chapter  10
28 Pages

Rulers and ruled: racial perceptions, curriculum and schooling in colonial Malaya and Singapore

ByKeith Watson

Although it is now generally accepted that colonial educational penetration was a form of cultural imperialism1 it is often forgotten that, in the British context at least, there was no universal policy. This varied between, and even within, individual colonial territories either according to the educational and social background of individual administrators, who frequently developed their own policy on the spot2 or according to the racial and ethnic composition of the territory concerned. Many territories only became racially mixed as a direct consequence of colonial intervention, as for example, through the importation of indented labourers, usually from India. As a result, amongst the most lasting legacies of colonialism are the different perceptions of these different groups towards each other.3 Colonial Malaya is an interesting case in point.