Brunei Days by TS Monks

I was rereading one of my Brunei books when I came across this one by TS Monks. This is so far the only book that I know that was written about Brunei at the end of the Second World War. Captain Monks, a British officer was seconded to the Australian Army and was part of the returning forces forcing the Japanese out of Brunei and Borneo.

He and another officer were tasked to jumpstart the new government and this book is an account of those early years in the mid 1940s just after the end of the Second World War. The book was written more or less like a personal journal of what he went through. Though one sided, he has given an accurate and descriptive account of what actually goes on at that time. For that, you can not get anyone better than Monks.

Surprisingly Monks did not return back to Brunei a full 35 years after he left. He was only here in Brunei for a couple of years and it took him 35 years after he left. The description of the changes in those 35 years alone makes the book a worthwhile buy.

I would suggest if you can still find the book in Brunei, buy it and hold on to it. I bought it more than 10 years ago for $37 but I dare say you would probably have to pay a lot more for this 1992 publication.


Al-Qadr said…
You can say that again, BRo.

That particular book is a great read from where one can try to put 2 and 2 together as to how Brunei Darussalam is what she is today (minus Limbang). Although my gut feelings tell me that many more 'sensitive' stories had been withheld by the writer, still it was a factual journal which could have been turned into a romantic movie to be shot on location in the Abode of Peace by a Hollywood wannabe producer or director!;)

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