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Lou R. De Leon-Bolinao


The British first gained a foothold in the Malay Peninsula when Francis Light, a country trader of the East India Company, took formal possession of the island of Penang on August 11, 1786, in the name of King George 111 of England. The earliest available records concerning forestry in the peninsula go back to the late nineteenth century although there had been references to the Chinese shipping forest produce from Malaya as far back as 800 A.D.  Malaya's first Forest Department was formed in 1883 under the Superintendent of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  In the Federated Malay States; the control of the forest during the early years as one of the responsibilities of the Land Office. It was only in 1895 when a full-time forest officer was appointed in Perak, Selangor, and Negri Sembilan. The Malayan Forest Department-embracing both the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States-was, however, formed only in 1901, after which forest reservation or conservation proceeded on a large scale. This paper will narrate and discuss the history and development of forest conservation in British Malaya. 


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