BRUNEI: Hanging On to the Lion's Tail

Pushing toward independence, a tiny sultanate stalls for time

The issue was clear-cut: whether and when, after a century of colonial status, the tiny sultanate of Brunei should gain full independence. The British were understandably defensive. The Bruneians were altogether adamant. The strange thing about the situation, however, as the two sides met for discussions in London, was that this time it was the British who proposed to cast off their remaining colonial ties. On the other hand, Brunei's Sandhurst-educated sultan, Sir Muda Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, 32, who led a retinue of 18 to the negotiating table in Whitehall,...

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