Brunei Has Been Independent for Centuries

Brunei has been independent for centuries

JANUARY 18, 1958 – His Highness the Sultan explained the difference between a British Protectorate and a British Crown Colony to the people of Labu during a special visit he made there last Sunday.

“A British Colony,” said His Highness, “is a country which is controlled one hundred per cent by the British Officials and whose policies and laws are made by the British Government.

“Brunei is NOT a British Colony,” emphasised the Sultan. This country is your own country and I am your own Sultan and as such I am responsible for the country’s policies which concern the welfare and prosperity of the State.

“Those who assist with the administration of the country are my officials who are mostly local born. There are also British officials seconded from Sarawak and other places who, before being employed in Brunei, must obtain my sanction and the approval of the State Council and also the recommendation of the Public Service Committee.

“The British Government is our good friend, and this friend will always protect us from invasion from outside countries as well as advise us in the administration whenever such advice and assistance is required. The British Government i, in sending its officials to serve in Brunei, does not intend to gain advantage for its own ends, but to help us in running and developing the country. It is no necessary for me to expand on the great progress we have made since we became a firm friend of the British Government.

“The policy of the British Government is not to enslave the citizens of our country; on the other hand the British Government protects us so that we may always live in peace.”

The Sultan said that when the high posts in Government were vacated by the British Officers, well-educated, clever local citizens would fill them.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin 'Lest We Forget'


Unknown said…
Interesting! If anything, the Sultan revealed that his nation was under more colonization than he was comfortable with, to say the least! Brunei was not a British colony, but it was a protectorate, yes, but ultimately it's just semantics. Like the Dutch and the Portuguese (and the Spanish and French), for hundreds of years the British were grabbing everything they could possibly get their hands on. British officials in the government, the Residency, Shell Oil company...

He said the British "protect us so we may always live in peace", but what he really revealed was that there was a protection deal along the lines of "We protect you, you give us your oil". And we see that until today. Thanks for sharing!
Unknown said…
And thanks to that we are living in peace, protected and your children well-fed. I do agree with most of your statement but not the part where it has become semantics. You see, had the previous Bruneian sultans were as capable as Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the British would’ve let the sultans to exercise their regal absolute authority. The fact that our country has decayed to the point where we need Britain’s help desperately says it all. Read Brunei’s official history and McArthur’s Report on Brunei.

And frankly, you can’t put a price tag on peace and tranquillity. Whatever God bestowed upon us, is never for free.

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