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Bicentennial Chronicles

Bicentennial Chronicles

1835 Singapore’s Gambier Plantations (Self-determination)
2 Min

By meWATCH Published: 27 Sep 2019 Audio: English

When the British arrived in 1819, there were about 20 gambier plantations in Singapore, run by Chinese and Malays. Most of the produce was exported to China. Singapore’s gambier then found a big market in the British dyeing and tanning industry in the 1830s, which led to many more plantations by the Chinese. By the late 140s, there were 600 gambier and pepper plantations in Singapore. From River Valley Road to Bukit Timah and Thomson roads – This was the size of Singapore’s first large scale gambier-and-pepper plantation. And the investor behind the plantation was Seah Eu Chin, a businessman who arrived in Singapore as a ship clerk, but soon became so rich that he was nicknamed, ‘The Gambier King’. As global demands soared, so did the wealth of Seah Eu Chin.

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