Co. Reg: 1043373-A (KPK/LN 7604) (MA4622)
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Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang ("Land of the Hornbills"), Sarawak is situated on the northwest of the island, bordering the state of Sabah to the northeast, Indonesia to the south, and it contains Brunei, the only country that is enclaved on the island of Borneo.
The administrative capital is Kuching, which has a population of 700,000. Major cities and towns include Miri (pop. 350,000), Sibu (pop. 257,000) and Bintulu (pop. 200,000). As of the last census (2010), the state population was 2,420,009.
During the 15th century, the area was under the influence of the Bruneian Empire and was self-governed under Sultan Tengah. The eastern seaboard of Borneo was charted, though not settled, by the Portuguese in the early 16th century. The area of Sarawak was known to Portuguese cartographers as Cerava. By the early 19th century, Sarawak had become a loosely governed territory under the control of the Brunei Sultanate. During the reign of Pangeran Indera Mahkota in the 19th century, Sarawak was facing chaos. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II (1827–1852), the Sultan of Brunei, ordered Pangeran Muda Hashim in 1839 to restore order and it was during this time that James Brooke arrived in Sarawak. Pangeran Muda Hashim initially requested assistance in the matter, but Brooke refused. In 1841, Brooke paid another visit to Sarawak and this time he agreed to provide assistance. Pangeran Muda Hashim signed a treaty in 1841 surrendering Sarawak and Sinian to Brooke. On 24 September 1841, Pangeran Muda Hashim bestowed the title Governor on James Brooke. He effectively became the Rajah of Sarawak and founded the White Rajah Dynasty of Sarawak, later extending his administration through an agreement with the Sultan of Brunei. Sarawak was thus an independent kingdom from 1841 until 1888, when the state was placed under British protection.
James Brooke was appointed Rajah by the Sultan of Brunei on 18 August 1842. Brooke ruled the territory, later expanded, across the western regions of Sarawak around Kuching until his death in 1868. His nephew Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke became Rajah after his death; he was succeeded on his death in 1917 by his son, Charles Vyner Brooke, with the condition that Charles should rule in consultation with his brother Bertram Brooke. The Sarawak territories were greatly enlarged under the Brooke dynasty, mostly at the expense of areas nominally under the control of Brunei. In practice Brunei had only controlled strategic river and coastal forts in much of the lost territory, so most of the gain was at the expense of Muslim warlords and of the de facto independence of local tribes.
The Brooke dynasty ruled Sarawak for a hundred years and became famous as the "White Rajahs", accorded a status within the British Empire similar to that of the rulers of Indian princely states. In contrast to many other areas of the empire, however, the Brooke dynasty was intent on a policy of paternalism to protect the indigenous population against exploitation. They governed with the aid of the Muslim Malay and enlisted the Ibans and other "Dayak" as a contingent militia. The Brooke dynasty also encouraged the immigration of Chinese merchants but forbade the Chinese to settle outside of towns to minimise the impact on the Dayak way of life. Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak, established the Sarawak Museum, the oldest museum in Borneo.
In the early part of 1941, preparations were afoot to introduce a new constitution, designed to limit the power of the Rajah and give the people of Sarawak a greater say in government. Despite this democratic intention, the draft constitution contained irregularities, including a secret agreement drawn up between Charles Vyner Brooke and his top government officials, financially compensating him via treasury funds.
Extracted from Wikipedia (