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22. COMMITTEE OF ADMINISTRATION TO DRAW UP NEW CONSTITUTION FOR SARAWAK

Rajah Vyner announced the appointment of the Committee of Administration to draw uo a new constitution, 31st March 1941.

Proclamation By The Rajah of Sarawak, 31st March 1941.

WHEREAS it is Our Will and Pleasure to Commemorate this Centenary Year of Brooke rule in Sarawak by the Inauguration of Constitutional Reforms which will replace Our Absolute Rule by a Form of Government on a Broader Basis and Facilitate the Gradual Development of Representative Government on Democratic Principles:

We hereby Declare that We have Charged and Directed Our Committee of Administration to draw up the Required Legislative Measures and to submit them for Our Consideration together with Every Necessary Step to give Effect thereto.

Commentary: With this proclamation, Rajah Vyner divested himself to formulate the new Constitution free from any outside inteference, not even from the Supreme Council or Council Negri. Rajah Vyner had not consulted his brother, Bertram Brooke as willed under 2nd Rajah, Charles Brooke’s political will. This move was met with opposition from Betram Brooke and Anthony Brooke who may have feared that the new Constitution would empower the Rajah in Council to choose his heir as he wished.

THE RAJAH DEVOLVED HIS POWERS UPON A REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

The Rajah ‘s Order to provide for consitutional reforms, 31st March 1941.

Order No. C-18 (Constitutional Reform Provisional Measure 1941)

(An Order to provide for the Government of Sarawak until the Enactment of certain Provisional Reforms or for a period of one year).

WHEREAS this year of OUR LORD one thousand nine hundred and forty-one marks the Centenary of Brooke Rule in Sarawak:

AND WHEREAS it is the will of His Highness the Rajah that this Centenary shall be commemorated by the inauguration of certain Constitutional Reforms in order to provide for the termination of His Highness’s Absolute Personal Rule and to establish institutions which will facilitate the gradual development of Representative Government according to Democratic Principles. 

AND WHEREAS it is desirable to provide for the Government of Sarawak during the period in which legislation designed to give effect to the aforesaid Constitutional Reforms is being prepared:

         (to continue tomorrow)

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