Brunei officially the State of Brunei, Abode of Peace Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam, is a country located on the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, East Malaysia. Brunei, the remnant of a very powerful sultanate, regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984.
History The Sultanate of Brunei was very powerful from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century CE. Its realm covered the whole island of Borneo and the southwestern Philippines. European influence gradually brought an end to this regional power. Later, there was a brief war with Spain, in which Brunei was victorious. The decline of the Bruneian Empire culminated in the nineteenth century when Brunei lost much of its territory to the White Rajahs of Sarawak, resulting in its current small landmass and separation into two parts. Brunei was a British protectorate from 1888 to 1984.
There was a small rebellion against the monarchy during the 1960s, which was suppressed by the United Kingdom. This event became known as the Brunei Revolt and was partly responsible for the failure to create the North Borneo Federation. The rebellion also affected Brunei’s decision to opt out of the Malaysian Federation and was the first stage of the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation.
Economy This small, wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for nearly half of its GDP. Substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes rice and housing. Brunei’s leaders are concerned that steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermine internal social cohesion although it became a more prominent player by serving as chairman for the 2000 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Stated plans for the future include upgrading the labour force, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and tourism sectors, and, in general, further widening the economic base. The national airline, Royal Brunei is trying to make Brunei a hub for international travel between Europe and Australia/New Zealand. It also has services to major Asian destinations.
Culture The culture of Brunei is predominantly Malay, with heavy influences from Hinduism and Islam, but is seen as more conservative than Malaysia. The sale and public consumption of alcohol is banned, with foreigners and non-Muslims allowed to bring in twelve cans of beer and two bottles of spirits every time they enter the country. After the introduction of prohibition in the early 1990s, all pubs and nightclubs were forced to close.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, is the 29th of his line, which dates back to the fourteenth century.
Being the eldest son, he became Crown Prince in 1961 and ascended the Throne on 5th October 1967 following the voluntary abdication of his father, Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien.
His Majesty the Sultan was crowned on 1st August 1968 in pomp and pageantry befitting Brunei’s ancient customs and traditions.
- Did you know Brunei Darussalam is wealthy then America.
- His Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah is the wealthiest’s king (sultan) in world.