Inbetween worlds Teochew Chinese leadership in colonial Singapore.
Lim, Ivy Maria Mui Ling.
Date of Issue1998
The main theme of this thesis is that Chinese leadership in colonial Singapore is a delicate balance between the British colonial authorities and the interests of the dialect group. The focus, in this case, is on the Teochew community and the leadership provided by the Seah family for close to a century. It is suggested here that the reason why the Seah family faced increasingly serious challenges to their authority within the community is due to the fact that the members of the family appeared increasingly pro-British in their orientation. This orientation and identification as Straits Chinese puts them at odds with the major part of the community which was pro-China, and largely immigrant. While the major challenger, Lim Nee Soon, was also a Straits Chinese, he was able to rely upon his ties and identification with Republican China to gain support from the immigrant Teochew merchants who had became an economic and social force to be reckoned with.