The UP Saga

by Susan M. Martin

  • Published: 2003
  • Pages: 368 pp.
  • illustrations & maps
  • Series: NIAS Monographs
  • Series number: 94
Available from NIAS Press worldwide
ISBN Hardback: 978 87 91114 20 5, £50.00 (June 2003)
ISBN Paperback: 978 87 91114 51 9, £19.99 ()

• A completely new perspective on the development of plantation agriculture in Malaysia.

• Unusual in that the author had full access to well-preserved company records.

• Relates the situation in Malaysia to developments in Africa, Asia and elsewhere.


Histories of the plantations sector in Malaysia have largely focused on the rubber industry and on the rise and fall of big British-owned colonial enterprises. But since independence, the sector has entered a new phase of spectacular growth founded on the oil palm. This volume offers a radically different history of a firm which spans both eras. The fascinating story of United Plantations Berhad (UP) highlights a Scandinavian-founded firm that evolved along quite different lines from the normal models of British imperial business. Tracing the company’s origins before the First World War, it describes the crisis years of economic depression and Japanese occupation then on to the years of spectacular growth which has lasted since the time of the Emergency and Merdeka right up to the present day. The success of this firm - based not just on an extraordinary combination of agricultural, engineering and marketing innovation but also on the company’s engagement and commitment to its local environment - provides a glowing example of a partnership between Europeans and Asians which has benefited both sides.

by William King, London Metropolitan University
From journal:
Aseasuk News no.35

…expertly researched and is therefore a radically different history of the plantation industry.  It offers the reader an authoritative and quite remarkable study.

Through her work on The UP Saga Susan Martin has produced a work of historic importance and great interest to all those interested in the development of the global palm oil industry.

…expertly researched and is therefore a radically different history of the plantation industry.  It offers the reader an authoritative and quite remarkable study.

Through her work on The UP Saga Susan Martin has produced a work of historic importance and great interest to all those interested in the development of the global palm oil industry.

by Donald Hawley
From journal:
The Royal Society for Asian Affairs, March 2005

“The book, well written and readable, is an impressive work of scholarship with detailed statistics, impeccable regerences, and a good index.

“The book, well written and readable, is an impressive work of scholarship with detailed statistics, impeccable regerences, and a good index. It will be of great value to those interested in the general economic development of Malaysia and the history of the area as wella s the palm industry itself.”

×
×

Cart