Brunei and Sarawak

Up to 1906, there were still factions within Brunei that wanted Brunei to be absorbed into Rajah Brooke's Sarawak. It was an open secret that Rajah Brooke really wanted to absorb Brunei and there have been many phrases quoted of his desire. In fact, Rajah Brooke ran more or less Muara (then called Brooketon) and ran the coal mine operation there at a loss, he also manage to acquire the entire Kota Batu area. It was in the 1920s or 1930s when he died that Kota Batu was reacquired for Brunei.

I was trawling around the internet and found this in UK's Parliamentary report - the Hansard of questions asked in the British Parliament about Brunei especially with regard to the petition to bring Brunei into Sarawak. This question was posed in December 1906:-

SIR EDWARD SASSOON I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies from what source the cost of the recently created residency at Brunei is found; if from the Federated Malay States and Brunei, in what proportions; whether the Secretary of State has had before him a copy of the petition, signed by the present Regent and his Ministers, addressed to His Highness the Rajah of Sarawak, praying for his influence to effect the absorption of Brunei into Sarawak; and whether, in view of this and of local circumstances, the Colonial Office propose to assent to such absorption.

§ MR. CHURCHILL The British President is also Colonial Secretary of Labuan and is paid from Labuan funds. In other respects the cost of the residency is borne by Brunei, aided by an imperial contribution of £600 which is made in return for the discharge by the President of the duties of Consul for Sarawak and North Borneo. A copy of the petition referred to has been communicated to the Secretary of State. It is signed by the Pengiran Bendahara, who is one of two joint Regents, and by certain other persons, most of whom cannot be identified. There is no reason to suppose that any considerable proportion of the people of Brunei desires annexation to Sarawak. The idea was strongly opposed by the late Sultan to whom a promise was given that his dynasty should be uphold. His Majesty's Government are not as at present informed, inclined to depart from the policy which has been adopted.


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