I found this book on ebay and decided to purchase it. For once, it did not cost me a fortune but it does provide some interesting insights what other people think about Brunei.
This book is part of a series of books written for West Malaysians and Singapore to know more about their 'neighbours' thus Our Neighbours Series. The series was published in 1963.
I am not sure who the book was aimed at. It is quite critical at times and not just about Brunei but about the three countries - oops, I should say, two states and one country. There was a passage which I am not sure how to interpret in this early morning, perhaps readers of this blog would like to explain it. The paragraph goes - 'A further characteristics of the territories is that are confronted with the many problems of a largely agrarian economy. At least this is true of North Borneo and Sarawak, and the problems existing in these territories are accentuated by the reluctance of Brunei to help develop a hinterland which lies in these other territories.' What is it that are we supposed to do? And don't these 'territories' belong to another country?
Of Brunei, the authors said that 'everyone knows that the supply of oil which provides Brunei's wealth will not last forever. There seems little attempt at a serious answer to the question "what then?" The future must provide for itself'.
Of Brunei Town (now BSB), the authors said that 'in spite of the grandeur of individual buildings, there seems to be no attempt at a plan for the whole town; it is therefore not impressive, but merely disorderly. It also has an air of impermanence'.
Interesting. You should see the map at the end of the book:-
Did we lose Brunei? Or is this the authors' prediction what will happen to Brunei? Scary....