another off topic point about raffles , he is the reason we drive on the left , the civilized side of the road ! ha ha
Given that the “old boy” Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles died in 1826…and well before the invention of cars, are you sure about that?
Seriously, the real reason that in Java, Sumatra, and Bali the English tradition of left hand driving came into play, is the result of the several English steam ship tourism companies that flourished here in the early 20th century.
Most notable of these was the Blue Bird company of the 1920’s, (later adopted by the well known taxi company) which included motorcar tours of Java, Bali and Sumatra.
It is interesting to note that historically speaking, the Dutch did far less to promote tourism to the “Dutch East Indies” than the British tourism companies during the late 19th and early 20th century.
I’ve often wondered…why? Could have it been that the Dutch were more aware of what that emphasis on tourism could lead to?
Truth be told…the historical record that is…the English had precious little influence on the development of Indonesia, and this is especially true when compared to Dutch influence. Yes, they (the English) were the ones who accepted the Japanese surrender in 1945, and yes, they supported Indonesian independence. But, that was rather an easy position to take, since they in fact had very little at stake here.
It was immensely convenient for the British to take the side of Indonesia…the first Asian or SE Asian country to declare independence after the end of WWII. After all, what the British really wanted was to restore “Britannia” to Singapore, Hong Kong and other places throughout Asia and SE Asia.