In Court and Kampong (Annotated Edition)
Author: Hugh Clifford
Publisher: Silverfish Books
Price: RM 45
Hugh Clifford was a British colonial administrator, who arrived in Malaya in 1883, at the age of 17. During his twenty years in Perak, Clifford socialised with the local Malays and studied their language and culture deeply. He served as British Resident at Pahang, 1896-1900 and 1901-1903, and Governor of North Borneo, 1900-1901. His last posting was as Governor of the Straits Settlements and British High Commissioner in Malaya from 1927 until 1930.
An extract from the author's preface:
The nineteen tales and sketches, which are enclosed within the covers of this book, relate to certain brown men and obscure things in a distant and very little known corner of the Earth. The Malay Peninsula - that slender tongue of land which projects into the tepid seas at the extreme south of the Asiatic Continent - is but little more than a name to most dwellers in Europe. But, even in the peninsula itself, and to the majority of those white men whose whole lives have been passed in the Straits of Malacca, the East Coast and the remote interior, of which I chiefly write, are almost as completely unknown.
It has been my endeavour, in writing this book, to give some idea of the lives lived in these lands by Europeans whose lot has led them away from the beaten track; by the aboriginal tribes of Sâkai and Semang; but, above all, by those Malays who, being yet untouched by contact with white men, are still in a state of original sin. My stories deal with natives ofn all classes; dwellers in the courts of Kings; peasants in their kampongs, or villages, by the rivers and the rice-fields; and with the fisher-folk on the seashore.