"under the rule of the Malays"

In the Victorian era all major cities suffered with the problem of gangs, often violent groups who controlled certain ‘territories’ within the cities. One of the most famous of the time were the Manchester ‘Scuttlers’ who were prevalent at the end of the nineteenth century and subject of a recent book detailing their history.

‘Malay’ was commonly used in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to describe the ethnic groups from Austronesia – lands in Oceania and Southeast Asia sharing common linguistic heritage. Ethnic Malays can today refer to the people of the Malay Peninsula (Malaysia, Singapore and some of Burma and Thailand), or the ethnic groups found in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Borneo, Sumatra and Australia.