Marsal Maun

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Marsal Maun
Marsal Maun in 1964
2nd Menteri Besar
In office
1 September 1962 – 4 November 1968
MonarchOmar Ali Saifuddien III
DeputyAli Mohamed Daud
Preceded byIbrahim Mohammad Jahfar
Succeeded byYusuf Abdul Rahim
Personal details

(1913-11-08)8 November 1913
Pulau Ambok, Brunei-Muara, Brunei
Died28 March 2000(2000-03-28) (aged 86)
Telanai, Brunei-Muara, Brunei
Resting placeKiarong Muslim Cemetery
SpouseZubaidah Othman
Parent(s)Maun Abdul Rahman (father)
Hajijah Abdul Jalil (mother)
Alma materSultan Idris Education University
ProfessionPolitician and teacher
Awards1993 Teacher's Day Award

Marsal bin Maun (8 November 1913 – 28 March 2000) was the second Menteri Besar (Chief Minister of Brunei), who served from 1961 to 1962. It was during his tenure as Menteri Besar that the Brunei Revolt broke out. He was one of the person responsible for the establishment of the Federation of Brunei Malay Teachers (PGGMB) and Brunei Scout Movement, which both still run till today. He was a prominent member of the Brunei Malay Teachers' Union, close to Sultan Omar Ali Safuddien III, and the first of the "three M's" that the British government dreaded (Pengiran Mohamed Ali and Pengiran Mohamed Yusuf were the other two).[1]


Early life and education[edit]

Marsal Maun was born on 8 November 1913 at Kampong Pulau Ambok (currently known as Kampong Pintu Malim). Marsal Maun had his early education at the Malay School in Jalan Pemancha. After passing primary four, Marsal was appointed as a probationary teacher, and in 1930 he together with Dato Haji Bashir bin Taha attended a teacher training course at the Sultan Idris Training College (SITC), Tanjung Malim, British Malaya, where he qualified as a teacher in 1933.[2] The next year, he was named acting superintendent of schools, and his appointment was confirmed in 1936.[1][3]


Upon his return from the United Kingdom, Marsal was appointed assistant teacher, and in 1934, he was made acting superintendent of education. He later became a founding member of the Persekutuan Guru-Guru Melayu Brunei (Federation of Brunei Malay Teachers) during the period before the Second World War. It was through this association that he became a close confidante of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III.[3]

In January 1933, while working as a teacher at Sekolah Melayu Jalan Pemancha, Pekan (Jalan Pemancha Malay School), Marsal formed a Scout troop with 12 boys.[4] Zaidi Taha, headmaster of the school, who was also the head of the Education Department became the Scoutmaster while Marsal serve as the Assistant Scoutmaster.

Marsal was one of the people who was responsible for advising Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III in drafting the 1959 Constitution for Brunei. He was also one of the members of the Constitutional delegation, representing Brunei, during constitutional talks in London.[3]

Menteri Besar[edit]

Marsal was named Deputy State Secretary on 1 May 1960, and Acting Menteri Besar on 1 August 1961, a position he held until being confirmed on 1 September 1962.[1][5] On 4 May 1960, he was among the 12 state diginitaries selected to become the Royal Regency Council, which they would carry out the duties of the Sultan of Brunei during his trip to the Federation of Malaya.[3]

On 29 July 1961, the Standing Advisory Council on Defence convened. This body was established under the 1959 Agreement to address issues related to internal security. The High Commissioner, the Chief Police Officer, the Officer in Charge of the Special Branch, and the Menteri Besar made up its membership. The Sultan served as its chairman. However, Dato Haji Ibrahim, the Menteri Besar, was absent due to illness. In his stead, the Sultan appointed two of his closest advisors: Pengiran Ali, the head of the department in charge of religious affairs, and Dato Marsal, then acting menteri besar.[6]

Dato Marsal (middle) presenting a gift to Angus MacKintosh (left) prior to his departure in 1963

On 31 March 1963, Dato Marsal led a group of scouts during the farewell ceremony for the departing British High Commissioner to Brunei, Sir Dennis White at Istana Darul Hana. He proceed to thank and praise Dennis for his service to Brunei for many years.[7] On 6 December 1963, Scouts in the Belait District gathered in Padang Besar, to bid farewell to Angus MacKay Mackintosh. Dato Marsal, the Chairman of the Brunei State Scout Council, also gave the former Scout Leader a memento that had been given by Scouts across the State of Brunei.[8]

Rebellion 1962[edit]

Queen's Own Highlanders on a patrol in Seria during the 1962 Brunei revolt

Once the rebellion got going, rebels turned off Brunei Town's electricity. The chief minister's office (Rumah Jerambak), Istana Darul Hana, and the central police station were the primary targets in the capital. The TNKU would compel the Sultan to proclaim a North Kalimantan Federal State by holding him captive. Rebels captured the police guard and stormed the chief minister's house on Jalan Kumpang Pasang in Gadong.[9]

Dato Marsal called police headquarters to request assistance. Six officers from headquarters, including Inspector Ahmad, were deployed. The rebels surrounded and attacked the cops after they arrived. The police surrounded themselves in a protective circle and demanded that the rebels give up. In a short while, the rebels consented to surrender and were promptly returned to the police station, where they managed to enter without incident despite considerable opposition. Accompanying them was Dato Marsal.[9]

According to Jamil Al-Sufri, a TNKU group traveled to Istana Darul Hana in a car and a jeep that had been captured. The Chief Minister, Dato Marsal was at the police station at the time, so the Sultan asked them to bring their petition to him instead of accepting their request to meet him. They carried out this action, and upon reaching the police station, Dato Marsal not only dismissed their appeal but also urged them to turn themselves in. After running away, the rebels were apprehended by the police.[9]

The Sultan had made a transmission on Brunei Radio earlier that morning. He denounced the TNKU revolt as unlawful and issued a dire warning to all those who assisted it. Dato Marsal also did a radio program later that morning. He issued an order for everyone in the nation to surrender their firearms and their certifications to law enforcement, and he imposed a nationwide curfew. The curfew was gradually relaxed after two days, when it was loosened between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to allow people to purchase food and other necessities. The PRB was declared to be prohibited by Dato Marsal.[9]

Later life and death[edit]

Due to health concerns on 1 October 1965, Marsal was forced to take a leave while Pengiran Mohamed Yusuf was appointed as the acting Chief Minister.[10] On 4 November 1968, Dato Marsal retired and started a private business.[1] He continued to be active as an elder statesman. He continued to give advice to more junior ministers who regarded him as mentor. Marsal Maun died on 28 March 2000.

Personal life[edit]

Marsal Maun was married to Datin Zubaidah Othman and blessed with four children; including Zainuddin.[11]



Several places were named after him, including:

  • A road named Jalan Dato Marsal, situated near Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam Secondary School in Jalan Mabohai, Bandar Seri Begawan.[12]
  • Dato Marsal Primary School (SRDM) is a primary school in Lambak Kanan, Bandar Seri Begawan.[13]


  • 1991 Teacher's Day Award.


Marsal Maun was posthumously granted the soubriquet Bapa Perlembagaan (Father of the Constitution). Notably, he was also awarded;[14]


  1. ^ a b c d Hussainmiya, B.A. (2000). ""Manufacturing Consensus": The Role of the State Council in Brunei Darussalam". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 31 (2): 321–350. doi:10.1017/S0022463400017586. ISSN 1474-0680. S2CID 154624298.
  2. ^ "Rengkasan Perkhidmatan Ahli2 Majlis Pemangku Raja" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 4 May 1960. p. 3.
  3. ^ a b c d "Rengkasan Perkhidmatan Ahli2 Majlis Pemangku Raja" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 4 May 1960. p. 3. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  4. ^ Buku Laporan tahunan Negeri Brunei Tahun 1933.
  5. ^ Sidhu, Jatswan S. (22 December 2009). Historical Dictionary of Brunei Darussalam. Scarecrow Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-8108-7078-9.
  6. ^ AWANG MOHAMAD YUSOP, DAMIT (1995). "The Malaysia Plan and the First Brunei Elections" (PDF). Brunei Darussalam 1944 - 1962: Constitutional and Political Development in a Malay-Muslim Sultanate. Department of History, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London: 297.
  7. ^ "Jasa Baik Sir Dennis Tidak Di-Lupakan" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 3 April 1963. p. 4. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Selamat Belayar Dato MacKintosh" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 18 December 1963. p. 2. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d Bin Haji Abdul Majid, Dato’ Haji Harun. The Brunei Rebellion: December 1962 (PDF). King’s College, London. pp. 13–15, 20.
  10. ^ "Pemangku Menteri Besar Brunei" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 6 October 1965. p. 1. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  11. ^ "Catalogue of Privy Council Papers". Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  12. ^ "AROUND BRUNEI: AROUND BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN-- 20th JAN 2007". AROUND BRUNEI. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Berita - Sembahyang Sunat Hajat bagi pelajar bakal..." Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  14. ^ "Mereka yang di-raikan" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 1 March 1967. p. 8.
  15. ^ "D.Y.M.M. Mengurniakan Bintang2 Kehormatan Dan Pingat2 Pada Ari Jadi Baginda" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 2 October 1963. p. 2. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  16. ^ "Raja-Raja Dan Pembesar2 Tanah Melayu Mendapat Pingat Kehormatan" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 1 October 1958. p. 4. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  17. ^ Steinberg, S. (27 December 2016). The Statesman's Year-Book 1962: The One-Volume ENCYCLOPAEDIA of all nations. Springer. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-230-27091-6.
  18. ^ Brunei Government Gazette (PDF). Brunei History Centre. 1 February 1951. p. 14.
Political offices
Preceded by 2nd Menteri Besar
1 September 1962 – 4 November 1968
Succeeded by