Bordering Malaya's 'Benighted Lands': Frontiers of Race and Colonialism on the Malay Peninsula, 1887-1902

Amrita Malhi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationChallenging Cosmopolitanism Coercion, Mobility and Displacement in Islamic Asia
    Editors Gedacht, J& Feener, R.M
    Place of PublicationEdinburgh
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4744-3509-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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