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BruneiDarussalamIn Brief

Brunei Darussalam In BriefTypeset byDepartment of Information, Prime Minister’s Office,Brunei DarussalamRevised Edition2017

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulahibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa‘adul Khairi Waddien,The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam

DisclaimerAll rights reserved. The ‘Brunei Darussalam In Brief’ is a publication where it discussesbriefly on the socio-economic welfare of Brunei Darussalam in general.No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmittedin any form by any means without prior written permission from Director of Information,Department of Information, Prime Minister’s Office, Brunei Darussalam.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information provided for this book areaccurate, the authors and publisher accept no responsibility for any errors it may contain,or for any loss, financial or otherwise, sustained by any person using this information.To order a copy of this publication, please contact Distribution and Support Unit,Administration and Finance Division, Department of Information, Prime Minister’sOffice.

AdviserHaji Dayang bin Haji KassimCompilation, Updating, Edit and LayoutMuhd Hafizhuddin bin TasadContent SupervisionSastra Sarini binti Haji JulaihiPhotosPhotography Unit, Department of InformationEnglish Publication Unit, Department of InformationDepartment of Tourism Development,Ministry of Primary Resources and TourismDepartment of Fisheries,Ministry of Industry and Primary ResourcesDepartment of Foresty,Ministry of Industry and Primary ResourcesLayout AdvisorySyahi bin Haji LudinCoverHairun Nadhir bin IsmailISBN978-99917-49-47-1

ContentsBrunei Darussalam ‘The Abode of Peace’ 11 Brief Historical Background 15 His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam 21 His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal BolkiahMu’izzaddin Waddaulah, The Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office 25 National Flag of Brunei Darussalam 29 National Crest of Brunei Darussalam 35 National Anthem 39 The Land and People 43 The Government 51 Trade and Industry 61 Agriculture 67 Human Resource 73 Banking and Finance 77 Tourism 81 Transport and Communications 85 Social Services 93 Mass Media 99 International Relations 103 Places of Interest 107 Tourist Information 116

Brunei Darussalam‘The Abode of Peace’11


Brunei Darussalam ‘The Abode of Peace’Location:Northwest of the Island of Borneo, between latitudes40 and 505’ North and langitudes 11.4o o4’ and 11023’ EastLand area:5, point:1.841 metres above sea level (Bukit Pagon)Climate:Temperature ranges between 24.10C and33.00C with relative humidity and total rainfallof 3,015.8 millimetres (2015)Population:417,200 (2015 est)Official religion:IslamOfficial language:Malay but English is widely spokenCurrency:Brunei Dollar which is on par with Singapore DollarGDP: 17,778.0 million at current prices (2015 est)Labour force:203,651 (2014)Literacy rate:98.0 per cent (aged 10 and above)Main industry:Oil and gasMobile phone subscribers:454,297 (2015 est)Internet subscribers:Broadband - 45,481 (2015 est)* Source from Brunei Darussalam Key Indicators 2015 Release 213


Brief HistoricalBackground15


Brief Historical BackgroundBefore the advent of Islam, BruneiDarussalam’s early history is unclearbut archaeological discoveries supportedby historical data indicate that Brunei hadwide contacts with its neighbours on theAsian continent around 518 A.D. Chinesehistorians of that period, for example,made references in their writing of ‘Puni’or ‘Poli’, two of the many names whichBrunei was known during ancient times.Islam took root in Brunei in the 14thcentury when its first ruler, Awang AlakBetatar, embraced Islam and changed hisname to Sultan Muhammad Shah.After the turmoil of the Second WorldWar, life gradually returned to normal butprogress only began to crystallise duringthe reign of the 28th ruler, Sultan Sir MudaOmar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul KhairiWaddien who utilised Brunei’s oil revenueto finance for the first time a five-yeardevelopment plan (1953 – 1958) whichhas Brunei an intensive infrastructureand transformed it from a dull and quietbackwater into a modern thriving state.The year 1959 saw the promulgation ofa written constitution which gave Bruneiinternal self-government and changed thepost of Brunei Resident which started inththBy the 15 and 16 centuries, especially 1906 to High Commissioner.during the reigns of the fifth ruler, SultanIn 1967, after 17 years of benevolentBolkiah and the ninth ruler, Sultan Hassan,Brunei was a dominant power in the reign, Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddienregion with sovereignty embracing the Sa’adul Khairi Waddien voluntarilywhole Island of Borneo and as far as the abdicated in favour of his eldest son, HisMajesty Sultan Haji Hassanal BolkiahPhilippines.Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah who pledged toWhen European presence made itself carry on his father’s policies. His Majesty’sfelt in the region around mid-16th century succession to the throne further pushedto the 19th century, Brunei began to lose its Brunei Darussalam on the road to greatergrip on the empire, which was besieged by development.problems such as wars, internecine strife,Brunei Darussalam and Great Britaininsurrection and piracy. By 1904, Bruneiwhich became a British protected state in signed in 1971 an amended and revised1888, had shrunk to a small sultanate on version of the 1959 Agreement, makingthree sides by Sarawak and to the north by Brunei fully independent internally andthe South China of High Commissioner, a normaldiplomatic position. Only external affairsand defence remained in British hands.17

The turning of Brunei’s long historycame in 1979 when the Treaty of Friendshipand Cooperation thus paving the way forBrunei’s resumption after 1983 of its placein the community of nation-states.the Prime Minister’s Office and announceda new post of a Minister of Energy underthe Prime Minister’s Office. Meanwhile,the posts State Mufti and the AttorneyGeneral now hold the ministerial ranks.As anticipated months of preparations,a new chapter in Brunei’s colourful historyopened shortly after midnight December31, 1983 when His Majesty declaredBrunei Darussalam as a fully independentsovereign nation ready to resume itsinternational responsibilities.The fourth Cabinet reshuffle wasannounced on May 29, 2010. Among theCabinet line-up change saw the post ofMinister of Finance II being put under thePrime Minister’s Office and the appointmentof the first female Deputy Minister.In consequence, His Majesty announceda six-member Cabinet with himself as thePrime Minister and concurrently holdingthe portfolios of Home Affairs and Finance.The most recent reshuffle of the Cabinetwas announced on October 22, 2015 whereit saw creation of two new ministerialposts: Minister of Energy and Industry atthe Prime Minister’s Office and Ministerof Primary Resources and Tourism. Ninedeputy ministers were also appointed whilethe State Mufti and Attorney General’s postremain as Cabinet-level posts.In October 1986, His Majesty reshuffledthe Cabinet. He remained as PrimeMinister and relinquished the portfolios ofHome Affairs and Finance, and took overthe Defence portfolio which his late fatherUnder His Majesty’s leadership, thehad held since 1984. His Majesty also government has invested billions of dollarsannounced the appointment of five new on one development plans after anotherMinisters and eight Deputy Ministers.and will continue to do so in an effort tomaintain and improve the quality of life ofOn November 30, 1988, His Majesty the population through economic growth,announced another reshuffle of the productivity enhancement and widerCabinet, which took effect from January economic diversification.1, 1989. In the reshuffle, aimed primarilyto boost the country’s development, HisHis Majesty’s Government through itsth National Development Plan, whichMajesty created the Ministry of Industry 10and Primary Resources and elevated a state begins from 2012 to 2017 has allocated 6.5 billion for the country’s continuingdignitary to a full minister.development and progress.Another reshuffle of the Cabinet tookplace in May 2005 in which His Majestyappointed His Royal Highness PrincePengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah,The Crown Prince as the Senior Minister at18



His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal BolkiahMu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-MarhumSultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa‘adulKhairi Waddien, The Sultan and YangDi-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam21


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibniAl-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien,The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei DarussalamHis Majesty Sultan Haji HassanalBolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah,The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of BruneiDarussalam is the 29th monarch in line ofsuccession, which dates back to the 14thCentury. Today, he is one of the longestreigning monarchs in the world.Like his illustrious father who isfondly remembered as the Architect ofModern Brunei, His Majesty continues thistradition by working tirelessly to ensurethat his citizens continue to live in peaceand harmony. The charismatic leader, apartfrom the usual day-to-day administrationof the government, keeps tab on latestBorn on July 15, 1946 at the Istana developments by constantly being on theDarussalam in the capital, Brunei Town move, personally visiting government(now known as Bandar Seri Begawan), departments and related institutions andHis Majesty became the Crown Prince in visiting villages including remote parts of1961 and ascended the throne on October the Brunei.5, 1967, a day after his father Al-MarhumSultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adulThe promotion and strengthening ofKhairi Waddien’s voluntary abdication. His relations with the outside world also get topMajesty was crowned the following year priority from His Majesty. He has traveledon August 1, 1968 in pomp and pageantry widely in Southeast Asia, East Asia, thebefitting Brunei’s ancient customs and Middle East, Europe and the United States.traditions.He addressed the United Nations (UN)General Assembly on Brunei Darussalam’sHis Majesty received his early education admission to the UN in September the form of a private tuition at Istana DarulHana and attended top institutions in bothHis Majesty is an avid and enthusiasticBrunei and Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia). sportsman and takes great interest in sports.His Majesty continued his studies as an Among the sports that His Majesty regularlyofficer cadet at Royal Military Academy partakes in include polo, badminton andSandhurst in the United Kingdom and was squash.commissioned as a Captain in 1967. Heleft Sandhurst in October the same year toascend the throne.Besides being the Sultan, His Majesty isconcurrently the Prime Minister, Ministerof Defence, Minister of Finance, Ministerof Foreign Affairs and Trade and thecountry’s head of Islam. As such, he isheavily involved in the development andimplementation of Brunei state policy bothat home and abroad.23


His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-MuhtadeeBillah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji HassanalBolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, The CrownPrince and Senior Minister at the PrimeMinister’s Office25


His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billahibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah,The Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s OfficeAHis Royal Highness has also beenpreparing for his responsibilities as thefuture leader and head of state with visitsto various national and internationalorganisations and institutions in the UnitedKingdom, Europe and North America. Athome in Brunei Darussalam, the CrownPrince has spent time on attachments tovarious government agencies as well as toa leading company in the private sector.Born on February 17, 1974 corresponding These attachments give His Royal Highnessto 24 Muharram 1394 Hijriah, His Royal the widest possible exposure to the Brunei’sHighness is the third child of His Majesty governing and administrative system.Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddinOn September 9, 2004, His RoyalWaddaulah, The Sultan and Yang DiPertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Her Highness married Dayangku Sarah bintiMajesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Pengiran Salleh Ab Rahaman, who duringthe Royal Wedding was conferred the titleSaleha.Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri PengiranThroughout his academic life, His Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah. TheirRoyal Highness is not only industrious in Royal Highnesses welcomed the birth of ahis academic studies and extra-curricular prince, their first child on March 17, 2007activities but is also equally diligent and and the birth of a princess, their seconddevoted much time and attention to his child on January 1, 2011.religious education, Islamic and welfareOn May 29, 2010, His Majesty Thematters.Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of BruneiHis Royal Highness progressed through Darussalam consented to announce thethe Brunei Junior Certificate of Education reshuffling of the Cabinet Ministers, whichin 1988, the ‘O’ level examination of includes His Royal Highness the Crownthe General Certificate ofEducation Prince, as Senior Minister at the Prime(Cambridge) in 1991, and the ‘A’ level Minister’s Office.examination of the General Certificate ofEarlier on May 5, 2005, His RoyalEducation (Cambridge) in 1994. In 1995,His Royal Highness attended a course of Highness was conferred the rank Deputytutorials at Universiti Brunei Darussalam Inspector General of Police by His Majestyand the prestigious Oxford University at at a ceremony held at the Officers’ Mess,the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in the Gadong. The conferment marks an historicmilestone for the Royal Brunei PoliceUnited Kingdom.Force.ugust 10, 1998 a date correspondingto 17 Rabiulakhir 1419 Hijriah in theIslamic Calendar, was a historic event forBrunei Darussalam. The date marked theroyal proclamation of His Royal HighnessPrince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah as theCrown Prince of Brunei Darussalam. Theproclamation puts His Royal Highness inline to become the 30th Sultan of Brunei.27

His Majesty also conferred the rank ofGeneral of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces(RBAF) to His Royal Highness. The ceremonytook place at the Officers’ Mess, BerakasGarrison on March 24, 2004 during HisMajesty’s visit to the Ministry of Defence andthe Royal Brunei Armed Forces. It marked animportant chapter for Brunei, particularly theRoyal Brunei Armed Forces.On September 4, 2006, during the 18thConvocation Ceremony of Universiti BruneiDarussalam (UBD), His Royal Highness wasawarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literatureby His Majesty. His Royal Highness isalso Pro-Chancellor of UBD, Brunei’s firstuniversity.In 2011, His Royal Highness was installedas Pro-Chancellor of Brunei’s first Islamicuniversity, Universiti Islam Sultan SharifAli (UNISSA) and later on November 28,2013, as Pro-Chancellor of Institut TeknologiBrunei (ITB).28

National Flag ofBrunei Darussalam29


National Flag of Brunei DarussalamThe Brunei Darussalam state flag in itspresent form, except for the crest, hasbeen in use since 1906 when Brunei becamea protected state, following the signing ofan agreement between Brunei and GreatBritain. The crest was superimposedin 1959 after the promulgation of theConstitution of September 29, 1959.The personal standards of thePengiran Bendahara, the PengiranDigadong, the Pengiran Pemanchaand Pengiran Temenggong are white,green, black and red respectively.The Sultan also bestowed personal flagsto lesser officials known as Pengiran Cheteriaand to the ordinary Pengiran and commoners.Prior to 1906, Brunei had no stateflag but individual flags or personalWhen Brunei signed the agreement ofstandards were in use. Of the personal 1906, it was felt that the state should fallstandards, those of the Sultan and in line with international practice in regardthe wazir were the most important. to the adoption of the flag for the state.In the old days Brunei had four wazir orSuggestions were put forward andprincipal state officials to whom the Sultan sketches were made on the proposeddelegated his executive and administrative state flag. Finally the design of thepowers in accordance with their ranks. existing flagthat features yellow,whiteandblackwasadopted.Of the wazir, the most senior at thetime was the Pengiran Bendahara. TheThe choice of those colours werethree other wazir, in order of seniority, symbolic of the fact that the principalwere the Pengiran Digadong, the Pengiran signatories to the agreement were thePemancha and the Pengiran Temenggong. Sultan, the Pengiran Bendahara and thePengiran Pemancha whose colours ofA premier wazir with the title yellow, white and black respectively, wereof Pengiran Perdana Wazir Sahibul accordingly incorporated in the new flag.Himmah Wal-Waqar was appointed onFebruary 6, 1970. As the title suggestsThe reason why the colours of the wazirthe Pengiran Perdana Wazir takes were not incorporated in the new flag wasprecedence over all the other four wazir. that at that time there were only two wazirliving, the signatories to the agreement.The Perdana Wazir also has a personal The Pengiran Digadong and Pengiranstandard granted to him by His Majesty. Temenggong had died and their positionsThe standard is white superimposed in the had not been filled at the time of the signingcentre with the state crest in light yellow. The of the agreement.crest is supported by ‘Si Kikil’, a traditionalMalay dagger crossed by its sheath.31

Following the promulgation of theAfter the adoption of the state flag, flagsalready in existence continued to be in use Constitution, minor alterations were madeand flown on state occasions to indicate to the personal standards of His Majestyindividual ranks. The new state flag is The Sultan and Her Majesty The Raja Isteri.hoisted only at government buildings andHis Majesty now has a personal standardby non-Brunei residents of the state.of yellow incorporating the royal crest onThe use of flags was consolidated after red background at the centre of the standard.the promulgation of the Constitution of 29thSeptember, 1959, to reduce to a minimumThe standard of Her Majesty The RajaIsteri is light yellow incorporating the royalthe number of flags on state occasions.crest on red background at the centre of theWith the exception of those especially standard.authorised by the Sultan to retain theirThe rectangular shape state flag of fourpersonal standards, the individual flags ofcommoners and the ordinary pengiran were component portions – two parallelogramsabolished.and two trapeziums – is cut cross by aparallelogram from a point 2 ½ inchesThey now hoist the state flag on all below the top left corner to a point of thesame distance from the bottom corner onnational occasions.the right side.Among the Pengiran and dignitaries whoThe standard measures 72 inches longare authorised to use personal standards are:by 36 inches wide.(a) Decendants of Sultan down to fourThe parallelogram dividing the rectanglegenerations,in this manner leaves two similar trapeziums(b) Decendents of Wazir down to three at the top and bottom of the flag, with thelower trapezium assuming the invertedgenerations,form of the upper trapezium.(c) Decendents of Cheteria down to twoThe parallelogram is again divided intogenerations,two parallelograms of unequal depths, theupper being one inch wider than the lower(d) Menteri down to Damong.which is 7 ½ inches in width.Their personal standards incorporate thestate crest in red on a yellow backg

The ‘Brunei Darussalam In Brief’ is a publication where it discusses briefly on the socio-economic welfare of Brunei Darussalam in general. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted

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