Imagine a place in the Far East where the rivers are home to pirates and traders. The land is covered by dense jungle and foreign animals watching you from the darkness. Where the weather is hot or dry, or hot and wet, and the humidity always suffocating and oppressive. A place with no rules and where one can easily make their fortune. Where adventure and possible death are around every corner.
The year is 1838 and James Brooke, a young British aristocrat and naval man, inherits a considerable some of money. He decides to say goodbye to his old life and buys a 142 ton schooner, ‘the Royalist’ and heads for the Far East, arriving into Kuching months later.
During this era Borneo was ruled but the Sultan of Brunei and on Brookes arrival, the city was in the midst of an uprising against the Sultan by the local tribes. He meets the Sultan’s uncle and agrees to help and is successfully and ceasing the rebellion. For his troubles the Sultan grants him political control of Sarawak with the title of ‘Rajah of Sarawak’. The first White Rajah of Sarawak
For approximately 27 years James Brooke became a much loved and respected ruler. Creating councils for leaders to represent each other and settle disputes amicably. Not an easy feat I would imagine and perhaps using skills that today’s UN leaders would admire.