Crown Colony of Sarawak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Crown Colony of Sarawak
British colony
God Save the King (1946–1952)
God Save the Queen (1952–1963)
Fair Land Sarawak
Capital Kuching
Languages English, Iban, Melanau, Bidayuh, Sarawak Malay, Chinese etc.
Government Crown colony
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II
 •  1946–1949 Charles Clarke
 •  1960–1963 Alexander Waddell
Historical era New Imperialism
 •  Sarawak ceded to the Crown Colony 1 July 1946[1][2]
 •  Self-government 22 July 1963
 •  Malaysia Agreement 16 September 1963
Currency Sarawak dollar, later Malaya and British Borneo dollar
Preceded by
Succeeded by
British Military Administration (Borneo)
Kingdom of Sarawak
Today part of  Malaysia

The Crown Colony of Sarawak was a British Crown colony on the island of Borneo established in 1946 shortly after the dissolution of the British Military Administration. It was succeeded as the state of Sarawak through the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963.


After the end of Japanese occupation in Sarawak on 11 September 1945, British Military Administration took over Sarawak for 7 months before handed over back to Rajah Charles Vyner Brooke on 15 April 1946. With the signing of cession bill on 18 May 1946, the cession of Sarawak as British Crown Colony became effective on 1 July 1946. The first governor did not arrive until 29 October 1946. Sarawak became the British Crown Colony for 17 years before participated in the formation of Malaysia.[3]


The Governor of British Crown Colony of Sarawak (Malay: Tuan Yang Terutama Gabenor Koloni Mahkota British Sarawak) was the position created by the British Government upon the cession of Sarawak from the Brooke Administration in 1946. The appointment was made by King George VI, and later Queen Elizabeth II until the self-government of Sarawak on 22 July 1963[4][5][6] and the forming of the Federation of Malaysia on 1963.[7] After the formation of Malaysia, the title was changed to 'Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak', which also means 'His Excellency The Governor of Sarawak', or 'His Excellency The Head of State of Sarawak' and the appointment was later made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or King of Malaysia. The official residence of the Governor of Sarawak at that time was The Astana, located at the North bank of the Sarawak River.

List of Governors of the Crown Colony of Sarawak

Governor of British Crown Colony of Sarawak
Flag of the Governor of the Crown Colony of Sarawak (1946–1963).svg
Style His Excellency
Residence The Astana
Appointer King George VI
succeeded in 1952 by Queen Elizabeth II
Inaugural holder Charles Arden-Clarke
Formation 1946–1963
Final holder Alexander Waddell
Abolished 16 September 1963 (Formed the Federation of Malaysia)[7]
No. Name Took Office Left Office Note
1. Charles Arden-Clarke 1 July 1946 26 July 1949 First Governor of the Crown Colony of Sarawak
2. Duncan Stewart 14 November 1949 10 December 1949 Assassinated by Rosli Dhobi while visiting Sibu on 3 December 1949
3. Anthony Abell 4 April 1950 15 November 1959 Originally appointed for the term of 3 years only, but his term was extended to 1959. He would later become one of the members of the Cobbold Commission.
4. Alexander Waddell 23 February 1960 22 July 1963[4][5][6] Last Governor of Sarawak.


The economy of Sarawak was heavily depended upon the agricultural sector and was heavily influenced by the government expenditure on the economy, imports and exports. Consumption and investments made up only a small part of the economy as majority of the population were working in the agricultural sector.[3]


A census conducted in 1947 shown that the population in Sarawak was 546,385 with Iban people, Chinese, and Malay made up 79.3% of the population. At the beginning of the colonial period, 72% of the population were subsistence farmers, 13% were growing cash crops and 15% were paid workers. Among the various ethnic groups in Sarawak, only the Chinese were closely associated with entrepreneurship.[3]

Ethnic groups in Sarawak (1947)[3]
Ethnic Percent
Others (indigenous)
Others (non-indigenous)
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1947 546,385 —    
1948* 554,786 +1.5%
1949* 563,187 +1.5%
1950* 571,558 +1.5%
1951* 579,989 +1.5%
1952* 588,390 +1.4%
1953 596,790 +1.4%
1954* 607,919 +1.9%
1955* 620,056 +2.0%
1956 631,431 +1.8%
1957 648,362 +2.7%
1958* 675,994 +4.3%
1959 703,525 +4.1%
1960 752,314 +6.9%
1961 768,545 +2.2%
1962 776,990 +1.1%
* Interplolated figures
All the yearly data in the table were ending on 31 December except for 1962 which was ending in June. No census data available from 1948-1952 and 1958. Therefore, the yearly data are interpolated by dividing the differences between the years equally. Data from 1954 and 1955 were ending in June. Therefore, the figures are interpolated to 31 December for both years.
Source: [3]

See also

Further reading

  • List of the governors of the Crown Colony of Sarawak and the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (archive version)


  1. ^ "Sarawak as a British Crown Colony (1946 â€" 1963)". Sarawak State Government. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Walter Yust (1947). Ten eventful years: a record of events of the years preceding, including and following World War II, 1937 through 1946. Encyclopaedia Britannica. p. 382. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Alexander, Gordon Crocker (2002). "The economic history of Sarawak during the colonial period (1946-1963)" (PDF). Faculty of Economics and Business - Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Retrieved 10 February 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "The National Archives DO 169/254 (Constitutional issues in respect of North Borneo and Sarawak on joining the federation)". The National Archives. 1961–1963. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Vernon L. Porritt (1997). British Colonial Rule in Sarawak, 1946-1963. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-983-56-0009-8. 
  6. ^ a b Philip Mathews (28 February 2014). Chronicle of Malaysia: Fifty Years of Headline News, 1963-2013. Editions Didier Millet. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-967-10617-4-9. 
  7. ^ a b Frans Welman. Borneo Trilogy Sarawak: Volume 2. Booksmango. pp. 134–. ISBN 978-616-245-089-1. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 

External links

  • Colonial administration records (migrated archives): Sarawak (Malaysia) at The National Archives (Pg. 65)
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Crown Colony of Sarawak"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA