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Patrons, Clients, and EmpireChieftaincy and Over-rule in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific$
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Colin Newbury

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199257812.001.0001

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(p.149) 10 Malaya
Patrons, Clients, and Empire


Oxford University Press

British intervention in the Malay states from 1874 established a form of over-rule through residents. Experience in managing the Malay nobility and district heads within patrimonial systems of state government created a form of dyarchy between sultan's Councils of State and a resident's departmental offices. Malay headmen and district officers acted as brokers between the two lines of authority. In return for legitimizing this method of British control, Malay rulers preserved their line of succession, patrimonial functions, their resources, and their courts and religion. In return, the British gained access to plantation and mining concessions. Although a federal system called this method of government patronage into question in the 1930s, sultans survived to join forces with other political elites and oppose loss of jurisdiction and their State Councils. After independence in 1957, party coalition and the Malayanization of the civil service helped to secure the constitutional position of rulers in the institutions of local government and as Heads of State.

Keywords:   sultans, residents, State Councils, dyarchy, government patronage, Heads of State

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