Royal Navy officer ready to meet with Borneo pirates (1845)

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Source: The Public Ledger, 3 June 1845

Sir Edward Belcher, a Royal Navy officer is perhaps most known as the man who led a mission to rescue Sir John Franklin and his party of men during a failed expedition to the Arctic. Prior to his cold and risky endeavour, he also volunteered to find a missing European lady in the tropical Borneo, where she was thought to be held captive by pirates in the area that the news article here mentioned as ‘Amboug’. I think this is probably a misspelling of ‘Ambong’, which today is a small seaside village overlooking a bay just outside Kota Belud town in Sabah. Another interesting piece of information is gathered as I read through the article:

Sir Edward Belcher, seorang pegawai Angkatan Laut Diraja mungkin diketahui umum sebagai orang yang mengetuai misi menyelamat Sir John Franklin dan orang-orangnya yang menyertai penjelajahan ke Artik yang menemui kegagalan. Namun sebelum itu, beliau juga pernah bersetuju untuk mencari seorang wanita Eropah yang dikatakan diculik oleh para lanun di Borneo. Berdasarkan petikan akhbar di atas, dia dikurung oleh lanun di kawasan yang disebut sebagai ‘Amboug’. Pada pendapat saya, tempat yang disebutkan di sini mungkin adalah ejaan salah bagi ‘Ambong’, yang pada hari ini merupakan satu perkampungan tepi laut yang kecil di kawasan teluk di luar pekan Kota Belud, Sabah. Di bawah merupakan satu lagi maklumat menarik yang saya kumpul dari petikan akhbar yang sama:

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Source: The Public Ledger, 3 June 1845

Brunei empire ceded Labuan island, off the coast of Borneo to the British government. And they (the British government) were very enthusiastic about the island’s economic prospect. The article then veered back into the captive story, in which Sir Edward opined that the whole ordeal was probably untrue.

Empayar Brunei memberikan pulau Labuan, di pesisir Borneo kepada kerajaan British. Dan mereka (kerajaan British) dilihat sangat yakin akan prospek ekonomi pulau tersebut. Artikel itu kemudiannya kembali menceritakan mengenai kejadian penculikan itu, di mana Sir Edward berpendapat berkemungkinan seluruh kejadian itu tidak benar.

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