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Author: Hui Kian Kwee
This book is a study of the political economy of Java's Northeast Coast from 1743, when the VOC emerged as its ruler, until the end of the eighteenth century. The focus is on the various power-holders - namely coastal Javanese regents, Mataram rulers, Chinese merchants and Company authorities - and how they accommodated the changes brought about with the power shift, what their primary resources were and how they tried to maximize their advantages in the new politico-economic setting. This study also shows how the Company, despite being the ruler, had to compromise with these power-holders and satisfy their needs to optimize its own gains.
Author: Kwee Hui Kian

Review of: Michael D. Barr and Zlatko Skrbis, Constructing Singapore; Elitism, ethnicity and the nation-building project. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008, xiii + 304 pp. ISBN 978877694028, price GBP 50.00 (hardback); 9788776940294, GBP 16.99 (paperback). Marleen Dieleman, The rhythm of strategy; A corporate biography of the Salim Group of Indonesia. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007, 205 pp. [ICAS Publications Series, Monograph 1.] ISBN 9789053560334. Price: EUR 29.50 (paperback). Kristina Goransson, The binding tie; Chinese intergenerational relations in modern Singapore. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2009, x + 191 pp. ISBN 9780824832599, price USD 57.00 (hardback); 9780824833527, USD 26.00 (paperback). Chang-Yau Hoon, Chinese identity in post-Suharto Indonesia; Culture, politics and media. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2008, xi + 230 pp. ISBN 9781845192686. Price: GBP 49.95 (hardback). Leo Suryadinata, Understanding the ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2007, x + 310 pp. ISBN 9789812304377. Price: USD 21.90 (paperback). Sikko Visscher, The business of politics and ethnicity; A history of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Singapore: NUS Press, 2007, xviii + 372 pp. ISBN 97899713657. Price: USD 32.00 (paperback). Voon Phin Keong (ed.), Malaysian Chinese and nation-building; Before Merdeka and fifty years after. Vol. 2. Kuala Lumpur: Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies, 2008. ISBN 9789833808066 (hardback); 9789833908059 (paperback).

Open Access
In: Linking Destinies


In historical studies of Chinese diaspora, an increasing focus is currently being placed on Chinese “organizational genius,” that is, Chinese are said to have been adept at providing mutual aid and promoting economic ventures overseas, and also effective in governing their own internal affairs and fending off racial discrimination in the age of Euro-American imperialism. This paper examines Chinese migration to West Borneo in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It argues that Chinese social imaginaries and organizational forms ultimately relied on two cardinal institutions: the Chinese deity cults and ancestral cults, with their associated rituals. By studying an early case of Chinese migration to Southeast Asia, this paper hopes to lay a foundation for comparative research on similar organizations developed by Fujian and Guangdong people in Taiwan, China and other parts of the world; and argues that the nexus of Chinese mobility and Chinese people’s relatively successful economic achievements should be located in these symbolic institutions.

In: Journal of Chinese Overseas