Monday, January 4, 2010

Penang & Strait Settlement

Strait Settlement (海峽殖民地)were a group of British territories located in South East Asia. It was established in 1826 as part of territories controlled by British East India Company

The Strait Settlement was originally included Penang, Singapore and Malacca. In 1786, Sir Francis Light acquired Penang from Sultan of Kedah,and 1798 Province Wellesley was acquired. In 6-2-1819, Sir Stamford Raffles took Singapore. In 1824, British exchange Bancoolen(west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia) with Dutch Malacca(West coast of Malaya) under Anglo-Dutch Treaty. The Chinese called the settlement "San-Cho-Foo"(三洲府) which litrally mean three settlements.

In 1826, the three British settlements were under Incorporated Settlement of Prince of Wales Island, Singapore and Malacca. The Prince of Wales or Penang as capital. In 1832, the capital was moved to Singapore.

But from 1-4-1867, the Strait Settlements came under direct control as British crown colony. The settlement was now answerable to the Colony Office in London, instead of East India Company in Calcutta, India. The Head of the Strait Settlements was the Governor,who administrated the colony with the help of Executive Council(comprised of official members , and legislative council which composed partly officials and partly nominated members, but officials have narrow majority.Penang and Malacca were administrated by resident councillors,under direct control of the Governor.

In 1874, Dindings was ceded to British under Pangkor Treaty 1874.

The Cocos Island(Keeling Island, and Christmas Island were in 1886 transferred to Strait Settlement. Labuan joined in 1906.

The colony was dissolved on 1-4-1946, after the WW2. Singapore become separate crown colony.Penang and Malacca joined the newly established Malayan Union.Labuan was initially annexed to Singapore, but later joined the new colony of British North Borneo.The Cocos Island(Keeling Island)and Christmas Island were transferred to Australian administration in 1955 and 1957 respectively.

Medical Service

The Headquarter of Medical department of the Strait Settlement was in Penang where the Senior Surgeon has his official residence. The Government Medical Service was simple,which included Senior Surgeon (or Superintending Surgeon)who was the professional and administration head of the medical service, at Penang. Assistant Surgeon at each of the settlements.The first doctors are all Medical Officers in the army of East India Company, who are both military and civil service. Later on however there were separation of duties. The senior Surgeon left Penang when the headquarter of Medical Service followed the capital of Strait Settlement, moved to Singapore in 1835. So until 1946, the strait settlement medical service was controlled from Singapore.

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