The Brunei Rebellion of 1962

  • Kathleen Joan Harry

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    The causes of the Brunei Rebellion are little known, despite attracting some attention in the literature on the history of Brunei Darussalam. This thesis posits that the revolt had four main causes and two immediate catalysts, starting with the political development of Bruneian society outside the traditional sphere. The second cause was Brunei’s invitation to enter the proposed Federation of Malaysia, which was bitterly opposed by the Partai Rakyat Brunei (PRB) because of its own dreams of a Brunei-led federation of northern Borneo. Discontent within Brunei and the dysfunction of the government since the promulgation of the constitution in 1959 was the third cause, while the influence of the PRB’s regional and international relationships on its perception of its own capabilities and prospects also played their part.

    The first trigger for the outbreak of the rebellion was the Speaker of the Legislative Council’s rejection of certain motions proposed by the PRB for the first working meeting of that body, which was taken by the Party as a sign that its hopes of implementing some of its policies were not destined to be realised. More importantly, the arrest of several members of the PRB’s armed wing in Sarawak in late November 1962 were thought by the Party leadership to pose an immediate threat to the Party’s very existence.

    The revolt and its aftermath are also explored in detail, since there is no really comprehensive account of the entire period in the literature and there are, as a result, many questions about these events yet to be addressed.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristine Doran (Supervisor)

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