Singapore’s second colonial Resident, John Crawfurd, is an unlikely anti-colonial campaigner—but that he was.

Crawfurd was a highly capable colonial administrator for the British East India Company (EIC) in Uttar Pradesh, Java (as Resident Governor at the Court of Yogyakarta), Singapore (as its second Resident), Siam, Burma/Myanmar and Cochin China before retiring in 1827. He then proceeded to forge a second career working anonymously to orchestrate British Radical opposition to James Brooke’s imperial adventures in Sarawak.

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Debra is a Sarawakian-born illustrator currently living in Vancouver, Canada. Proud of her Iban roots, her goal is to develop an animated film that will showcase stories of the indigenous communities in Borneo. Her works can be found at or Instagram @doodlebugdebz. Reach her at

Dr Gareth Knapman is a researcher with the Australian National University specialising in nineteenth century Southeast Asia and Australia. Gareth’s current research explores the idea of land ownership and Indigenous sovereignty in eighteenth and nineteenth India, Southeast Asia and Australia.