When Europe first started discovering and exploring new lands, the Malay Peninsula also found itself in these Western powers’ sights. The Malay Peninsula was first occupied by foreign powers when the Portuguese defeated the Melaka kingdom in 1511. Malaysia was once a colonized land and known as Malaya back then. Malaysia is one of the Commonwealth countries, which means Malaysia was one of the British colonies. The British was another Western power eyeing the riches of the Malay Peninsula. Malaya was occupied by the British in 1824-1957. As did other foreign powers, the British wanted to control the economic riches of the land. Therefore, in the early stages of their entry to the Malay Peninsula, the British were driven by desire for natural resources and economic factors. However, that desire to maintain economic control led to political interference in the Malay Peninsula. History, the British became active in the area in the 18th century, partly because they sought trade, but also to check French power in the Indian Ocean. The sultan of Kedah, looking for help against the Siamese, leased the island of Pinang to the English East India Company in 1786, and Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, a company administrator, founded Singapore in 1819. Under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, Britain secured Malacca from the Dutch and in return relinquished its claims to Sumatra and nearby smaller islands. Singapore, Pinang, and Malacca (which collectively became the Straits Settlements in 1826) were then administered by Britain.
The first piece of Malayan territory to become a British possession was Penang, an island off the west coast. This event took place in 1786. It was followed by the occupation of Singapore, at the hands of Stamford Raffles, in 1819. Malacca, taken temporarily from the Dutch by Britain in 1825. In this way, the three colonies which were later to form the Straits Settlements werw all in the possession of Britain by the 1820s. However, it was not until a half century later that Britain began to exert territorial control over the Malay states. In 1874, Britain made the three tin producing states on the west coast of Malaya her protectorates, and with these as a foothold, steadily expanded her political control over the entire area that was later to be called British Malaya.
Residential system is the system of governing with assistance from a Resident. Generally, the resident advised the Sultan on all matters except those to do with Malay customs or religion. In theory, the Resident was supposed to only advise the Sultan on government matters. In practice, the Resident governed in the name of the Sultan.
There are many role of the Resident .First, sultans should consult Residents on all matters except those to do with Malay customs or religion. Second, they should advise on the collection and control of revenue. Third, responsible for setting up systems for more efficient collection of the state’s revenue. Fourth , encourage economic growth in the state to create maximum wealth. Last role of the Resident is to restore and maintain peace in the state.
Residential system in Perak, J.W.W Birch who is the Perak’s 1st Resident in November 1874. He made changes in terms of economic, administrative, and social reforms. He introduced new taxes and license fees. Resulted in a decrease in the chief’s led to great resentment. The Sultan and chiefs felt that the British should not have a say in the matter of debt slavery as it was a Malay custom. The resentment resulted in his death at Pasir Salak at the hands of Dato Maharajalela, Dato Sagor and Pandak Ingut.
Residential system in Pahang, Pahang was the last state to receive a Resident. British took the opportunity to place a resident when the murder of a British Chinese person, Goh Hui occurred.
Residential system in Negeri Sembilan, Martin Lister appointed after the power clash at Sungai Ujong between Dato’ Kelana and Dato’ Bandar. P.J.Murray as the first Resident of Sungai Ujong.
Residential system in Selangor, J.G Davidson appointed as resident after the Perang Klang, after a British trsde ship and lighthouse was attacked. Frank Swettenham as his assistant.
There are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Resident system.The advantages of resident system is it creates peace, Advancement in the transport system, state income increased and slavery system abolished completely. While the disadvantages of Resident system is sultan loses power, no uniformity of government, socioeconomic gap between races and economy exploited by European and Chinese investors.