Hidden agendas : Chinese secret societies and religion in 19th century Singapore
Ho, Amanda Shi Min
Date of Issue2018
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Chinese migration into Singapore was at its peak during the 19th century. The Chinese migrants brought with them the practice of brotherhood and Chinese religions such as Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. The practice of brotherhood became the basis of Chinese secret societies in Singapore. Chinese secret societies played the roles of governors, employers, protectors, and welfare providers of the Chinese community in 19th century Singapore. To achieve their goals, Chinese secret societies made use of religion and adapted its features into their rituals, symbols, customs, and practices. This thesis argues that Chinese secret societies played a governmental role in the Chinese community in Singapore. They appropriated religion to legitimize their rule, expand their power and spheres of influence, and unify the Chinese community in Singapore. The various rituals, symbols, customs, and practices of the Chinese secret societies in Singapore reflect these aims.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University