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Fluid JurisdictionsColonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia$
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Nurfadzilah Yahaya

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750878

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750878.001.0001

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Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

Exclusions of Arabs in the Netherlands Indies

(p.82) Chapter 3 Resident Aliens
Fluid Jurisdictions

Nurfadzilah Yahaya

Cornell University Press

This chapter opens up with a short story written in 1941 by a Dutch writer, which tells of a young Javanese man named Karto and his encounter with an old Arabian. The depiction of the Arab man as a vulture suggests that Arabs in the Dutch Indies were opportunistic scavengers always ready to pounce on the spoils of Natives' misfortunes and prey on their presumed naiveté. The chapter sees how the identities of the Arabs became more rooted in prejudice as Dutch jurisdictions hardened. Drawing upon these prejudices, Dutch legal authorities intensely cultivated the exclusion of Arabs from the bulk of the Native population from the mid-nineteenth century onward. The chapter also outlines the impact of divided Foreign Orientals and scattered Arabs in the Netherlands Indies over a huge geographical expanse across several thousand islands in the colony. Ultimately, the chapter analyses how the property fell into the hands of Foreign Orientals through various mechanisms such as inheritance, powers of attorney, and transfer of debt.

Keywords:   Arabs, Dutch Indies, prejudice, Dutch jurisdictions, Arab exclusion, Native population, Foreign Orientals, Netherlands Indies, powers of attorney

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