Document: Radio 4 - BBC online -
Duncan Stewart had just arrived in the British colony of Sarawak where he was the new Governor … and then a youth stabs him. Document: 12/03/2012, BBC Radio 4
The killing was headline news. ibid.
Previously secret documents show British officials covered up evidence about the assassination of a colonial governor in East Asia after World War II, fearing the truth might spark a war. But this, it seems, left an unjust stain on the reputation of a British man from a family of so-called White Rajahs.
In December 1949 the new governor of the recently acquired British colony of Sarawak was on his first official tour. Among Scotsman Duncan Stewart’s previous postings was Palestine – one of the most dangerous in the world at that time. After that, it was thought he would have little to fear in the comparatively sleepy backwater of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.
After a couple of weeks in the job, he went to the town of Sibu on his first official visit. He was welcomed warmly by a large crowd, who all seemed to be enjoying themselves, according to press reports of the day.
After inspecting a guard of honour, he walked on flanked by a gaggle of excited school children. Then a youth walked towards Governor Stewart holding a camera and asked to take his photo. As his Majesty’s representative prepared to pose, another youth stabbed him.
Officials quickly grabbed the two youths and arrested them. BBC online article 14 March 2012, ‘The stabbed governor of Sarawak’