They also named the principal settlement George Town for his reigning father, George Ill, and although this name still appears in guidebook and maps, it is consistently used now. Some Penalties use the Malay word for cape, tanning to refer to the only city on that island. They also say the Anne for the whole island-?Penman-?to refer to the urban part of 150 years ago, immigrants and travelers to Penman approached the island by boat from the mainland or after a long sea voyage across the Bay of Bengal or through the Straits. Navigators preferred the North Channel because it was deeper that the southern one. Ships entered the harbor, a 4. -kilometer stretch between the mainland and the island, after passing the lighthouse at Muck Head and the northern beaches. The evidence of early map shows that Portuguese sailors were not the only visitors to Penman. Indian, Arabian, Chinese, Dutch, Danish and Preach ships, as well as those from the Malay Archipelago probably put into its protected harbor during the monsoons. The first recorded British visit to the island took place in 1592 when James Lancaster, captain of the Edward Bonaventure, dropped anchor at Penman. He and his sailors, many sick With scurvy, rested here for several seeks, taking on water and enjoying fresh oyster.
Lancaster s journals said nothing about people living on the island. Yet during this period-?for 500 years, in fact-?the island was part of Asked, a Muslim state sharing a long border with Siam, and the discovery of eighteenth. Century burial grounds on Penman has confirmed the existence of a native community. Pirates also lived on the island until the Sultan of Asked drove them out, first in 1750, and again in 1786, Captain Allies Trapped, who witnessed the British flag rising ceremony in August 1786, depicted Malay styles home of fifty-eight people said to be living on the island n 1786.
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The sultan of Asked helped British clear land by sending some able- bodied men, who were followed quickly by people trot all parts to the Malay Archipelago, and later from south China and India, They became the backbone of Penman. They built roads and houses, caught and sold fish, pulled rickshaws, managed draught animals, grew fruits and vegetables, worked plantations and tin smelters, loaded and unloaded ships, and abashed clothes. Yet the voice of the peoples of the region is rarely heard.
When British took over the island they began in their letters to East India Company officials in Calcutta and London What would become a voluminous record Of the settlement, Which they considered part of British India but this record of Penman, supplemented by later European visitors, is not balanced by the candid Asian perspective Of another Munson Abdullah, who was Malice’s Malay author of an early nineteenth- century chronicle. Modern readers Will find most Of these civil servants and travelers ethnocentric, narrow-minded, and judgmental.
Maintaining their position by prestige, not military force, many Europeans believed they enjoyed the good life in the East-?large salaries with fine houses and servants-?because hey really were a superior race. According to Governor Banner (quoted in Wong Line Ken), the natives in 1818 were too remote from civilization and far too unfit from education and habits to justify the smallest comparison being made between them and Europeans, Races other than Malady and Chinese do not have what would be considered a social elite.
Even during sass, George Blanking, a newspaper editor working in Penman, was shocked to discover that when he entertained a Chinese guest on the E ; O Hooters seafront terrace, he was snubbed by other Europeans. But we should be aware that pictorial evidence ND the written record perpetuate certain racial stereotypes. The Indians are always ‘docile’ and ‘cringing’, the Chinese are ‘the bone and sinew of the colony-? industrious, but craft, and Malady are ‘lazy, ‘half-naked’ and ‘copper colored’.
They must remember that there were also Indian teachers and lawyers, Chinese businessmen-?philanthropists, and gifted Malay actors, dancers, craftsmen and writers. We must know too that not all Europeans enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. Many came to East on missionary or educational impulses and lived close to the people they served. Founded in 1600 by Queen Elizabeth I, the East India Company had a monopoly obtrude with the East Indies, and it eventually Wielded enormous economic and political power in India.
It functioned both as a company and a government, enjoying, until 1784, considerable independence from the British crown. Its troops wore blue coats with blue lapels and gold embroidery, accented by yellow buttons decorated with the company’s crest. In Asia, the East India Company faced Dutch competition for the lucrative spice trade. Since the middle ages, curries and peppers were in great demand in Europe to flavor the salted meats people had to live on for six months a year, or it was too expensive to feed animals through the winter.
Long established Dutch bases at Malice, Appear, Sumatra and Java were backed by exclusive trading agreements with the Dutch East India Company which local princes, who shared profits, had pledged to uphold, torching the English out. Tater several military defeats in the region, British turned their backs on the Malay Archipelago to concentrate on building up England’s political and economic interests in India. But by the second half of the eighteenth century, London and Calcutta had less to fear from the Dutch.
As early 1714, British an’. Y was larger and more effectively administered than Holland, while British cartography and shipbuilding became the best in the world. The Dutch position, gradually undermined by internal weaknesses, no longer posed a serious threat. At the same time, new global conflicts were forcing the East India Company to look for a safe harbor where tea- and opium bearing-ships that sailed between Madras and Canton could be repaired and refitted.
It needed a strategic base east of the Bay of Bengal to protect shipping during the north-east monsoon because Greene ships sailing out of ports on Indian’s eastern coast were harassing the English in sea tattles that mirrored Anglo-French conflict in Europe and America. During the middle decades of the century, cargo-laden ships of the company had to run the gauntlet between India and Malay Peninsula, and during the war Of independence in America. Where the French allied themselves with the thirteen colonies against the British, this harassment continued.
To make matters worse, in 1782-1783, and later during the Napoleonic war, when Holland was occupied by French, English ships were unable to seek refuge in Dutch ports. Even more important, the company needed a commercial base for the spice trade and other odds, such as gold, tin and bird’s nests, which Chinese wanted in exchange for tea, silks and porcelain, as there was no market in China for British woolens and other goods. A new entropy would stimulate the China tea trade and put an end to the drain on English silver.
Since British government imposed a tax on tea, it depended more and more on tea imports tort revenue. As early as 1 771, a suitable harbor had been located by the young English captain of a ship owned by Madras merchants trading in the Malay Archipelago. Francis Light, a ‘country trader’ operating out of ports in South-East Asia, suggested the island known in Malay as Pula Pining to Warren Hastings, then Governor-General in India, so that all English ships, not just those of the company, could at Dutch ports.
Light’s suggestion to establish a foothold off the Malay coast went unheeded until 1786 when, shocked by the steady damage inflicted by the French, company officials began to take him seriously. Sir John McPherson, acting for the Governor- General, finally approved a provisional treaty between Light and the Sultan Of Asked for the transfer of Pula Pining to the British crown and the East India Company. Light’s facility With the Malay and Siamese languages, combined With is knowledge of the people and their culture, helped him win their trust.
After almost two decades of experience in the region, he also understood regional politics. During much of the eighteenth century, the Siamese loosely controlled the northern Malay states of Asked, Skeletal and Termagant, but after the Siamese-Burmese wars of the 1 7705, they began to tighten their hold on their southern neighbors. When Light approached Sultan Abdullah, Sultan of Asked, he found a man who saw potential advantages in the new English presence.
It English would pledge to defend Asked against threats from neighboring Siamese and Burmese armies, Sultan Abdullah would lease Pula Pining to the East India Company tort the annual sum to $30,000, the value tooth trade in opium, tin, and rattan he expected to be diverted away from Asked to Penman, Before a final unambiguous agreement had been signed, Light sailed in three vessels to the island with a small civilian and naval staff.
They landed at what is now the Esplanade, in George Town, on 17 July 1786. On 1 1 August, the eve of the Prince of Wale’s birthday, soldiers hoisted the Union Jack over the new stockade and Light took formal possession of the island in honor of the man who would eventually be crowned King George IV, and named the new settlement on the Eastern Cape George Town for the prince’s father, George Ill.
The ambiguous agreement with the Sultan of Asked, however, would cast a shadow over the infant settlement. The company agreed to pay SO,000 annually (Light had suggested 510,000) but it never pledged to defend the Sultan against the Siamese. Ever since 1711, when the East India Company first began its discussions about Asked and Penman, the company had vetoed all proposals that might lead to an ‘offensive’ alliance because of recent conflicts among he peninsular Malay States.
Later, after the loss Of the American colonies in 1783, England passed Pits Act which brought East India Company under government control, depriving Calcutta of the power to make any treaty that might lead to war. Taking place at a time molasses-slow communications over vast distances between Asked, Calcutta and London, they were characterized by misunderstanding caused by vague language and misrepresentations on all sides. In his eagerness to bring both parties to an agreement, Light played his intermediary role with skill, telling each side what it vented hears.
He told he company that the Sultan would accept less than $30,000: then he told the Sultan that the East India Company would comply with the Sultan’s request for military aid without informing him of the implication of Pit’s Act. Exactly what the Sultan expected in terms of military assistance-?offensive or defensive-? against Siam was never made clear. 1970, the Sultan of Asked felt betrayed by the British, Since their arrival in Penman he had asked regularly, and in vain, for protection from the Siamese.
He determined to win the island back because the East India Company had reneged on its promises. Hoping to force the Meany’s hand, he enlisted the help of Lillian pirates, who had just driven the Dutch from the Aria islands at the southern end of the Straits, and demanded that the company either leave the island or guarantee the military aid he requested and pay a higher annual sum Of $10,000. Getting Wind Of these plans, Light tried to put pressure on the Sultan by offering to pay him SIS,OOH after these forces were dispersed.
When this failed, Light decided on a pre-emotive strike against the Sultan. Three companies of seeps soldiers in four gunboats embarked from George Town at four in the morning, landed on the opposite here, and surprised the coastal fort. With few losses, English dispersed the larger force collected for its defense, burned two forts, and forced the Sultan to accept British terms; the annual sum of $6,000 and no military protection, Light was rumored for decades after his death to have acquired the island from the Sultan as part of his wife’s dowry.
The new settlement had to attract all its needs -?labor, settlers and capital. Light believed that useful immigrants would not come if government ruled with a heavy hand. A mild and at the same time active government is necessary. Light believed too, that the traders would take their equines elsewhere if the island imposed duties in imports and exports. In order to provide the necessary revenue that would not come from duties, Light made opium available to attract merchants who would distribute it together with other goods further east.
As the matter of policy, the company had decided to tax the produce of the land rather than sell or rent the land itself for the company’s account. Light insisted, further that land should be easy for immigrants to acquire, Such an open-door policy, he hoped, would persuade people to come and trade despite the risk of reprisals either from the Dutch or the Siamese. As a result of these decisions, settlers arrived so fast that Light did not have the staff to do proper land surveying.
The company lured a polyglot mix of Chinese and Indians from Asked and Other Malay and Siamese ports like Junk Ceylon (now called as Pocket). Muslim Bug’s from Salaries, Caulis (a class of Muslim merchant) from India, Arabs, African Negroes, Armenian, Persians, Siamese, Burmese and Sumatra flocked to the island. Long time Chinese residents Of Malice also migrated in order to escape the Dutch monopoly.
Knowing that such a mixed population could generate tensions, Light adopted he administrative strategy he had observed during his earlier visits to Malice. He organized the different ethnic groups which settled in the island through ‘head men’ or capstans-?trusted men who were fluent in the dialect of their communities, The first Capitan China, a wealthy and educated man named Koch Lay Human had rebelled against the Munch dynasty and settled in Prince of Wales Island as a merchant, planter and tax farmer.
Light’s term as the first superintendent of the Prince of Wales Island came to a premature end. He never recovered from a malaria attack in 1 787, and by the middle of 1794 he was very ill. Eight years after the establishment of the settlement, with its future still in doubt, he asked his good friend and business partner, James Scott, to draft a letter to Calcutta explaining why Prince of Wales Island was a better choice than Junk Ceylon, which had been occupied in 1787 by English.
Light died at fifty- four, before the Calcutta directors of the East India Company, ending years of ambivalence, had begun to share his commitment to the future of the Prince of Wales Island. In 1800, Sir George Elite, then Lieutenant-Governor of the Prince Of Wales Island, negotiated a final settlement with Sultan Of Asked for he acquisition of Province Wellesley, giving Penman control over its harbor and eliminating its dependence on foreign sources on the mainland for much Of its food supplies.
In a treaty of Peace, Friendship and Alliance’ between Asked and East India Company, Asked ceded the S-kilometer Wide strip Of land opposite the Prince of Wales Island between Mud and Koran Rivers. A distance of about 48 kilometers. In return, the Sultan received the annual payment of $10,000. After 1800, a basis-legal or otherwise-?British influence in the northern Straits was firmly established. It had taken six months for news of Britain’s great naval actors, when the British navy defeated the combined fleets of France and Spain, to reach Penman.
And it would be several years before any of the men sipping port at the dinner, and their superiors in Bengal and London, realized that the victory at Tarantula in October 1805, had established British naval supremacy on a global scale, Given the great distance be,even London and Penman and the lack to hindsight, they could not know that their decision that year to upgrade Penman to the same level as Madras, Bombay and Calcutta in British India-?to make it the ‘fourth presidency of India’-?and to develop it as a shipbuilding centre and naval ease had just become unnecessary.
It was not only the Tarantula victory that was to affect the future of Penman. Sipping port in their midst that evening was a young assistant secretary who would soon be credited faith founding another entropy like Penman but one which, by virtue of its strategic location at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula, would quickly surpass Penman as a centre regional trade. Just now, though, almost Events years after the arrival of Francis Light, Pennant’s future hung in balance.
The Admiralty in London and the directors of the East India Company received reports on Pennant advantages from Sir George Elite and Colonel Norman McAlister, who served as Governor from 1807 to 1810. It was obvious to these company men, who had vision and faith in Pennant’s future, that no sensible investor would put money into a settlement which the company might soon abandon. Settlers, especially those With capital necessary to develop its plantations, would leave if the government did not declare its intention to keep the island.
Their reports read like advertising copy: Penman was blessed with a ‘salubrious’ climate, its harbor was ‘capacious’, its water like ‘nectar. Addressing the company’s once about the scarcity of seasoned oak wood in Europe for shipbuilding, the island’s promoters suggested ships teak made in Penman. Its wood, they said, was strong as the cedars of Lebanon. These reports touched sensitive nerve in London because French threatened again to dominate the south sea, Although Napoleon’s dream of world conquest was halted temporarily in Egypt in 1798, French troops had occupied Holland.
London worried that Dutch possessions in the Malay Archipelago, except Malice, would come under the heady influence of Prance and liberal new French ideas. One way to stop Britain’s arch-rival, the many decided, was to develop Penman as a shipbuilding centre. In 1805, a larger-?and more expensive-?East India Company administration arrived under Governor Philip Duns. His job, and that of his 24-year-old assistant secretary, Thomas Stamford Raffles, was to implement that decision. As a student of Asian languages and cultures, Raffles found few kindred spirits during his five-year assignment in Penman.
Most of his colleagues wanted to make fortune from trading for their own accounts. Of course, almost everyone who worked for the East India Company stood a good chance Of making money, and Raffles also pooped to retire a wealthy man. The settlement that Raffles found in 1805 would not have an Anglican Church until 1817, but Governor Elite and Others had made many improvements. Full of enthusiasm after the acquisition of Province Wellesley on the rangeland, Elite, followed by the energetic, spendthrift R. T. Fuhrman, concentrated on local affairs and new building.
The government of Penman, under a rapid succession of superintendents, had grown from that of an understaffed company outpost to a more sophisticated and permanent administration. Ata public meeting, leading residents, including the merchants James Scott and David Brown a Scottish planter at Glory, elected a committee of assessors, the turnover to an elected municipal council. The administration of justice came under scrutiny too. A lawyer, John Dickens was appointed to set up a new system tort keeping law and order because the small police torte that had served the island until now had become inadequate.
Major V-robes Ross Macdonald, the island’s superintendent in 1796, did not mince words about the problems that confronted George Town’s expanded police force, He described the town’s population a ‘mixed’. Many problems within each ethnic community loud be solved by its headman, but in cases of conflict between members of different groups, a magistrate was to be guided in his arbiter role by ‘laws of universal and natural justice By 1800, the population of the immigrant society numbered over 10,000 only about 300 of whom were Europeans.
But they were a vocal and powerful minority of merchants and planters vivo could appeal to a higher authority if they disagreed with company policies, which often sacrificed the welfare Of the settlement for business interests Of the company. Despite these frictions within the European community, progress was evident. Governors Elite and Fuhrman built a customs house, jail and hospital, surveyed the downtown area, and had a grid pattern of streets marked out at 20-meter Widths. A road going west from Fort Cornwallis, part Of Which is now called McAlister Road, terminated at the waterfall in the present-day Botanic Gardens.
Ever since 1795, Penman had served as the penal colony for all of India. Convicts earning enough pocket money ‘to furnish themselves with bazaar articles’ were employed building and maintaining roads, bridges and houses. Travelers to old Penman often praised the wide, well-maintained, tree-shaded roads, but they also implanted that Penman was a dumping ground for the dangerous criminals. Although the island prospered, it never lived up to the East Indian Company’s expectations. The company was always trying to cut costs because it could never generate enough local tax revenues.
Its well-being depended not only on income trot revenue farms but also on London commodity prices, which fluctuated wildly in peacetime. To make matters worse, Napoleon embargoed all trade between Britain and the continents beginning in 1807, so that English exports of spices, pepper and coffee to Prance and other continental markets were cut off. Spices accumulated in the company’s London warehouses, and Penman growers, unable to cut costs, faced ruin. Penman failed as a shipbuilding centre Despite the new hopes raised when a British naval expedition set out from Penman to Java in 1811, Only one ship was ever built at Penman.
Timber suitable for shipbuilding had to come from Burma, but the cattle used to transport it there were diseased. The company could not find skilled shipbuilders and engineers to build dockyards, and it took too long to get building materials from Europe. Finally, London lost interest in the project and naval stores were transferred room Penman to Treasonable in Ceylon. By 1835, Penman had grown so much that James Low, the Scottish agronomist, could write that there were 21 bazaars, 28 mosques and 59 native schools where about 600 boys studied Arabic and learned Koran.
He might also have mentioned that the first English language school in South-East Asia, the Penman Free School, had been established in 1816. Other important construction had taken place by 1835. In 1805, government buildings were erected on proper along the north beach of George Town that once belonged to Francis Light and, Suffolk House was built a tee years later s the governors residence, The Shook clan house, known as Shook Kings, had also been built, following the Each and Tan clans which had completed their meeting halls earlier.
A Supreme Court building at the junction of Light and Pit (now Clan Capitan Killing Mosque) Streets was put up in 1809, but it was rebuilt in 1 Colonel Anguish reports, too, that in 1824 there was a Chinese poorhouse and a hospital for local people. The 1835 census recorded 40,207 inhabitants, with the 16,435 Malady, many of venom had fled to the safety of the island from a Siamese attack on asked, outnumbering all other groups. At this time there were ,751 Chinese, 9,208 Indians, a total of less than 3,000 Arabs, Siamese, Burmese, Pareses, Armenian, Chinese, Batiks, ‘native Christians’, and only 790 Europeans.
By 1891, however, the balance between the Chinese and Indian populations in the Malay-dominated ethnic mix had vanished. In the last decade Of the nineteenth century, the trickle Of Chinese immigrants arriving in Penman had swelled the tidal wave so that the Chinese constituted half the Penman population. And even though Other ethnic groups increased in number, they did not grow as fast as the Chinese. The proportion of Indians in Penman clines from 28 per cent in 1818 to 13 per cent in 1906, Which is about where remains today.
The mostly male Chinese migrating to Penman, as well as to Singapore and Malice, during the nineteenth century left China for a better life. The Munch rulers had begun to lose control, especially in the southern provinces, making emigration from poverty, famine and hardship possible. The lure of wealth and comparative safety under the British flag attracted Chinese willing to tolerate even the most crowded living conditions in their new home.
The British considered the Chinese ideal immigrants because of their illnesses to endure hardship, their industry, perseverance, and intelligence and their ability to organize themselves, passage was easily available through indentured contractual service arrangements. The opening up of the Appear tin mines under Chinese control in the middle decade of the century proved another powerful magnet to the Chinese. Although they did not become the largest ethnic group in Penman until the end of nineteenth century, the Chinese were always visible because of their commercial activities.
As early as 1794, in an official report to his superiors, Captain Light remarked on their pecuniary value o the new community: they were the only people from whom revenue may be raised without expense and extraordinary effort of government. The Chinese clan system, which settled disputes privately, frustrated the police because members Of the same clan would never testify against Of inform on each Other. Many clans brought some of their old feuds in China with them, and faction fights broke out again in Penman.
For so many reasons, the Europeans began to agitate for change. Residents criticized the company as an anachronism, arguing that Penman was not part of India and should keep accounts in dollars, to Indian rupees. They were tired of paying for more troops and officers than the island needed. They wanted better services and a more representative government. At the same time, the East India Company was looking for new ways to economize and simplify its administrative tasks in the Straits.
After Benevolence, in Sumatra, was exchanged with the Dutch for Malice in 1826, creating separate English and Dutch spheres of influence in the region, the company united Penman with Malice and Singapore to form the Straits Settlements and downgraded them trot a ‘Presidency to a ‘Residency. Penman remained he administrative centre of the Straits Settlements until 1832 when the seat of government was transferred to Singapore, but it continued as the centre for judicial administration until 1856. Nevertheless, the Straits Settlements also proved to be an unwieldy creation for the East India Company.
The governor and his secretaries shuttled by ship among the three stations: Penman was 433 kilometers north of Malice, and 633 kilometers north of Singapore. With the expansion of their business interests into new tin mines of the Malay interior, prosperous merchants and businessmen-?believed, incorrectly as it turned UT, that they could acquire more political control of the British Colonial Office. Transfer Road, connecting Burma and Northman Roads, commemorates that switch in 1867. Thanks to the development Of steam navigation, commercial and passenger shipping lanes changed during the century, to Pennant advantage.
Before the Suez Canal opened in 1869, ships rounding the Cape Of Good Hope could use the Sundae Straits, between Java and Sumatra, on the voyage to China. But after the Canal and steam navigation made the trip East both shorter and cheaper, the Straits of Malice, with stops at Penman and Singapore, became he preferred route to the Far East. There were good reasons to go to Penman. Besides its coaling services, Penman was also the closest port to the new wealth in tin being extracted from the Malay Peninsula, under new British control.
The exploitation of the new tin mines in Appear in the sass helped to double trade revenues between 1860 and 1880. Entrepreneurs provided capital investment in the mines in response to the new canning industry in Europe and America Penman was the closest gateway tort importing mining equipment and other provisions for the mines, and for the export of tin ingots. With smelting operations in Province Wellesley and on Penman, and construction by 1900 of a railroad connecting Penman with Koala Lump, Penman was ready to profit from the lucrative trade not only in tin but also in rubber.
Until the sass when the price of coffee collapsed Henry (Rubber) Riddles rubber plant promotions sparked no interest in Malay. Planters had already discovered, however, that the rubber plant seedlings from Brazil grew better between the mountains and the west coast of Malay than anywhere else in the world. As the demand for rubber increased with the growth Of the automobile industry prices soared, attracting British capital to form companies with European managers. By 1911, there were 250 000 hectares in rubber and in 1914 rubber earned even more revenue than tin.
In less than ten years, the amount of land under rubber cultivation had multiplied four times, the economy Of the region was transformed and Pennant’s investors and port facilities thrived until the Depression of the 1 sass. The melting. Pot or mixing bowl images do not provide an adequate picture of Penman. The kaleidoscope, with its shifting intricate patterns of colorful pieces, overlapping sometimes to make new shapes, some larger in one Ramee and smaller in others, offers a better metaphor for Pennant’s multivalent population and its changes over time.
Despite the growing pains that accompany modern development, Penman communities have preserved to a remarkable degree in their traditional religious practices, language or dialect, clothing, folkways, dietary habits and economic function of Malady, Chinese, Indians, This, Burmese, Eurasian and Arabs. Less than 200 years tater the British East India Company arrived to claim it as a mercantile and naval centre, Penman-? the island and Province Wellesley, now known as Sobering Para-?became one of independent Malaysia’s thirteen states, Independence came after twelve years after the Union Jack replaced the Japanese flag over Fort Cornwallis.
The choice of an island underlines the British intention to avoid entanglements on the mainland beyond the acquisition of Province Wellesley to protect Pennant’s harbor, To the eighteenth-century sultan Asked, however even sparsely populated and densely forested Penman Island was always part of the main, and the 138-kilometers bridge opened in 1985, which now links it like an umbilical cord with Button,forth, is the obvious symbol of its close ties with the peninsula.
Unlike Singapore, an island State that controls its own destiny under a Chinese majority, Penman has become part of larger and quite different nation. As the only State among Malaysia’s thirteen With clear mort-Malay majority, Penman has had to adjust too new reality. Political power under Malay leadership resides in Koala Lump, and policies formulated at the federal level have an impact on all the states. Lacking the natural resources like timber, rubber and tin that have enriched other states, Penman has capitalized on its skilled population by inviting multinational investment to the island.
Modern Penman is the most industrialized Malaysian state, receiving more revenue from industry than from commodities. Penman provides jobs in electronic and rubber-based industries and tin smelting for workers from all the region, who send remittances home; at the same time, substantial numbers of Penman workforce migrate to other parts tooth country, especially to Koala Lump, in two-way migration that keeps the island’s population stable. Although almost anything will grow these days on Penman commercial agriculture is limited.
Only durian, nutmeg, cloves, vegetables, bananas, cocoa and coconut trees, and a small amount of rubber re cultivated on very small island holdings. There is also some rice farming, as well as a rice mill, but most of Pennant’s rice is novo imported from Thailand. Industrialized and tourism have meant continuing changes; Penalties move to high-rise condominiums, Malay fishermen leave their camping to make way for hotels, hilltops are cleared and flattened for housing estates and payday-fields are drained for industrial development.
In 1990, the annual number of visitors to Penman was twenty times larger than 1070. But much of old Penman survives if one knows where to look. In the shadow Of the 65-storey Grantor Office building which towers over George Town, the owner of a dim pawnshop does calculations on an abacus, a street cook manually fans the charcoal fire under his wok and a hood as the call to prayer sounds from a nearby mosque.