The present paper explores some of the lessons that can be learned from the reigns of the first two Rajahs of the Brook dynasty of Sarawak. They ruled over a realm populated by Malays, Dyaks, Chinese and Europeans with great wisdom and skills. Rajahs James Brooke and Charles Brooke both identified important local capacities for peace and strengthened them so as to keep their multiethnic state together. Comparing and contrasting the rule of a British dynasty in Southeast Asia during the colonial period to the post-colonial colonialism of the Thai State in the Deep South shows that some characteristics of traditional colonial rule as exercised by the White Rajahs of Sarawak were more likely to lead to sustainable peace and development than the excesses of post-colonial nationalism.
Key words: Sarawak, colonialism, capacities for peace, development, ethnic conflict.
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