Duncan George Stewart was selected by the Labour Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, Lord Listowel to become the new Governor and Commander-in-Chief for Sarawak to replace Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke. There was already much tension in the newly created colony at the replacement of the old Rajahs by the British government. His predecessor had narrowly avoided assassination. Duncan Stewart would be stabbed by Rosli Dhobi from Rukun 13 (an anti-cession movement) in December 1949.
Rukun 13 were hoping to see a return of white Rajah rule under the next supposed successor Rajah Muda Anthony Brooke. Rosli Dhoby and his accomplice Morshidi Sidek were among the crowd that welcomed the governor on arrival to Sibu. While the governor was meeting the local subjects and in near proximity with Rosli, Morshidi began to pretend to take pictures of the governor with a broken camera. The governor stopped to allow Morshidi to photograph him. At that moment, Rosli stabbed the governor.
Rosli was arrested on the spot and sent to Kuching for trial and later imprisonment. The governor bled so badly that he had to be flown back to Kuching for treatment and later to Singapore, where he died a week after the incident.
The anti-cessionists were to be discredited by this act of violence. The successor governor, Anthony Foster Abell, was able to calm matters down somewhat.
Image courtesy of BBC
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