Farquhar deserves to be remembered

As the author of the book "William Farquhar and Singapore: Stepping out from Raffles' Shadow", I agree with Ms Tay Zi Han that a road or some other public place should be named to honour William Farquhar, who was Singapore's founding Resident and Commandant (Name a road to honour Farquhar; Forum Online, June 3).

After all, Farquhar Street, Mount Farquhar and Farquhar's Strait have disappeared from maps.

However, I would like to point out that Farquhar did not introduce opium, liquor and gambling licences against the orders of Sir Stamford Raffles.

Raffles approved of gaining revenue from the sale of "madat" or prepared opium.

Farquhar was subordinate to Raffles, and it was Raffles who not only authorised the sale of licences but also gave regular detailed instructions on their implementation. Also, he took a 5 per cent commission on the opium licences.

It was part of a myth designed to protect Raffles' image that Farquhar has been accused of disobeying orders by introducing licences.

And Farquhar did not introduce a cockfighting licence; he abhorred the activity.

Nadia Wright (Dr)