History of the Dutch in Malaysia
Author: Dennis De Witt
Hardback, 258 pages
Subjects: History, Malaysia
Publisher: Nutmeg Books
History of the Dutch in Malaysia was published to commemorate Malaysia's 50 years as an independent nation and over four centuries of friendship and diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the Netherlands.
Holland's first sea journey to the Malay Archipelago to locate the source of spices was a result of necessity and chanced circumstances. It began as a mere private venture but was no less a remarkable feat. Their defiance of Spain, the most powerful European country at that time, and the great seafaring nation of Portugal, was not only an epitome of their bravery and determination but it resulted in the formation of the VOC (Dutch East India Company), the world's largest multinational corporation which brought the golden age to the Netherlands.
The first Dutch contact in Malaysia began in 1602, when a Dutch fleet visited the Sultan of Johor. Thereafter, both nations carried on a lasting relationship that was based on commerce, diplomacy and friendship.
In 1641, the joint forces of the VOC and Johor wrested Malacca from the Portuguese and the Dutch occupied the town for the next 160 years. Instead of plunging the Malay world into social and economic decline, regional trade flourished and ties of friendship with surrounding Malay states were generally maintained.
This book divides the Dutch historical influences in Malaysia into four different eras. Each era is analysed and represented in relation to its respective social environment and political developments.
Included are the historical contributions of individuals, such as the Dutch Admirals who attempted to capture Malacca, the Dutch Governors and their administrative ranks who governed the town and the contributions of the Malacca Burghers in shaping Malaysia's history.
Although Dutch-descended communities such as the Afrikaners of South Africa, the Ceylon Burghers of Sri Lanka and the Indo-Dutch Eurasians from Indonesia are known to exist, few are aware of the existence of the Malaysian Dutch descendants.
Categorised in a broad sense as Eurasians, they exist as a minority within a minority in Malaysia. This book recounts their history, relates their ancestor's contributions towards Malaysian history and describes the development of this hidden and forgotten minority ethnic group.
Written in the perspective of a Malaysian Dutch descendant, it provides a basic but comprehensive understanding on the history of the Dutch in Malaysia.