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Challenging CosmopolitanismCoercion, Mobility and Displacement in Islamic Asia$
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Joshua Gedacht and R. Michael Feener

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474435093

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474435093.001.0001

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Bordering Malaya’s ‘Benighted Lands’: Frontiers of Race and Colonialism on the Malay Peninsula, 1887–1902

Bordering Malaya’s ‘Benighted Lands’: Frontiers of Race and Colonialism on the Malay Peninsula, 1887–1902

Chapter:
(p.203) 8 Bordering Malaya’s ‘Benighted Lands’: Frontiers of Race and Colonialism on the Malay Peninsula, 1887–1902
Source:
Challenging Cosmopolitanism
Author(s):

Amrita Malhi

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474435093.003.0008

From 1891 to 1895, the Pahang War disrupted Britain’s enclosure of territory on the Malay Peninsula. Fought in response to an uprising by up to 700 rebels in Pahang, the war was not only a means for controlling damage to British interests but also an arena for a subtle, geopolitical contest between Britain and Siam for the Siamese tributaries, including Kelantan and Terengganu. During this period Terengganu, sheltered by legal and territorial constructs that kept the Siamese frontier open until 1902, was becoming a hub for perang sabil (‘holy war’) against British and Siamese ‘competitive colonialisms’. Known to be providing discursive, human, and other political resources to the Pahang rebels, Terengganu came to be portrayed as a ‘wild’ and ‘benighted’ place by Pahang’s British Resident Hugh Clifford, an important broker of the colonial race-thinking deployed as a means for controlling and taming the frontier.

Keywords:   Siam, Malay Peninsula, British Imperialism, borderlands, frontier, race

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