Recounting the Memories of the Past

Category Archives: Concepts and Keywords in History

Extraterritorial rights

When the British and the Sultan of Brunei signed the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce 1847, the British gained a considerable control in trade and territories. They also enjoyed extraterritorial rights in Brunei.

So what is extraterritorial rights? Basically they are rights of foreigners outside of (“extra”) their own country. With these rights, the British could get away from harsh punishments in accordance to Hukum Kanun (Islamic law) if they were caught committing any crimes though they would still be tried in the British court.

To demonstrate some examples of punishments according to Hukum kanun, i extract two clauses:

  1. In clause five talks about the punishment of qisas for murder and also for the murderer to be killed in return for his crime;
  2. In clause seven talks about offence of stealing, the punishment of which would be to cut off certain part of his hand.

Now you see how the British made a smart move in 1847 by signing the treaty of friendship and commerce to not only gain exclusive rights in trade and territories in Brunei but also protecting the British subjects in Brunei from any unpleasant treatments and punishments.



The word means as quoted in the Merriam-Webster, “an error in chronology especiallly a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects or customs in regard to each other.” or in other words, a person or thing that is placed at a wrong time.

Take for instance: Sultan Bolkiah was engrossed on his I-pad while looking at the sea in hope for more land to conquer. The anachronism here is the I-pad was not invented until the early 21st century. Such anachronism sometimes happen by mistakes well in this case i purposely put it into context for better understanding.

Here is another example, try to spot the anachronism in the picture below:



According to wikipedia, absolutism refers to a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by any other institutions. TheFreeDictionary by Farlex, on the other hand, defines the word as a form of government in which all power is vested in a single ruler or other authority.

In Brunei situation, the Sultan’s government is considered to be an absolute one because there is no other institution or political body that can challenge or even question him. Afterall he is the head of state and Islam. Having said that the establishment of legislative council helps to voice out opinions and issues concerning certain matters of the State . This government system has been practiced over many centuries ago and continued to be strong unlike those in other parts of the world or even our neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.