Key Historical Events. The Sultanate of Brunei once had authority over the whole of Borneo and parts of the Sulu Islands and the Philippines, but from the end of the 16th century cessions were made to Great Britain, the Rajah of Sarawak and the British North Borneo Company until by the middle of the 19th century the State had been reduced to its present limits. In 1847 the Sultan of Brunei entered into a treaty with the UK for the furtherance of commercial relations and the suppression of piracy; in 1888 Brunei was placed under British protection. On 7 Jan. 1979 the Sultan and the UK signed a treaty under which Brunei became a sovereign independent state on 31 Dec. 1983.
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