Deception. It was the name of the game for recruiters looking for labourers to sign up to work in Malaya and Singapore. In other words, it was deception, plain and simple, that led to many of the first Indians landing in this part of the world. The swarthy men who were seeking to fill jobs preyed on the innocence of those they sought out, dangling grand promises before them and hooking them with false dreams.
The labourers were duped into believing that they were going to a place where life would be better. One report in the Indian Emigrant, a Madras monthly which had reports on Indian emigrants, said in 1915 that the impression many in Tamil Nadu had was that they were moving on to life on an estate. The word "estate" in Tamil is "thottam", or garden. "Thus the labourer before leaving India imagines the work in an estate is like the work he has to do in an Indian flower garden."