Welcome to my private journal generally on Brunei issues. Any opinions expressed are in my personal capacity. All rights to the articles are reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2007

No clear boundary Brunei-Sarawak

This news on the trial of the two 'princesses' is interesting as it brought up other issues namely in the boundary between Brunei and Sarawak. As far as I know there has never been any modern demarcation between the Brunei and the state of Sarawak. Whatever border that was agreed upon was I think agreed upon by the British Residents present in both territories for their administrative purposes. It does open up all sort of possibilities.

No clear boundary, court told

MIRI: Malaysia and Brunei have never carried out a survey to determine the exact location of their borders, a Sessions Court heard yesterday.

“Until a survey is carried out, the accuracy of the location of the border can lead to confusion,” Sarawak Land and Survey Department chief assistant director of surveying Jamaluddin Md Zain said.

He was testifying at the trial of Puteri Lamia Roro Wiranata, 21, and Puteri Fathia Reza, 23, who claimed to be “princesses” of the Sunda Empire.

They are facing three charges each of having illegally entered Malaysia and having made false representations using their Sunda diplomatic passports to try to enter Malaysia.

They allegedly committed the offences between July 8 and July 22 this year.

The two women were arrested at a vacant plot of land after Malaysia’s Sungai Tujuh checkpoint but before Brunei’s Kuala Belait checkpoint on July 22 after they were found loitering in this zone.

Jamaluddin said the vacant plot of land was considered “Sarawak’s territory”.

“There is actually no ‘no man’s land’ because this area is within the Malaysian boundary,” he told the court.

Upon questioning by defence counsel Shankar Ram, Jamaluddin said international border boundary lines were agreed upon between the governments of the two countries.

Jamaluddin acknowledged that he does not have any experience in conducting international boundary surveys and that there are maps which show a different boundary between Sarawak and Brunei.

When pointed out by Shankar that a big part of Sarawak belonged to Brunei before the Raja Brooke era in Sarawak, Jamaluddin agreed.

“Yes, I know that Sarawak was a lot smaller before and that the Brunei Sultan had given more land to Sarawak during the Brooke era,” he said, adding that he did not know that the Queen of England had already demarcated a boundary line between Sarawak and Brunei long before independence.

No comments: