The early history of Brunei and its ruling dynasty is clouded in mystery, due not only to the paucity of records but also to attempts to construct an official Islamic version of history which blots out anything else.

However, none of them has any inscriptions, names or indications that they belonged to rulers or members of the Royal family.

As late as 1514 the Captain-General of Malacca reported that although the merchants of Brunei were Muslim, their king remained a pagan.

He was not necessarily the eldest among them, but chosen to rule because of his fitness to do so.

The official account states that he journeyed to Johor, embraced Islam, married the daughter of a Sultan "Bahkei" of Johor and received the title of Sultan Muhammad Shah from him.

Pinafetta, the Italian chronicler of the Magellan mission, visited Brunei in July 1521.

He reported that there were two large towns on either side of the Brunei River.The paucity of Royal tombs and engraved headstones is also remarkable, until one realises that as Hindus or Buddhists they would have been cremated, not buried.It is obvious from this that contemporary foreign records do not corroborate the official chronology.Any names that cannot be arranged, are simply omitted from the Malay versions altogether.However, as one historian has shown by detailed references to Imperial banquet records, the kings who visited the Chinese court ate pork.Camphor and pepper seem to have been prized objects of trade.