Vol. 6, No. 1 (2010): 77–93.
I want to thank Asia Pacific Research Unit (APRU), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Professor Ooi Keat Gin for bringing me to Penang again. It is always pleasant to be here. It is nearly fifty years since I first came, and there have been many changes. There were, of course, no USM, no APRU, and only, I fancy, a very small Ooi Keat Gin. But Penang has a respect for its past, and much of what I saw then I can still see. And the past goes back to the settlement of Georgetown and the building of Fort Cornwallis. Rambling round them a historian finds evocative. Who was there before? And why?
Nicholas Tarling, who was awarded the LittD by Cambridge University in 1974, was a Professor of History at the University of Auckland 1968–1996, and is currently a Fellow of the New Zealand Asia Institute (NZAI) at the university. He has published many books and articles on the history of Southeast Asia, particularly, but not exclusively, on the role of the British. He was the editor of The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia.