2008/9 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Asia; Asian Countries

بروني دارالسلام
Negara Brunei Darussalam
State of Brunei, Abode of Peace
Flag of Brunei Coat of arms of Brunei
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "Always in service with God's guidance"  (translation)
Anthem:  Allah Peliharakan Sultan
God Bless the Sultan

Location of Brunei
(and largest city)
Bandar Seri Begawan
Official languages Malay,Bruneian
Demonym Bruneian
Government Absolute Islamic Sultanate
 -  Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
 -  End of
British occupation
January 1, 1984 
 -  Total 5,765 km² ( 172th)
2,226  sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 8.6
 -  July 2008 estimate 381,371 
 -  Density 66/km² ( 134th)
168/sq mi
GDP ( PPP) 2005 estimate
 -  Total $10.199 billion ( 138th)
 -  Per capita $24,826 ( 26th)
HDI (2007) 0.894 (high) ( 30th)
Currency Brunei dollar ( BND)
Time zone ( UTC+8.1)
Internet TLD .bn
Calling code +6731
1 Also 080 from East Malaysia

Brunei Darussalam, (pronounced /bruːˈnaɪ/ in English) officially the State of Brunei, Abode of Peace ( Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: برني دارالسلام), is a country located on the north coast of 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, Malaysia, and in fact it is separated into two parts by Limbang, which is part of Sarawak.

Brunei, the remnant of a very powerful sultanate, regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984.


The Sultanate of Brunei was very powerful from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. Its realm extended over the coastal regions of modern-day Sarawak and Sabah, the Sulu archipelago, and the islands off the northwest tip of Borneo. European influence gradually brought an end to this regional power. Later, there was a brief war with Spain, in which Brunei's capital was occupied. Eventually the sultanate was victorious but lost territories to Spain. 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.

Politics and government

Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei.
Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei.

The Sultanate of Brunei was founded when Sharif Ali of Hejadz married the local Brunei princess. He brought Islam and founded many mosques in Brunei. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, whose title has passed within the same dynasty since the fifteenth century, is the head of state and head of government in Brunei. The Sultan is advised by several councils and a cabinet of ministers although he is effectively the supreme ruler. The media is extremely pro-government and the Royal family retains a venerated status within the country. Brunei is an absolute monarchy and the king has absolute power. There is no elected legislative body. In September 2004, the Sultan convened an appointed Parliament which had not met since independence in 1984, although it lacks any capacity beyond advising the monarch.

The country has been under an Internal Security Act since a rebellion in the early 1960s was put down by British troops from Singapore. Arrests under the internal security act are still commonplace.

International organisations and Brunei

Brunei is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, and ASEAN.

Press freedom

Brunei has been given "Not Free" status by Freedom House; press criticism of the government and monarchy is rare. Being an absolute monarchy, press is tightly regulated.

Territorial disputes

Brunei claims territory in Sarawak, such as Limbang, and it is one of many nations to lay claim to the disputed Spratly Islands. Several small islands situated between Brunei and Labuan, including Kuraman island, are contested between Brunei and Malaysia. However, they are internationally recognised as part of the latter.

Districts and mukims

Districts of Brunei
Districts of Brunei

Brunei is divided into four districts (daerah):

  • Belait
  • Brunei and Muara
  • Temburong
  • Tutong

The districts are subdivided into thirty-eight mukims.


Brunei consists of two unconnected parts with a total area of 2,226 sq. miles (5,765 sq. kilometers). 97% of the population lives in the larger western part, while only about 10,000 live in the mountainous eastern part (the district of Temburong). The total population of Brunei is 991,000, of which around 367,912 live in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan. Other major towns are the port town of Muara, the oil producing town of Seria and its neighboring town, Kuala Belait. In the Belait district, the Panaga area is home to large numbers of expatriates due to Royal Dutch Shell and British Army housing and recreational facilities. The well-known Panaga Club is situated here.

The climate in Brunei is semi-tropical but in Bandar seri begawan area is sub-tropical climate. the temperature in Brunei is 14-34 degrees Celsius.


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.


Brunei ensures that all citizens have access to free health care, provided via a group of public hospitals. The largest hospital in Brunei is Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital, also known as RIPAS Hospital.

There is also a private medical sector, Jerudong Park Medical Centre.

As of 2008, no hospitals in Brunei were undergoing international healthcare accreditation.

There is currently no medical school in Brunei, and Bruneians wishing to study to become doctors have to attend universities overseas. This situation may be changing. Also, to ensure the public's access to medical care, qualified doctors from overseas are imported into the country.

A School of Nursing was founded in 1951.


Brunei is accessible via sea and land travel. The main highway running across Brunei is the Pan Borneo Highway, which is a joint project with Malaysia. Besides the Pan Borneo Highway, Brunei can be accessed by air through Brunei International Airport. Royal Brunei is the main airline company in Brunei.

Brunei has several sea ports, mainly to export its petroleum products, as well as for import/export purposes.


Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan

About two-thirds of the Brunei population are of Malay origin and have long dominated the nation's economy. The official languages of the nation are Malay (Malay: Bahasa Brunei), although an important minority speak Chinese. English is also widely spoken and there is a relatively large expatriate community with significant numbers of British and Australian citizens.

Islam is the official religion of Brunei, and the sultan is the head of the religion in the country. Other faiths practised are Buddhism (mainly by the Chinese), Christianity, and primarily in isolated and very small communities, indigenous religions.


The culture of Brunei is predominantly Malay, with heavy influences from Hinduism and Islam, but is seen as more conservative than Malaysia.

The culture is also influenced by the demographics of the country: two-thirds of the population are Malay, and the remainder consists of Chinese, Indians and indigenous Malays Brunei also has a large number of foreign workers, including Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers, labourers from Thailand, Indonesia and the Indian subcontinent (particularly India and Bangladesh), and American and British professionals working in industry and education.

Prohibition of alcohol

The sale and public consumption of alcohol is banned. Foreigners and non-Muslims are allowed to bring in 12 cans of beer and two bottles of other alcohol (e.g., wine or spirits; no distinction is made for alcohol content). This limit used to apply to every entry; in 2007, however, this was changed to one limit every 48 hours. After the introduction of prohibition in the early 1990s, all pubs and nightclubs were forced to close; however, several types of restaurants allegedly still offer illicit alcohol sometimes served in teapots.

Bruneian celebrities

  • Mariana Rahim is a female Bruneian star and also country rock singer
  • Dale Brown's novel Armageddon is set mostly in Brunei. It details a fictional attack on the country by Islamic fundamentalists with fringe assistance from Malaysian forces, namely a stealth boat.
  • Brunei is the birthplace of current Chicago Blackhawks left winger Craig Adams.
  • Also the birthplace of Wu Chun, present day Bruneian Taiwanese pop-star idol, who is also gym instructor, model, and member of the band Fahrenheit
  • Weekend splash concert season 4, the famous idol show in Brunei, the top six people are Christy Rhonda (Canadian), Saleisha Romana (British), Alex Carlton (Australian), Chad Kilson (American), Asyraf Awang Besar (Bruneian), Jesse Chun ( Taiwanese).
  • Zul F is an idol star and TV personality.

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