The Business of Politics and Ethnicity: A History of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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By Sikko Visscher

Founded in 1906, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a leading cultural and economic organisation dedicated to promoting the interests of the Chinese business community. The first extended history of the Chamber, The Business of Politics and Ethnicity describes its changing relationship with the state and with businesses in the region.

Some of the wealthiest and most influential businessmen in Singapore and Malaysia have served as leaders of the Chamber. Drawing on archival materials and extensive interviews, Visscher provides lively biographical sketches that highlight the circumstances and personal values that propelled these and other leading Chinese businessmen to success and to prominence.

He also examines Chinese business practices, considering cultural elements as well as state and market forces, and highlights unique features of the Chinese experience in Singapore. By viewing Singapore from the perspective of a well established non-governmental organisation as it struggled, negotiated and cooperated with the state, this book offers an alternative to conventional political histories.


Sikko Visscher teaches Asian history at the University of Amsterdam and is Programme Manager for Asian Studies in Amsterdam (ASiA).


Publication Year: 2007
390 pages, 229mm x 153mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-365-7, Paperback

NUS Press