𝗗𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗧𝗮𝘃𝗼𝘆, 𝗜𝗿𝗿𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗱𝘆, 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗠𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗺𝗲𝗶𝗻 𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗕𝘂𝗿𝗺𝗮'𝘀 𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗣𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗴'𝘀 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗿?
𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘰𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘧, 𝘉𝘶𝘳𝘮𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘗𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘨'𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘧 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 19𝘵𝘩 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥.
Although Penang has paddy fields, the rice cultivated in here was never sufficient to feed its growing population.
As a result, Kedah became Penang's leading supplier of rice. When rice from Kedah became scarce in Penang due to the political disturbances of 1838-39 in Kedah, the Hokkien merchants imported an abundance of Tavoy and Moulmein (now Mawlamyine) rice.
Then, in the 1860s, the British turned the vast flat plains of Irrawady-Sitttang delta into a rice-producing powerhouse. As a result, the inflow of voluminous quantity of Burmese rice into Penang began. It was also an important factor that allowed the Hokkien merchant to trade with Burma with more ease.
The import rose from 93,929 pikuls in 1868 to 2,538,129 pikuls in 1890s, a 27 fold increase. The top five market destinations were Melaka, Singapore, the western Malay states, Sumatra, and western Siamese states.
The rice mainly was for re-export to meet the demands of coolies in Penang and surrounding states.
So the road names of Tavoy, Irrawadi, Moulmein, and Salween are a great reminder of our economic connection with Burma. We would have thought Thailand would be an immediate exporter after Kedah, but historical records showed that Burma was our leading rice supplier.
𝑳𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒕? 𝑯𝒆𝒍𝒑 𝒖𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒕! ❤️🔥
📚: Penang Chinese Commerce in the 19th Century, the Rise and Fall of the Big Five by Wong Yee Tuan.
📸: Penang Travel Tips and Penang Hidden Gems.