Sukadana‟ instead of „Soekadana‟. The greatest problem relates to all Chinese terms and names in the residency, and a glossary with Mandarin pronunciation and Chinese characters will be attached at the end of this dissertation. In the present study, for the sake of continuity, conventionally transliterated terms like „Hokkien‟, „Hakka‟, „Teochew‟, „Cantonese‟, „Ghee Hin‟, „Toa Peh Kong‟, „Kongsi‟ „Sinkeh‟, „Tiong Hoa Hwe Koan‟ will be retained to preserve its distinctive cultural identity and historical context. However, to ensure that continuity does not sacrifice clarity, the modern Chinese hanyu pinyin of names and Chinese characters will be provided in the appendix.
Chapter One – Geography and socio-political settings of West Borneo
1.1 Geographical information of West Borneo residency The island of Borneo has been relatively impervious to outside influence prior to the late nineteenth century and most trading and political contacts were at the coastal regions. Dense tropical rainforest has long impeded communication and colonisation and its immense land mass are hard to access from the coastal areas. The province itself forms a natural unit, enclosed as it is by the Kelingkang and Kapuas Hulu mountain ranges in the north and the Muller-Schwaner mountain chains in the east and south-east. These mountain regions surround a wide valley and plain which drains mainly into the Kapuas River and its tributaries. The most significant natural feature of the province is the Kapuas River which is approximately 1,140 kilometres long and flows in a generally western direction from its source near Gunung Cemaru in the Upper Kapuas Mountains to its broad delta at Pontianak, the provincial capital. In its upper course it wanders across a vast alluvial plain, low-lying and littered with lakes; passing through more hilly terrain between Semitau and Tayan. The river is joined by several large tributaries and at the points of confluence lie the smaller alluvial plains; below Tayan, where it attains a width of 1600 metres, the Kapuas splits into numerous distributaries, forming a delta of about 8000 square kilometres. The predominantly low-lying Kapuas basin covers approximately 100,000 square kilometres, about two-thirds of the area of the province. Among its most important tributaries are from upstream travelling downriver, the Mendalam, Mandai, Embaloh, Ketungau, Melawi, Sekadau, Sekayam and Landak. The largest of the tributaries is the Melawi or Melahui, 500 kilometres long with a basin of approximately 22,600 square kilometres. The Kapuas delta, an area of about 8,000 square kilometres, consists mainly of swampy forest, which in some places, has been drained to enable the planting of coconut trees; a primary cash crop cultivation in the province.25
Avé, p. 6
Kelingkang and Kapuas Hulu (upper) mountains
South China Sea
Muller-Schwaner mountain chains
South and East Borneo residency
Map of West Borneo residency, showing the main settlements along the coastal regions and Kapuas River The main towns are situated along the coast, from north to south, Sambas, Pemangkat, Singkawang, Mempawah, Pontianak, Sukadana and Ketapang. There are also important settlements along the Kapuas usually at its junctions with the larger tributaries, going upstream – Tayan, Sanggau, Sekadau, Sintang, Semitau, Selimbau, Bunut and Putus Sibau.26 In most of these regions, at least a Chinese settlement could be found and
they were usually involved in agriculture or trading activities. Depending on the size and economic importance of the Chinese district, a Dutch-appointed Chinese official of Majoor, Kapitan, Laothai or Kapthjong would be appointed to collect taxes and govern the local Chinese community on behalf for the colonial government. During the Dutch colonial period, the residency of West Borneo was divided into a number of territories with native self-government or indigenous “kingdoms” 27 (landschappen met inlandsch zelfbestuur). Throughout the Netherlands Indies, the colonial system rested upon the principle of leaving the native population as much as possible under the immediate control of their own leaders who were appointed and recognised by the colonial government and were subjected to much supervision as may be decreed by the governor-general or arranged by treaty with the respective regions. Regions that came under the direct administration of the Netherlands East Indies government were known as gouvernementslanden. By the beginning of twentieth century, the number of “self-governments” subsequently decreased or consolidated under the influence of colonial governance while the directly governed regions increased as Dutch rule gradually expanded throughout the residency. In 1909, the Dutch colonial government was reported to have controlled and incorporated areas near or along the Kapuas River, Kapuas Silat, Soehait, Piasa Salimbau and Djongkong. 28 By the 1920s, 25 per cent of West Borneo was directly governed. The residency was divided into four administrative divisions (afdeelingen): Pontianak, Sambas (later Singkawang), Ketapang and Sintang, each under an Assistant-(Assistant) Resident. Below the administrative division of afdeelingen, there were several sub-divisions (onderafdeelingen) and a Dutch controleur (district officer) was usually stationed in these districts. The highest government officer was the Resident of West Borneo and he was based in Pontianak.29 There were twelve “self-government” regions or kingdoms before 1920, namely:
Ibid, pp. 6-7.
There are some reservations in calling these indigenous Malay territories as “kingdoms” or even sultanates. Prior to the arrival of Dutch colonial government, these territories had no fixed territorial boundaries and the influence or political power of the leader or Abang depended on the number of cacahs or followers they commanded. For more information see, Reed L. Wadley, „Abang in the Middle and Upper Kapuas: Additional Evidence‟, in: Borneo Research Bulletin 37, 50-58.
J. C. F Van Sandick and V. J. Van Marle, Verslag eener spoorwegverkenning in Noordwest-Borneo. Part 1-3, Batavia: Albrecht, 1919, p.30.
Individual contract with the Dutch government Sambas 1909 Mempawa 1909 Landak 1909 Tayan 1909 Sanggau 1909 Matan 1909 Pontianak 1911
Signing of „Korte Verklaring‟ (a brief standardised contract or declaration) Koeboe 1909 Sekadau 1911 Simpang 1911 Sukadana 1911 Sintang 1913
Table One: West Boreo‟s Inlandsch zelfbestuur and gouvernementslanden30 From the information above, the regions that „had a formal contract‟ with the Dutch government were important areas situated at the north-west coastal region of the residency. Most of them were under the direct influence and control of the Malay sultans. This could be seen as an attempt to win support from the Malay elites against the „rebellious‟ or uncooperative Chinese. Even though the Dutch colonial government retained the influence of the indigenous leaders, they were careful with the system of indirect rule and restricted their powers to mainly religious and customary ones. However, during the Mandor incident or third Kongsi war against Lan-fong Kongsi, Dutch Resident Kator requested the rulers of Sambas, Pontianak and Mempawah to recruit Malays, Bugis and especially Dayak soldiers to bolster the Dutch military combat forces. 31 From this example, we can see the close relationships between the Malay kingdoms and Dutch colonial government. In terms of port facilities, Singkawang bay provided a reasonable anchorage but good natural harbours were absent elsewhere on this coast. Although the wide river mouths were often shallow and blocked by sand bars, the latter did not hinder ordinary local craft, but did obstruct the movement of larger ocean-going Chinese junks and European ships.32 Government vessels on the Kapuas River carried mails to the interiors while Pontianak was in regular steamship communication with Surabaya, Batavia and Singapore.33 There were also some developments in infrastructure like road building34
J. C. F. Van Sandick, 30. Somers Heidhues, 109. Ibid, 17. G.W. Prothero, Dutch and British Procession (Dutch Borneo), London, 1920, 19.
Dutch Borneo was ill-supplied with roads. It was not until 1908 that the government of the Dutch East Indies established a service for the inspection of all roads in the Outer Provinces. A military road was built around the coast
and river transportation which made carrying of goods and people more accessible, but most other dirt roads were opened by local inhabitants and sometimes Chinese traders. By 1914, there were 30 post offices in Dutch Borneo. The laying of telegraphic cables and plans to build tramways and railway tracks indicated a need to provide modern communication and transportation systems in the residency, which served the purposes of political and economic expansion. By the end of 1920, the total length of telegraphic lines covered about 590 miles,35 connecting most of the coastal regions like Pontianak and Singkawang. However, plans for railway and cross-country highways were abandoned due to factors like high construction cost, limited economic developments and low density of population which spread thinly across the entire residency, making such megaprojects unworthy and expensive. 1.2 The Dayak and Malay peoples Other than the Chinese peoples in West Borneo, the population consists mainly of people from the Dayak and Malay ethnic groups. The Dayak or Daya are numerically the largest category in West Borneo. The name “Dayak” nevertheless covers a multiplicity of groups who constitute about forty per cent of the current population in the province. 36 They are the autochthonous inhabitants of the island of Borneo. Swidden-agriculturalists and foraging groups; Dayaks were not unlike the Bataks in the highlands of central and north Sumatra. It refers to a collective name for a large number of diverse ethnic groupings, which share only a few social and cultural features in common. They were generally shifting cultivators of rice, long-house dwellers and formerly pagan. Many are not Muslims though a significant numbers had converted to some forms of Christianity before the European arrival. Their habitats were usually found along the smaller rivers and side streams in the interior, away from the main Kapuas river, although some Dayak (Iban) villages were also located along parts of the Upper Kapuas, for instance at Putus Sibau. About the Dayak, not much known is written about them as a single ethnic group in the European sources until early twentieth century 37 and more studies are with the anthropological studies in recent publication. Avé points out that there is still no satisfactory ethnic classification of the Dayaks despite the increasing wealth of
from Samarinda in the east to Sambas in the extreme north-west. In 1914, there were plains in preparation for the construction of many new roads along the coastal regions. In West Borneo residency, an official abstract complied in 1903 shows that West Borneo had about 196 miles of third-class roads.
John McBeth and Margot Cohen, “Murder and Mayhem: Ethnic Animosity Explodes in Bloodshed”, In: Far Eastern Economic Review, February 20, 1997, 27.
The term „Dayak‟ was mainly used by the Dutch colonial government to separate them from the „indigenous‟ Malays who were Muslims.
ethnographic data. Anthropologist have agreed with respect to the delimitation of certain relatively well-defined groups like the Iban, but have disagreed with respects to the classification of other categories, namely Kadayan, „Land Dayak‟ and so on. 38 Land Dayak lived mostly in the culturally and ethnically mixed areas of northwest region, while the Kahayan and Iban Dayaks lived mostly in regions of Melawi (Pinoh regions) bordering with south-east Borneo residency and Upper Kapuas regions which shares the same border with Sarawak respectively. 39 Compared to Kadayan and Iban Dayak who were greatly feared by other Dayaks and Malays, Land Dayak had apparently never been noted as a warlike people. They did, however engaged in sporadic headhunting practices, but never on the scale of the Iban whom the colonial government launched several campaigns to exterminate against these uncivilised acts. 40 They were also in close contacts with the Chinese gold miners and traders, and were actively involved in cash crop cultivation during the early twentieth century. In the past, several Dayak groupings were tied politically and economically to Malay potentates and were called “Dayak Serah”41. The system of hulu-hilir enabled the Malay rulers to establish themselves at the coast, downstream or junction of major tributaries where they attempted to encourage and appease the Dayak in the hinterland or upstream through subjugation, raiding and milder means like marriage or oath alliances. This is similar to what B. Andaya refers to in Sumatra.42 In fact, the Dutch supported expansion of Malay rule in the interior and at the end of the nineteenth century virtually the whole of the Kapuas river system was brought under joint Dutch-Malay rule. As a result of this long history of exploitation, Land Dayaks were reputed to have a “slave complex”.43 Meanwhile, the river system or networks in West Borneo allowed for the exchange of necessities such as salt, rice, fish and metals. This barter trade was built on mutual recognition of rights and obligations of both parties. In other words, the upstream
F. M. Lebar, Ethnic groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 1: Indonesia, Andaman Islands and Madagascar , New Haven: Human relations Area File Press, 1972, 147. Look for the section on Avé, “Part III, Indonesia: Land Dayak”. In the colonial archives, Iban Dayak was known as „Batang Lupar‟; Land Dayak as „Bidayuk‟ or „Bidayuh‟, Kahayan as „Oloh Dayak‟ etc.
For more information on Kahayan and Iban Dayak, see Lebar, 185-194. Koloniaal Verslag (1910), 16. „Serah‟ is a kind of forced trade where the exchange rate was to the advantage of the Malay ruler.
See: B. W. Andaya, To live as brothers: southeast Sumatra in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Honolulu, 1993.
areas supplied labour and products while the downstream authority supplied security and needed trade goods.44 The importance of followers or cacahs signifies that the control of people was more important than control of land throughout pre-colonial Southeast Asia. 45 Other Dayak groups never accepted Malay rule and successfully preserved their independence. These groups of Dayaks were called “Dayak Mardahika” (Merdeka) or free Dayaks. 46 Economically, some of the Dayaks exchanged their collected forest products with food supplies and commodities brought in by Chinese traders on small boats. There were also intermarriages between Chinese and Dayak but this was primarily a frontier phenomenon. After 1850, colonial officials believed that the Chinese were acquiring brides by encouraging Dayak men to run up debts and taking their daughters or wives in return for unpaid obligations. They forbade such Chinese-Dayak liaisons for indebtedness in 1854, even though such regulation may not have been effective. 47 Even then, the colonial authorities felt that the presence of Chinese immigrants could have a positive influence on the Dayaks, as they were able and willing to teach them better agricultural methods. Likewise, the Chinese were also generally thought to be dealing more fairly with the Dayak as compared to the Malay, Bugis or Arab traders. The Malays are the second biggest category and comprise all Muslims in terms of religious-belief, with some groups identifying themselves as Bugis, Javanese, Madurese, and so on. In fact, the first of a series of foreigners who came into contact with West Borneo residency were the Malay who migrated from Riau Archipelago, South Sulawesi, Sumatra and Peninsula Malaya states. Traditionally, they were sailors, pirates or fishermen and it was believed that the Malays in West Borneo came to Borneo in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and took some possessions on the west coast.48 Meanwhile, many of the so-called “Malays” in interior West Borneo were descendants from local Dayaks who converted to Islam (masuk Melayu); while some others in the coastal regions had Bugis (Mempawah) or Arabic (Pontianak) origins. Like the Dayak or Chinese, it is sometimes difficult to separate out the Malays proper from the Muslim immigrants who
B. W. Andaya, 77. See also, Timothy P. Barnard, Multiple Centres of Authority Society and environment in Siak and eastern Sumatra, 1674-1827, Leiden 2003, 34.
James C. Scott, Seeing like a state: how certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed, Yale agrarian studies, New Haven, 1998, 185. In this case, the society of interior West Borneo residency was still a traditional one left untouched by European colonialism.
Avé, 7. Heidhues, 132. Political Report for 1856, ANRI BW 1/7 (214).
J. Ozinga, 48-50. And G.L. Uljeé, Handboek voor de Residentie Westerafdeeling van Borneo , Weltevreden: N.V. Boekhandel Visser & Co., 1925, 49-50.
have come from other parts of the Indonesian archipelago. Some of the Bugis, Javanese and Madurese had intermarried with Malays and assimilated into the Malay culture. Malays usually live in the coastal regions and along the large rivers in the interior, especially Kapuas and Melawi. They were involved in subsistence farming and cash crop (rubber and coconuts) cultivation, fishing and government employment. From the general point of view, the Malay community in West Borneo is part of the larger Malay world or networks that extends from peninsula Malaysia, east coast of Sumatra to Riau-Lingga archipelago. We can also draw some historical and cultural relations to their Javanese counterparts, especially from the official titles that the Malay rulers in West Borneo used. In the Koloniaal Verslag and Memorie van Overgave, the Malay rulers in regions like Sintang, Sanggau and Mempawah styled themselves with royal titles as „Panembahan‟ 49. Basically these titles derived from the courts of Mataram Empire, for those of Susuhunan50 rights and assumptions.
The word „Panembahan‟ means honour and courage, and refers to the subject of „respectful worship‟ to its followers. It was also used by the ruler of Jayakarta. See, J. Paulus, Encyclopaedië van Nederlandsch-Oost Indië, Vol. III, Leiden: ʼS-Gravenhage, 1917, p. 286.
Susuhunan was a title used by the kings of Mataram and then by the hereditary rulers of Surakarta.
1.3 The population of West Borneo residency from 1895 to 1930 (official and rough estimates) 51 Ethnic groups European Chinese Arabs52 Tamils Malay & other Inlanders54 Dayak Total 1895 1900 1905 1917 1920 1930
302 37,725 1,542 437 138,459
314 41,440 1,300 514 }369,499
374 48,348 1,342 533 }400,332
731 68,499 }1,212
922 (0.12%) 107,998 (13.46%) 3,94253 (0.49%) } 689,58555 (85.93%)
1,466 }535,516 229,492
192,300 370,765 403,067 450,929
294,017 593,951 605,402 802,447 (100%)
J.C.F. Van Sandick, Verslag eener spoorwegverkenning in Noordwest-Borneo, Albrecht & Co. 1919, 126. Memorandum of transfer, K.A. James (1918-21), ARA 2.10.39 MvO MMK: 262. Piche 1. P.7 (bevolking). The 1905 population census of West Borneo was the only official census made during the period 1900-1920. Even that, it should not be counted as a complete or entirely reliable one as much of the interior in West Borneo residency was still unknown. There were however two official estimates for 1913 and the period 1917-8 which give us a better picture of the demographic composition in early twentieth century West Borneo. 1930 figures are based on official censuses.
Unlike the Arabs in Java, in most situations the Arabs in West Borneo residency was considered to be part of the Malay community due to the similarity in religion and inter-marriages.
Other Asians were mostly Arabs and Indians. The Japanese were grouped under „Other Asians‟ during the period 1905-1930. In earlier years they were presumably included under Europeans. In 1920, the majority of Japanese in the Outer Islands lived in East Sumatra (789) and South Borneo (325). (Boomgaard and Gooszen)
No classifications or statistics were made to identify the smaller denominations in the „Malay‟ community. This classification shows that the Dutch colonial government recognised all these groups as „indigenous people‟ of West Borneo and the „colonial construct‟ was used to differentiate the Malay and its related communities from the Dayak. Even though, migrants historically, the colonial state deviated them from the Chinese and other Asians who were considered by the Dutch as Vremede Oosterlingen or „Foreign Asiatic‟.
The figures for indigenous population of West Kalimantan are regarded as being inaccurate, but since the less reliable figure originate from the interior, which was very sparsely populated, we can accept them as estimates. Jeroen Touwen, Extremes in the Archipelago, trade and economic development in the Outer Islands of Indonesia, 1900-1942, Leiden, 2001, 332 (Appendix A).
Population growth in West Borneo 1895-1930 (I)
4500 4000 3500 3942
Number of people
3000 2500 2000 1500 1212 1000 731 500 302 0 1895 1900 1905 Year 1917 1920 1930 314 374 633 922 1979 1814 1875 1466 European Other Asians
Population growth in West Borneo 1895-1930 (II)
800000 700000 600000 120,000 107,998 689,585 100,000
Number of people
500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 1895 1900 1905 330759 37,725 41,440 400,332 48,348
523509 68,499 369,499
80,000 Indigenous (Malay and Dayak) Chinese
0 1917 1920 1930 Year
From the above table and graphs, we can see that the European population increased from 374 persons in 1905 to 731 in 1917, or a rise of 95%. This is possibly related to the expansion of formal Dutch rule in West Borneo residency, which saw the expansion of Dutch appointment holders stationed in both interior and coastal regions. Other Europeans included the family members of the Dutch officials, cash-crop and mining entrepreneurs as well as Christian missionaries, who started to arrive in numbers at the residency during the twentieth century. The major Chinese uprising of 1912-14 and other ethnic social unrests also prompted the colonial authority to station more troops in the coastal districts and settlements where Chinese were concentrated. Likewise, the growth of Chinese population in West Borneo was also significant between 1895 and 1917, almost doubling (↑81.57%) within a short time period of approximately two decades. The intrusion of a large Chinese community into this Malay-Dayak society
created both a temporal and spatial cultural discontinuity during this period. Between 1880 and 1900, the Chinese population increased by about 2 percent annually, climbing to over 3 percent after 1900. Limited transportation during World War One reduced the influx, but between the censuses of 1920 and 1930, annual population growth for the Chinese of West Borneo reached the unusually high rate of 4.77 percent, mostly because of immigration and some local born-Chinese. In 1920, the Chinese population was estimated at 67,787 people. The Chinese population in West Borne then rose to 107, 998, according to the censuses of 1930.56 Most Chinese immigrants came directly from China or moving from other parts of Southeast Asia like Singapore or Sarawak. They were mainly involved in coconut- and rubber cultivation and other trading activities in West Borneo.57 Some of this flow was reversed during the years of the global economic depression which followed immediately after the booming period. From 1929-1933, departures exceeded arrivals. Reports have shown that a number of labourers and sharecroppers who had arrived to work as coolies on the smallholder rubber plantations and harbours were sent back to China. The indigenous populations of West Borneo had also increased during the period 1895-1920; Malay (↑65.74%) and Dayak (↑52.89%). In general, the increase in West Borneo population figures suggest that during the period of Dutch formal rule, the expansion of cash-crop cultivation resulted in much improvement among the peoples‟ living standards. Regular shipping networks, stable supply of food products like imported rice from Siam via Singapore, better education and health facilities also contributed to the overall wellbeing of residents living in the territory. 1.4 Early trading contacts and the coming of Chinese gold miners Knowledge and trading contacts between the kingdoms of South Seas (Nanyang) and coastal regions of Guangdong and Fujian existed for several centuries before the arrival of European trading companies during the seventeenth century. Between 600 and 1500 A.D., there are numerous references in the Chinese dynastic histories to visits which were paid to the Emperor of China‟s court by ambassadors from „Po-lo, P‟o-li, Po-ni, Yepo-ti‟, etc- names which were generally accepted as standing for places on the West Coast of Borneo. 58 A thirteenth century Chinese tombstone stands in the north of the island in present Brunei,59 and relics of early trade – snuff bottles, jars and other typically
W. L. Cator, The Economic Position of the Chinese in the Netherlands Indies, Oxford, 1936, 160 More information about the Chinese migration patterns, networks and peoples will be discussed in chapter two. G. Irwin, Nineteenth-Century Borneo, Singapore, 3.
W. Franke (with Chen Tieh Fan), “A Chinese Tomb Inscription of A.D. 1264, Discovered recently in Brunei,” in Brunei Museum Journal 3, 1 (1973): 91-99.
Chinese objects – confirm early commercial contacts. By the seventeenth century, Chinese traders were collecting cargoes of gold at Sambas 60 and trading in Sukadana61. The ports of Brunei, Sambas and Mempawah saw Chinese traders arriving, many of whom had also settled in Borneo during the changing monsoon season. Much of their overseas trade was carried out in Chinese junks and these enabled the establishment of an important link with the ports of the Philippines62, Java and the island realms to the west.63 However, Borneo ports because of their less central location on international sea lanes, tended to be dependent only on the exchange of local goods for imported products. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Dutch had attempted to develop a trade with Borneo but encountered tough competition from the merchants of other nations, particularly from the Chinese. Every year large numbers of Chinese junks visited all parts of the coast and carried away not only pepper, gold and diamonds, - the chief attractions for European traders – but also camphor, rattans, wax, resin, timber, and table delicacies like agar-agar (seaweed), tripang (beche-de mer), sharks‟-fins, sea cucumbers and edible birds‟ nests for the Chinese market.64 It was thought that the arrival at Banjarmasin of a dozen or more Chinese junks annually was the principal reason why the Dutch were never able to hold the Sultan of Banjarmasin to his pepper contracts, due to the better price offered by the Chinese merchants. During the eighteenth century or earlier periods, the competition between Chinese junk merchants and Dutch East India Company benefited and prospered some of the local rulers in Southeast Asia. From this instance, we can see that trading contacts and competition between Chinese and Dutch traders existed for a long period of time before the eventual colonisation of the residency. The history of gold mining in West Borneo and the existence of gold deposits had been known for centuries before the mass arrivals of Chinese miners in the eighteenth
A. Hamilton, A New Account of the East Indies, London, Volume 2, 1930, 79.
Sukadana was the most important port in West Borneo. During the seventeenth century, it controlled an entrance to the Kapuas River system that dominates the western part of the island. Unlike Pontianak or Singkawang latter, Sukadana was hardly a metropolis; the port may have had five thousand inhabitants at its peak. For more information, see Ozinga, Economishe ontwikkeling, 27-8.
Edgar Wickberg, The Chinese in Philippine Life 1850-1898, 3-5. In page 5, Wickberg provides a map that illustrates „Chinese Trade Routes to the Philippines‟. By Ming times (1368-1644), the tung-yang zhen-lu 東洋針录 or eastern route of the Chinese junk trading system had been established, passing through the western side of the Philippine Archipelago en-route from South China to Sulu, Borneo and the Moluccas.
Valentyn, op. cit, Deel iii, Stuk 2, p. 237. John Leyden, „Sketch of Borneo‟, in J. H. Moor, Notices of the Indian Archipelago and adjacent countries… (Appendix) Charles Assey, On the Trade to China and the Indian Archipelago…, 7-8. Irwin, 7.
century. Local Dayaks or perhaps Javanese 65 carried out small-scale gold mining activities under the auspices of local Malay rulers. The indigenous miners‟ gold mining techniques were simple and gold production was low compared to the Chinese who arrived latter; and most worked around the stream beds. 66 There are several versions67 to the exact time and location on when and where the Chinese miners first arrived in numbers in West Borneo. Based on my literature survey, it is most likely that the first group of Chinese miners arrived during the mid-eighteenth century. In as early as 1740 to 1745, the Panembahan of Mempawah had probably brought in some twenty Chinese gold miners from Brunei to Sungai Duri (Doeri valley), exercising his control at the coast with some kinds of alliance and cooperation he established with the Brunei Sultanate. 68 Shortly after, the Sultan of Sambas also encouraged Chinese miners to Lara (around Bengkayang) and a Chinese settlement gradually established in Monterado69 where the gold-bearing grounds were centrally located. Jackson describes the Chinese community as one of the oldest and largest concentrations of Chinese in Indonesia. Beginning about 1720, Chinese exploitation of the tin deposits of Bangka had greatly augmented the income of the Sultan of Palembang. As West Borneo was part of the “Malay world”, it is reasonable that news of his success spread across the South China Sea and persuaded the
In another account, Luo Xianglin explains that there were Javanese miners in West Borneo before the arrival of Chinese miners in mid-eighteenth century (p. XX). This can be confirmed from the close relationships between kingdoms or principality states in Java, the Malay Peninsula and West Borneo. According to Luo, the Malay Sultanates felt threatened by the Javanese miners after they became involved in trade, agriculture and credit services. Some even moved into the hinterlands like Sanggau and Sekadau and had conflicts with the local rulers and Dayak tribes. As a result, the local Sultans and Panembahans decided to bring in Chinese miners.
Jackson, 13. P. J. Veth, Vol. 1, 297-301; Schaank, 561-2; Cartor, 145-147. Jackson, 1.
Monterado or 打拉鹿 (M: Da-La-Lu) was a former Chinese gold mining district during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Even though Monterado was severely destroyed by the Dutch armed intervention in 1854, many Chinese continued to live there until the Japanese occupation or resettlement plans in 1950s and 60s. In addition to the gold miners, the Chinese community included agrarian settlements, artisans and traders, mainly providing support for the mining population. Montrado has been described as a flourishing busy town with –including its environs- a population of more than 10,000 around 1830. In June 2010, I visited this district. According to the local people, the district is now inhabited mostly by Dayak, with some Malay, Batak, Madurese inhabitants etc. The local Dayaks are from the local tribe of “Dayak Ahe” who live in the surrounding regions. When I was there, I could only find one Hakka Chinese household which is doing some retail business. Even then, they are not “native” to the Monterado district (from Sambas) and have intermarried with the Dayak people. The elderly man, Mr. Huang Nan Sheng 黄南生, 65 years old, whose ancestral home is in Lu- Feng, Guangdong 广东陆丰 , told me that there is a large Chinese cemetery from the nineteenth century situated at the back of the residential district in Monterado but is largely abandoned. Chinese descendants do not return during the festival of Qing Ming for ancestral worship. He also mentions that many of the Chinese villagers in Sambas and Pemangkat took the Chinese ship back to China during the 50s. Interview conducted in Hakka Chinese and Bahasa Indonesian, dated: 17th July 2010. For other information see: Wolfang Franke (eds.), Chinese Epigraphic Materials in Indonesia, Volume III Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Moluccas , South Seas Society, Singapore 1997, 115.
West Borneo rulers to invite Chinese to work on their gold deposits where labour remained to be scarce in most of the Southeast Asian societies. In another source, Luo Xianglin mentions about the earliest-dated Chinese tomb (1745) which was discovered around the region of Mempawah. 70 This important epigraphic material not only confirms that there was a substantial number of Chinese miners living in the region during the mid- eighteenth century but also suggests that the structure of local Chinese society was already quite established and well-connected with the outside world. This phenomenon is reflected in Blussé‟s explanation of eighteenth century Southeast Asia - as the period of “Chinese century”71. On the other hand, Denys Lombard portrays the South China Sea as Braudel‟s version of “Asian Mediterranean Sea”72 which highlights the commercial links and relations between China and Southeast Asia. To quote from Chen Chingho, the Chinese immigration to the Indo-Chinese peninsula and Southeast Asia during this period saw “an unprecedented phenomenon of prevailing movement of Chinese immigrant groups, helping native rulers reclaim virgin lands, serving them as local governors, establishing their own settlements with autonomous governments, or even running an independent state.”73 By the mid eighteenth century, the Malay (Bugis- or Arabic descent) rulers believed and might have expected that the influx of Chinese miners would result in the increased production of gold which they could in turn profit from them through taxes and commissions. This appeared to be the case when native rulers managed to tax the Chinese kongsis effectively by imposing restrictions on their agriculture activities. In 1754 for example, the Chinese of Lara and Lumar (Bengkayang) paid a total of 32,000 guilders to the Sultan of Sambas. In exchange, the sultan agreed to provide the Chinese with another piece of gold-bearing land for a larger share of mining profits in years to come. 74 In general, their plan was to treat the Chinese in the similar way as how they controlled the Dayak tribes of the upstream settlements and were quite successful in the initial stage. For the Dayaks, they lived in small and relatively isolated communities with few outside ties. This made them vulnerable and easy to control. They exchanged and depended on
Luo Xianglin, Xi Po Luo Zhou Luo Fang Bo Deng Suo Jian Gong He Guo Kao (West Borneo- A survey of Luo Fang Bo and the “republic”), Zhong Guo Xue She, Hong Kong, 1967, p. 24.
Leonard Blussé, “Chinese Century”: The Eighteenth Century in the China Sea Region”, Archipel 58 (1999), 107-30; see also, Leonard Blussé and Femme Gaastra (eds.,), On the Eighteenth Century as a Category of Asia History, Van Leur in Retrospect, Ashgate, 1998.
Chen Chingho, “Mac Thien Tu and Phraya Taksin, a Survey on their Political Stands, Conflicts and Background”, in Proceedings of the Seventh IAHA Conference, 22-26 August 1977, Bangkok 1979, Vol. II, 1534.
Luo Xianglin, 30.
the Malay rulers for basic food supplies and other manufactured products with their collected forest produces. In contrast, the social structure and institutions (i.e. practices of shared capital and mining equipments) which the Chinese miners or labourers inherited from their ancestral homeland demonstrated that they were better organised and wellconnected with the outside world, especially with south China and also with the other Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. As time passed, those Chinese with culminated capital challenged the Malay authority and would circumvent the Malay rulers‟ ports by using parallel rivers along the coastal regions to reach the sea. In this way, they could bypass the centre of the Malay politico-economic hegemony by bringing in men, goods, or even weapons and exporting gold. These social and economic developments can be seen from the several Chinese settlements situated along the coastal regions, for instance Paniraman, Sungai Pinyu, Sungai Raya, Selaku, Segedong and Sedau. Likewise, the Chinese of the hulu (upstream) had found their own hilir (downstream) by cooperating with the Dayak living in the interior.75 Contrary to their agreements with the Malay rulers, part of the kongsi members also started to plant rice and vegetables in the more fertile valleys, thus rendering themselves less dependent on the court‟s offerings, which were usually overpriced and frequently unavailable. Soon, they were evading virtually all the provisions of the agreements with the native rulers.76 There were interesting observations by a Dutch resident which showed that the Chinese succeeded in alienating some of the Dayak groups from the Malay rulers and the situation was in many aspects beneficial to the Chinese. The growing ties between Chinese and Dayak led to the decline of official trade and weakened the sultan‟s hold over appendage holders at court. The Chinese autonomous situation was facilitated, in part, by the problems of the terrain and nature of the Malay principalities and the thinlypopulated territory of West Borneo. With the Malay authority centralised in a region, with relatively weak periphery and lack of territorial control, Malay rulers could not oversee the rapid socio-economic expansion of Chinese immigrants living in the gold mining districts. However, the challenging landscape and the character of the Malay courts were not the only factors at play. The powerful mining kongsis also enabled them to defy Malay authority and their ties abroad, both regionally and China, gave them an additional advantage. The Chinese had also gained independence by utilising strong and relatively stable territorial organisations,77 and also through violence and subjugation of
Somers Heidhues, 52-3. Ibid, 52.
In this thesis, I will not explain in-depth about the history and socio-economic structure of Chinese gold mining kongsis in West Borneo. For more information of this history, please refer to Jackson and Yuan Bingling. The territorial organisations which the Chinese established in West Borneo were believed to be the first of such nature in the region.
the weaker kongsis situated in the Monterado and Mandor regions, for instance the Dagang (Heshun) kongsi. Even though the Da-gang and Lan-fong kongsis were disbanded in 1854 and 1884 respectively, others Chinese social groupings like secret societies and temple organisation outlived the mining kongsi and continued to part an important role in Chinese community during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With the strengthening of Dutch formal rule, the colonial government had to face the dilemma and challenges of Chinese economic dominance and their related institutions. 1.5 Sino-Dutch relations during the late nineteenth century Analysing from a broader colonial setting, scholars like Gaastra and Van Goor study the trend of colonialism in the nineteenth century and have described the Dutch as “reluctant imperialists”. Despite its strategic position in the South China Sea and its wealth of natural resources, like gold, diamond and later coal on the east coast, the island of Borneo, compared to other regions of insular Southeast Asia, captured the interest of European colonialism rather late in the course of colonial conquest of the region. Dutch East India Company (VOC) administrators in Batavia and Semarang often received letters from the Malay (Bugis) rulers in West Borneo since the seventeenth century but generally ignored these appeals, preferring to a large extent a non-interventionist approach.78 By the first half of the nineteenth century, Dutch presence in this part of Borneo had remained sporadic and concentrated along the coast as most colonial resources were directed towards the Cultivation system (D: cultuurstelsel) in the more fertile volcano island of Java. Fasseur defines the uncoordinated expansion outside Java between 1830 and 1870 as „frontier imperialism‟ in which initiatives emanated from the periphery rather than from the centre. By the mid 1820s, most of the powerful Malay chieftains had recognised Dutch authority. To ensure their commercial monopoly, the Dutch restricted overseas trade to the ports of Sambas and Pontianak.79 A more formal Dutch government also emerged as Residents were established at the two port cities and Assistant Residents were installed at Mempawah and Landak but colonial influence was still limited to the coastal regions. It was first in the mid-nineteenth century that Dutch colonial interest in western Borneo wakened. Mindset of Dutch colonialism changed when the extension of formal rule over West Borneo and other Outer Provinces took place in the decades of 1890 to 1930 and this move was largely due to the overall politico-economic benefits and wider impacts of western imperialism. During the late nineteenth century, maritime Southeast
J. C. Jackson, 3-4. G. Irwin, Nineteenth century Borneo – A study in diplomatic rivalry, 52.
Asia saw the final advance of European colonial power. European administrators embarked on programs of rationalisation and centralisation. Compromises that left certain political and social powers in Asian hands were no longer tolerable in governments that had come to see themselves as custodians of the “white man‟s burden”. Having used the Asian elites to dominate the Asian masses through the manipulation of traditional institutional frameworks, European rulers now sought to dispense with traditional institutions, like revenue farms and the tax farmers themselves. Reflecting on the history of Dutch intervention in West Borneo, Schöffer adds that the Dutch policy was a gradual and reactive one – there was Dutch expansion because others, for instance, the British or Brooke family expanded.80 Dutch intervention and growing interest in West Borneo was, among other things, a counter response to the increasing expansion of the British power-base in the adjacent region of Sarawak and this had reflected the Dutch desire to strengthen its general sphere of influence in the sparsely populated outer regional possessions.81 In 1849, the Batavia administration led by Governor-General J. J. Rochussen (1846-1851) adopted a more interventionist policy to the region.82 It was only during this time when the Dutch tried to subdue the independent-minded Chinese mining kongsis leading to the two main battles in 1854 and 1884. Aside from appointing a Resident, the colonial government was slow to extend its colonial influence until the late nineteenth century, leaving things in the status quo. Plans were carried out to extend political administration to the hinterland, but to a large extent focusing on the Kapuas and Sambas river settlements. The Dutch authorities understood the political and economic importance of river transportation in West Borneo and by gaining control over the river systems, they would be able to incorporate and link at least the important towns and cities situated in the interior of the residency to its administrative centre in Pontianak. Economically, the colonial government became mildly interested in the agricultural potential of west and south Borneo when they gained much success in the tobacco plantations in Deli, east Sumatra during the 1870s,83 but enthusiasm died down when the soils in Borneo were not as suited for tobacco as Sumatra. In political and military terms,
I. Schöffer, „Dutch “expansion” and Indonesian reactions: Some dilemmas of modern colonial rule (1900-1942)‟, in H.L. Wesseling (ed.), In: Expansion and Reaction: essays on European Expansion and Reactions in Asia and Africa , Leiden, 1978, 78-100.
G. Irwin, 151. Somers Heidhues, 85.
See Karl J. Pelzer, Planter and Peasant, Colonial Policy and the Agrarian struggle in East Sumatra, 1663-1947, „s Gravenhage- Martinus Nijhoff, 1978.
the Dutch colonial state was reserving its energies for the war against Aceh on the western end of the Dutch East Indies during the late nineteenth century.84 As a newcomer with limited military capabilities in West Borneo, the Dutch authorities manipulated inter-ethnic rivalries by cooperating with the Malay and some Dayak groups. To a large extent, the colonial government had achieved its primary aim by defeating the Chinese kongsis and its Dayak allies during the eighteenth century, clearing the path for a stronger administrative control over the residency. However, victory does not come with total peace and stability. Social problems and social unrest within West Borneo continued to happen during the early twentieth century. Looking at the structure of Dutch colonial government, one of the most serious problems confronting the government of the Netherlands Indies was the shortage of trained colonial servants and soldiers for the Dutch colonial army. For the latter, this was due to the constitution of the Netherlands which prohibited the sending of conscripts overseas. Military detachments for the Indies had to be recruited by voluntary enlistment, and the better type of Dutchmen did not often apply for the colonial service. Therefore, the composition of Dutch colonial forces depended mainly on unemployed and unemployables from half the countries of Europe, German and Swiss mercenaries, deserters from the armies of many different nations and indigenous peoples, particularly from Java and Madura. Irwin has noted that these military personals proved to be “excellents en expedition, mais detestables en garnison” and did not pose a favourable impression to the local populations among whom their duties lay. 85 Therefore, the countless riots and disturbances which figure so prominently in the history of the Chinese settlements of western Borneo and which for so long hindered the spread of Dutch rule in that area were by no means all due to the „persistent recalcitrance‟ of the local inhabitants. Much of the trouble was also caused by the uncouth and provocative behaviour of the Dutch military garrisons and unsuitable or untrained officials who hardly understood the Indies society, not even to mention the different cultures, social behaviour and politico-economic interests of the peoples living in the residency. Lastly, the implementation of the Dutch Ethical policy further transformed the general political atmosphere and rhetoric behind colonial administration which shifted the core values of colonial policies and framed natives as rural dwellers with (adat) rights to the land and in need of protection from exploitative “foreign Orientals” Chinese or Indians who were crucial in the development of extensive “middleman” networks by them.86
See A. Reid, An Indonesian frontier, Acehnese and other histories of Sumatra , Leiden, 2005. G. Irwin, p. 216. The quote is from Ch. Et R. Pety de Thozée, Théories de la colonisation au XIX siècle.., 162.
Marilyn W. Clark, Overseas Chinese Education in Indonesia: Minority group schooling in an Asian context , Washington, 1965, p 174.
Besides the Dutch colonial authority and local economy, the Chinese in West Borneo was also affected by the political revolution in China. Chinese nationalism reached its peak during the 1911 revolution and May Fourth movement of 1915-1921. These rising nationalism, anti-imperialism and xenophobic sentiments had caused great disturbances to the colonial government. Many colonial reports by the Dutch government about the Chinese associations of Soe Po Sha and Kuomintang (branch divisions) in Pontianak, Sambas and Singkawang could be found in the Politiek-Politioneele overzichten van Nederlandsch- Indie. This book consists of several political reports that monitored the political situation in Netherlands Indies; two important events during this period were the rise of Sarekat Islam and Chinese nationalism. From the records of Memorie van Overgave during the administration of Resident J. H. van Driessche, we can see that Chinese population in West Borneo was divided into two main political bodies. One of them is the Soe Po Sha which belonged to the Tong Bing Hwe (M: Tong Meng Hui) which was also an influential party in China related to the 1911 revolution in China and nationalist party (KMT) in China. Another is the Siang Hwe (M: Shang Hui or the Chinese Chamber of Commerce) established in Pontianak, Singkawang and Sungei Pinjoe. It was a trading association also subjected to politics but was much more moderate than the Soe Po Sha, which had never been given any official status. In the case of Siang Hwe, it received orders from the ministry of trade; agricultural advices in Beijing and the Emperor of China gave the association political rights and official status and were officially recognised as leader of the Chinese community. The relationship of the Siang Hwe and Soe Po Sha was not friendly and before the 1911 revolution, it was even seen as groups belonging to pro-monarchy and pro-revolutionary. Siang Hwe had a large influence towards the Chinese population due to its official status.87 On the other hand, Soe Po Sha in the disguise of „literally reading club‟ was political revolutionary in nature and it was believed to have created numerous problems against the Dutch government and the Malay elites. To colonial officials, and the Resident of West Borneo, de Vogel (1912-1918), the strong influx of new immigrants and control of the growing population could not have come in a better time when the Chinese revolution of 1911 appeared suspicious and dangerous.88
Memorie van Overgave, J. H. van Driessche (1908-1912), ARA 2.10.39, MvO MMK: 260, 59-60. Memorie van Overgave, H. de Vogel MHzn (1912-1918), ARA 2.10.39, MvO MMK: 261, 68-9.
Chapter Two – The Chinese society and their social institutions in West Borneo residency
2.1 The Chinese community of West Borneo residency The Chinese of West Borneo (Kalimantan) have been considered, historically, together with eastern Sumatra, Bangka-Belitung and the Riau Archipelago, as one of the four major concentrations of ethnic Chinese in Indonesia outside Java.89 Today, the ethnic Chinese are a significant minority in the province numbering perhaps four hundred thousand persons, accounting well over 10 per cent of the total population.90 They are a unique group among Indonesia‟s Chinese minority, contrasting with the prevalent image of Chinese as economically successful businessmen. Even though the economic sector is still dominated by the Chinese, most of them are neither tycoons nor prominent towkays. During the period 1880s to 1930, the Chinese of West Borneo were mainly working as small traders, harbour labourers, miners, shop owners, farmers and fishermen. Many remained poor, some even living in the subsistence level. Even though there was no question of any spontaneous agrarian „colonisation‟ in the beginning, but only of commercial settlement and of immigration for gold-mining activities in the north-east of the residency, the course of events from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries led to the eventual formation of a unique Chinese agrarian society and smallholder cash-crop cultivators, larger than anywhere else in the Netherlands Indies. 91 Chinese traders and farmers held a central place in the region‟s economy and contributed to the introduction of new crops, like coconut and rubber. Colonial reports had also shown that the Chinese were keen to adopt irrigation techniques for rice planting (sawah), which saw the increase of food crop production in the residency even though imports of rice from Siam and Saigon were still necessary.92 Like the Chinese in Bangka-Belitung, West Borneo Chinese are long-term settlers, some of them with roots that go back to the eighteenth century.93 Superficially,
Somers Heidhues, 12.
Ibid. The percentage of Chinese population in West Borneo residency has remained stable (10-15%) since the colonial times.
W. J. Cator, The Economic Position of the Chinese…, 138. Koloniaal Verslag (1885), 17-9.
I have a thorough oral interview with Mr. Li Kui An, 李奎安 (64 years old), a local shop owner and 7th generation Hakka Chinese (ban-shan-ke 半山客) born in Sungai Purun, West Kalimantan. His ancestral root could be trace from Guangdong province, Zijin County, Chang-an village 广东省紫金县常安村. His parents were local born Chinese (his mother was born in Mempawah district). In 1959, his elder sister went back to China when Chinese ships arrived at
they appear to have remained very “Chinese”, above all retaining the use of the Chinese language over several generations. This is in contrast to the long-resident ethnic Chinese of Java who adopted Malay and other local languages and lost the ability to speak a Chinese language. Unlike Chinese settlements in other parts of Indonesian archipelago where migration were encouraged and arranged, Chinese migrants arrived in West Borneo through their own networks and family ties. A large part of the Chinese community in West Borneo was agrarian-based with some urban cities located near the coastal regions and towns along junctions of main tributaries. Compared to the Chinese settlements of Deli (Sumatra) and Bangka-Belitung, the political and economic arrangements there had restricted the movements and mobility of Chinese immigrants within a particular plantation belt, mining ground or specific regions. Under such circumstances, it constrained the formation of powerful and autonomous Chinese social groupings as what we have seen in West Borneo residency. While port cities like Singapore and Batavia consisted of a very dense and fluid urban Chinese population which make studies about the Chinese community structure and migration patterns difficult. Among other relating factors, due to its unique geographical landscapes and socio-political development, the structure and system of Chinese community in West Borneo may resembled closest to the village-societies found in southeast China. To most outside observers, the Chinese appeared as a homogenous group but the divisions among them were great enough to enable the Dutch to apply “divide and rule” tactics to subdue them. Nearly all the Chinese in West Borneo came from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, with a few Hokkiens from coastal Fujian, their languages – Hakka, Teochew, Cantonese, and others – were mutually unintelligible and cultural traditions to some extent different from one another. The first Chinese settlement in seventeenth century West Borneo settled in court and harbour towns like Sambas or Sukadana. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Chinese miners began to live in gold mining districts like Monterado and Mandor. Most kongsis also controlled coastal harbours and collected some forms of taxes and levies (toll) from passing fleets. To feed its population, functioning kongsis like Dagang and Lan-fong also had agricultural settlements, such as those around the harbour of Pemangkat and Singkawang. During the initial stage of Chinese gold mining activity, local Malay rulers might have encouraged them to come, but in the later period neither colonial authority, who occasionally tried to cut off Chinese immigration during the twentieth century, nor
Sambas coast to pick up Chinese refugees after the ethnic violence. Interviews were carried out in Teochiu and Mandarin, on 19th July 2010.
Western enterprises, promoted their coming. 94 In the nineteenth century, the Dutch colonial government was determined to subjugate the “special organisations” of Chinese gold mining kongsi by means of military force, which they saw as independent Chinese “states” existing outside the colonial realm. After the kongsi war in 1854, the Chinese moved away from the kongsi centres, either toward the coastal towns or into lands suitable for rice growing – or later coconut and rubber cultivation. Some also moved into the interior or upstream regions where they engaged in trade and small-scale mining. It was often thought that the Chinese were also involved in multiple activities in a single locality but the dominant trend of the Chinese economic activities was to move from mining to small-scale agriculture, from extraction to settlement. At first, the colonial authorities expected gold mining to resume, but many miners were departing of their own accord. The mines were no longer profitable and without the kongsis, the industry lacked entrepreneurs to provide capital and imported labour. Maintaining the transient, largely male population of the mines were not easy as it depended on the kongsi system and constant replenishment from China. Likewise, immigration also declined due to the economic malaise after the Monterado war, unrest in southeast China, competition from gold mining areas in California and Australia. By the end of the nineteenth century, the population of the Chinese in West Borneo increased again, but this time drawn by the opportunities that had little to do with gold mining. A network of traders was established to collect forest products for the international market; later cash crops provided new opportunities. By 1915, smallholder rubber farming spread primarily by Chinese traders and tended by Malays, Chinese and later Dayaks were getting results.95 By the turn of the century, the relationships between colonial state and Chinese community gradually improved and were much tolerated when the Dutch authority recognised the importance of Chinese inhabitants who had by then acquired a close relationship with some indigenous populations. The Chinese economic control over West Borneo residency was also a major factor for the better relationships. In whole, Overseas Chinese sojourners were willing to live under foreign tutelage as long as they could carry out their own pursuits and as long as the local or colonial administration was tolerably just in its treatment of foreigners.96 However, this relationship was seldom a cordial one. The authorities believed that the Chinese traders should be watched to ensure that they did not arrive in excessive numbers or take advantage of local trading partners. 97 This can be seen from the
Somers Heidhues, 11-12. Ibid, 128. Blussé, “Chinese Century”, 128.
numerous Chinese uprisings against colonial government which happened throughout the late- nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For instance, the rebellion of 1914 in the Mempawah region was considered one of the most serious one. It attracted support from both the Chinese and Dayaks and they formed a sworn brotherhood or secret society that bound members in allegiance to each other with oath-taking, religious ceremonies and promises of secrecy. They initiated several hundred members, including Chinese, Dayaks and Malays,98 even though a relatively small Dutch expeditionary force quickly broke down the rebellion99. For the Chinese community of West Borneo, the year 1884 marks the end of the Lan-fong kongsi or, more accurately as Yuan calls the Lan-fong zongting in Mandor regions which I have mentioned earlier.100 Even though Chinese gold mining activities or „kongsi system‟101 continued to exist and reorganise themselves in regions outside of the former gold mining districts, for instance in places like Sekadau 102 , the economic importance of former gold mining kongsis were never restored. With the decline of gold mining activities, a network of Chinese traders collecting forest products for the international market was established; later cash crops like coconut and rubber provided new opportunities for the population. The Chinese demographic pattern in West Borneo also underwent drastic changes when a new influx of Chinese immigrants arrived at the residency by the end of the nineteenth century. My preliminary research shows that the end of the mining era did not signify an end to the Chinese migration. While the Qing government began to view its prospering overseas Chinese citizens with interest and abolished the immigration ban on them in 1894. The imperial court also began to send official emissaries to the Indies and
E. B. Kielstra, “Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van Borneo‟s Westerafdeeling,” Part XVIII, Indische Gids 12, 2 (1890): 2190.
The Siauw Giap, “Rural Unrest”, 138-9. Ozinga, 90-1.
According to Yuan, Zongting (总廰) is the „federal‟ office or hall of a group of smaller gold mining kongsis. It had been established so that gold mining activities could be worked out more constructively under more peaceful and cooperative conditions. The Fo-Sjoen- Tsoeng-Thang (M: Heshun) (和顺总廰) and Lan-fong (M: Lanfang) (蘭芳总廰) were the two most important zongtings in Monterado and Mandor respectively during the late eighteenth- and nineteenth centuries.
In this dissertation, I will only give a brief background of the Chinese miners during the gold mining period of 1770 to 1884. For more information about the „kongsi system‟ of Chinese gold mining kongsis in West Kalimantan, please refer to, Wang Tai Peng, The Origins of Chinese Kongsi, Pelanduk Publications, Singapore 1994 and Yuan, 3-5.
J. J. K. Enthoven, Bijdragen tot de geographie van Borneo, 700.
throughout Southeast Asia.103 Many Chinese who arrived during this period became cash crop cultivators and traders. These Chinese merchant networks helped to channel Chinese labour throughout Southeast Asia and later established concentrated networks of shops and services in places as distant as the upriver Borneo, not to mention corner stores, laundries that served the Chinese immigrants and local people in plantations and urban neighbourhood. Chinese migration to West Borneo or colonial Southeast Asia was inseparable from the enormous revenue farms auctioned out to Chinese investors and entrepreneurs, which were nexus for labour recruitment and settlement of the interior. Being new immigrants from China or other parts of Southeast Asia, the aspiration to revive the former gold mining kongsis did not much appeal to them. Likewise, a higher percentage of the new immigrants were non-Hakka, the Chinese dialect group which dominated gold mining activities and lived in the former Chinese gold mining districts. Many came from other districts, prefectures or counties in south-east China which implied that the existing Chinese social groupings and networks of West Borneo had to either transform or expand in receiving and reaching out to the new group of Chinese immigrants. New socio-economic networks and groupings were also established by these newly-arrived migrants. This new migration pattern was further aided by the introduction of steamships and opening of Chinese treaty ports which enhanced greater mobility and opportunities for Chinese migration. Besides that, I speculate that there was a temporal power transition in the Chinese community of West Borneo during the late nineteenth century. The early stages of formal Dutch administration and demise of influential kongsis in the residency, which to a large extent governed and united the gold miners, meant that other forms of communal associations and institutions, i.e. temples and secret societies, started to play a more active and significant role. Some of the loyalists of former gold mining kongsis had maintained close contacts with secret societies and participated in the smuggling of firearms, salt and opium. They continued to pose potential threat towards the colonial government during the late nineteenth century but faded in influence and power due to poor organisation and colonial prosecution, even though many still survived in one form or another. Some Chinese peoples turned to other mutual-aid organisations and temples for personal protection and trading opportunities. These religious or cultural institutions served the social and economic interests of certain specific groups related usually by “surname”, “speech groups”, “common ancestry” or other forms of pseudo relations. By the late nineteenth century, secret societies like Ngee Hin kongsi faced prosecution and suppression by the colonial governments and were forced to transform or face compulsion.
Marilyn W. Clark, Overseas Chinese, p.14.
The rise in Chinese (proto-) nationalism or more precisely the ideology of “ethnic consciousness” started to spread to Southeast Asia during the early twentieth century. This socio-political development promulgated a new belief that “legally” bonded the people through shared national interests and citizenship rights. To a large extent, this national or ethnic consciousness had probably the same functions of a family lineage system or religious networks, which brought people together through a common goal or shared belief. Colonial reports had shown much concern over the trends of highly volatile and rebellious “ethnic consciousness” which conveyed into occasional adverse reactions towards colonial policies. Whether or not the Chinese „rebellion‟ of 1912-14, which I mentioned earlier, had anything to do with the motion of Chinese nationalism or ethnic consciousness per say, the participation and unity of local Chinese organisations, caught the Dutch authority by surprise when the Chinese together with some of their Dayaks and Malay allies staged a well-organised and bloody uprising against the colonial government. Immigrant communities had been important sites for learning and propagating ideals of nationalism and for the reification of a homeland that must be nurtured, fortified and protected.104 2.2 The issue of “Chinese ethnicity” Having said about the rising Chinese nationalism and their social organisation, the study of Chinese communities and population should also be distinguished by the style in which they are imagined by the colonial government, indigenous societies or in more micro-terms, within their own socio-dialectal circles, social organisations, groupings or family units. 105 Under such circumstances, the Chinese in West Borneo have always known that they are connected to their “own people” they have never seen. In a migrant society, these ties were once imagined in particular forms – as indefinitely stretchable nets of pseudo kinship, socio-cultural identity or client-ship through various kinds of social networks and institutions. The concept and structure of overseas Chinese society were also changing rapidly, influenced largely by the influx of new emigrants, policies of colonial government and other socio-political developments happening in Southeast Asia and China. Speaking specifically about ethnicity classification in West Borneo or the Netherlands Indies, writings on ethnic and national identities in Southeast Asia often stress that ethnicity is not necessarily the result of physical appearance or genetic
Ibid, 175. See also, Adam McKeown, “Conceptualising Chinese Diasporas, 1842 to 1949”, The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 58, No. 2 (May, 1999), 306-337.
See, B. Anderson, Imagined Communities, Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism , Quebecor World, Fairfield (revised edition), 2006.
inheritance. Ethnicity or “Chinese-ness” for this instance, is the result of social and environmental processes and, to some extent, it is an artificial construct. 106 People might change or as Wolters says 107 , manipulate their ethnic identities to form or detach themselves from communities. Even as late as nineteenth century, colonial reports occasionally complained that individuals are “more Chinese than Malay” or more Malay than Chinese”, suggesting that people often failed to stay put in the ethnic boxes which the administrators assigned them. As a migrant community, the Chinese community was largely imagined and created by the divide and rule system. Education and religious-cult beliefs played an important role in preserving Chinese traditions and local communal ties, while in the larger political setting it was strengthened by “ethnic consciousness” and Chinese nationalism which developed during the twentieth century. This acquaintance with national interests is conceived and instilled as a deep, horizontal comradeship despite the actual inequality or even exploitation that may prevail among the peoples. In fact, they were geared into the whole complex of Asian-wide social change and were not simple to understand as overlapping identities, collective and individual interests existed in a multi-ethnic colonial society.
B. Anderson sees nations as at least partly constructed, influenced by popular literature and the press, among other factors. For those who see ethnicity as flexible and undetermined include: Fredrik Barth, “Introduction”, in Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, ed. Fredrik Barth, London 1969, 9-38. On the ethnic identity of the Chinese in Indonesia, see among others, M. Somers Heidhues, “Identity and the Minority: Ethnic Chinese on the Indonesian Periphery,” Indonesia Circle 70 (1996): 188-192, and Heidhues, “Chinese Identity in the Diaspora: Religion and Language in West Kalimantan, Indonesia” in Nationalism and Cultural Revival in Southeast Asia: Perspectives from the Centre and the Region, ed. Sri KuhntSaptodewo et al. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1997, 201-210.
“In some areas, there was a considerable degree of bilingualism and opportunities for manipulating one‟s identity.Bilingualism signifies that people with different origins had learnt to live together.” O. W. Wolters, “Southeast Asia as a Southeast Asian Field of Study,” Indonesia 59 (October 1994): 1-17.
2.3 Place of origins: The Chinese dialect groups in the residency
Map of Southeast China108 South-east China is an area of immense linguistic diversity with regional concentrations of people speaking different, and often mutually unintelligible dialects. These dialects or, more correctly, speech groups also reflect other minor cultural differences and furnish the primary means of identification for most overseas Chinese in West Borneo and other parts of Southeast Asia. The migrants of West Borneo came almost entirely from the eastern- part of Guangdong province where by the later eighteenth century, virtually all the cultivable land had already been cleared due to increasing Chinese population. In southern provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, there was a large proportion of uncultivable land and mountainous regions which resulted in shortages of food; in Fujian and in Guangdong provinces, only 11 and 7 percent of the total area is worth cultivating respectively. In Guangdong province, the eight xians or counties with the smallest proportion of cultivable land were: -
Somers Heidheus, 30.
Name of counties Amt. of cultivation Percentage land of (xian 县) total area (in shi mu 市亩) Xing Ning 兴宁* Da Pu 大埔 Wu Hua 五华* Ping Yuan 平远* Mei Xian 梅县* Jiao Ling 焦岭* Hui Lai 惠来 Lu Feng 陆丰 86,200 111,400 139, 800 145,600 380,200 111,100 302,600 434,111 2.40 3.30 3.65 5.45 7.25 8.35 10.55 13.55
Population Density per mow of cult. land 467,698 262,104 327,786 511,360 104,361 255,719 5.43 2.37 2.35 1.34 0.94 0.84 -
From the chart above, we can see that the 5 counties of Xingning, Wuhua, Pingyuan, Meixian and Jiaoling made up the Jiaying (or modern Meixian) prefecture in north-east Guangdong province. These regions are mainly populated by the Hakka dialect groups (also known as “guest people”). Historically speaking, the Hakka migrated to south China at a much later period and had to live in the hilly regions as compared to the more „local‟ people of Cantonese (Ben-ti), Hokkien and Teochew (Hoklo) people. 109 Many were faced with the most severe shortages of cultivable land and overpopulation by the late Ming and Qing dynasties. A large portion of the overseas Chinese community in West Borneo who worked in the gold mines and later became farmers and small traders in the hinterland derived mostly from the prefecture of Jiaying or counties of Dapu (Chaozhou prefecture) and Huilai (Huizhou prefecture). To most outside observers, the Chinese appeared as a homogenous group in West Borneo, but in reality, they are a variegated group with different dialects/”speech groups”, cultural lifestyles, occupation specialisation and even religious-cult beliefs. In general, nearly all Chinese in West Borneo came from the southern provinces of Guangdong and only a few from Fujian. It was perhaps only during the twentieth century when Chinese medium schools came under the influence of T.T.H.K that they used Mandarin as the language of medium for primary and secondary school education and a small group of Chinese from other provinces in China may have arrived in West Borneo as educators.
Luo Xiang Lin, Ke Jia Yuan Liu Kao, Zhong guo hua qiao chu ban gong si, 1988, p. 35There is a map in this book that shows the migration pattern of Hakka from north China to the southern provinces.
Compared to the port cities of Singapore and Penang, where migration patterns of Chinese immigrants were more fluid and diverse in the place of origins, the most significant and pervasive divisions of Chinese in West Borneo residency came overwhelmingly from the Hakka and Teochew “speech groups”110 and remained so until today. A former mining and agricultural-based society, the Chinese migration patterns in West Borneo were less diverse compared to a port city but changed slightly or become more diverse during the early twentieth century, due to the opening of Chinese treaty ports and expansion of cash crop cultivations in the region. With regards to the various Chinese language or dialects, – Hakka, Teochew, Cantonese, Hainanese, and others – they were mutually unintelligible, except only the Hokkien and Teochew speech groups which belonged to the Min-nan dialect or Southern Fujian dialect. Even so within every individual speech group, there are slight differences in tones and pronunciations. Therefore, it is thought that a successful Chinese trader during that time should at least master a few Chinese dialects and local languages, like Malay so as to conduct his trading activities more effectively. The Chinese settlers in West Borneo were mainly of Hakka, Teochew (Hoklo), Bendi (Cantonese), and Hokkien origins. The Hakkas have been migratory people for centuries. 111 They appear to have originated as a separate group in the Yellow River valley and in the fifth century, they began migrating southwards in several stages. By the thirteenth century, a large group of Hakkas had settled in what became their base camp, Jia-ying-zhou or in modern day Meixian, to the northwest of Chaozhou in Guangdong province. Overtime, they occupied a fairly connected area extending from the southwestern tip of Fujian, across northern Guangdong west of the Teochew speech area, to eastern Guangxi and including the southern most parts of Jiangxi and Hunnan provinces. In China, their distribution is very complex but those Hakka who migrated to West Borneo residency were mainly from Guangdong province. Within the Hakka speech group, we can further divide them into “pure Hakka” and “half-mountain Hakka”. The pure Hakka or “Guest people” came mainly from the prefecture of Jiayingzhou (now: Mei-xian) and Dapu-xian (a district in Chaozhou prefecture) during the late Qing period. While the “half-mountain Hakka” refer to the Hakka who lived in the districts of Lu-Feng, Hai-Feng, Feng shun and Zi Jin. The Hakka dialects between these two groups are slightly different and they formed distinctive groups in West Borneo residency, populating certain regions. In West Borneo, the historical background could be trace back to the gold mining kongsi when miners of similar ancestral backgrounds were preferred to work in the gold mines. In Lanfang
Skinner, 35. Somers Heidhues, 37-9; James C. Jackson, 48-52.
kongsi for example, most Hakka settlers from Jiayingzhou and Dapu could be found in the markets of Mandor, while in Singkawang and Monterado, the Banshanke Hakka dominated the regions. These settlers organised themselves on the basis of the locality from which they hailed. In Lanfang kongsi for example, most Hakka settlers from Jiayingzhou and Dapu could be found in the markets of Mandor; while in Singkawang and Monterado, the Banshanke Hakka dominated the regions. The Teochews are located in and around the delta of the Han River in northeastern Guangdong province. They moved into this area from Putian district and other southern districts of Fujian, probably in several waves, between the ninth and fifteenth centuries. Other dialect groups in Guangdong province still refer to them as fu-lao (or Hok-lao, Hokklo, Hoklo, Holo), i.e. “the people of Fujian or Hokkien”. The name Teochew represents the pronunciation in that dialect of the name of the prefecture in which most Teochews in China live in Chaozhou prefecture. During the early twentieth century, the Teochew speech group regions were concentrated in six districts, mostly in the coastal regions and Han River delta itself. Some of the early Teochew migrants were gold miners and worked for Da-gang kongsi in the early nineteenth century. These Teochew usually came from the regions of Jieyang and Fengshun which were geographically and culturally closer to the Hakka living in the north. While the other Teochew groups who derived from the coastal districts of Chao‟an and Chenghai, like their counterparts in Singapore and Thailand, they were mostly traders and migrated during the late nineteenth and twentieth century. For the Teochew (Hoklo), they lived and dominated in the city of Pontianak and other smaller regions south of Pontianak like Sungai Kakap and the coastal port of Ketapang. Most of the Teochews were traders and probably had contacts with their counterparts in Singapore and Siam.
Map of Chaozhou (Teochew) and Meizhou (Hakka) regions112
The Times: Comprehensive Atlas of the World. Times books: London 12th edition 2007, extract from Plate 25.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, when Schaank worked in Monterado, he still found localities bearing names like Hoklo-nan, Hoklo-jie and Hoklo-po. This shows that there must be quite a number of Hoklo who had lived in the area in the preceding period. This shows that there was a mixture of Chinese dialect groups living in most regions even though there was a dominant dialect group in the locality. Unlike the Hakka, the majority of the Teochew lived in Monterado were farmers, traders, artisans and sailors. For the Cantonese or Benti, they lived mostly along the West River and in the Pearl River delta. This area is made up of twenty six counties. In West Borneo, they resided around the region of Kulor, at Mempawa. Quite a few of them were also called up by the Malay rulers to open up and farm the land at Sukadana; when their number increased, the Malay felt threatened and incited the Dayaks to kill them. The largest number of Hokkien lived at Pontianak. They were also found in the other, larger towns where they were mainly engaged in trade. Although the Chinese tended to retain a Chinese language, bilingualism was common. Not infrequently, Chinese in Pontianak region could converse in both Hakka and Teochew.113 2.4 A study of Chinese distributions and population in West Borneo residency during 1850s to 1930 With regards to the internal divisions of Chinese peoples in West Borneo, there were not much colonial records that gave us a clear breakdown of the place of origins or the ancestral origins that these Chinese immigrants derived from. There were a few exceptions however, like the 1858 census (Schaank) of Lara and Lumar districts in modern-day Bengkayang, the 1901 census (Veth) about the different Chinese groups living in Pontianak city and its immediate regions and the 1930 census which provided us with some rough estimates covering the entire residency. The district of Bengkayang represented the traditional “Chinese districts” regions in West Borneo residency where former gold miners worked in. Together with some preliminary information that I have collected from my fieldworks, I could provide some sketches of how the territorial divisions of Chinese dialect groups in West Borneo residency looked like during the period 1860 to 1910s. Until today, the Chinese of different dialect groups still lived around the territories where their ancestors first settled and earned their living.
During my field survey and interviews, I have found out that more Teochew are able to speak Hakka dialect but not the other way round. This is probably due to the occupational specialisation of Teochew Chinese in West Borneo where many are traders and tend to travel widely in the province, thus see the necessity to be able to converse in several languages. On the other hand, Hakka are mainly agriculturalists and peasants, and knowing Hakka alone is sufficient for their locality. Moreover, Hakka Chinese is the biggest dialect community and the language is more widely-used in the province compared to other dialects.
Table 4: Sub-ethnic or dialect groups among Chinese in West Borneo,1930 Census114 Hakka Teochiu Cantonese Hokkien Other Total 38,313 21,699 2,961 2,570 1,257 66,700 (of these, 16,669 were born abroad)
Table 5: Total number of Chinese in Lara and Lumar districts in 1854 (Bengkayang region, used to be part of Da-Gang kongsi)115 Place of birth (district and prefecture) Lufeng 陆丰 **/&& Haifeng 海丰**/&& Guishan (Huiyang) 归善（惠阳）** Wengyuan 翁源 ## Longchuan 龙川 ## Heyuan 河源 ** Huilai 惠来 **/&& Jieyang 揭阳 **/&& Puning 普宁 &&/** Fengshun 丰顺 **/&& Dapu (Dabu)大埔 ## Chaozhou 潮州 && Jiaying 嘉应 ## Zhenping 镇平 **/&& Changle 长乐 ## Pingyuan 平远 ## Conghua 从化##/@@
District Lara 272 4 42 20 1 3 95 39 2 1 16 21 131 43 17 1 1 14 2
District Lumar 88 3 6 2 -1 35 20 -1 10 -24 11 11 ---1
W. L. Cartor, The Economic Position of the Chinese, 36. Schaank, 516.
Guangzhou 广州@@ Xinning 興宁@@ Panyu 番禺@@
** (Banshanke 半山客) ## (“Pure” Hakka, or “mountain” Hakka 客家、山客) @@ (Cantonese, or Benti 广府人，本地 “粤语区”) && (Teochew, Hoklo 潮州, 福佬) Table 6: Distribution of Chinese in Lara and Lumar districts according to dialect group (1857) Chinese dialect groups Ban-Shan Ke Hakka Benti Hoklo (Chaozhou) Hokkien District Lara 455 233 25 21 1 735 District Lumar 153 59 1 --213
2.5 Chinese settlements in urban region: Pontianak region as an example For the Chinese settlements, even though there were laws outlining the so-called wijkenstelsel (quarter system) which were designed to confine Chinese to legally recognised Chinese quarters in West Borneo, the policy was rather ineffective. The relative ease that the Chinese could move and settle in the interior of Borneo contrasted to the situation and difficulties experienced by the Chinese living in Java, whose travel and settlement were more effectively confined and restricted.116 In most of the towns and cities in West Borneo residency, permanent Chinese district(s) or quarters could be found and Chinese shop houses selling food supplies, farming equipments and household wares served the needs of the local community. By 1902, nearly ninety settlements, some of them very small with probably less than one hundred Chinese inhabitants, especially in the upriver regions, were designated as official Chinese quarters. In 1912, authorities in West Borneo attempted to enforce stricter settlement regulations and control travel of Chinese merchants more closely, resulting in social and economic distress of many Chinese farmers and “floating traders” who had to live in their small plots of land and
In Java, Foreign Orientals were obliged to live in specially designated settlements or quarters (wijken). Exceptions were always possible, however for business purposes or other necessary activities. Heidhues, 140.
trading boats. This policy had provoked resistance and caused unhappiness among the Chinese peasants. Even though only seventy-five Chinese quarters were recorded in 1922, this did not mean that the population became more concentrated; in fact, the opposite was the case as Chinese were venturing further from the coastal regions into the interiors.117 After the demise of Lan-fong kongsi in 1884, some Chinese left Mandor to settle in the environs of Pontianak, as did many new arrivals from China. Unlike the other urban or rural Chinese settlements in West Borneo, Pontianak was an important and vibrant port city in West Borneo, offering better chances of getting work as labourers or craftsmen compared to other coastal cities or towns. Pontianak developed according to the pattern of its early days and in 1903, the city centre was still as organised as it had been described in the early nineteenth century. On the left bank of the Kapuas, were the Chinese quarter and the European settlement, with public buildings, schools and military encampment. The Chinese quarter was predominantly occupied by the Teochew-speaking Chinese but many other dialect groups were also found residing in this region. It was located close to the Kapuas River and dwellings, shops and commercial buildings competed for space in the most urban part of Pontianak city. In the style of Malay dwellings, urban Chinese houses were connected to each other by wooden walkways (or known as five foot-ways118) where small businesses were conducted and protected from rain and shine. Fire was a common hazard in Pontianak and in 1851 a fire destroyed the temple and several houses in the neighbourhood. Teochew were the largest group among the Chinese in Pontianak itself; some 2000 of the 4,449 Chinese were Teochew (Hoklo) and 1,700 were Hakka. As we can see from table 2b, a large majority of the Chinese in Pontianak was traders and coolies working in the harbour, shops etc. In Kampong Baru (Siantan 119 ), a district north of Pontianak, near the Malay Sultanate (kraton), there were about 1,036 Chinese with about 640 Hakkas, while all of the 1060 Chinese in Mandor region were recorded as Hakkas. Kampong Baru which until 1884 belonged to Lan-fong kongsi was the “industrial” or manufacturing centre of the town. In this area, timber yards and sawmills for construction and shipbuilding and a warehouse for stockpiling forest products were established. In the late nineteenth century, coconut oil and copra factories were also built there. Finally the
Regeringsalamanak voor Nederlandsch-Indie (1902): 255-257; Regeringsalamanak voor Nederlandsch-Indie (1922): 655-656. The Dutch colonial government could do little to prevent the Chinese from settling in the interiors.
Five footways 五脚基
For local Chinese living in Pontianak, Siantan was also known as „新铺头‟(Seng Bou Tao, in Teochew dialect, it literally means “New Shop(ping district)”. This is to compare with Pontianak which was established earlier and known by the locals as „旧铺头‟ (Gu Bou Tao) district, with the literally meaning of “Old Shop(ping) district”.
rubber industry‟s smokehouses were found along the riverbank. Outside of this industrial region, Chinese farmers and market gardeners lived in the sub-urban environs of Siantan, supplying local produces to Pontianak on a daily basis. In Pontianak, the Chinese dominated trade, commerce in the residency and financed and exported major cash and food crops to Singapore and Batavia. Besides Pontianak, Singkawang was the second busiest port, followed by Sambas and Mempawah which served only regional economic activities. In the Chinese quarter of Sambas, most houses were also built out on poles along and sometimes into the river but the community was much smaller than that of Pontianak and appeared in the later nineteenth century impoverished. Lacking solid ground for their vegetable patches, the inhabitants had planted their garden out on floats in the water. For the Sambas area, coastal Pemangkat became a regional trading centre for the products in the region. From the tables 7a and 7b, we can see that most Teochew-speaking Chinese lived in the most urban regions of Pontianak and also those districts situation south of residency capital, like Sungai Kakap. Many Chinese in these regions were fishermen. While Hakka dominated the more rural regions and former gold mining districts of Mandor, Sebadu and Kampong Baru. Most of the Hakka living in these regions were “pure Hakka” from Meixian and Da-pu districts in eastern part of Guangdong province. Based on my field surveys, the demographic composition of Chinese dialect groups in contemporary Pontianak and its immediate environs has remained largely the same since the late nineteenth century. There is a Chinese temple in Sungai Kakap and the Teochew‟s protection god, xuantian shangdi, is still widely enshrined and worshipped by local Chinese community. In Sungai Peniti (Segedong), the composition of Chinese dialect group has remained the same as what had been recorded in 1896, with Hakka Chinese making up around 60-70 per cent and Teochew approximately 30 per cent or slightly less. Even though Peniti or Segedong had a slightly different dialect group composition, or a more even one as we can see, compared to the situation in Mandor (Hakka-dominated) or Sungai Kakap (Teochew-dominated), the Teochew and Hakka Chinese did not live in the same locality in Segedong within the district of Peniti. The relationship between these two groups of Chinese was perhaps due mainly to economic reasons and to a lesser extent religious affinity but further research need to be carried out to see how the different groups of Chinese lived in the same region.
Table 7a: The distribution of different Chinese dialect groups in Pontianak and its surrounding including Sungai Kakap Teochew (Hoklo) Pontianak Kampong Baru (Siantan) Niboeng Seribu Telok Koempai Mandor Sebadu Peniti Djoengkat (Jungkat) Sungai Kakap Sungai Itib Djeroedjoe Tanjung Saleh Kubu +2000 +100 Hakka Hockchew (Fuzhou) +300 +10 Cantonese (Benti) +300 +250 Other dialect groups +149 +36 Total
210 558 +200 +80 314 196 499 88 94
420 161 1060 450 +250 +100 53 29 66 124
22 4 +25 7 81 21 40 8
7 12 3 1 5 7 6
2 2 6 -
661 725 1060 462 478 188 453 246 618 88 232
Table 7b: Overview of the different occupation by Chinese people in the Pontianak district, surroundings and Sungai Kakap Traders +400 40 Artisans 200 10 Agriculturalists Coolie 200 1400 100 400 Total 2200 550
Pontianak Kampong Baru (Siantan) Niboeng Seribu Telok Koempai Mandor Sebadu Djoengkat (Jungkat) Sungai Kakap Total
5 7 15 10 30 +350 857
5 8 20 25 10 25 303
225 275 100 50 100 10 1060
175 20 90 450 2535
235 290 310 105 230 835 4755
Photo 1: A Chinese Taoist temple, “Xuan Tian Shang Di Miao” 玄天上帝庙 at Sungai Kakap (Credit: Author, Date: 21/07/2010)
This is rather a large temple at the estuary of the Kapuas River, to be reached from Pontianak only by boat during the 1970s. It dates back to the late nineteenth century.
Photo 2: A horizontal inscribed board hanged in the inner hall of the temple. „泽及生民‟ (Translation: To bring benevolence and benefits to the people) On the right: „光绪十四年腊月吉旦‟ (The fourteenth year and twelve month of Guangxu Emperor, early 1889) On the left: Showing the names of eight Chinese enterprises that donated money and presented the board to the temple committee. Names of companies: 白 XX 治子林 以利富 X 合流 小和 X 合興号 德和号 仝喜敬 XXX 河源号
Photo 3: The hall of the Reverent Lord of Broad Compassion (“Guangze Zunwang” 120) the Phoenix Mountain Monastery (“Fengshan si”) (1897). The board is donated by Wu Yi Xing from Jieyang county, Chaozhou prefecture.
Kenneth Dean, Taoist Ritual and popular cults of Southeast China, Princeton, New Jersey, 1993, 131-2. Quote from Dean: According to De Groot (1977, 1:201), he remarked that Guo Shengwang 郭圣王 (Saintly King Guo, a title commonly used for Guangze Zunwang 廣泽尊王 ) would “without hesitation be called the tutelary saint of the province of Fujian. There in Fujian (in this case also the Min-nan influenced Chaozhou regions), he finds his place amongst the domestic gods which are venerated.” De Groot also mentioned that the god was the only major local deity among the four gods worshipped on altars in Amoy (M:Xiamen), the others being Guangyin, the God of Wealth and the Stove god („zao shen‟灶神).
2.6 The rural Chinese settlement: Sintang division (afdeeling) From the table below, we can see that most of the Chinese population in interior West Borneo was sparse and small in size when compared to the Chinese settlements located around the coastal region of West Borneo residency. In Boenoet, it was reported that there was a Chinese settlement of twenty-five families or approximately one hundred inhabitants. They were described as important to the economic activities in Upper Kapuas region and the indigenous population depended on them to have access to certain items like textiles, pottery, luxury commodities like cigarettes and so on. The layout of rural Chinese districts was simple and almost identical in appearance in most regions, in the district of Silat for instance, it was described that the Chinese district consisted of some blocks of wooden shop-houses where the entire length is about 30m long, completed with 25 living space and shops. Other Chinese settlements in less populated regions like Melawi were described as isolated, run down, “pathetic” and hardly any business activities. Most Chinese settlements in the interiors were located along or at the main junctions of the Kapuas and Melawi rivers. Specific details about the gender, age, occupation and Chinese dialect groups were in fragments and difficult to consolidate, but some general information shows that most Chinese living there were from the Hakkadialect group.121 The Chinese also worked mainly as peasants, forest product collectors, gold miners (Tangai, Sekajam, etc.) or small-traders living in boats called „lantings‟. Most of them were also not new Chinese migrants, who arrived at West Borneo at the turn of the new century, and were most probably former gold miners or agriculturalist looking for new pastures from the coastal regions. The relatively balanced ratios of men and women, adult and children in these settlements also illustrated that the Chinese moved into the interiors in family units. Intermarriages with the indigenous population could also have happened in these regions but according to colonial reports, these trends were rather uncommon. There were also some Chinese schools located in places like Tayan and Sekadau where boats from the coastal regions could reach within a day or two. In some of the bigger settlements, a local Chinese official, with the rank of Kapthjong, Laothai or Kapitan, would be appointed by the Dutch colonial government to administer the local Chinese population and the headman would usually live in the bazaar (pasar) area. He was also charged to collect business taxes from the local Chinese peoples. The amount was usually small and insignificant but it was essential to the incomes of local officials and administrative expenses. Like the urban ones, the rural settlements faced
Enthoven, 700. About the Hakka Chinese living in the Sekadau, West Borneo, it was reported that Hakka Chinese miners from Tayan or Sanggau relocated themselves to the region during the nineteenth century looking for new mines, that were believed to be rich in gold.
several fire hazards and had to be rebuilt occasionally. Likewise, living in the rural Chinese settlements was life-threatening as ethnic hostilities and thefts were common. In the district of Silat, it was recorded that, “…. Of the Malays, there were about two hundred people living at the main central place, the rest of them lived in very widespread small settlements or kampongs, along the Silat river and partly along the Kapuas river.. among the Malay inhabitants, they walked around the Chinese bazaar and many of them broke into the Chinese properties, stealing valuable commodities like rice and poultry products; the temporary parked ships owned by the Chinese at the river of Silat had to be carefully guarded against intruders….” To solve this problem, the Chinese built fences around their living space and properties and employed guards to patrol their settlements during the night.122 In Boenoet, the Chinese visited Putus Sibau regularly with their trading boats and traded a substantial amount of forest products with the local people. Most trading activities were carried out in barter. With the encouragement of using Chinese credit services, the local Malay and Dayak also received loans from them and gathered getah (natural rubber) during the favourable season. Good quality of rotan (rattan) was also in high demand123. In Djongkong, the Chinese merchants also purchased salt fishes and fish eggs and transported them to the major Chinese settlements downstream or coastal region.124 The Chinese acted as an agent and controlled the interior trade. Gunpowder and ammunition were also supposedly possible to be bought in small amounts at the Chinese bazaar in Boenoet. According to colonial reports, most of these items were illegal and smuggled from the Sarawak regions, along the Embaloeh and Sibau rivers.125
Enthoven, 194-5. Ibid, 102, 113-4. 124 Ibid, 132. 125 Ibid, 107.
Table 8: List of information about the Chinese people, community and economic activities in Sintang division126
Name of Number of the Chinese region or place Boenoet 25 households with approximately 100 Chinese
Description of the Chinese Districts or/and settlements Most Chinese lived in Chinese pasar 127 (market); there was a Chinese official of the rank, Laothai, appointed in Boenoet. He was charged to collect corporate tax from the Chinese traders and in 1894, not more than 400 guilders were received by the colonial government Unknown
NangahMentebah, Poengoe, Tangai Djongkong (selfgoverning territory)
The Chinese lived in four “Lantings” or floating houses. There was a small shop on the boat selling basic commodities to the local population. Chinese also kept poultry (chickens) for their own consumption. Chinese lived in “Lantings” at the market
Ibid. Chapters on „De onderafdeeling Boven Kapuas‟, „De onderafdeeling Semitau‟, „De onderafdeeling Melawi‟, „De Onderafdeling Sintang‟, „De afdeeling Sanggau en Sekadau‟ and „Tayan‟.
Pasar (Bazaar) is defined in this context as settlements or concentrations of Chinese traders and inhabitants living in typical shop houses in West Borneo. Their business quarters were usually on the ground floor, or situated in front of the premises while the living quarters were located in the back of the shop or on the upper floor. It differed from the market places for petty village traders who were prevalent in Java. “Pasar” is a Malay loan word used among Chinese speakers in Southeast Asia. (M: Ba Sha, 巴刹).
governing territory) Sintang Semitau Silat (self Unknown governing territory)
area of Selimbau. They were also equipped with their “floating” shops. Some Chinese lived in the important Malay settlement of Nangah Negeri. It was located near the entrance of Silat river. The Chinese district consisted of wooden buildings that were about 30m long and there were 25 living spaces and shops in this district. It was noted that the Chinese district was surrounded by bamboo guarding against theft. Some neighbouring Malay had broken into the Chinese properties. There were some Chinese shops in this region but most were not doing well. There was a Chinese settlement in Pijang, Semitau.
Semitau Unknown (the capital region) Nangah 400 Pinoh
The Chinese District was situated on the left side of the river. Similar to other Chinese regions, there were long wooden houses and
351 Chinese Most of the Chinese were also Hakka and many had married Dayak women.
small shops owned by the Chinese traders. It was noted that the Chinese in Nagah Pinoh or Melawi, married Dayak women quite often. There was only one recognised Chinese district in Sintang, where most people were involved in trade. There was a Chinese Kapitan and a Laothai appointed in this sub-division. The Kapitan was in-charge of all regions in Sintang division while the Laothai took care of the domestic affairs in Ningoh Pinoh and Silat regions. Most of the Chinese in Sintang were Hakka with a small number of Teochew and Hokkien. In Sepauk, there were a couple of Chinese settlements living in the floating houses. A Chinese Kapitan and a Laothai in Sanggau. There was no new Chinese migrant in this area. Most of the Chinese were involved in gold mining activities and small trades. In 1895, there were two wooden buildings,
592 Chinese (Most of the Chinese are Hakka, arrived from Tayan or Sanggau to Sekadau.
and Sungai Aja
225 (1895), 228 (1903) The Chinese there were involved in mining activities, and there was already for many years a gold mining establishment by the Kongsi Si Fo (M: Si Fen 四分？ ),
where 20 small shops and living space were located there. This was the only official district in Sanggau, the remaining ones were temporary Chinese settlements. The Chinese district was located at the west side of the river mouth. The community lived in elevated wooden buildings, of about fifty metres in length and ten metres wide. There was a Laothai in Sekadau (under the command of Sintang‟s Kapitan) 3 blocks of run down wooden shop-houses; the settlement was situated on the right side of the river bank. The Chinese settlement at Sungai Aja was located a little upstream of the river Sungai Aja. There was a Laothai overlooking the local Chinese. In February1886, the Chinese pasar at Sungai Aja was burnt down by some malicious Malay from Belitang. The culprits were arrested by the Dutch controleur based at Sanggau and Sekadau. Since then, the
or Kong Soen. market had rebuilt and business activities resumed. There was also a gold mining kongsi and a Chinese temple in the region. The Kongsi was surrounded by Belian wood, which prevent attacks from the Sultan of Sintang and Dayak groups. Sekajam There was an isolated (north of Chinese district that was Sekadau) quite run down and pathetic. Other important Chinese settlements along the Sekajam river were located at Balai Karangan (one Laothai under the Kapitan in Sanggau), Oebai and Seke, which is near to Meraoe. There was also a Laothai in Semrangkai. Batang 70 Chinese Most Chinese were Tarang, a peasants and Hakka. major Malay settlement Tayan 300 Chinese In the east side of Tayan (close where the Dutch proximity controleur was residing, with there was a small salt Tayan) house and a Chinese district. Most of the Chinese population lived in wooden buildings divided by
Tayan 847 Chinese (main area)
63 Chinese 53 Chinese
shop houses and living spaces. There were 318 men, 194 women and 335 children below the age of 16 and a Chinese Kapitan. A Chinese Kapthjong was appointed in the region. There was a small Chinese settlement. Most involved in forest product collection A Chinese Laothai Unknown
2.7 A study of Overseas Chinese through their religious cult-beliefs, ancestral worship and social organisations Studies on the nature and development of Chinese economic expansion in Southeast Asia have shown that despite their economic dominance in the region, the Chinese were “merchants without empire”. Therefore, it is interesting to understand how the Chinese came together with a substantial amount of capital and labour which made them autonomous and economically self-reliance from the local and colonial societies. Compared to the Europeans, they operated without assistance from the Chinese states, which at times even persecuted their maritime trade activities. Therefore, what have been prominent and influential were the various forms of Chinese social groupings in Southeast Asia – varying from clan associations, huis, huiguan, kongsis, secret societies to temple organisations – were prominent and influential and these empowered them with the social, cultural and economically needs when residing in a foreign territory like West Borneo during different historical periods. In the face of brutality, exploitation and competition from colonial regimes, native rulers, and also other Chinese groups, Chinese in West Borneo, like their counterparts in southeast China organised sworn brotherhoods and other rituals organisations. To explain why the Chinese formed these organisations, various scholars proposed that they were following “tradition” or that they did so for purposes of mutual support, which was necessary to survive under the rule of foreign governments and among people whose
languages and cultures were unintelligible and so on. They used these traditions with great flexibility to build a pseudo-community beyond the clan or village solidarity prominent in southeast China, while preserving the religious-cult practices, as sanction for loyalty in business, mining or other socio-economic enterprises.128 Therefore, what has made the people of Guangdong and Fujian brave enough to venture into foreign lands? In other words, besides the close geographical proximity in Southeast Asia, goodwill from local authorities and trading networks of Chinese merchants, what else were the Chinese of West Borneo equipped with to accomplish such feats? There was clan and lineage warfare, as massive rebellions were endemic throughout south China from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards. Therefore, migration to Southeast Asia might become a strategy for acquiring the funds for a bride price, for getting young men out of the region in time of war, and also for sustaining the family farm. 129 There was a kind of autonomy to much of Chinese migration and it operated usually within particular economic, familial, and social frameworks – and the Chinese family system which gave a particular shape to migration. Therefore to understand how the Chinese of West Borneo migrated, settled and built their homes in the residency, it is important to investigate the structure and characteristics of a southeast China village society and the lineage system. Kinship migration appears to be one of the most interesting patterns in Chinese migration. Once a Chinese had established a foothold in West Borneo and achieved a modest measure of success, he will either return to China and brought back, a teen-aged son or nephew. In Borneo and probably elsewhere, newly arrived miners tended to join those mines where people from their surname group, their home village or at least their language area were already working.130 One reason was because speech group conflict from China might spill over into Southeast Asia. Families were a crucial part of networks for “overland (overseas) Chinese” whether the emigrant was single or married – family connections were maintained among patriarchs and elder brothers. Patriarchy meant that migration and sending money home were not based upon individual decisions, but rather family directive or collective
D. Ownby and M. Somers Heidhues (eds), “Secret Societies” Reconsidered: Perspectives on the social history of Modern South China and Southeast Asia, M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, New York, 1993, p. 83.
Sucheta Mazumdar, “Localities of the Global: Asian Migrations between Slavery and Citizenship” in International Journal of Social Science History 52 (2007), 2009. p132.
Groot (1885), pp. 66-68.
decision.131 Even though, this was the case for many other workers of the world as well, but the history of the Chinese family suggests that Chinese workers were especially bound to their families. 132 Likewise, most scholars have also agreed that Chinese migration was caused by a mix of political and ecological factors: state mismanagement, overpopulation, colonial penetration, natural disasters and revolts, however McKeown rejects the assumption that Asians in general moved for different reasons than Europeans. He explains that the rhythm in the ups and downs of the global migration was remarkably similar, which leads him to conclude that all migrations were influenced largely by the same global economic economy. Since the eighteenth century, Chinese of West Borneo organised their own activities through gold mining kongsi with little regard for their nominal Malay and later Dutch overlords; they were to all intents and purposes, independent self-governing communities and they functioned within a specifically Chinese socio-economic organisational framework. In the past, several European sinologists like De Groot, Schlegel and Duyvendak argued that this structure was modelled on the patterns of village and kinship organisation in the South Chinese homeland. Anthropologists like Freedman and Ward made similar suggestion; while Kwee re-emphasises the need to integrate the historical studies of social organisations in Southeast China and Southeast Asia. Among the correlating factors, she suggests two principles of organisation, namely deity worship and the recognition of common ancestors.133 As for the history of global migration, Adam McKeown explains that by the 1900s, the global migration trend had also changed and the three features seen most clearly were the long-term patterns of return migration, female migration and the shifting origins of migration. For instance, in south China, despite local shifts between counties and villages, the main migrant-sending regions of proportion of migrants departing from different ports remained almost constant from the 1870s to the early 1920s. Return migration from Southeast Asia remained a fairly steady 63 to 75 per cent of all arrivals from 1870 to 1930, with the Chinese immigrants averaging 64 per cent.134 For female migrants, McKeown suggests that only with the rise of small Chinese family retailers after the turn of the century did the proportion of Chinese women grow.135
Leslie Page Moch, Connecting Migration and World History: Demographic Patterns, Family Systems and Gender , IRSH 52, 2007, 101. 132 Madeline Hsu, Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration between the US and South China, 1882-1943, Stanford, CA, 2000.
Kwee, 618. Adam McKeown, „Regionalizing World Migration‟, IRSH 52 (2007), p. 139.
A. McKeown, “From Opium Farmer to Astronaut: A Global History of Diasporic Chinese Business”, Diaspora, 9 (2000), pp.317-360.
Isolated farmsteads were rare and the rural population concentrated in closelyspaced walled villages; these villages were compact and had large compound, usually with a population of several thousands. There was a close coincidence of village and lineage and in each village, or a group of adjacent villages, members of a single kinship group sharing a common surname inhabited the territory. This was also the case where more than one clan was present in a bigger village or territory. They occupied spatially distinct sections and serious fighting happened commonly over disputed lands and business activities. 136 By Chinese tradition, all persons of the same surname are descended from the same remote ancestor, and by definition, all members of a lineage group have a traceable common ancestry, sometimes a mythical one. However, it must be noted that the Chinese did not generally use common descent along the male line to organise themselves and did so only in the past few centuries. By the nineteenth century, village communities in southeast China were centred at the ancestral halls while intervillage alliances came under the guise of lineage associations. The phenomenon was commonly found in southeast China that inter-village feuds came to be associated with inter-lineage rivalries and in modern day, single-surname villages possessed their own ancestral halls and are regarded as the norm of village organisation. 137 The result and developments of this social grouping or lineage system so to speak, is the result and requirement laid down by the Ming government for land and population registration, of the reclamation of waste land for farming, of the need to organise local defence, i.e. against pirates in coastal Fujian, of the spread of literacy and the finally the literacy ideal which structured the downward percolation of the Chinese social hierarchy. 138 Due to geographical constraints, and natural boundaries like mountain ranges, patrilineal kinship organisations in the Fujian and Guangdong regions not only exercised judicial powers over their members but also were well-trained in fighting, possessed weapons and could thus exercise powers of coercion. 139 In most cases, local government had to convey messages through the kinship or lineage organisation, with the family and village elders playing central roles. A headman was selected on the basis of age and generation status and come from the dominant lineage of a particular village. Thus, the lineage or ancestral hall of the village served as the “family house of the whole clan” and the centre or mediating link with the local government. All the common property and incomes were controlled by the village elders who represented the interests of the village and had the
Zheng Zhenman, Ming Qing Fujian Jiazu zuzhi yu shehui bian qian, hu nan jiaoyu chu ban she, 1973, 242-5.
David Faure, „The Lineage as a Cultural Invention: The Case of the Pearl River Delta‟, Modern China, Vol. 15, No. 1 Jan., 1989, p. 4.
Ibid. Kwee, p. 620.
right to levy occasional forced collections of taxes or military obligations. Faure, Michael Szonyi, and Zheng Zhenman show how the Ming state‟s military and taxation regulations, based on the lijia system, which centred on the male head in every household, drove the descendants to organise themselves along agnatic kinship to share the state-imposed burden of taxation, labour service levies, and/or military conscription. Under such socioeconomic circumstances, they were not only motivated merely by personal gains, but also in accordance with the Chinese feeling of continuity, by prospects for communal and group advancement. This essential feature of social organisation in south Chinese village was its basis in kinship grouping and the resulting cooperative enterprise arising from common social and economic interests. Various reasons have been given to explain the reason why organisation had been based according to patrifocal lineages in southeast China by the late Ming. One of the most important reasons which are unique to the socio-cultural norms of Guangdong and Fujian is the belief in ancestral worship, which became important during Ming and Qing period. Even though ancestral worship existed since the Zhou dynasty, David Faure, Liu Zhiwei, Patricia Ebrey and James Watson have argued that the increased literacy in the societies from the Ming dynasty onwards, enabled the more effective trickling down of neo-Confucian ideas of ancestral worship from the state and literati to the populace. Another important characteristic is the increase in scale of religious-cults beliefs like Mazu and Guandiye which were also common in West Borneo and Chinese communities abroad. A recent research by Kenneth Dean has also discovered tens of thousands of cult initiates worshipping in over temples throughout south-east China and southeast Asia; the cult figure in question being Lin Zhao En (1517-98), who formulated what he called Sanjiao Heyi or “The Three in One Teachings”. 140 In this case, the lineage system incorporated with ancestral worship and popular cult-beliefs which came to dominate the society of southeast China. These influential networks further developed and helped to organise migration opportunities for Chinese going to West Borneo or other parts of Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, there is a characteristic of Chinese migration and settlement where people from a particular district, speech group in China tended to congregate together in particular region overseas. For instance, many Chinese who went to West Borneo in the 1760s and 1770s were from Chaozhou, Jiayingzhou, and Huizhou prefectures in eastern Guangdong province. As we can see from the 1858 census, the Chinese settlers in Lara and Lumar, West Borneo were mainly “Ban Shan Ke” Hakka, while others were Teochew, Cantonese, and very few of Fujian origins. They came from very specific regions in Guangdong and Fujian, namely the districts of Jieyang, Huilai,
Lin attempts to popularise Confucianism included the melding of Confucian teachings with the philosophical speculations of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, as well as the alchemical practices peculiar to Taoism.
Puning, Fengshun, Dapu and Chaozhou in Chaozhou prefecture; the districts of Lufeng, Haifeng, Guishan, Heyuan, Longchuan, and Wenyuan in Huizhou prefecture; the districts of Guangzhou, Xining, Panyu and Conghua from Guangzhou prefecture, and so on. Likewise, the former gold mining kongsi in Monterado was also divided and made up mostly of people bearing the surnames Wu, Huang and Zheng who originated from Huilai and Lufeng counties. Lintian Kongsi which was based in Budok consisted of people with family names Zhang, Cai, Liu and Huang from Jieyang county. In fact until now, we can still catch a glimpse of how the Chinese organised themselves in colonial West Borneo. During my field survey in West Kalimantan, I visited a small Chinese community, approximately 20-25 households, along a river in Segedong town. In the centre of Segedong, there is a central market place or pasar which served the basic needs of seven or more river settlements populated mainly by the Chinese community. Out of these seven river settlements, three of them are inhabited by Teochew speaking groups with the common surnames of Zeng and Li, while others were Hakkas- dominated with some pockets of Malay and Dayak households who arrived much later probably in the 1950s and 60s. A local Chinese cemetery confirms that this particular Chinese settlement had been around in West Borneo for more than a century. In the book Chinese Democracies, Yuan Bingling analyses the supposed relationship between the kongsi institution and lineage organisation back in China.141 She explains that even in the predominantly former Hakka-speaking mining districts, there were people of many different speech group backgrounds, for instance Teochew, Cantonese and Hokkien. Such diversity was not only confined to the labourers, but applied to the appointed leaders in respective kongsis or kampongs. According to her observation, the Chinese social structure in West Borneo contradicts the structural system where traditional village society and lineage organisation in south China were typically “one-surname villages” and such traditional Chinese lineage organisation was not possible to be „exported‟ wholly and practice in West Borneo. She further explains th at evidence from surviving genealogies shows that those families which established themselves in West Borneo continued to depend on their lineage organisation back home and had never initiated local branches abroad. It was only later in the twentieth century that surname associations emerged in West Borneo. Even then, they were different from the true lineage groupings back in south China. The associations merely unite people from all parts of China, regardless of speech groups, and their only common denominator being the fact that they share one or several common surnames. With regards to her observation and arguments, it is quite agreeable that „original‟ Chinese lineage or social system from China hardly set foot or perhaps exist in West Borneo. Putting aside the dispute among anthropologists on “lineage theory”, I would
like to use this term by referring primarily to self-professed unilineal descent group. This is because it is interesting to understand that these people could have been related in other ways or relations built around descent claims that were probably necessarily more important than other relationships. Through the concept of lineage where it may be applicable to our understanding of West Borneo, there were other forms of social or economic relationships which the organisation possessed. In both China and Southeast Asia, the concept of lineage was often implied or invoked in the pursuit of objectives that were not couched in lineage terms. Cases had shown that lineage system has grown to become a cultural form and it needs to be stressed that this cultural form served economic and political ends that arose from the Ming dynasty. Land is an important element of lineage groupings as it provided the funds for the rituals that were needed in maintaining the religious elements of lineage, which also explained why Chinese kongsi, association and settlements were concern about their living spaces and territory. To a large extent, they had a fixed boundary to their individual or collected properties. In the history and concept of lineage, it is this extension of state power into local communities and it is an integral part of the history of the creation of the Chinese state. In this case, due to the challenges they faced in an alien environment, they tapped into the existing social groupings and systems for migration opportunities and then formed new kinds of social organisations which continued to observe the basic fundamental values of traditional Chinese society, creating opportunities through various forms of social and economic networks. In this case, ancestral worship is not the same as that at individual home altars in Chinese families. The former includes the worship of clan ancestors, or even mythical figures, whereas the latter worship direct ancestors, usually determined by the grandparents or great grandparents. For this Yen comments that, “Unlike the ancestral worship in the family shrine, the ancestral worship in the clans or associations served as a device to bring all clansmen spiritually closer to their origins, and to express their gratitude to the progenitor. In this case, the worship produced a psychological impact on the members‟ attitudes towards the descent line, and helped them to increase their awareness of their duty to the clan”, 142 which probably also included activities like business trading and more favourable credit interest and capital sharing within the clan members. The Chinese of Fujian and Guangdong migrants ventured out to other parts of China and Southeast Asia in “pockets of empire”. One sees here a kind of socio-cultural capital that enabled them to form small tribal-like groups, organised around various forms of loyalties (lineage, surname, dialect, etc.,) all centring around a kind of fraternal imagination and institutionalised through mechanisms of deity and ancestral worship.
Yen Ching-hwang, “Early Chinese Clan Organisations in Singapore and Malaya, 1819 -1911,” in Early Chinese Immigrant Societies: Case Studies from North America and British Southeast Asia , ed. Lee Tai To, Singapore: Heinemann, 1988, 207.
Photo 4: An example of a Southeast Asian Chinese clan: The ancestral temple of the Huang Clan or people who has the surname “Huang”, 黄氏宗 祠 (Jiangxia-tang， 江夏堂), located in Pontianak city and inaugurated in 1928. There is a board on the top with several ancestral tablets, and couplets at both sides in the centre of the hall.143
Being a society that was predominantly involved in mining and later agrarian activities, Chinese migration patterns in West Borneo were mostly self- organised and funded. There were basically no Chinese indentured labourers working in foreign invested plantations like those we see in Deli, Sumatra. Chinese migration to West Borneo residency depended and relied heavily on mutual aid and personal ties between lineage members deriving from the same clusters of villages or districts back in China. According to Freedman, the Chinese organisations were mainly formed upon the solidarity between men bearing the same surname and between men originating from the same area or dialect group in China, or what he called the “surname” and “territorialdialect” loyalties. Kwee argues that these categorisations or prerequisites are problematic in Southeast Asia, since numerous cross-surname, cross-territorial, and cross-dialect organisations existed and the cases were too numerous to be mere anomalies and
Wolfgang Franke, Chinese Epigraphic Material, 82-3.
exceptions. The fact that hybrids could be formed in a close society in Southeast Asia shows that while “surname” and “territorial-dialect” associations might be the more common types, they certainly were not the principles that bound these Chinese social groupings in an overseas Chinese community.144 The reason that “one-surname villages” or lineage villages did not exist in West Borneo was due largely to the demographic composition of West Borneo residency and the discourse of an overseas Chinese society. Chinese were never the majority in any of the former European colonies, except Singapore and Penang. Under such environment, even if a typical Chinese household in West Borneo continued to uphold and practice patriarchal traditions and customary practices during the festive seasons, inter-ethnic marriages and assimilation with local cultures happened. Direct transfer and application of traditional social structures from south China was impossible in West Borneo society or Southeast Asia in general. My hypothesis illustrates that socio-economic networks in West Borneo residency were formed mainly through mutual aids from specific surnames, temple organisation or speech groups associations and these institutions probably shared the closest resemblance to that of “a single lineage grouping” seen in south China during the late nineteenth century. In contrast, this kind of socio-economic structure in West Borneo was also fundamentally different from those Chinese communities in port-cities like Singapore or Batavia, where geographical and social mobility of Chinese migrants were more diverse and complex. By definition, very few of these self-help organisations were real clans in the sense that they were from the same lineage.145 Very few members were real kinsmen. But all of them formed a brotherhood connection, whether via the lineage principle – be it fictive or real – and / or via a deity cult. That is, fraternal linkages were forged through worship rituals to a common ancestor, fictive or otherwise, and/or to a common deity. E. A. Francis and S. H. Schaank noted that in nineteenth century West Borneo, the mining organisations would organise an entrance ceremony for new members and demand that they swear an oath of allegiance to the Dabo Gong of the association and also contribute a sum of money to the treasury. This sense of brotherhood in turn provided the migrants with immediate support and assistance in an alien environment. The deity cult bound people in several ways and it is around the belief in various Chinese deities that sanctions and discipline were imposed and important activities conducted. In the period of late nineteenth century, it appears that many of these institutions had consolidated sufficiently to enable migrants who left on their own to find immediate help when they arrived in a foreign place. The usual case seems to be those who came knowing their bothers, cousins, fathers, uncles and the like were there, and they would tend to join the groupings of
Kwee, 628. Ibid, 629.
which their relatives were members. Thus, aside from the help from direct kinsmen, there would also be support from a larger network. Therefore, the Chinese labour migrants of West Borneo had a package deal similar to that offered by the lineage or organisations in the southeastern pats of China. They provided welfare for their members, exercised judicial authority over them, and also had the powers to mobilise them for the groups‟ interests – whether through military or unarmed (economic) means. Compared with China, there were probably more formations based on cross-dialect, cross territorial, cross-surname organisations than on real clan organisations in Southeast Asia. That is, there were more pseudo-lineage rather than real lineage organisations. But all these centred on a sense of brotherhood unity, fraternal relationships, hinged on deity and/or ancestral worship and performed through rituals around them.146 Therefore looking at the developments in southeast China, it makes sense why there was a particular timing of a more massive outflow of Chinese to Southeast Asia, why they tended to stick to certain affiliations, deity-cult belief or speech group and why they had the ability to exercise coercion. Contrary to what many Southeast Asianists and overseas Chinese historians have argued, the organisations that the Chinese formed in West Borneo or other parts of Southeast Asia were not only a matter of their following traditions from time immemorial or a question of their self-defence in a hostile and alien environment, but rather such formations especially the agnatic kinship organisations, became predominant in the southeast Chinese societies in Ming-Qing period. West Borneo was a typical example when the Chinese were mainly miners and agriculturalists who had to deal with problems of landownership and competition of territory for basic survival. The strategies which they Chinese used in West Borneo were also the ones in respond to the Chinese state‟s demands on taxation, military conscription, and labour service levies as well as the rapid commercialisation that led to various economic opportunities. 2.7.1 Chinese “rebellion” of 1914: organising through social institutions In 1914, the Chinese saw great unhappiness towards the implementation of taxation and forced labour by the Dutch colonial government. The newly appointed resident, H. de Vogel MHn., considered his first and most important task to be the elimination of what he called, “the usurpation of power” by Chinese association. 147 He forbade Soe Po Sha and Siang Hwe from collecting monetary contribution from the Chinese in West Borneo to send to China, which he saw these contributions as “a pure
Ibid. 630. Memorie van Overgave, H. de Vogel MHn., (1912-1918), ARA 2.10.39 MvO MMK: 261, 69-70.
form of taxation to the Chinese government” and “a drain on the economic well -being of the population”. In May 1913, he reported to the governor-general that taxation on the businesses and other money sources of the Chinese were „ridiculously low in relation to the size of their incomes”. As a result of this survey, income taxes were revamped and an inventory of businessmen liable for taxes in Pontianak increased by almost four times.148 Also, a regulation was passed down which required all Chinese to be registered; this sudden escalation in taxation and discrimination clearly aroused dissatisfaction among many Chinese. The uprising was suppressed with the help of military reinforcements from Java and Soen (M: Sun), the leader of the movement, fled to Sarawak and was later seen in Singapore, probably with the help of local Chinese networks. 149 Due to the Chinese unrest, the Dutch commissioner also reported that the Dayaks were showing unhappiness with the compulsory labour law. Seeing the Malay elites as collaborators with the Dutch authorities, the Chinese resistant movement sparked the spirit of resistance among the Dayaks. They were forced to clear vast expanses of forest, and were discontented with the introduction of business and income taxes; and most importantly, the forest product collectors were taxed heavily which gave them an additional reason for complaint.150 Knowing the seriousness of this uprising, the official for Chinese affairs, J. Snellen van Vollenhoven was sent to West Borneo due to the immense pressure from both the Chinese and Dayak communities. The Dutch authorities eventually backed down from their strong stand and conceded that forced labour is a primitive form of personal taxation which the Chinese had outgrown and its abolition was necessary.151 K. A. James, the resident of West Borneo from 1918-1921, described in his Memorie van Overgave that the situation in the north (Sambas region) where the uprising of 1914 took place had remained relatively stable during his regime, but tensions were still high. To quote, he also believed that: “Born conspirators as the Chinese are, and all connected with some secret societies”, they often disguised themselves as a burial association or literary group. There were among them some political extremists and had connection with the Chinese republic. The resident was also more concerned with the new immigrants from China as old migrants tend to settle down in West Borneo and as plantation owners, or workers, they hoped and required politico-economic stability in West Borneo residency. About the Chinese rebels, many escaped to Sarawak or Singapore but with the British cooperation, one of the insurgents were arrested and sentenced to death, while another three were sentenced to force labour. However, Soen Cap Sen, the resistance leader of Mampawa, was still hiding in Singapore. It was further noted that someone saw him in disguise,
The Siauw Giap, Rural Unrest in West Kalimantan –The Chinese Uprising in 1914, Leiden, 142-144. Ibid, 147. Ibid, 148-9. Ibid, 152.
spreading rumours that he was dead while trying to return to West Borneo to meet his three wives in 1919.152 2.7.2 Chinese temple as a form of community socio-economic institution It is common that the Dutch officer and traveller mentioned about the Chinese temple or „Toapekong‟153 as they called them when he visited the Chinese districts or the former gold mining kongsis.154 However, most were just observations and descriptions of the structure of the temple and basic religious rituals which the Chinese practiced. Therefore, not much have been written or analysed about the functions of such community institution, with the exception of a thorough survey by De Groot, a Dutch sinologist who carried out field surveys in Fujian province during the late nineteenth century. The temple organisations were mobilised around deity cults like the worship of Mazu and Guandiye. 155 The first Ming Emperor had decreed that only the officially sponsored deity cults were legal, examples were Baosheng Dadi (Great Emperor Protecting Life), Mazu (the Goddess of Sea), Guandiye (the God of War), Shuangzhongye (God of double loyalty). Large and small “toapekong”156 or temples were widespread in the residency, not only in settlements, but at places notable for particular natural features which were belief to have some supernatural powers. Among the Chinese gods or deities, Guan Gong or Guan Di, patron of kongsis, Dabogong himself, Guan Yin, and other deities with family or homeland connections kept watch over their adherents from their shrines and addressed them through religious mediums. Nonetheless, these regulations did not stop other forms of belief completely. Examples of typical Chinese deities in south-east China that are enshrined and worshipped by a particular speech group are Sam-Bong Jak, (or
MvO, K.A.James, 50-2. Toapekong (M: Dabogong) 大伯公 which sometimes also refers to Tho-Ti-Kong (M: Tudigong) 土地公, is literally translated into English as the “Eldest Grand Uncle” or “Grandpa”. However, in the Dutch colonial archives and reports, „Toapekong‟ also refers to any Chinese deity or just a Chinese temple. Toapekong is regarded highly in the beliefs of Chinese folk religion and Taoism. Believed to be the god of earth (land), wealth and virtue, the deity was the patron of a piece of land where agricultural and mining activities were carried out in colonial West Borneo. Housed in a traditional Chinese temple, the deity was also in charged of administering the affairs of a particular village and settled disputes between villagers. Basically, any enquires or problems, i.e. business activities, marriage, funeral, moving houses could be resolved by “asking for advices” from deities like Dabogong, Mazu („Mother of Goddess‟ 妈祖), Guandiye („God of War‟ or „Loyalty‟关帝爷) through the use of lottery poetry (签诗 / 籤文). The lottery poetry which is written in the form of Chinese poems or stories provides religious guidance for the believers.
Verslag eener reis naar Montrado, Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indie (TNI), 1847 9 (0531) Part 3, 63-75.
Zheng Zhenman, “Qingdai Minnan xiangzu xiedou de yanbian”, Zhongguo shehui jingji shi yanjiu, no. 1 (1998): 16-23.
In Dutch records, Chinese temples were simply called “toapekongs”.
San-wang ye or Sanshan Guowang). Sanshan Guowang (Kings of three mountains) was never admitted as an orthodox cult throughout the Ming-Qing period, and was not destroyed by the various official raids. They are still worshipped in the Chaozhou area of Guangdong and especially by Hepo or Banshanke Hakkas, in China and abroad.157 The importance of Chinese temple could be seen when the Dutch troops in 1850s made the Chinese quarter of Sambas independent of the kongsis, directly under the colonial government; this decision was made in part because an important temple that belonged to conflicting kongsis was located in Sambas town.158 Moreover, the temple became an important institution when people consulted an oracle of a particular deity, or protector god. Through a medium, the deity advises and provides the believer with “directions” and decision-making. 159 One of the first thing that Dutch colonial government did when Lanfang kongsi in Mandor surrendered, was to provided funds to build a new temple, paying f 3,000 to the Mandor Chinese for the old kongsi headquarters building, which was to be demolished, and adding two hundred guilders for guard houses in Kopian that they have seized.160 The new temple would house images and tablets of Kwan-ya (M: Guan Di), Lo Fong Pak, and Thay Pak Kong (Toapekong, M: Da Bo Gong), as well as tablets for all the Kapthais of the former kongsi. These objects were carried in a solemn procession to the new temple, and about three hundred Chinese participated in a festive meal at the pasar. A theatre (wayang) performance and gambling, both important features of religious holidays, crowned the festivities. 161 Moreover, a survey of the Singkawang town also noted that there was a significant number of Chinese and trading activities of opium and other food products were everywhere. Outside the town, against the slope of a hill162, was a Chinese temple that the town people visited for prayers and for picnics.163
See Heidhues, 93 Veth, Borneo‟s Wester-Afdeeling, 2: 127-129., Heidhues, 82. Heidhues, 93. Ibid, 113. Heidhues, 113. Koloniaal Verslag (1885), 14. It seems that the Chinese temple was built on a locality based on good Fengshui or Chinese cosmology.
According to Mary Somers Heidhues, this temple appears to be the Fudeci 福德祠, with Dabogong the main deity, and the adjacent Guanyin 观音 temple (or its forerunner), described by Franke, Chinese Epigraphic Materials 3, pp. 152-3. I have personally visited this temple which was rebuilt in 1983. “Picnics” might be the Chinese practice of offering food at graves or temples. It is a practice to sit together and eat the food after religious/ancestral prayers and processions are over.
Annual feasts were public manifestations of Chinese beliefs and culture. The Capgomeh (M: shi wu wan) or the fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year was the high point of the year in Singkawang and celebrations are restored. On this day, Chinese from nearby settlements poured into the town. Processions with men carrying torches, and coloured lanterns bore tiny temples containing figures of deities through the town until late into the night. Finally, when the parade was over and the gods returned to their temples and shrines, the mortals spent the night in festivities, people of various communities and ethnic groups visited one another and exchange good wishes. Another occasion for festivities was the arrival of a wandering theatre troupe from China. These troupes usually travelled to West Borneo via Singapore. Their performances which were generally called wayang, reacquainted the Chinese living abroad with the cultural traditions of their homeland. Other feasts were more or less public occasions with QingMing, Pudu (Seventh Month) and Chinese funerals all provided opportunities to awake the senses with gaudy colours, fragrant incense and plenty of noise. As I have mentioned earlier about the importance of the kongsi halls and adjacent temples, I would like to highlight a temple in Sungai Purun 164 , a town that formerly belonged to the Lan-fong Kongsi, which is also probably the last surviving temple that contains some historical information about the kongsi. They include a portal inscription, a long belian pole and a portrait of kongsi founder, Lo Fong Pak. Likewise, a temple which I have visited in Pontianak showed the close socio-religious links between Chinese from West Borneo and Singapore. According to the temple caretakers, many Chinese businessmen from abroad patronise and donated to the temple. A major renovation was carried in 1973 and 1998, with funds coming from Chinese in West Borneo, Singapore, and even Taiwan.
The temple is called Lan Fong Kong Koan (M. Lan Fang Gong Guan, 兰芳公馆). The Chinese people who live there are mostly from the Hakka speech group. The wooden pillar (a belian pole) of more than 7 meters, dated in1867 is still there. Other epigraphic material includes a hand drawn portrait of Lo Fong Pak, a drum made in Singkawang and a yunban. From my understanding, many Chinese in the area are poor and jobless.
Photo 5: He-Fo Temple, Pontianak. Credit: the author
He-Fo Tang 和佛堂 Buddhist temple in Pontianak downtown
The temple was rebuilt in 1973, and renovated in 1998.
This epigraphic information shows that HeFo Tang Buddhist temple was built in 1932. The founders of these temple are Master Lin Cai Ying (1872-1943) and Chen Jin Xing (1900-1988). Both were born and passed away in Singapore.
2.7.3 Chinese secret societies: Yi Xing Guan (Ngee Hin kongsi) In the study of Chinese secret societies, the most distinct problem is that members of such organisations are extremely difficult to locate. Likewise, it is equally hard to attempt to estimate the size of the membership of these societies. In most situations, I could only try to piece together scraps of evidence from scattered sources before I can fully use them as information. Secondly, the documents produced by both legal control agencies and the secret societies may be biased. The former may tend to produce records which exaggerated the mysticism and illegal activities of secret societies, while the latter may tend to portray with exaggerated beliefs and practices. Finally, I will try to use some records, in the form of diplomas and passwords, produced by the secret societies and confiscated by the Dutch authorities, which were usually rich in irrational elements and unfamiliar information or idioms which historians find them difficult to interpret. Various Dutch scholars had tried to understand how the Chinese secret societies functioned. For instance, Gustave Schlegel (1866), it is the first book which dealt with the origin of the Triad, and the connection between the secret societies in the Dutch Indies and the Triad in China. It is a remarkable work which contained several information on the Triad‟s insignias, diplomas, passwords and rituals which had not until then, been known to the Dutch or the British colonial officers or the public. According to Mak Lau Fong, the emergence and persistence of Chinese secret societies were due to three main conditions. They are the inadequacy of legal protection given to the general population; the adaptability of secret societies to change and the strength of conflict reduction mechanisms.165 Therefore, the inadequacy of legal protection is determined by the extent of the power of legal control agencies employed for non-institutional purposes, or by the extent and reason that legal control agencies, i.e. the colonial administration or the former Chinese gold mining kongsi, failed to employ their services for institutional purposes, in terms of social or economic activities. Next, the emergence of local Chinese secret societies is also not related to the political deprivation of Chinese immigrants, but to the lack of legal protection given to them. The operation of the Kapitan system or Dutch-appointed Chinese officials, and the heterogeneity of Chinese dialect groups reflect the inadequate protection given to the Chinese immigrants in West Borneo. It was also found that when legal protection in the larger society was substantially improved, local Chinese social societies would become less active. In order to survive, local Chinese secret societies have had to adjust their activity patterns and rearrange their organisational structure. The shift in the direction of
Mak Lau Fong, The Sociology of Secret Societies, A study of Chinese Secret Societies in Singapore and Peninisula Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 1981, 2-3.
activity from occupational monopolisation in West Borneo to smuggling of certain illegal products or one of territorial demarcation in contemporary society, plus the reduction in hierarchical positions, reflect the need for changes and adaptability of local Chinese secret societies in their respective environments. Lastly, the condition of persistence was seen as an exchange relationship between local Chinese secret societies and the larger Chinese community or society. Symbiotic relationships were mainly promoted and maintained by people who played vital roles in both the underworld and the larger society. Photo 6: A blank diploma of Chinese Secret Societies (Ngee Hin)166
1. The name of the place where receipt was issued 2. The name person who donated money to the society 3. The sum of money 4. “Having received the money, the society or kongsi hereby issued you this receipt” 5. A kind of a slogan or some “secret messages” from the secret society. Literally translated, it means: “Obey Heaven and act righteously, the passes are open and the roads are clear” 6. The year, month and date when money is received 7. An official seal of Ghee Hin kongsi.
Leon Comer, The Triads, Chinese Secret Societies in 1950s Malaya and Singapore, Singapore Heritage Society, 2009, 161-5. Gustave Schlegel, „ 天地会 ’, The Hung-League or Heaven Earth-Society. A secret society with the Chinese in China and India, Batavia, Lange & Co., 1866.
Photo 7: A 1861 diploma confiscated by the Dutch authority in Sekajam, West Borneo 昔佳掩167 The (Secret societies) diploma shown above was confiscated by the Dutch authorities in around 1861. In Sekajam, it was reported that there was a substantial number of Chinese gold miners living in the region during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Many had to depend on external supplies of food and commodities like opium. 168 This piece of evidence tells us the strong socio-economic links between local Chinese and secret societies. In this case, the donor was probably a local miner or trader living in the region under the protection of the secret society of Ngee Hin Kongsi. According to the interpretation by Young, the donor‟s surname is probably lin “ 林 ” instead of „木‟ and he had donated one dollar (probably in Straits Dollar) in 1861, on the 7th month and 26th day of the lunar calendar.
J.W.Young, Bijdrage tot de Kennis der Chineesche Geheime genootschappen, Tijdschrijft voor Indisch Taal-, land-, en Volkenkunde, 28, 1883, 575-577.
Enthoven, 664 and 675.
Chapter three: Chinese economic activities and the Colonial interests
3.1 Private investors versus Smallholder cultivation The modern export-oriented economy of West Borneo which dealt in both agricultural and forest products took shape in as early as the second half of the nineteenth century. While, during the first three decades of twentieth century, West Borneo witnessed improvements and expansion in agricultural production. Like most other places in the Outer islands, the economic development of West Borneo was closely linked to the fortunes of a few key commodities. The most important ones were coconut (copra) and rubber cultivation.169 In relation to this, Anne Booth discusses about the relevant of the impact of large foreign investors on the development of indigenous entrepreneurial activity and especially the industries that indigenous population were employed in large estates, i.e. Deli tobacco plantations. However, she observes that in the areas like West Borneo and Minangkabau regions, where smallholder cash crop cultivation expanded most rapidly in the latter part of the colonial era, these regions were situated well away from the main concentrations of estate activity in Java and north Sumatra.170 However, this is not to say that foreign investors did not exist or play any role in the development of West Borneo‟s economy. By 1890, it was stated that there were almost 100 mining and agricultural concessions authorised by the colonial state and these activities were carried out to adapt the local apparatus of administration to the changing socio-political situation. In general, these concessions could be broadly classified under the economic activities of agricultural, forest products, manufacturing, mining and shipping enterprises. From 1911 to 1918, in the region of Pontianak, a total of seven agricultural concessions were issued by the Dutch colonial government. Most private investors were Europeans from The Netherlands, Britain and Germany, while Chinese and even Japanese private investors were interested in these economic projects.
A. Booth, The Indonesian Economy in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, A history of missed opportunities, Great Britain, 1998, 3.
Table 9: The List of agricultural concessions issued by the Dutch colonial government during the period 1911-18, in the region of Pontianak171 Name and year of project Sei Sahang (8.7.1907) Sei Poetat (9.11.1909) Pematangtoedjoeh (21.6.1910) Telok Koempai (22.4.1911) Pematanglimau (1.6.1911) Moenggoe Goela (22.12.1917) Memperingang (18.4.1918) Size of plantation (in hectares) 230 Type of cultivation Rubber Company Hmij. Lim Foek Tjong, Pontianak (Chinese) Pontianak rubber estate limited London (England) o.en.a. av. (The Netherlands) Tjio Tjeng Siang (Chinese) o.en.a Th. A. de Neve (The Netherlands) Auma Rojosuké (Japanese) Kiehitaro Oto (Japanese)
Coconut, rubber and oil palm Rubber Coconut
Even with the significant amount of foreign investors, the speculative component in the concession hunt grew predominant and to its dismay the regional government realised that most concessions were intended to change hands quickly in Singapore rather to form the basis of a permanent settlement or plantation system in West Borneo. There were also numerous reports from the European investors complaining that the estimated profits of their investments were not as ideal as they had thought of, particularly the fertility of soil and sometimes labour shortages in West Borneo. Ozinga and Sandick discussed the dismal performance, both in terms of agriculture and mining revenues collected by the European investors. Many actually sought to terminate their concessions in a much earlier date.
J. C. F. Van Sandick and Van Marle, Verslag eener Spoorwegkenning in Noordwest-Borneo Deel III, 173.
3.2 Coconut and rubber cultivation One interesting phenomenon noted in West Borneo was the agricultural activities carried out by local population during the early twentieth century which was undergoing a period of transition and developments. Englishmen A. J. Simons introduced new crops such as rubber to West Borneo in the beginning of twentieth century from Singapore and the first smallholder plantings were reported in West Borneo in 1903. The cultivation of rubber started with the local chieftains and spread gradually to the peasants. When the Malay leaders and well-to-do inhabitants started to sell their rubber latex to Chinese traders who had trading connections with their counterparts in Singapore, the peasant population including the Dayak people, were alerted to the fact that this was a lucrative trade and started to plant rubber on its fallow ladang rice fields. 172 Around 1905, more rubber seeds and plants were acquired and distributed by the Chinese and Malay planters which saw the first rubber plantation laid out in the residency. Throughout all the Outer islands, beginning in the 1910s, smallholder rubber production boomed and surpassed estate plantation in the late 1930s. In 1906 – 1907, the Dutch government saw the potentials in smallholder rubber cultivation and began to distribute seeds to potential growers like the Malay elites and Chinese merchants. Gradually, the Chinese settlements in West Borneo, like Singkawang, played a main role in the dissemination of the rubber cultivation. Their rubber was a whole of better quality than the rubber produced by the Dayaks and Malays.173 Due to the lack of proper tapping and cultivation techniques, the local cultivators could not afford to pay attention to the quality of their product, choosing just to concentrate on quantity. Nevertheless, by the 1910s, smallholder rubber cultivators planted by the local peoples thrived and even if they were not clean-weeded or tapped according to scientific methods, but due to its poor prices and simply by virtue of the export of its huge quantities, rubber cultivation still generated enormous revenues for the rubber regions in West Borneo. In whole, Rubber proved to be quite profitable for smallholder planters and this was true especially from 1915-1928, rubber farming quickly supplanted the gathering of forest products as a form of income for the indigenous people.174 As a result, the Chinese network of forest product collection gradually declined in importance and was replaced by the collection and trading of cash crop products. The smallholder system was characterised by its capital extensive and relatively labour intensive production techniques. Farm households required few capital goods, mainly seeds or stumps, knives and cups and an occasional oil drum for the collecting and coagulation of the latex. Rubber production required small initial investment with
J. Touwen, Extremes in the archipelago, 156-7. Ibid, 160. Somers Heidhues, 154-5.
lots of patience. The rubber tree took five to six years to mature and an even longer period before it was yielding its best.175 By 1910s and 1920s, shortly after its introduction to the residency in 1903, rubber overtook coconuts as the most important cash crop production in West Borneo residency. For instance, the share of copra in total exports declined steadily from one-half n 1911-5 to less than 20 per cent in 1936-40. Coconut was replaced by rubber which in the 1920s proved very profitable to many indigenous smallholders. In percentage, the share of rubber in total exports rose from 2% in 1911-5 to 50% in 1926-30.176 The rubber exports then underwent the familiar setback during the Depression period because of the low prices and restrictions on output. The share of rubber in total exports from this region dropped to 35 per cent in the early 1930s but rose above 75 per cent after 1935.177 Other export commodities of importance were pepper, rattan and gutta percha (the latter only before 1920). In the rubber trade, the role of Chinese intermediary traders in providing market access might have been even more important than in the copra trade. Through the credit system, the Chinese encouraged peasants to plant rubber trees. There were also many indigenous traders in the internal rubber trade, which reduced the possibility of total Chinese hegemony and its negative effects on indigenous peasants. In other words, the peasants were protected by the many links in the chain. For instance, during the rubber boom years, in the 1920s, a growing number of Malay traders were seen bringing latex from the interior to harbour towns. Transport of rubber by road was rare at that time due to shortages of road and had to be shipped by local boats like prahu and rafts along the rivers. Although rubber cultivation in the 1910s was also spread by way of hajji pilgrimage, the Chinese middlemen financed the further expansion of the rubber trade by supplying credit to the cultivators. Basically all ethnic groups in West Borneo were involved in some parts of the cultivation process, forming a huge farming population. Like most places in Indonesian archipelago, the Chinese traders were involved in the exportation of cash crops. However, like the Malay and Dayak, many Chinese especially the Hakka dialect groups were also agriculturalists. With their assistance in the process of collecting and transporting cash crops along river settlements and hinterland regions, the Chinese merchants were able to gather these products at the residency capital of Pontianak. From this port city, most of the cash crops were exported to Singapore. By 1930, West Borneo contributed
Encyclopedia van Nederlands-Indië, Leiden 1917, 437-8.
J. Thomas Lindblad, Jeroen Touwen, Changing economy in Indonesia: a selection of statistical source material from the early 19th century up to 1940, Amsterdam, 1992, 66, 67, 70, 71.
significantly to the total rubber exports in Dutch East Indies and produced over 21 per cent of the total exports. From Chinese and Borneo newspapers, for instance, Lat Po, Oetoesan Borneo and Koloniaal Verslag, we can see the most of the rubber in West Borneo was shipped to Singapore. In the statistic of 1923-37, of all the Outer Islands rubber exports, less than one percent went to Java.178 In Singapore, the rubber was milled, cleaned and processed into sheets by companies owned by prominent Chinese merchant like Tan Kah Kee. The rubber was then transported to rubber factories for more sophisticated manufacturing, or for exportation. Since millers were highly competitive and their profitability depending on a large turnover of rubber, good prices were offered to the smallholders or their agents for their unprocessed rubber.179 This is also the reason why more people in West Borneo was eager to participate in this cultivation activity, and unlike coconuts where processing firms were established at Pontianak, the rubber growers had little incentive and needed more capital to process their own rubber. Besides, the Chinese traders could also import essential food crop and luxury items like rice, tobacco, machineries and automobiles to West Borneo to meet the different demands and needs of West Borneo society. This showcases the kind of inter-ethnic relationships through economic activities and explains how the Chinese merchants dominated the economic sector of West Borneo, by creating a high degree in closeness and interdependency with their counterparts from Singapore. Drawing similarities to the indigenous trading model adopted by Dunn (1975) for British Borneo where he identifies four different groups in the trading networks. I will use Bronson‟s theory of exchange at upstream and downstream to examine the economic situation in West Borneo residency.
J. Touwen, 160.
P. J. Van der Eng, Agricultural growth in Indonesia. Productivity change and policy impact since 1880, New York/London, 1996, 213.
Model 1: Abstract model for exchange between a drainage basin centre and an Overseas power (Bronson‟s theory)180
A is the centre at the river mouth. At A, the tertiary traders were mostly Teochew Chinese. In this case, port cities or towns like Pontianak (A) and Pemangkat (A*) were engaged directly with the international market for forest and cash-crop products. B and C were the second- and third-order centres located upstream and at primary and secondary river junctions. Most Malay and Chinese (mostly Hakka) secondary traders were found along the rivers or coasts at the junction of ecological and hence trading zones. An example will the Chinese found in Tayan and Sanggau regions. At D, the primary traders were the „wandering‟ Chinese traders in small boats or Malay traders who traded the products with the indigenous collectors. They were found in areas like Boenoet or Sintang. In most cases, they bartered their items with the Chinese petty traders who exchanged these with rice or luxury commodities like cigarettes, pottery items and so on which they brought with them. At E and F, most forest-product collectors were the interior ethnic groups of Dayak.181 Looking at the geographical landscape of West Borneo, most of the agricultural activities were carried out in the coastal or river regions of West Borneo residency, where average rainfall was higher than the interior. This had allowed for irrigation of rice fields and important cash crop like coconut plantings were found along the coastal regions of West Borneo residency stretching hundreds of kilometres. As for coconut (copra), it was
B. Bronson, “Exchange at the Upstream and Downstream Ends”, 42.
Ibid. I use the model of Bronson‟s to explain how the hulu -hilir networks of West Borneo residency. The Chinese played an important role in this chain of economic network, functioning mainly as agents, collectors or petty traders in major rivers, tributaries or junctions.
relatively a „new‟ product in Dutch East Indies. Beginning its rise in the late nineteenth century, it became an important local export commodity. Most of the copra was produced in south Sulawesi, Manado, West Borneo and west Sumatra.182 Coconuts were husked and the dried copra served as a raw material for margarine and vegetable oil. The value of the coconut palm in the indigenous economy has even been called in the nickname „green gold‟. The coconut cultivation in West Borneo was an important cash crop activity, drive predominantly by Chinese and Malay communities during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. However, it was not the Chinese but the Bugis who introduced coconut cultivation into the coastal area. The Bugis who originated from Sulawesi where the main production was coconut, the development in West Borneo was probably a spillover, especially when the demand of this cash crop grew gradually. But in as early as 1870, when prosperity of the Bugis elite seemed exemplary, the Chinese begun to drive them out of the retail trade in coconuts and they were growing the crop. Like the Bugis, the Chinese were skilful in implementing draining and irrigation techniques, preparing the land for the growing of coconut palms. Other Malay inhabitants quickly imitated this initiative and started producing copra as well. Since 1880s, coconuts from West Borneo was mostly processed in Singapore, but the process later reversed; by 1889, two coconut oil factories started their operations in Pontianak, until 1910, they were the only such factories operating in the Indies. Records showed that these two companies were Chinese-owned; Maatschappij. voorheen Hemmes & Co. Oliefabriek Karadjinan owned by Lhaij A sin in 1888 and Oliefabriek Wilhelmina owned by Theng Seng Hie.183 In mid 1919, the N.V. Oliefabrieken Insulinde, a Dutch investment firm, started to challenge the monopoly of the Chinese firms both in exporting and processing of coconut oil. By exporting their copra to their main factory in Java, the company set up a branch office in Pontianak to facilitate their business activities and to better service its agent and collectors in West Borneo. Shortly after, in the Memorie van Overgave, it was reported that the two oil-manufacturing factories in Pontianak were no longer in operation a few months by 1919, as it was believed that the company suffered losses.184 It is not sure whether the coming of the Dutch investment firm led to the shutting down of the two Chinese companies related to coconut oil production as the coconut oil produced by the Chinese firms was noted for their poor quality.185 However, from this example, we can see that there was some form of competition from the Dutch owned company who tried to divert the Singapore-Pontianak trading networks dominated by the Chinese to the Java sea route. This was seen as a clear attempt to bring the Outer islands regions closer
Ozinga, 45. J.C.F. Van Sandick and Van Marle, Deel III, 183. MvO, K.A.James, 12-3. See section on “Handel”.
S. T. Sulistiyono, The Java Sea Network: Patterns in the development of interregional shipping and trade in the process of National Economic Integration in Indonesia, 1870s-1970s, Leiden, 2003, 181.
to Batavia, and the colonial authorities saw it as an economic opportunity by opening up the Outer islands for world trade which brought about a process of not only political intervention but economic intensity in the region. Nevertheless, West Borneo and Belitung‟s shipping and trade activities proved to be connecting primarily with Singapore rather than with Java.186 However, to a large extent, foreign investors were less interested in the coconut cultivation compared to rubber, due to the lower revenues collected, international demands and other substitute products like oil palm. Ozinga also explained that coconuts were produced mainly along the coast and did not contribute to the level of income in the interior, while rubber cultivation was much greater, with cultivation spreading over larger areas in the interior as well.187 Nevertheless, coconut remains an important commodity serving the needs of the regional market. In the Koloniaal Verslag, unlike other cash crops like gambier or pepper, the revenue takings from the coconut cultivation were tabulated annually that showed the importance of this industry in West Borneo residency. Along with rubber cultivation, these two cash crops were the backbone of West Borneo .economy and colonial government throughout the period of 1890-1930. In this case, the Chinese economic and shipping networks in the upstream regions of West Borneo played an important role in the economic activities of the indigenous population living there. More Chinese, Dayak and Malay cultivators were engaged in cash crops cultivation which indirectly led to a decline in the forest product collection. After the outbreak of the world economic depression in 1929, like other places in Indonesian archipelago, the economy of West Borneo residency suffered badly, cash crop prices declined sharply due to the low demand in the global market. 3.3 Rice cultivation, irrigation projects, shortages and import of rice supplies For the cultivation of rice, most of the planters in West Borneo practiced swidden agriculture method. Harvesting was every once or twice per annum and output largely depended on the weather conditions, in especially rainfall. In terms of Ethnic groups, the Dayak living in the interior performed mainly swidden cultivation with the exception in Mempawah and Mejoeke regions where sawah or wet-rice cultivations were carried out.188 Sawahs tended by the Malays were also found on Tanjong Saleh Island, with other indigenous rice fields found in Sambas and Mempawah.189 However due to the expansion of coconut cultivation along the coastal regions, the wetlands used for rice cultivation had
Ibid. J. Ozinga, De Economische ontwikkeling der Westerafdeeling van Borneo , 120. Van Sandick, Verslag eener Spoorwegverkenning Deel II, 139-140. Ibid.
gradually decreased. 190 For the Chinese rice cultivators, they practiced mainly rain sawahs, even though some had tried to direct the freshwater from the river to irrigate the lands besides the river bank depending on the local geographical landscape. One of these successful regions was Bengkayang. As we can see, suitable lands for sawah cultivation were to a large extent under the ownerships of Malay and Chinese cultivators who had both the capital and techniques to carry our irrigation projects for their food crops. There were also reports that Dayaks in Sintang region tried to adopt wet rice cultivation but due to the lack of knowledge in irrigation and capital, the plan was abandoned.191 In around 1910s or even earlier, it appeared that the Dayaks in Mempawah and Mejoeke regions had learnt the technique of irrigation though. Looking at the map of Borneo northwest coast, the majority of the people living outside these two regions were mainly Malays with some Chinese settlements. Therefore, it was likely that some Malay elites or Chinese merchants had provided some forms of agricultural or even financial assistance to the Dayaks to boost rice cultivation, especially in terms of food shortage. Even with the increase in sawah paddy fields, and financial support from the Dutch colonial government in providing irrigation techniques, rice cultivation in West Borneo residency was still frequently marred with poor harvest. This had resulted in an insufficient supply of rice to feed the total population. Rice shortage had always been a chronic problem for West Borneo and other Outer islands for centuries. This phenomenon was reflected in several colonial reports such as Koloniaal Verslag and Memorie Van Overgave during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. With the increase in population, especially with Chinese migrants in the 1910s and 1920s, shortages in rice remained a constant threat to the livelihood of local population. In the region of Sambas, due to the failure in rice harvest in 1884, imported rice from Sarawak, the Natuna islands and Singapore were sent to West Borneo, totalling 12,055 pikols of rice. Failure in the rice harvest was due mainly due to pest invasion, caused by insects, and mice or a long duration of dry season. Besides, it was reported for the first time that Saigon rice was introduced into the residency and an additional of 22,490 pikols were sent to the residency.192 In 1889, rice harvest and output was again unsatisfactory. There were even reports stating that river overflowing caused mass destruction to the sawah. Again wild pigs, field rats, and insects caused damages to the crops. On behalf of the self-governing regions of Mampawah and Landak, the Dutch colonial government in Pontianak helped to import rice to feed the hungry population.
MvO, J. H. van Driessche, 1908-1912, 40-1. MvO, K.A. James, 8. KV (1885), 17-9.
From Singapore, about 50,000 pikols of Siamese rice were imported.193 In 1894, West Borneo‟s rice output was also described as especially bad.194 In the interval of every five years, we can see that the West Borneo always faced shortages of rice throughout the period of late nineteenth century. Shortages in rice outputs persisted till the beginning of the twentieth century. However, a slight change in attitudes towards rice cultivation could be seen from the period 1918-21. Due to the poor harvest of rice in the year 1918 ad partly in 1919, coupled with sudden increase in the price of imported rice to approximately f. 43-5 for the best quality and f. 31-3 for a lower quality, the cultivation of rice in West Borneo and other secondary food crops were strongly accepted in, especially as a mean of livelihood and income. As a result, the rice harvest of 1920 turned out to be very good and the people in most regions were able to have a stable food supplies. Prices of rice fell to f. 8, f.12 and f.15 per pikol depending on the quality.195 Nevertheless, in the larger cities like Pontianak, the local people and planters involving in coconut and rubber plantations were still dependent on overseas rice. This phenomenon tells us that even when the harvest of rice was good, the more urbanised regions in West Borneo residency were still dependent on imported rice. The emergence of a group of peasants who concentrated their agricultural activities in the more lucrative cultivation of cash crops like rubber and coconut was the primary factor in the continuation of rice importing. However, it was not known whether the Dutch colonial government imported rice to solve the food shortages faced by the residency directly or perhaps through the Chinese merchants or middlemen who had close business relationships with their counterparts in Singapore, Siam and Saigon. In the twentieth century, poor harvests in the interior and a concentration on the production of export goods rendered wide areas of the region dependent on imported rice. With the Chinese traders living close to local population, their economic networks had extended to entrepots like Singapore, where both essentials like rice and non-essential consumer products like automobiles, cigarettes, machineries could be purchased. During the years 1926-37, the residency imported almost as much rice as Bangka, even though on Bangka, most of the tin mining coolies were dependent on rice imports and in West Borneo there was very little European enterprise. Many Chinese trading houses in Pontianak were converted and concentrated almost solely on the import of rice. Likewise, local alluvial gold washed from the river was also brought by Chinese merchants, even though their prices were often reported to be lower than those of the Java Bank. Despite their economic networks in West Borneo, which Chinese traders expanded their contacts
KV (1890), 14-5. KV (1895), 20. MvO, K. A. James, 8.
in the interior, many of the traders who went up the rivers to trade with the Dayak were Malays. Besides, the main food crop, the Dayak also cultivated sweet potatoes, sweet corns and these crops were usually eaten as secondary food crops if rice production were insufficient. Ozinga noted in 1940 that the presence of a Chinese trading network in the interior saved the Dayak from being forced to resort to other secondary food crops if the local rice harvest failed. The credit system provided by the Chinese traders and moneylenders enabled them to obtain rice from the Chinese shop. As noted by Tagliacozzo, items like guns, unfarmed opium, human trafficking for instance prostitutes and slaves that were often demarcated by the colonial authorities as illegal or contraband, as well as other commodities such as valuable stones and minerals, pepper, porcelain and even bulk shipments of rice which West Borneo residency required were also listed as illegal due to reason that the Chinese merchants tried to escape from the taxes imposed on these imported products.196 3.4 Credit system versus banking institutions With the introduction of ethical policy in 1900 by the Dutch colonial government, there was an attempt to improve the living conditions of the Malay and Dayak population while at the same time narrowing the gap in wealth between Chinese and indigenous people. One of the most interesting examples that illustrates this economic competition between Dutch colonial government and Chinese merchants is the credit payment system or commonly known as money lending. To counter the „unhealthy‟ financial burden that the Chinese brought about to the indigenous population, the Dutch colonial government transferred adequate funds from Batavia and also encouraged the establishment of branches of the Java Bank in important cities like Pontianak (1905), Sambas and Singkawang. The main aim was to minimise the economic reliance between the Chinese and other ethnic groups in West Borneo. From many of the colonial reports, we can see that the Chinese moneylenders or credit system in West Borneo was seen as a mean of monopolising the local economy, by means of charging high interests and taking over the indigenous property, for instance land, cash crops and houses. As coconut and rubber cultivation were booming industry and many traders located themselves in the trading centres along the coasts of Pontianak, Singkawang and Pemangkat, the Chinese, Bugis and Malay often carried out their agricultural activities with the financial credit or advances from moneylenders dominated by the Chinese. After harvesting, the moneylenders were allowed to collect some proceeds or interests in kind from the peasants. In some circumstances, the farmers even
E. Tagliacozzo, Secret Trades, Porous Borders, 5.
had to sell their harvest to the moneylender at an agreed price or at market price after deducting the interests required. As money and expenditure in the rural agricultural regions were highly seasonal in nature, the peasants needed money to survive on their daily needs. This was especially the case for regions in which the cultivation of palawija (mainly maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts and soybeans) had not yet led to a greater proliferation of money incomes. The budget surveys had moreover revealed that after the provision of basic living requirements and the payment of taxes, very little money was left over for building up reserves, or for capital formation. This is to the extent that there were no savings in money and hence no capital among the majority of the population. Most of their savings were in kind, in form of cattle, trinkets, land and also rice. The major drawback of such indigenous credit was the exceptionally high rate of interest. On the demand side, some of common factors were usually due to urgent necessity from time to time, the marked tendency of underestimating future needs and commitments and the community‟s lack of familiarity with monetary matters. On the other side, the Chinese moneylenders had to face with high costs associated with smallscale credit and the rather risky nature of the collateral, where prices fluctuated or even depreciated over time. Meanwhile, after 1900, there were only sporadic instances of peonage. The basis for a centrally organised credit system serving the interests of the indigenous community was laid by a civil servant and agricultural specialists, W.P.D De Wolff van Westerrode (1857-1904). In 1904, the Volkskredietwezen (Government Credit System) was established and assumed official responsibility of giving credits to the local people. From its inception, we can see that the main objectives of this system were to provide provision of cheap credit to the indigenous community, on condition however that the expenses be kept to a minimum, the encouragement of greater productivity among the indigenous community by tapping the idle production potential. In May 1917, the Dutch government established a credit bank branch in Pontianak. The “Volkscreditbank Pontianak” (People‟s credit bank) was set up to solve the problems of money lending and this bank was connected to the central fund in Batavia. By October 1917, it was ready to accept its first customer. However, the limited attempts of the Dutch to improve the situation with a credit bank offered no real alternative to the Chinese as chief traders and moneylenders.197 By April 1918, the amount of money lent out amounted to f. 100, 000 and there were doubts over the repayment of debts by the lender as they might not be familiar with the administrations and rule lay down by the bank. Moreover, the bank had little interaction with the high society in West Borneo. Another major problem that the banking system faced was that its influence was limited only to a section of Pontianak
Uljée, Handboek 88, 91, 94-5.
while the rest of West Borneo was still inaccessible. Along the Kapuas River for instance, due to long distances and transport reasons, the population due to emergency reasons, still borrow from the Chinese moneylenders. In fact, the local people trusted the Chinese more than the credit system established by the Dutch. I believe that it was mainly due to the fact that most indigenous people preferred to pay the Chinese in kind and not money which may not be available and common throughout the entire residency. Secondly, even though branches were set up later in regions outside Pontianak, the distance that the local had to travel to borrow money from the Java Bank was too much. Transportation in West Borneo was not too accessible throughout the residency. Last but not least, the amount of money which most indigenous people wanted to borrow was little or petty in amounts. They usually needed the money for basic needs to buy food or commodities which the Bank could not borrow them. The Java Bank also faced problems that it was the rich Chinese and Malay elites who qualified to loan money from them, reflecting the same problem faced by the Dutch authorities in Java as well. 3.5 Other Dutch colonial measures: The extension of KPM shipping networks, coinage purges and closure of revenue „farms‟ in West Borneo residency Besides the economic developments and competition in cash crop cultivation and credit services, Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij or otherwise known as KPM (18881967) was a major Dutch shipping company that maintained the sea connections between the islands of Indonesia. During the early twentieth century, the Dutch invested in KPM and took steps to block the developments of a Chinese monopoly in the archipelago rubber trade. Lining for competition, the company at first lowered freight prices to attract rubber exports by Malay traders to Singapore. When this did not produce the desired effect, it made further efforts to mediate between Malay traders and purchasers in Singapore so that these two parties came into contact without the intervention of Chinese middlemen. Advances of up to 70 per cent of the freight value were given to targeted traders, and Singapore agents were offered a free return journey to Singapore. Eventually in 1926, KPM started to transport 30 per cent or more rubber exported from West Borneo to Singapore. In 1928, the state owned KPM ships bound for Singapore departed from Pontianak once every four days, while ships bound for Batavia were scheduled for departure only once every two weeks, a reflection of the relative importance of the two metropolis.198 Smaller ships and boats, probably hundreds of them, complemented the steamer traffic. In the 1920s, letters to Europe were routed via Singapore, not Batavia, while a steamship ticket to Singapore was cheaper than one to Batavia, even though the travelling time was about the same.199 Many Chinese transferred their profits or savings
Van Sandick and van Marle, Verslag eener spoorwegverkenning in noordwest-Borneo, 1919, part 2, 200.
to Singapore; these transfers balanced the trade surplus in commodities that the residency accumulated through exports. Some of this money was probably remitted to China. Apart from the gradual transition from barter to a money economy in many parts of Indonesia, the coinage system was laid down by several coinage acts by the Dutch colonial government during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This was to strengthen and unite the economy of Outer islands with Batavia. In West Borneo, the currency which predominate the residency was the coinage system of the Straits Settlements, in which the standard coin was the Straits dollar. Basically, the Straits dollars held practical sway in a wide band of territories around Singapore, including the east coast of Sumatra, Riau Archipelago and the western part of Borneo. After 1872, the value of this silver dollar fell in line with the decline in the price of silver which led the Netherlands-Indian guilders, with their guaranteed gold value to be able to win ground from the commonly-used Straits dollar in West Borneo. This national uniformity of the coinage system should be regarded as a significant move from both a legal and an economic point of view. Before the Coinage Act of 1854 came into force, there was very little evidence of any such unity in Netherlands Indies. However, it also showed that the close economic relationships between Singapore and West Borneo. In 1930, when the purges had been completed according to plan, there remained only one „unpurged‟ region, namely the Riau Archipelago and the Bengkalis division in the vicinity of Singapore. In view of the active trade and market traffic with the Straits Settlements, the Straits coins were allowed to remain in circulations. These areas moreover fell outside the Netherlands-Indian toll area, so that it would have been difficult to check the extent to which regulations had been observed. Table 10: Coin purge in West Borneo200 Date of Statute book Region completion reference Coin concerned Actually converted
Staatsblad van West Borneo NederlandschIndie. IS 1906, 3 and 4
Straits dollars 1 million including derivative small change
Uljée, Handboek, 129, 133. KPM offered special rates for travel from the West coast to Singapore, probably to compete with the Chinese shipping, as it would be harder to divert the economy from Singapore to Batavia. During the emergencies of 1880s, Resident Kater had to telegraph Batavia via Singapore.
KV (1907), 230.
Throughout the Indies, the Dutch colonial government had also maintained revenue “farms” which functioned as commercial monopolies, administered by agents who shared in the profits – for important taxable commodities (pigs, opium) or commercial activities (gambling). By cooperating with the farmers who were usually Dutch-appointed Chinese officers, the revenue farms were granted de facto monopolies over certain enterprises and who organised and directed these enterprises. From there, the colonial government earned substantial sums for the colonial treasury. In West Borneo, the most lucrative farms were located in areas where many Chinese lived, and one of the most important commodities was opium. During the late nineteenth century, the Pontianak opium farm was the most valuable of the farms in the region because its urban labourers were also opium users. However, with a Chinese population of more settled farmers and traders, as opposed to the bachelor gold miners, the demand for opium gradually decreased. In 1901 for instance, the West Borneo farm was rented for f98, 040 as compared to the smaller territories of Bangka (f279, 924) and Belitung (f.168, 000) islands, each of which contained some twenty thousand Chinese tin miners who worked for the western tin mining companies.201 In 1909, the farming system in West Borneo residency was finally replaced by an official government monopoly (opium regie) that controlled the sale of opium throughout the residency.202
KV (1901): Appendix FF.
P. M. Van Meteren Brouwer, “De geschiedenis der Chineesche Districten der WesterAfdeeling van Borneo van 1740-1926,” Indische Gids 49,2 (1927): 1096.
This paper has so far studied the Chinese community of West Borneo residency, their socio-economic networks and the economic developments in the residency during the period 1880s-1930. The extension of the Chinese community, from the coastal to hinterland became widespread during this period and is discussed using case studies of Pontianak and Sintang districts. From the analysis of the Chinese distribution in the residency, we can also see that the various Chinese dialect groups, i.e. Teochew and Hakka lived in different regions in the residency. In a way, they had also dominated the different socio-economic networks which I have discussed; for instance, the Teochew lived in the urban cities in Pontianak and had strong economic links with their counterparts in Singapore and Siam. While, Buddhist temples were also built by Singapore-born religious leaders in Pontianak who were also from the Teochew speaking community. In the interiors, most of the Chinese were from the Hakka-dialect group and dominated the rural-urban forest collection networks and trading activities like transportation of cash crop products, i.e. rubber, coconut and salted fish to the larger Chinese settlements in the region or to the coastal cities. Most of the Chinese found in Sintang districts were Hakka and worked mostly as petty traders, collectors and gold miners during this period. The Dutch colonial government also attempted to extend formal rule over most regions in the residency during the late nineteenth century. As we can see from the political events and colonial expansion, the Dutch with their limited manpower and military equipments succeeded to control the coastal regions of West Borneo, while penetrating into the interior was met with some success only during the twentieth century. Problems with the Chinese in West Borneo persisted and resulted in fierce resistance in 1914 around the regions of Sambas and Mempawah. Even though most of the Chinese rebels were finally arrested and sentenced to death by the Dutch authorities, the main leader and underground Chinese networks between West Borneo-Sarawak-Singapore continued to harass the colonial authority in West Borneo. Such regional networks also showed that Chinese socio-cultural networks were connected with economic ones. Nevertheless, the biggest problem laid in the economic activities and developments of West Borneo residency. This was especially so when smallholder coconut and rubber cultivation continued to dominate West Borneo‟s agricultural scene and economy. Facing the problems of limited private investments coming to West Borneo residency, most of the revenue collected by the Dutch authorities was actually from the import and export duties in trading and shipping activities. Likewise, a large sum came from the corporate tax, revenue farming taxes which the Chinese population was required to pay. However, problems of smuggling contraband items like firearms, opium and even salt continued to impact the official trade. It has thought that many of these smuggling activities were
conducted by the Chinese peoples living near the border with Sarawak or Chinese with social or commercial networks with Singapore. From the discussion of Chinese secret societies, we can see that such social institution played an important role in the Chinese community. However, illegal trade and smuggling activities continued to compete with the authorities‟ aims in economic expansion and developments in the residency. As we can see from my examples given in Chinese secret societies and Tagliacozzo (2005), smuggling of opium and firearms remained common at the frontiers of the British and Dutch colonies that to some extent, the Dutch government attempted to wean the residency from its economic dependency on the British colony of Singapore, i.e. coin purges, KPM shipping lines and Javasche Bank. This means challenging directly with the Chinese networks and Chinese credit services but to a large extent it was not very successful. West Borneo‟s economy had changed dramatically in the years since the Chinese gold mining period. From a subsistence economy with small sectors engaged in mining or the export of natural products, it had transformed into an exporter of forest products, and subsequently a smallholder economy with coconut and rubber as its major exports. The exploitation of forest products proved unsustainable; but by then the Chinese and Malay traders had established a well-connected upstream-downstream (ulu-hilir) networks which became important during the expansion and gathering of cash crop cultivation. By the 1940s, only people in remote, mountainous areas still collected resins and native rubbers for sale.203 The cultivation of coconuts and rubber quickly provided cash incomes for much of the population. The high prices in the 1920s brought prosperity to the residency; while the Depression later on brought economic misery. As we can see, the Chinese played a major role in West Borneo economy. In their efforts, they were assisted by Bugis (in the case of coconut production) and of course by the native producers and consumers themselves. 204 West Borneo proved inhospitable for European capital; investments came instead from Asian sources, with the exception of Borsumij (Borneo Sumatra Maatschappij, The Borneo-Sumatra Company), which was established in Pontianak as an importer in 1901. Another import house, Geo.Wehry, set up a branch there in 1925. A number of Chinese trading houses, however, had established a presence in West Borneo before the turn of the century. KPM also faced a major Chinese competitor, Thong-Ek, on the route to Singapore, as well as the Straits Steamship Company (British).205
General Memorandum, Bengkayang, M. Waisvisz, July 12, 1928-May 20, 1941, 287.
Ibid. An activity that was increasing in importance was the timber industry. Its resources, especially of Belian (ironwood), were highly sought after.
Uljée, 88, 91, 94-5.
The emergence of secret societies is not related to the political deprivation of Chinese immigrants, but to the inadequacy of legal protection given to them. The operation of the kapitain system of rule and the heterogeneity of Chinese dialect groups, reflect the inadequate protection given to the Chinese immigrants in especially nineteenth century West Borneo. Therefore, when legal protection, in the form of “Chinese nationalism” or better colonial governance was substantially improved or enforced, local Chinese secret societies would become less active or remain dormant. Lastly, this paper has also achieved the aim of analyzing some factors which explained how the Chinese maintained a high level of Chinese-ness and dominated the economic sector in the residency. This is carried out through the discussion of Chinese socio-cultural and historical developments back in southeast China. Chinese socioeconomic institutions, religious-cult beliefs, ancestral worship, pseudo-lineage system are discussed to highlight the unique Chinese cultural practices that enabled the Chinese in West Borneo to remain closely connected. While the Dutch had the support from the Malay Sultans usually in the forms of military cooperation against the rebellious Chinese and their Dayak allies, the colonial government understood the importance of Chinese economic networks, such as the importation of rice and other necessary food and commodities products from Singapore to West Borneo residency. Even through, the Chinese were sometimes seen as „greedy‟ and ruthless by putting the indigenous people in debts. The Chinese helped in some ways in the expansion of cash crop cultivation like coconut and especially rubber in the interiors, knowledge of sawah irrigation techniques was also transferred from Chinese farmers to Dayak and Malay peasants. To a large extent, the Chinese rural-urban networks in West Borneo were important in alleviating the low living standard of the indigenous people and they had also introduced modern monetary system into the areas, besides the still practiced barter trade. In conclusion, even though direct or formal rule over the entire residency was achieved more or less by 1930, the Dutch authorities depended largely on local indigenous elites and appointed Chinese officials to rule this residency. For economic developments, the Chinese community and their networks continued to play an important role in West Borneo. This thesis has examined the existing trading networks with the regional Chinese communities which assisted the West Borneo Chinese to maintain their fair share of economic dominance and socio-cultural autonomy.
Appendix English-Chinese translation Ban Shan Ke (“half-Hakka, half Hoklo”) Baosheng Dadi Bendi, Bendi， Pun-de (Cantonese) Cai (chua) Cantonese (M: Guangzhou ren) Capgomeh (M: shi wu wan) Changle Chao‟an Chenghai Conghua Dagang kongsi (Thaikong kongsi) Dapu Fengshan si Fengshun Fosjoen zongting (M: Heshun zongting) Ghee Hin/Ghee Heng (M: Yi Xing) Guandiye, Kwan-ye Guangze Zunwang Guangzhou Guishan Haifeng Hainanese (people from island of Hainan) Han river Hakka (M: Kejia) Hepo Heshun zongting Heyuan Hockchew （M: Fuzhou） Hokkien (M: Fujian) Hoklo (M: Fu Lao), refers to Teochew Hoklo-jie Hoklo-nan Hoklo-po Huang (Oei, Oey, Ng, Wie / Bong, Wong) Hui 半山客 保生大帝 本地 蔡 廣州人 十五晚 长乐 潮安 澄海 从化 大港公司 大埔 凤山寺 丰顺 和顺总廰 義興 关帝爷 廣泽尊王 廣州 归善 海丰 海南 韩江 客家 河婆 和顺總聽 河源 福州 福建 福佬 福佬街 福佬 土南 福佬埔 黄 会
Huiguan Huilai Huiyang Jiaoling Jiayingzhou Jieyang Lan-Fong kongsi (M: Lanfang gongsi) Laothai (M: Lao da) Li (Li, Lie, Lee) Lin Zhao En Lintian Kongsi Lijia Liu (Lau, Lauw) Liu A-Seng Lo Fong Pak (M: Luo Fang Bo) Longchuan Lufeng Kapitan (M: Jia bi dan) Kapthai (M: Jia da) Kapthjong (M: Jia zhang) Kongsi (M: Gongsi) Kongsi Si Fo (M: Gong si si fen) Kuomintang (M: Guomindang) Majoor, Major (M: Ma Yao) Mazu Meixian Min-nan Nanyang Ngee Hin (M: Yi Xing) Panyu Pingyuan Pudu Puning Putian Po-lo, P‟o-li, Po-ni, Ye-po-ti Qing- Ming festival Sanjiao Heyi
会馆 惠来 惠阳 焦岭 嘉应州 揭阳， 揭邑 籣芳公司 (佬)老大 李 林兆恩 霖田公司 里甲 刘 刘亚（阿）生 罗芳伯 龙川 陆丰 甲必丹 甲大 家长 公司 四分公司 國民党 马腰 妈祖 梅县 闽南 南洋 義興 番禺 平远 普渡 普宁 莆田 婆罗，婆黎（？）， 婆尼，耶婆提 清明时节 三教合一
Sanshan Guowang (Sam-Bong Jak or Sanwang ye) Shuangzhongye Siang Hwe (M: Shang Hui) Sinkeh (M: Xin Ke) Soe Po Sha (M: Shu Bao She) Soen Cap Sen Tan Kah Kee (M: Chen Jia geng) Thaikong/Ta-kang (M: Da-gang) Thong-Ek （M: Tong yi） Teochew (M: Chaozhou) Tong Bing Hwe (M: Tong Meng Hui) Towkays (M: Tou Jia) Tiong Hoa Hwe Koan (M: Zhonghua Huiguan) Toa Peh Kong, Thay Pak Kong (M: Da Bo Gong) Towkays (M: Tou Jia) Wengyuan Wu hua Wu Yi Xin Xian (counties) Xingning Xuantian Shangdi Zeng （Tjan） Zhang (Tio, Thio, Teo, Theo) Zhenping Zijin Zongting
三山国王 双忠爷 商會 新客 書报社 孙合生？ 陈嘉庚 大港 统一（？） 潮州 同盟會 头家 中華會舘 大伯公 头家 翁源 五华 吴益興 县 興宁 玄天上帝 曾 张 镇平 紫金 總聽
Bibliography Archival materials: Memorandum of transfer (in Dutch: Memorie van Overgave, MvO) is a document prepared by a colonial official usually the position of Resident or above, leaving office for his successor. Inventories van de Memories van Overgave (inventory of the memoranda of transfer), 1849-1962, Inventory number 2.10. 39, the section on Westerafdeeling Borneo. These archives are identified as MMK (Ministerie van Kolonïen, Ministry of Colonies) numbers 260-265 (in this thesis, 260-262 are used). This collection has been consolidated into microfisches. Memorie van Overgave, J. H. Van Driessche (1908-1912), ARA 2.10.39 MvO MMK: 260. Memorie van Overgave, H. de Vogel Mhzn (1912-1918), ARA 1.10.39 MvO MMK: 261. Memorie van Overgave, K. A. James (1918-1921), ARA 2.10.39 MvO MMK: 262. General Memorandum, Bengkayang, M. Waisvisz, July 12, 1928-May 20, 1941. KV: Koloniaal Verslag (1885, 1890, 1895, 1900, 1901, 1905, 1907, 1910, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930); Koloniaal Verslag 1891 (Bijlage, Verslag der Hanndelingen van de StatenGeneraal), Appendix, Minutes of the Estates-General title varies, 1866-1923. Regeringsalamanak voor Nederlandsch-Indie (1902): 255-257; Regeringsalamanak voor Nederlandsch-Indie (1922): 655-656. Political Report for 1856, ANRI BW 1/7 (214). Treaty Series, No.11, 1892, Convention between Great Britain and The Netherlands defining boundaries in Borneo, signed in London on May 11, 1892. London: Printed for Her Majesty‟s Stationery Office, Harrison and Sons, St. Matin‟s Lane. Bibliographies, Atlas and Encyclopedie: Avé J. B., King V. T., De Wit. Joke G.W, West Kalimantan: A Bibliography, Foris Publication, Leiden, 1983. J. Paulus. Encyplopaedië van Nederlandsch-Oost Indië, Vol. I, II & III, Leiden: ´SGravenhage, 1917. The Times: Comprehensive Atlas of the World. Times books: London 12th edition 2007.
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