12th ASEAN Summit


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Member Country: BRUNEI


Negara Brunei Darussalam, more commonly referred to as the Sultanate of Brunei or simply Brunei, 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 East Malaysia. The Petroleum and gas-rich Brunei is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the (British) Commonwealth of Nations.

History
The Sultanate of Brunei was very powerful from the 14th through the 16th century. Its realm covered the southern Philippines, Sarawak and Sabah. European influence gradually brought an end to this regional power. Later, there was a brief war with Spain in which Brunei was victorious. The 19th century however saw Brunei losing much of its territory to the White Rajahs of Sarawak.

There was a small rebellion against the monarchy during the 1960s, which was prevented 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. Brunei was a British protectorate from 1888 to 1984.

Politics
The Sultan of Brunei, whose title has passed within the same dynasty since the 15th 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 an almost godlike status within the country. There is no elected legislative body. In September 2004 the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah convened an appointed Parliament which had not met since independence in 1984.

The country has been under hypothetical martial law since a rebellion occurred in the early 1960s and was put down by British troops from Singapore. A battalion from the British Army's Royal Gurkha Rifles is still stationed in Brunei under agreement with the Sultan to protect the oil fields in the West of the country. Other units from the British Army are present to support and train the Brunei Army.

Brunei also claims territory in Sarawak and is one of many nations to lay claim to the disputed Spratly Islands.

Districts
Brunei is divided into four districts, called daerah. These are:
  • Belait
  • Brunei and Muara
  • Temburong
  • Tutong
Geography
Brunei consists of two unconnected parts; 97% of the population lives in the larger western part, only about 10,000 live in the mountainous eastern part, the district of Temburong. Major towns are the capital Bandar Seri Begawan (about 46,000 inhabitants), the port town Muara and the oil producing districts of Seria and Kuala Belait.

The climate in Brunei is equatorial-tropical, with high temperatures, a high humidity and heavy rainfall.

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 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 APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum. Stated plans for the future include upgrading the labor force, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and tourist sectors, and, in general, further widening the economic base.

Demographics
About two-thirds of the Brunei population are of Malay origin. The most important ethnic minority group are the Chinese, with about 15%. These groups also reflect the most important languages: Malay, which is the official language, and Chinese. English is also widely spoken and there is a relatively large expatriate community.

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 very small communities still practice indigenous religions.

Culture
The culture of Brunei is similar to Malay culture, with heavy influences from Hinduism and Islam.

 

 

Negara Brunei Darussalam
Flag of Brunei
National motto (translation): Always in service with God's guidance
image:LocationBrunei.png
Official language Malay
Capital Bandar Seri Begawan
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 162nd
5,765 km²
8.6%
Population


 - Total (2001)
 - Density

Ranked 162nd


343,653
61/km²

HDI (2003) 0.866 (33rd) – high
Independence January 1, 1984
Currency Brunei dollar
Time zone UTC + 8
National anthem Allah Peliharakan Sultan
Internet TLD .bn
Calling Code 673 1
1. 080 from Malaysia
 
 

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