Singapore is the political, commercial and administrative headquarters of the colony of the Straits Settlements, and the governor for the time being is ex officio high commissioner of the Federated Malay States, British North Borneo, Sarawak, the Cocos-Keeling and Christmas Islands, and governor of Labuan.
These people inhabit the whole of the Malayan Peninsula to the borders of lower Siam, the islands in the vicinity of the mainland, the shores of Sumatra and some portions of the interior of that island, Sarawak and Brunei in Borneo, and some parts of Dutch Borneo, Batavia and certain districts in Java, and some of the smaller islands of the archipelago.
P p Y centre of the colony, the governor, who is also ex officio high commissioner of the Federated Malay States, British North Borneo, Brunei, Sarawak and governor of Labuan, has his principal residence here.
Labuan was ceded to Great Britain in 1846, chiefly through the instrumentality of Sir James Brooke, the first raja of Sarawak, and was occupied two years later.
The bishop of Singapore and Sarawak is also bishop of Labuan.
Politically Borneo is divided into four portions: (1) British North Borneo, the territory exploited and administered by the Chartered British North Borneo Company, to which a separate section of this article is devoted; (2) Brunei, a Malayan sultanate under British protection; (3) Sarawak, the large territory ruled by raja Brooke, and under British protection in so far as its foreign relations are concerned; and (4) Dutch Borneo, which comprises the remainder and by far the largest and most valuable portion of the island.
These chains are: (1) the folded chain of the upper Kapuas, which divides the western division of Dutch Borneo from Sarawak, extends west to east, and attains near the sources of the Kapuas river a height of s000 to 6000 ft.; (2) the Schwaner chain, south of the Kapuas, whose summits range from 3000 to 7500 ft., the latter being the height of Bukit Raja, a plateau which divides the waters of the Kapuas from the rivers of southern Borneo; and (3) the Muller chain, between the eastern parts of the Madi plateau (presently to be mentioned) and the Kapuas chain, a volcanic region presenting heights, such as Bukit Terata (4700 ft.), which were once active but are now long extinct volcanos.
From the eastern end of the Kapuas mountains there are further to be observed: (1) A chain running north-north-east, which forms the boundary between Sarawak and Dutch Borneo, the highest peak of which, Gunong Tebang, approaches io,000 ft.
This chain can hardly be said to extend continuously to the extreme north of the island, but it carries on the line of elevation towards the mountains of Sarawak to the west, and those of British North Borneo to the north, of which latter Kinabalu is the most remarkable.
The most important of its rivers are the Sarawak, the Batang-Lupar, the Sarebas, the Rejang (navigable for more than loo m.), the Baram, the Limbang or Brunei river, and the Padas.
The geology of Borneo is very imperfectly known The mountain range which lies between Sarawak and the Dutch possessions, and may be looked upon as the backbone of the island, consists chiefly of crystalline schists, together with slates, sandstones and limestones.
Vertebraria and Phyllotheca, plants characteristic of the Indian Gondwana series, have been recorded in Sarawak; and marine forms, similar to those of the lower part of the Australian Carboniferous system, are stated to occur in the limestone of north Borneo.
The districts of Sambas and Landak in the west, the Kahayan river, the mountain valleys of the extreme south-east and parts of Sarawak furnish the largest quantities of gold, which is obtained for the most part from alluvial washings.
The Borneo Company is engaged in working gold-mines in the upper part of the Sarawak valley, and the prospects of the enterprise, which is conducted on a fairly extensive scale, are known to be encouraging.
Sadong yields something under 130 tons a day, and the Brooketown mine, the property of the raja of Sarawak, yields some 50 tons a day of rather indifferent coal.
Some places, such as Bidi in Sarawak, for instance, are notoriously unhealthy; but from the statistics of the Dutch government, and the records of Sarawak and British North Borneo, it would appear that the European in Borneo has in general not appreciably more to fear than his fellow in Java, or in the Federated Malay States of the Malayan Peninsula.
Sarawak Brunei .
In Sarawak, owing to the high administrative genius of the first raja and his successor, the natives have been brought far more completely under control, but the raja has never found occasion to utilize the machinery of his government for the accurate enumeration of his subjects.
The Dutch, and to a minor extent the Arabs, are of importance on account of their political influence in Dutch Borneo, while the British communities have a similar importance in Sarawak and in British North Borneo.
Later, when driven into the interior and eventually out of Dutch territory, they cost the first raja of Sarawak some severe contests before they were at last reduced to obedience.
On the rise of Singapore direct trade had been established with Sarawak and Brunei, and it became a matter of moment to British merchants that this traffic should be safe.
Since then more and more territory has been ceded by the sultans of Brunei to the raja of Sarawak and to British North Borneo, and to-day the merest remnant of his once extensive state is left within the jurisdiction of the sultan.
Sir Harry Keppel, who at an earlier stage of his career had rendered great assistance to the first raja of Sarawak in the suppression of piracy, and Mr Richard B.
Ling Roth, The Natives of Sarawak and North Borneo (London, 1896); G.
Sala in Sweden, Allemont in Dauphine, and Sarawak in Borneo may be mentioned as some of the localities for this mineral.
In February 1855, staying at Sarawak, in Borneo, he wrote an essay "On the Law which has regulated the Introduction of New Species" (Ann.
In 1871 Wallace's two essays, written at Sarawak and Ternate, were published with others as a volume, Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection.
Thus in the treaty with respect to Sarawak the latter is described as an " independent state under the protection of Great Britain."
A bamboo in Sarawak is known to have been a man.
This great reduction of the extent of the territory has been brought about by the cession on successive occasions of strips of territory to Sarawak and to the British North Borneo Company on condition of annual payments of money.
Though there are practically no exports and imports, there is a certain amount of inland commerce, the Brunei Malay usually earning a living by trading with the interior tribes of Sarawak and British North Borneo.
Sarawak was handed over to Raja Brooke, and, after the capture and temporary occupation of Brunei by Sir Thomas Cochrane, Labuan was ceded to the British empire.
Nowadays the political consequence of Brunei largely arises from the existence there of valuable seams of coal, leased to the Sarawak government.