Biographical Dictionary of Mercantile Personalities of Penang

Biographical Dictionary of Mercantile Personalities of Penang
Editors Loh Wei Leng, Badriyah Haji Salleh, Mahani Musa, Wong Yee Tuan and Marcus Langdon
228pp. Size: 210x300mm. Softcover

Following the settlement of Penang by the British East India Company in 1786 the island quickly developed into a flourishing maritime port of exchange. By 1805 the population was 'so diversified as at this day to write in 13 distinct alphabets, & speak in 28 distinct dialects'.

The 200 concise biographies of early Penang mercantile personalities included in this volume offer the reader a rare and invaluable glimpse into their lives. The selection is a veritable cultural cross-section of those who pioneered the growth of Penang in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It highlights not only their contribution to the economic, social, political and cultural development of Penang but also of Malaysia and Southeast Asia as a whole.

"At last an invaluable historical directory of merchants, traders and shopkeepers who contributed to the growth of all sectors of Penang's economic and social development."

Cheah Boon Kheng (Retired) Professor of History, Universiti Sains Malaysia, author of Malaysia: The Making of a Nation, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2002.

"The merchant and business community has formed a major pillar in Penang since the 18th century. This biographical dictionary offers a scholarly collection of data on the members of this community up to the mid-20th century and is useful not only as a ready reference but as a stimulus to further research on these personalities."

Dr. Leonard Y. Andaya, Professor of Southeast Asian History, University of Hawaii at Manoa, author with B.W. Andaya of The History of Malaysia, University of Hawaii Press, 2001.

"Penang was built on commerce, and without an understanding of the personalities who initiated and sustained this commerce, our knowledge of the history of the island will inevitably be partial. This volume thus does us a great service by detailing an extensive range of the merchants and business people from all communities who, over two centuries, built Penang into a major trading and commercial centre."

Dr. Geoffrey Wade, author of Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource. Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, 2005


Explanatory Note on Entries
List of Entries
Brief Entries
Contributors (biodata)
Author Index (entries)
Index of Names

COPYRIGHT © 2010 Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society