James Brooke was born in India and served in the Bengal Army. When he was wounded, he resigned his commission, bought a 142 ton schooner and sailed to the Malay Archipelago. It was here that he met Pangeran Muda Hashim and together, they crushed a rebellion which gave the throne back to the Sultan of Brunei. The Sultan subsequently decided to give Brooke the Sarawak governor position as reward for his assistance. He was officially appointed as Rajah of Sarawak in 1842 by Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien II.
Throughout his reign, he fought piracy. This was something that caused great controversy and instigated investigations as he was accused of using excessive force to rid the area of pirates. Despite this, he brought wealth and prosperity to Sarawak and was widely acclaimed for his actions. The Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath was bestowed upon him in 1848 and some species of plants were named in his honour as well as a butterfly and a squirrel (Lunde, D. & Aplin, K,, 2009) . There was also a film commissioned by Warner, The White Rajah, with Errol Flynn lined up for his role but the film was never made (Empire in Your Backyard, 2015) . Sarawak is located on the island of Borneo. It is one of two Malaysian states there and lies in the Northwest. The British colony of Sarawak was handed to the federation of Malaysia on the 16th September, 1963 as an autonomous state.
This one cent Sarawak coin has a portrait of James Brooke in his later years along with the