Justices of the Peace: An Institution at Risk of Being Forgotten

By Koay Su Lyn, Ooi Kee Beng

May 2018 FEATURE
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As a colony of the British, Malaya inherited the tradition of appointing Justices of the Peace (JPs) from among its prominent individuals and community leaders. Despite the title’s honorary nature, JPs were bestowed with significant public roles, from mediators in charge of the maintenance of peace, to sitting as lay magistrates in minor cases. In Penang JPs consisted not only of wealthy and well-respected public figures, but also personalities who have contributed immensely to the state. Nevertheless, with no new...

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Koay Su Lyn

reads and writes of the past to make sense of the present. She is a research analyst in the History and Heritage Programme of Penang Institute.

Ooi Kee Beng

is the Executive Director of Penang Institute. His recent books include The Eurasian Core and its Edges: Dialogues with Wang Gungwu on the History of the World (ISEAS 2016). Homepage: wikibeng.com