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Brunei and the British Decolonisation Policy, 1950 — 1966

Nani Suryani Haji Abu Bakar

Abstract


ABSTRACT: This article is about Britain’s long-term plan to decolonize Brunei between 1950 and 1966. The Sultan was concerned of the British plan as it would affect Brunei’s security and survival. This led him to promulgate the 1959 Constitution as he wanted to defend the position of the monarch and the monarchy. Since the Sultan was not attracted in the British plan to associate Brunei with the two Northern Borneo territories, the plan met with failure. Later, there was the Malaysian plan which was announced by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Prime Minister of Malaya, which was aimed at establishing a federation of Malaysia that would consist of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei. The Sultan was careful towards the plan. The Brunei’s People Party, however, was contrary to the plan from its beginning. The Sultan did also not agree the Malaysian plan straightaway. The Sultan abandoned the plan mainly because he wanted to secure the position of the monarch and the monarchy. Nonetheless, after Brunei’s rejection of Malaysia in 1963, Britain was enduring its effort to bring Brunei within the federation of Malaysia at least by 1965.

KEY WORD: Britain, Sultan of Brunei, decolonize, Northern Borneo territories, Malaysian plan, and Brunei’s People Party.

IKHTISAR: “Brunei dan Dasar Dekolonisasi British, 1950 — 1966”. Artikel ini adalah mengenai rancangan jangka panjang British untuk melepaskan negeri yang berada dibawah perlindungannya, iaitu Brunei diantara tahun 1950 dan 1966. Sultan Brunei bimbang rancangan Britain ini akan memberi kesan kepada keselamatan dan survival Brunei. Ini membuatkan Sultan Brunei menggubal Perlembagaan Brunei pada tahun 1959, kerana baginda mahu melindungi kedudukan raja dan kesultanan Brunei. Oleh kerana Sultan Brunei tidak berminat dengan rancangan British, rancangan itu telah mengalami kegagalan. Kemudian disusuli pula dengan Rancangan Malaysia yang telah diumumkan oleh Tunku Abdul Rahman, Perdana Menteri Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, yang bertujuan untuk menubuhkan Persekutuan Malaysia yang terdiri daripada Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, Singapura, Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei. Sultan Brunei mengambil langkah berhati-hati terhadap rancangan ini. Akan tetapi Parti Rakyat Brunei tidak bersetuju dengan rancangan itu daripada mula lagi. Sultan Brunei pun tidak bersetuju menerima Rancangan Malaysia sertamerta. Sultan Brunei menolak Rancangan Malaysia kerana ia mahu menjaga kedudukan Sultan dan juga kesultanan Brunei. Namun, selepas penolakan Brunei terhadap Malaysia pada tahun 1963, British tetap berusaha untuk memasukkan Brunei ke dalam federasi Malaysia, sekurang-kurangnya pada tahun 1965.

KATA KUNCI: British, Sultan Brunei, melepaskan negeri di bawah perlindungan, wilayah Utara Borneo, rancangan Malaysia, dan Parti Rakyat Brunei.

About the Author: Dr. Nani Suryani Haji Abu Bakar is a Lecturer at the International and Historical Studies Programme, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences UBD (University of Brunei Darussalam), Jalan Tunku Link, Gadong, Negara Brunei Darussalam. For academic interest, the author can be contacted via e-mail at: nani.bakar@ubd.edu.bn

How to cite this article? Suryani Haji Abu Bakar, Nani. (2014). “Brunei and the British Decolonisation Policy, 1950 — 1966” in SUSURGALUR: Jurnal Kajian Sejarah & Pendidikan Sejarah, Vol.2(2), September, pp.123-140. Bandung, Indonesia: Minda Masagi Press and UBD Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, ISSN 2302-5808.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (July 13, 2014); Revised (August 19, 2014); and Published (September 24, 2014).


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