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Brunei and Malaysia

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Brunei and Malaysia:
Why Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Refused to Join the Federation
Brunei and Malaysia.jpg
AuthorIsa Bin Ibrahim
PublisherI B Tauris & Co Ltd
Published in English
30 June 2013
Media typePrint (Hardcover)

Brunei and Malaysia: Why Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Refused to Join the Federation is a 2013 book written by Isa Bin Ibrahim, a prominent member of the delegation of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin of Brunei with Neil Lawson QC, a London lawyer acting as the constitutional adviser on the formation of Malaysia. The book offers an inside perspective on Brunei's determination to retain its territory as an oil-rich self-governing state, contrasted with the British desire that Brunei should become part of the new federation to help counter the regional influence of China.


Tunku Abdul Rahman and most of his senior cabinet ministers, including Tun Abdul Razak, Razali Ismail and Tan Siew Sin, met with the Sultan of Brunei to negotiate conditions including:

  • The number of seats in legislature and parliament
  • Control of oil, gas and mineral exploration
  • Production, monetary autonomy and Brunei's earlier investments
  • Method of taxation
  • Authority in education and welfare (sovereign wealth fund)
  • Matters of religion and citizenship
  • The security of Brunei, and the position of the Sultan
  • The status of Brunei within the proposed new federation of Malaysia.

Brunei pulled out of the negotiations before the Malaysia Agreement was signed on 9 July 1963 and subsequently became independent from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984.

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