On 6 December, Morris heard the rebellion would start on the 8th. On 7th, similar information reached John Fisher, the resident of the 4th Division of Sarawak, based in Miri some 20 miles (30 km) west of Brunei. As a result, police were put on full alert through Brunei, North Borneo and Sarawak, and Police Field Force reinforcements were flown from Kuching to Miri.
On 9 December, John Fisher called on the Dayak tribes for help by sending a boat with the traditional Red Feather of War up the Baram River. Tom Harrisson, the Curator of the Sarawak Museum in Kuching and leader of resistance to the Japanese in the Second World War also arrived in Brunei. He summoned the Kelabits from the highlands around Bario in the 5th Division, the centre of his wartime resistance. Hundreds of Dayaks responded, and formed into companies led by British civilians all commanded by Harrison. This force reached some 2,000 strong, and with excellent knowledge of the tracks through the interior (there were no roads), helped contain the rebels and cut off their escape route to Indonesia.
On 10 December, the Far East ‘spearhead battalion’, the Queen’s Own Highlanders began arriving in Brunei. Brigadier Patterson, commander 99th Gurkha Infantry Brigade arrived to take overall command from Brigadier Pat Glennie, normally the Brigadier General Staff at Far East HQ. Both reported to Lieutenant General Sir Nigel Poett, the Far East Land Forces Commander in Singapore. Seria and Limbang remained in rebel hands. Further reinforcements arrived in the following days.
On 10 December, a company of the Queen’s Own Highlanders boarded five Twin Pioneers and a Beverley at Brunei. The Twin Pioneers landed west of Seria and the Beverley at Anduki. A police station 2 miles (3 km) from the western landing was recaptured and so was the Telecommunications Centre after a brief fight. Anduki airfield was quickly recaptured. However, the main Seria police station, with 48 hostages, most Shell expatriates, was not secured until the 12th.
On 14 December, most of the unit reinforced the artillery battery sent there as infantry on 12 December to pre-empt trouble from the Chinese of the Clandestine Communist Organisation (CCO) who were openly sympathetic to the Brunei rebels.
By 17 December, the rebellion had been held and broken. Some 40 rebels were dead and 3,400 captured. The remainder had fled and were assumed to be trying to reach Indonesia. Of the leaders, Azahari was in the Philippines and Yassin Affendi was with the fugitives.