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Brunei's political development between 1966 and 1984 : challenges and difficulties over its security and survival

By Nani Suryani Haji Abu Bakar


After conducting extensive research at the Public Record Office at Kew, London, which involved unearthing documents pertaining to Brunei-UK relationships between 1966 and 1984, I decided to focus my work on Brunei's political development between those periods of time. While I focused my work on this field, it became obvious that Brunei's security and survival remained the main issues that posed challenges and difficulties to the Sultans of Brunei.\ud \ud Starting in 1966, it was indeed a crucial year because this was when Britain decided to end its protection over Brunei. As a result of this decision, Britain put more pressure\ud on the Sultan to implement a democratic system of government in the Sultanate. Britain's insistence that the Sultan should implement the system was supported by Malaysia and Brunei's local party. This demand for democracy posed challenges and difficulties concerning Brunei's security and survival, as it could reduce the power of the Sultan and would bring Brunei within Malaysia. Britain's decision also troubled the Sultan, as it would leave Brunei inadequately protected from any internal and external threats or attacks. Consequently the Sultan was apprehensive over Malaysia, which still wanted to bring Brunei within the Federation of Malaysia, and Indonesia for its past support of the 1962 Bruneian ex-rebels and for harbouring the leader of the rebellion, Azahari, after the end of the rebellion.\ud \ud In this study I hope to give a clearer understanding of Brunei's history particularly between 1966 and 1984, as previous authors of Brunei's history have either not touched\ud at all or only touched briefly on Britain's demands on the Sultan to implement a democratic system of government and Malaysia's persistent objective to bring Brunei\ud within Malaysia. Furthermore, none of the authors of Brunei's history has studied in any detail the issues arising from Malaysia's intention to bring Brunei within Malaysia, i. e., the escape of Brunei's 1962 ex-rebels to Limbang (which made Brunei's call for the return of Limbang an urgent matter) and the- ex-rebels' political activities outside Brunei between 1973 and 1975, which had the support of the Malaysian government and other foreign countries and international organizations.\ud \ud This study benefits from the use of the documents pertaining to Brunei-UK relationships (from 1966 onwards) that are available at the Public Record Office but that previous authors of Brunei's history have not used. Although there is a shortcoming in this study that is the unavailability of records for the period 1976 until 1984, I have used local and foreign newspapers and secondary materials which are available in various institutions both in Brunei and abroad. In addition, I have carried out interviews with key figures pertaining to the issues mentioned above in order to pursue the study. The method used in the study is chronological so that the events and\ud issues highlighted in this thesis can be adequately discussed and followed

Publisher: School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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