A. M. Azahari
1928 – 2002
Who was A. M. Azahari?
Born of mixed Arab-Malay heritage in Labuan, he was educated in Java and later fought against the Dutch there. He was the leader of the Brunei People's Party which sought to reduce the power of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin III to a constitutional monarch during the Brunei Revolt in 1962.
Azahari's party won all 16 elected seats in the 33-member legislative council and as a left-leaning politician, Azahari strongly objected to the Sultan's idea for Brunei's membership in the Federation of Malaysia, along with British North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore.
The idea of the North Kalimantan was originally proposed by Azahari, who had forged links with Sukarno's nationalist movement, together with Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, in Java in the 1940s. The idea supported and propagated the unification of all Borneo territories under British rule to form an independent leftist North Kalimantan state.