BRITISH MALAYA OPIUM COMMITTEE.
Proceedings of the Committee appointed … to inquire into Matters relating to the Use of Opium in British Malaya.
Singapore : J. E. Tyler, Government Printer, 1924. Foolscap folio, near contemporary blue cloth over boards (very lightly marked), spine lettered in gilt ‘Malaya 1924’, original printed blue wrappers bound in, pp [vi], 324; includes summaries of findings, transcripts of interviews, statistical tables, index, and appendices; a fine copy of this highly important government paper.
‘Amongst the most peculiar aspects of British colonial rule of Malaya was the opium trade, where in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, revenue raised formed a major part of colonial government budgets (Bailey & Truong, 2001). In the early 1920s, revenues derived from the government opium monopoly together with import duties on alcohol and tobacco were the three largest components of the colony’s revenues of the Straits Settlement, and remained as major sources of revenue until the end of the 1930s. By the beginning of the 20th century the problem of opium addiction in British Malaya, particularly among the Chinese community, had become a major concern. Under mounting pressure from the Chinese community leaders, an Opium Commission was set up in 1907 to investigate the problem and this resulted in the abolition of opium tax farms in 1912 and the subsequent loss of a major source of revenue for the colonial government (Turnbull, 1989; Sugimoto, 2002). In order to address this major loss of revenue, the British colonial administration attempted to introduce income tax in the Straits Settlements.’ (Ern Chen Loo and Margaret McKerchar, The Impact of British Colonial Rule on the Malaysian Income Tax System, in eJournal of Tax Research, (2014) vol. 12, no. 1, pp 242-43).