The Relation of Tunku Abdul Rahman with the British on the Issue of the Decolonization of Brunei in 1957 to 1970
Keywords:Brunei, Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, British
This research discusses the development of Malaysia's relation with the British during the administration of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj between 1957 to 1970. The focal issue is on the decolonization of Brunei which is significant to Malaysia and Britain. This research uses the historical methodology of document analysis by analysing archival documents from the British and Australian to show the relationship between Malaysia and the British, in relation to Brunei. The late 1960s was an important era of Britain’s involvement in Southeast Asia, when the administration of British Conservative Government decided to commence the process of decolonization in Asia and Africa. This process affected its colonies in Southeast Asia, especially Brunei, causing the then government to support the idea of the establishment of Malaysia, conjoined by Brunei. The finding of the study shows that, in the early stages, Tun Abdul Rahman’s and the British perspectives corresponded, in the sense that Brunei is very important in the succession of the Federation of Malaysia. However, due to various issues involving Malaysia's relations with Brunei, Brunei declined to join the Federation of Malaysia. This caused the relationship between Malaysia and Brunei, which are still controlled by Britain, has also affected Britain. Thus, Tunku Abdul Rahman and the British had their own views on the decolonization process of Brunei based on their respective interests. The British recognized the importance of Brunei in joining the Federation of Malaysia while Tun Abdul Rahman thought otherwise. The implication of this study indicates that foreign relations of each country must take into account of its national interest, especially when national security and diplomacy are involved.
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