By Abdul Harun Majid
Brunei has lengthy been linked to enormous oil assets and the soundness that its wealth can guarantee. yet little is understood of the rebel of 1962 which would have replaced the fortunes of the sultanate and the destiny of South East Asia. this can be the 1st accomplished background of the Brunei uprising, the set off for the Indonesia-Malaysia war of words of the 60s and of severe value in knowing the background of the zone. The rebel of 1962 used to be a small armed rebellion in aid of a Borneo Federation together with Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo. It adverse the Malaysian Federation, noticeable as a buttress of British and Western imperial interest. In a interval of serious rigidity among the West and the Communist international, China considered the uprising as a countrywide liberation warfare and it was once quick suppressed via the British Emergency Force. yet even if the uprising itself used to be short-lived, the results for the region's diplomacy inside of Asia and with the West - particularly given Brunei's emergence as an important oil-producer - have been far-reaching.
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Extra info for Rebellion in Brunei: The 1962 Revolt, Imperialism, Confrontation and Oil
A crisis over Berlin led to the building of the Wall in the summer of 1961, and 1962 saw the extremely dangerous confrontation over Cuba. To complicate the situation further there was increasing evidence in the period of a split between the Soviet Union and its major ally in Asia, the People’s Republic of China. The regional situation was more mixed in the period 1960–3. 1 Also on the side of peace, and possibly stability, a potentially dangerous crisis over Laos was resolved at the Geneva Conference in 1962.
Sapong was also nearer to Labuan and Brunei. In tactical terms the defence of the Borneo coastal regions was the responsibility of the 56th Independent Mixed Brigade. It was commanded by Major General Akashi Taijiro and arrived in Borneo from Japan in October 1944. It comprised six infantry battalions and had support troops. The Brigade was initially deployed to Tawau in Dutch Borneo. In early March elements of the brigade marched by way of Lahad Datu, Sandakan, Ranau and Jesselton to the Brunei area.
The signals coming out of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, London, Brunei, the Borneo territories and indeed Jakarta and Manila were not always clear or consistent. The main impetus for a larger Federation – what became Malaysia – came from Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Prime Minister of Malaya from 1957 onwards. He was not always clear on exactly what he and his government wanted. The Tunku’s general line was to advocate the inclusion of Singapore and all the Borneo territories – Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo – in Malaysia.