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Opium War: How Hong Kong ceded to Britain

 

Ever since Donald Trump, US president declared trade war with China and Europe, all the major stock markets are being depressed. Moreover, Tun Dr Mahathir ordered all the contracts awarded by the BN government without open competitive tenders would be terminated. As a result, many share prices are dropping like coconuts. For example, IJM Corporations and Gamuda dropped by about 40%.

About 4 months ago, the former Attorney General branded me as persona non grata and frozen my current account and withdrew all my Rm 40 million margin facilities. I was forced to sell down. Fortunately, Hengyuan was my major holding which I sold at above Rm 10 each. I must say God works in some mysterious way to help me. The current price is about Rm 6 ++.

You may like to know that as soon as Pakatan Harapan won control of the government, our new Finance Minister’s assistant Dr Ong Kian Ming instructed Maybank to reinstate my bank account.

As I said, the stock market will be depressed for some time, I have nothing better to do than writing this interesting piece of history to remind us how the British could take advantage of the weak nations.

When I was a boy living along High Street, Kuala Lumpur, I remember there was a British company selling opium and my paternal grandfather used to smoke opium.

These are my collection of antique opium pipes used by the rich Chinese. These are beautifully craved ivory. The ordinary ones were made of bamboo.

Smoking opium is very addictive. That was why the British sold opium to the Chinese in exchange for the Chinese silk. When the Chinese government forbid opium smoking, the British declared war as shown by the picture below.

China lost the war and that was how Hong Kong and part of Kowloon were ceded to Britain.

African Slaves

Today it is hard for us to imagine that the British could capture Africans to be sold as slaves to work in the corn fields in America.

We must also remember that British merchants were among the largest participants in the Atlantic slave trade. Ship owners transported enslaved West Africans to the New World to be sold into slave labour. The ships brought commodities back to Britain then exported goods to Africa.

After a long campaign for abolition led by William WilberforceParliament prohibited the practice by passing the Slave Trade Act 1807 which was enforced by the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron.

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