Lead: By a combination of daring and benevolent despotism, the Brooke family helped bring the Sultanate of Brunei into the modern era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The tiny but independent state of Brunei lies surrounded by Malaysia on the northern coast of the ancient island of Borneo in the southwest Pacific. As early as the sixth century the area traded with and paid tribute to China. Until the influx of evangelical Islam in the 1400s, the majority of people were Hindu worshippers. European contact with the region began with arrival of the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan but intensified with the coming of Portuguese and Dutch traders. The presence of Western traders tended to reduce the influence of the local government dominated by the native Sultanate and by 1800 Brunei, which had been much larger, had shrunk to only a small section of northern Borneo.