Historian talks cock about Raffles

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

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


Raffles’s career

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

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

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

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

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How can anyone make such a silly mistake?

That anyone isn’t an FT ST newbie.

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

He is also

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

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

More on him.

KWA CHONG GUAN
Adjunct Associate Professor (Honorary)
Department of History
National University of Singapore

[ LINK ]

 

Cynical Investor

Cynical Investor blogs at Thoughts of a Cynical Investor.

 

 

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12 Responses to “Historian talks cock about Raffles”

  • patriot of Temesak:

    The only TRUE no Fake political Historian today is PJ Thum…the rest are just simply CONDITIONED Idiots being paid by the Fiddler for their TUNES!!!

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  • Bapak:

    CI, thanks for bringing this out. It show the standard of our Higher Institution is rotting by the day.

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  • boh lum phar chee:

    mr kwa…hmmm…any relation to the “exceptional” KWA family (wink! wink!)

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  • Izzit:

    A member of Pinky’s mother’s extended family.

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  • rukidding:

    At first you write an article on Raffles to celebrate ?…..then now you write an article saying historian talk cock ????

    I wonder who is “talking cock” ???

    More like yourself ?….isn’t it ???

    Bloody waste of everybody’s time and energy !!!

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  • I'm Halimah also Jiak Liao Bee:

    All in the famiLEE.
    You have the KFC son in law as the NUS Law faculty Dean, Kwa Chong Seng LKY’s wife’s bro sitting on most GLC Boards, and you have this dud this Kwa employed in these public Institution.
    Don’t be surprised he’ll say he was misquoted by the Shit Times reporter.

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  • Great Asia:

    The Malay, Indian, Banana Singaporeans, the Lee family and other angmoh worshipers can worship Sir Stamford Raffles and PAP’s angmoh papa, but not the Great Asia. For me, Raffles and other invaders from the colonial powers are criminals who committed crime against humanity.

    Ha ha ha!

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  • HarderTruths:

    Another fake scholar.

    The object is to ridicule our real founder using untruths and unsubstantited claims and then go on to extol the virtues of his paymasters who obviously made $G what it is today.

    In my schooldays he would get an F and sit outside the classroom door during recess.

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  • LIONS:

    So,who is FATHER OF SG?
    Raffles or his “beneficiary”?

    Sg n sgs benefitted from Raffles’ wisdom n FORESIGHT N Raffles should therefore be FATHER OF SG.

    History must be respected if we are FIRST WORLD on record???

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  • Bapak:

    Unfortunately, this D1 mentality is never follow history. Discards all history for one’s benefit. Even his old man’s wish also want to change. Such character is not only dishonorable, but unfilial too. How can our country has such kind as PM?

    LIONS:
    So,who is FATHER OF SG?
    Raffles or his “beneficiary”?

    Sg n sgs benefitted from Raffles’ wisdom n FORESIGHT N Raffles should therefore be FATHER OF SG.

    History must be respected if we are FIRST WORLD on record???

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  • No Kidding Man!:

    Can anyone post a link to the Friday article that Kwa wrote? Not all of us even bother to read or subscribe to ST propaganda papers anymore. Thanks!

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  • NTU fake:

    What is this chap Kwa Chong Guan doing/hiding/taking a refuge in NTU?

    Who gave him employment there?

    What are his contributions to NTU?

    Can we take his writings seriously?

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