Originally Posted by BillH
You could be talking about the Straits Steamship Company of Singapore. If so this had no connection with P&O but had connections with Mansfield & Co. Singapore and Holts (Blue Funnel) of Liverpool. There may also have been a Swire connection later.
They primarily operated in the far east around the islands and also provided feeder services for the Blue Funnel Line.
From my records it appears that prior to 1890 the operation was undertaken by numerous vessels registered to the numerous partners under the 1/64th share system.
In 1890 T. Bogaardt, a partner in Mansfield & Co, registered the title Straits Steamship Co. Various vessels passed through their hands until Bogaardts sudden unexplained departure from the company in 1909.
Just before the outbreak of WW1, Richard Holt bought heavily into the Straits Steamship Company Ltd. The reason given was that Straits would obtain all “Blue Funnel” traffic to Bangkok and Borneo, whilst also ensuring all homeward traffic would be shipped in “Blue Funnel ships. Richard Holt intimated that as a condition of the purchase of Straits Steamship he should be able to appoint two new Directors onto their board. That idea however was met with total resistance and withdrawn. The final agreement became effective from October 1914. With an approximate 30% holding, the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd., became the largest single shareholder. Indirectly Holt gained control of around 17 vessels. With the cash injection, Straits ordered three new vessels. KAJANG, KAMUNING and KEPONG were planned for delivery during 1916 by Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Company of Hong Kong Ltd. Although the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd., were the majority shareholders, Straits Steamship retained their own identity and management structure. However, in subsequent years Alfred Holt & Company’s marine engineers and design office were utilized to a greater degree in the formulation of the designs for new vessels. It also became common practice for new tonnage to be ordered in the name of Alfred Holt & Company. Construction was overseen by the Liverpool office, with vessel ownership being transferred upon satisfactory completion of a particular stage of work. MARUDU of 1924 is the only example I have found were the transfer was actually undertaken after launch, as opposed to prior to.