Malaysia: Fighting the Federation

For months the bush telegraph of Brunei had flashed the warning that deep inside the Delaware-size oil-rich British protectorate on the north coast of Borneo, a secret rebel army was rehearsing a revolt against the Sultan. Repeatedly, government officials dismissed the story as "another jungle rumor." But last week, in a brief, bloody rebellion, rumor materialized into fact, bringing the threat of a long, nasty guerrilla war in the steaming swamps and forests of the protectorate, and imperiling the prospects of the Malaysian Federation.

Major cause of the revolt, it seemed, was the federation plan itself. Brunei's dominant, fiercely independent...

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