The first Sultan of Sarawak, Sultan Tengah Manga, was appointed by his brother Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar of Brunei in 1599. According to tradition no sultan was appointed after Sultan Tengah Manga's death in 1641, and Sarawak was ruled by four local datu from his death until the arrival of the first White Rajah in 1842. However, not much information exists to confirm this tradition. Sultan Tengah Manga's son, Radin Suleiman, became the first Sultan of Sambas, an area which neighbours Sarawak to the southwest. This article revisits the sparse existing information on the rule of Sarawak after 1641 and on the history of the sultanate of Sambas. Special emphasis is given to assessing whether Radin Suleiman and his successors might have continued to exercise authority over Sarawak from their new base in Sambas. The article does not provide a clear answer to this question, but it concludes that Sambas' influence on Sarawak was considerably stronger than has been generally credited.


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pp. 1-16
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