History Today link

Here is my short article on the Batang Kali trial in May…
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To’ Janggut – Malay rebel

The events of the 1915 ‘Singapore Mutiny’ are relatively well known. Some of the other rebellions that sent ripples of alarm through the minds of colonial administrators that same year are less familiar – certainly for British readers…. Just two months after the Singapore Mutiny, at the end of April, trouble erupted in the isolated district of Pasir Puteh about 30 miles south from Kota Bahru in Kelantan, not far from the border with Terengganu.[1] (Both Kelanatan and Terengganu were ‘unfederated’ Malay states.)  There were very few Europeans living in this region. The British maintained a few police posts and a District Office mainly to monitor cross border smuggling. So it came as a shock when the British Advisor W. Langham-Carter sent an urgent message to Singapore that he was under attack. The leader of the uprising was Haji Modh. Hassan bin Munas, known as To’ Janggut: a Silat martial arts master with an impressive, chest length beard. (Janggut means beard in Malay.) At the time, the colonial authorities characterised the Kelantan Uprising as a ‘tax riot’ – and to be sure, the British had, following the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909, imposed a new land tax in Kelantan. The tax was unpopular, especially […]
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