Recounting the Memories of the Past

Tag Archives: Brunei

Where is exactly Tanjung Puan?

Tanjung or point means a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water, less prominent than a cape. This Tanjung Puan according to the textbook was part of the concession belonged to Charles Brooke in 1884. But it seems that this Tanjung Puan is located in Temburong and quite far from Terusan. Brunei Forestry Department also has a working station at Tanjung Puan to protect wildlife in that surrounding vicinity. So it could be true that Tanjung Puan belongs to Brunei and perhaps the textbook got mixed up and used Tanjung Puan as the boundary to where the British claimed Terusan district.

Tanjung Puan - Part of Brunei or Sarawak?



Topic Review on Sultan Abdul Momin

1). What was Sultan Abdul Momin’s relationship to SOAS I?

The grandson of SOAS I

2). What was Sultan Abdul Momin’s relationship to SOAS II?

The son-in-law of SOAS II.

3). In which year did Sultan Abdul Momin give up James Brooke Batang Lupar Area?


4). What were the territories given up by the Sultan in 1855 to James Brooke?

Samarahan to Rajang.

5). What were the territories ceded by the Sultan in 1861 to James Brooke?

Rajang to Bintulu including Mukah to Oya. Take note: Coastal areas and rivers of Tanjung Kedurong were also ceded to James Brooke in the same year.

6). When did James Brooke leave Kuching after 22 years as the Raja of Sarawak?

1863 and he died in 1868 in England.

7). What were the territories inherited by Charles Brooke when he became the new Raja?

Tanjung Datu to Tanjung Kedurong.

8). What were the areas given to Charles Brooke in 1883?

Tanjung Kedurong to Baram.

9). What were the districts obtained by Charles Brooke in 1884?

Tanjung Puan to Terusan.

10). What was Charles Lee Moses appointed as in Brunei 1865?

American Consul General to Brunei.

11). What were the territories obtained by Charles Lee Moses when he signed a treaty with the Sultan?

Sulaman river to Paitan river.

12). What were the territories obtained by Charles Lee Moses from Pg Temenggong Pg Anak Hashim?

Paitan river to Kimanis including Balabak Island and Palawan Island.

13). What was the name of the company set up by Charles Lee Moses and William Joseph Torrey?

American Trading Company.

14). Who did WJ Torrey sell his concession rights in North Borneo to?

Baron von Overbeck (Austrian Consul General to Hong Kong).

15). Who did Baron von Overbeck go into partnership with and formed the Dent Company?

Alfred Dent.

16). Why did Baron von Overbeck sell his share to Alfed Dent?

He faced financial problems and could not get any support from Austrian government.

17). When did the British government grant the Royal charter to British North Borneo Company ?


18). Who was the first governor of North Borneo?

William Hood Treacher.

19). What was the agreement of Amanat 1885 about?

An agreement between Sultan, Wazirs, Manteris and Tulin holders to not cede any remaining territories to foreigners.

20). Why was the agreement of Amanat 1885 not effective?

No support from the British and Brunei did not have warships to enforce the Amanat so that’s why many Brunei territories continued to be taken including Limbang.

………………………………………The end………………………………………………

Rodney Mundy’s action in the ceding of Labuan

Captain Rodney Mundy or later known as Admiral Sir George Rodney Mundy was a friend of James Brooke. Both of them support each other if they faced troubles. Captain Rodney Mundy sailed to Sarawak in 1842 he took over HMS Iris and was deployed to Borneo to conduct operations against pirates.

On 1846, James Brooke with Captain Rodney Mundy and Admiral Cochrane sailed to Brunei Town. They attacked the Town on the excuse that the Sultan had done wrong by killing Pg Muda Hashim and his family.

In November 1846 Rodney Mundy was given permission to take over Labuan. He managed to force the Sultan to make up his mind and signed the Treaty of Labuan. He informed the Sultan that British warships was anchoring nearby and that the Sultan would suffer a loss if his palace was burnt down.

24th December 1846 Captain Rodney Mundy hoisted the Union Jack on Labuan Island.



Year 7 field trip to Brunei Museum

History department organised a field trip to Brunei Museum at Kota Batu not long ago on 14 March 2011. The students didn’t get much to see because the galleries on the first floor underwent renovation and repairs. I still remember the smell of the paint caused a bit of headache or nausea for others. Even though the trip didn’t go well to plan, students were really excited and most importantly gained experience of learning history outside school.


The Man behind the Attack of Brunei 1846

Over a short period of years particularly from 1846 to 1847, Sultan of Brunei was continually threatened and intimidated by the British to cede more of its territories and privileges (though in return the Sultan received annual payment) that ended with the unavoidable signing of treaties hugely favoured on the British side.

No doubt that James Brooke’s scheme and his personal motive was the main factor behind this successful feat of the British to take place but really would he be able to do it alone? Surely he needed help from someone else (a naval commander perhaps?) to make things run smoothly according to plan. So who was he? Who was this man that made such threats and attack so unbearable that the Sultan could not simply say NO? The answer to that is of course: SIR THOMAS JOHN COCHRANE.

He was responsible for the attack of Brunei in 1846 at the same time destroying the forts and also the cession of Labuan (though he just instructed Captain Rodney Mundy to take charge under his command). On top of that, he heavily involved in anti-piracy operations in Borneo.

For more information click this link:


The other Thomas Cochrane - same name but different person

Was Sir James Brooke a married person?

Hoping no student will ask me that quite ‘sensitive’ question but soon they noticed that he was that kind-of-a-person (if you know what i mean *smile*). I have difficulty to defend that he was not that kind-of-a-person (for moral sake) and apparently i found out that he was ‘believed to be’ married to the grand daughter of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II. Click this link below to read more about his personal life.


However, it could be true that he was officially “unmarried and without issue” passed down the title Raja to the son of his sister.

Sir James Brooke

Pengiran Indera Mahkota

Before Pengiran Indera Mahkota was known by that title, his real name was Pengiran Mohd Salleh ibnu Pengiran Sharifuddin. He was born in Sambas. His father was a descendant of Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin.

Pengiran Md Salleh was a well-educated man during his time. He was educated at Batavia and later furthered his studies in Holland.

Around 1820 the reigning Sultan at that time Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam summoned Pg Md Salleh to return to Brunei. His Highness then conferred on him the title Pengiran Indera Mahkota. Since then he was better knownby the title Pengiran Indera Mahkota. Seven years later Pengiran Indera Mahkota was given the task to act as the head of Government or Governor of Sarawak representing the Sultan of Brunei. It was Pengiran Indera Mahkota who first founded Kuching at a site named Lidah Tanah.

Around 1834 while Pengiran Indera Mahkota was ruling Sarawak Pengiran Muda Hashim arrived there to try to collect revenue. The reigning Sultan at that time was Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II the nephew of Pengiran Muda Hashim.

Pengiran Muda Hashim’s arrival was not personally recieved by Pengiran Indera Mahkota. He only sent his officers to recieve him while he himself waited in his court. This act hurt Pengiran Muda Hashim’s feelings  and he accused Pengiran Indera Mahkota of not respecting him, an uncle of the Sultan. Pengiran Indera Mahkota’s justification was that since he was appointed by the Sultan surely he had the right to do what he thought was right. Since that day the conflict between the two started and it became worse with the arrival of James Brooke.

With Pengiran Muda Hashim in Sarawak, the Government of Sarawak was split into two. This gave rise to an uneasy situation in Sarawak. Besides this, there were constant quarrels among the Dayaks.

Pengiran Indera Mahkota was an intelligent man who was bold enough to face any problems. This contradicted the view held by some western historians who said that he was a tyrant. James Brooke himself acknowledged Pengiran Indera Mahkota’s shrewdness, as he had so recorded in his diary. It was because of his shrewdness that he was not influenced by James Brooke. Rather James Brooke regarded him as a threat to his plan of taking over Sarawak.

Pengiran Indera Mahkota knew the promise made between James Brooke and Pengiran Muda Hashim and saw it as a threat that could see Brunei became smaller and weaker. He devised several ways to get rid of James Brooke from Sarawak. Possibly this attitude of his led some historians to regard him as tyrannical. Pengiran Indera Mahkota’s actions had caused James Brooke to threaten to kill Pengiran Indera Mahkota’s followers should Pengiran Muda Hashim fail to fulfil his promise immediately. The threat was made on 24th September 1841. On that very day he was forced to proclaim James Brooke as the ruler of Sarawak. He did this in order to avoid bloodshed in the country.

It was only on 1st August 1842 that James Brooke was officially appointed as Raja Sarawak by the Sultan of Brunei. The appointment hurt Pengiran Indera Mahkota’s feelings because his post as Governor of Sarawak had not been abolished yet. In view of this Pengiran Indera Mahkota withdrew from Sarawak. He went to Batang Lupar and from there he travelled along the coast of Sarawak, finally settling down in Mukah.

Pengiran Indera Mahkota stayed for some time in Mukah. It was only in 1845 that Pengiran Indera Mahkota returned to Brunei when he was recalled by Pengiran Anak Abdul Momin, the son-in-law and assistant of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II. It was during his voyage to Brunei that he started composing Syair Rakis and after several months in Brunei he completed his works. One copy of his book was presented to Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II and another to Pengiran Anak Abdul Momin.

Because Syair Rakis contained various kinds of advice, guidance and lessons, many copies of the original were made. These copies were given to the chiefs to read.

In 1852 Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II passed away and Pengiran Anak Abdul Momin was crowned the twenty-fourth Sultan of Brunei. Sultan Abdul Momin conferred the title of Pengiran Shahbandar on Pengiran Indera Mahkota, one of the highest honours in Brunei in Brunei at that time.

James Brooke always kept up with the development of Brunei. He was rather concerned about the presence of Pengiran Shahbandar in Brunei. James Brooke made use of other people to eliminate Pengiran Shahbandar. It was said that there was a revolt in Limbang. On James Brooke’s instigation, the family of Pengiran Muda Hashim suggested that Pengiran Shahbandar lead an army to Limbang to settle the revolt which was said to have broken out there.

On the way to Limbang at a place called Lubai, Pengiran Shahbandar who could not swim was made to drown by capsizing his boat. He was buried at Kianggeh on 1858.

Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam

He was the 21st Sultan of Brunei, the son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien I and ascended to the throne from 1807 until 1826. He succeeded Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin and was famously known as ‘Pengiran Di Gadong Ayah’.

Some of his contributions to Brunei were as listed below:

  • in 1821 he issued pitis coins to the Padian.
  • he strenghthened the relations between Brunei and Spanish Manila

He was an open-minded and diplomatic Sultan who wanted to established good relations with Europeans. In 1809 for example the British troops headed by ‘Si Merah’ was well recieved by the Sultan and accepted his challenge to allow any Bruneians  who can beat the huge fierce dog owned by ‘Si Merah’. Consequently, this dog was beaten byPengiran Muhammad Daud and that achievement earned him the title Pengiran Pemancha. Amazingly he was also the saviour of his Majesty when a free loose tiger (agift from Sultan Terengganu) was put back into the cage.

The turning point of Brunei’s history was when he promoted Pengiran Muhammad Salleh to become Pengiran Indera Mahkota (Cheteria) and appointed him  as the Governor of Sarawak. Even though he was considered to be a wise noble (he who wrote Syair Rakis voicing out his concerns over the exploits of the British in Brunei’s territories), his attitudes and actions (the textbook seemed to protrayed him as the culprit) has caused troubles in Sarawak and internal conflicts within the royal family which gave an opportunity to James Brooke to intervene (i.e. the beginning of  Brunei’s lost territories).

More information and pictures where Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam buried peacefully click this link:



Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien I

SOAS I, the 18th Sultan of Brunei was the son of Sultan Muhammad Alauddin and Pengiran Babu Seri Banum. He had 3 wives all of which were the princesses of Sultan Husin Kamaluddin. He had 6 princes (namely Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin and Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam) and a princess.

He was believed to be one of the longest serving Sultan (55 years – 1740-1795 cf Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar 58 – 1598-1659). He was known for his just rule and wisdom who simply followed the footstep of his father-in-law Sultan Husin Kamaluddin. In fact when his father-in-law was still alive, he recieved good knowledge, advice and experience from him during his reigning period.

In 1775, Sultan of Sulu sent a troop to Brunei headed by Dato Teting to settle the issue of North Borneo (or Sabah) which was a promise made between Sultan Muhyiddin to Sultan of Sulu after the Sulu helped him to a victorious battle that ended to his favour. The two sides confronted each other that resulted the  surrender of Dato Teting and his troops retreated to Sulu as they found out Brunei’s warriors led by Pengiran Temenggong Ampa ibni Sultan Muhammad Alauddin (17th) were too superior for them to fight.

In the same year according to the textbook Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien I offered the British Labuan in exchange of protection against Sulu. Thus also explains why Sulu failed to defeat Brunei (the might of British weapons) even though Sulu and local pirates managed to destroyed the British’s trading post in Balambangan in 1773.

SOAS I passed away peacefully on 10 July 1795 at Royal Mausoleum. His posthumous name given was Marhum di Makam Besar.  For pictures and additional information please refer to the link below: