chapter  2
9 Pages

Pre- war Borneo

On the eve of the outbreak of the Pacific War (1941-1945), the island of Borneo was politically divided into two halves: the upper, northern portion was referred to as British Borneo, and the remaining southern and western parts as Dutch Borneo. British Borneo comprised three ‘independently’ administered territories: Sarawak under the White Rajah, Sir James Brooke (1841), the Malay Muslim Sultanate of Brunei, and British North Borneo administered by the British North Borneo Chartered Company (1881). All three territories were British protectorates from 1888. Dutch Borneo was administratively divided into Zuider-en Oosterafdeeling van Borneo (South and East Borneo), and Westerafdeeling van Borneo (West Borneo). Alongside Dutch-administered territories there were the various zelfbesturen or self-ruled native areas such as Berau and Kutai in the east and southeast, and Pontianak and Kota Waringin in the west and southwest respectively (Map 2.1).