Networks of Malay merchants and the rise of Penang as a regional trading centre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Throughout history the role of Malay merchants and traders in the Malay-Indonesian archipelago was very imminent. Their presence was very important in the Malay waters and it was they who were the collector and distributor of goods and commodities that arrived at many major port-towns in the archipelago. Although their presence in the intra-Asian trade is very clearly documented in the VOC (Dutch) and English records, research and writing on their role in trade has been neglected by scholars. The importance of Malay merchants and traders was seldom highlighted and if they were mentioned their role were not written in greater detail. Malay traders were an important group of traders from the archipelago and their presence was clearly seen right from the Srivijaya period until in the nineteenth century. However, while trade and commerce expanded in Southeast Asia, the nineteenth century saw the decline of Malay merchants and traders when fewer of them appeared to have the means and resources to participate in long distance trade. It is the aim of this paper to highlight the role of the Malay merchants and traders which was an important group of merchants that had been plying in the Malay waters. Who were these traders and where they came from and the commodities they carried and the various types of ships they travelled will be discussed in the paper. The study will also look at the importance and the role of these merchants in early Penang.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-237
Number of pages23
JournalSoutheast Asian Studies
Volume43
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

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archipelago
commodity
nineteenth century
water
trade and commerce
Southeast Asia
commerce
Group
town
volatile organic compound
history
resources
resource
ship
goods

Keywords

  • Bugis traders
  • Malay ports
  • Malay town
  • Malay traders
  • Penang trade and network
  • Pepper trade
  • Straits of Melaka
  • Types of Malay ships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

Cite this

Networks of Malay merchants and the rise of Penang as a regional trading centre. / Hussin, Nordin.

In: Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 43, No. 3, 12.2005, p. 215-237.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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