Battle of the Rajang River

January 20, 2012


July 3, 2012


Rajang River in Sarawak, Borneo


Indonesian victory


Flag of Malaysia Malaysia

Flag of Indonesia Indonesia
Flag of Sarawak State of Sarawak


Flag of Malaysia Najib Razak
Flag of Malaysia Qasim Salamullah
Flag of Malaysia Abdul Taib Mahmud
Flag of Malaysia Hamidal Sarif
Flag of Malaysia Rajav Anjang

Flag of Indonesia Susilo B. Yudhoyono
Flag of Indonesia Abang Agbimuddin
Flag of Indonesia Moeldoko
Flag of Indonesia Wadi Sarifuddin
Flag of Indonesia Erwin Jafaruddin
Flag of Sarawak Aaron Aya


142,000 soldiers
14 tank brigades

200,311 soldiers
32 tank brigades
341,000 Sarawakese guerrillas

Casualties and Losses

98,000 soldiers killed
20,311 captured

50,031 soldiers killed
55,3131 injured
193,313 guerrillas killed

The Battle of the Rajang River (Malay: Pertempuran Sungai Rajang, Indonesian: Pertempuran Sungai Rajang) also known as the Indonesian invasion of Malaysia (Malay: Pencerobohan Indonesia daripada Malaysia) was one of the last major battles of the Borneo War, fought between Malaysia, and a coalition of Indonesian forces and Sarawakese nationalists.

The battle started out between Malaysian forces and Sarawakese rebels. The poorly-armed Sarawakese rebels were not successful against the might of the Malaysian army. Soon, after Indonesia declared war on Malaysia, they expressed their support for Sarawakese militants, however they provided limited support. After two unsuccessful battles in the capital city of Kuching by the Sarawakese militants, the Indonesians decided to physically invade Sarawak. After the Indonesians entered Sarawak, they were met with welcome by the Sarawakese independence supporters. The Indonesians also helped properly arm the militants. 

The Indonesians overran much of Malaysia's southern forces, capturing soldiers along the way. The Indonesians adopted a unique policy of causing no harm to the civilians, even if they try to use a weapon, so long as it doesn't kill. The Indonesian Army also dispatched Relief Brigades, providing food and shelter for displayed people in Sarawak.

It was one of the biggest victories achieved by the Indonesian forces during the war, they pushed the Malaysians up north and east of the Rajang River (the portion of Sarawak that remained part of Malaysia). The Battle of the Rajang River is considered by many to be what granted Sarawak its independence.