Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Negara Brunei Darussalam: Obituary 2010-2011

Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Negara Brunei Darussalam: Obituary 2010-2011

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The paper for 2010 was held over; so the format this time varies slightly from the usual pattern. An introduction to the obituaries for 2010 (part two) is followed by an update for 2011 (part three). The final section (No 4) comprises more detailed biographies in alphabetical order for both years combined. The cut-off-date is the end of November 2011.

2. Obituary 2010

Although this year's sample does not include any member of the NBD royal family, HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah grieved nevertheless for HM Sultan Mahmud Iskandar of Johor, who was summoned to the mercy of Allah on 22 January 2010 or 6 Safar 1431.

The most prominent domestic departure during the year was probably that of YB Pehin Abidin bin OKP Abdul Rashid, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs from 1986 until 2002, and thereafter a Member of the Privy Council. Among civil servants, attention might be drawn here to Dato Paduka Sunny bin Ahmat. District administration is represented by Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Diraja Abu Hanifah, an important penghulu in the Belait basin.

The nobility lost YAM Pengiran Seri Indera Pengiran DP Haji Ismail bin PH Mohammad, one of the "small ceteria."

The case of YD Pehin Hong Kok Tin is a curiosity. Deceased for many years, it appears that his estate has still not been settled. One businessman to die actually in 2010 was John Heaney.

The world of entertainment mourned "Liau Badar" (Haji Rais bin Banih).

The roads continue to exact their heavy annual toll in Negara Brunei Darussalam, although the number of fatalities during 2010 (twenty-six) was actually lower than it has been for several years. A further thirty-nine persons would die before the end of November 2011. (1)

Notable personages from the colonial era were Michael Ireland Blackburne, who actually died in January 2011, and Dr. Michael Alexander Rozalla.

As usual, military personnel from the Confrontation era and from the British military structure in Southeast Asia are well represented (see under Bitmead, Evelegh, Gouriet, Hedgeland, Magan, and Moore). Most noteworthy of all in this connection, however, is Brigadier Dato D.M. Fletcher, OC Brunei Malay Regiment 1964-6 (renamed the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment in 1965). The current commander of the Angkatan Melayu Diraja Brunei, as it is now known, is a son of the Pehin Abidin mentioned above.

Writers/journalists include, among others, Winston Churchill (grandson of the wartime prime minister), Lady Healey (distinguished biographer of Angela, Baroness Burdett-Coutts), and Peter Calvocoressi. Elizabeth Scanlon lived in Brunei in 1950-1 and elsewhere in Borneo for much longer.

Some persons are of interest because of their family connections. Pride of place here belongs, perhaps, to Lady Milverton (105), whose husband, Mr. A.F. Richards (subsequently raised to the peerage) was Governor of North Borneo fully eighty years ago. Dr. Dione Clementi was the daughter of the former High Commissioner for Brunei contemporary (as such) with Mr. Richards. Pengiran Haji Patra was the son of a Pengiran Anak while the father of Haji Majid was a POK Maharaja Diraja. Several others fall into this category.

3. Obituary 2011

Several giants took their leave during 2011.

The NBD royal family lost the widow of the Seri Begawan Sultan (YAM Pengiran Bini PA Salhah) and PA Haji Abdul Rahman, as well as (from further afield) DYMM Tengku Ampuan Bariah of Terengganu (originally from Selangor), a cousin of YTM PSPAP Hajjah Norihsani. (2) Dr. Reginald Seymour Lawrie, a former General Physician to HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, died at the age of ninety-three on 15 January 2011. Brigadier (Retd) Sawai Bhawani Singh (1931-2011), High Commissioner of lndia to NBD, between 1993 and 1997, had been Maharaja of Jaipur prior to the abolition of such titles in 1972. YAM Pengiran Lela Utama Mohd Said bin Pengiran Ahmad (1921-2011), a nobleman of ceteria rank, died at home on 26 August 2011. …

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