Introduction ::Brunei

    The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia.

Geography ::Brunei

People and Society ::Brunei

Government ::Brunei

    conventional long form: Brunei Darussalam
    conventional short form: Brunei
    local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam
    local short form: Brunei
    constitutional sultanate (locally known as Malay Islamic Monarchy)
    name: Bandar Seri Begawan
    geographic coordinates: 4 53 N, 114 56 E
    time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait, Brunei-Muara, Temburong, Tutong
    1 January 1984 (from the UK)
    National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of independence from British protection
    29 September 1959 (some provisions suspended under a State of Emergency since December 1962, others since independence on 1 January 1984)
    mixed legal system based on English common law and Islamic law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age for village elections; universal
    chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both the chief of state (Yang Di-Pertuan Agong) and head of government
    head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967)
    cabinet: Council of Cabinet Ministers appointed and presided over by the monarch; deals with executive matters; note - there is also a Religious Council (members appointed by the monarch) that advises on religious matters, a Privy Council (members appointed by the monarch) that deals with constitutional matters, and the Council of Succession (members appointed by the monarch) that determines the succession to the throne if the need arises
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary
    the Sultan appointed a Legislative Council with 29 members in September 2005; he increased the size of the council to 33 members in June 2011; the council meets annually in March
    elections: last held in March 1962 (date of next election NA)
    note: the Legislative Council met on 25 September 2004 for first time in 20 years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; it passed constitutional amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15 elected members; no timeframe for an election was announced
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of Court of Appeal and High Court, each with a chief justice and 2 judges); Sharia Court of Appeal (consists of judges appointed by the monarch)
    note - Brunei has a dual judicial system of secular and sharia (religious) courts; the Judicial Committee of Privy Council in London serves as the final appellate court for civil cases only
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch to serve until age 65, and older if approved by the monarch; Sharia Court of Appeal judges appointed by the monarch; judge tenure NA
    subordinate courts: Intermediate Court; Magistrate's Courts; Juvenile Court; small claims courts; lower sharia courts (2006)
    National Development Party or NDP [YASSIN Affendi]
    note: Brunei National Solidarity Party or PPKB [Abdul LATIF bin Chuchu] and People's Awareness Party or PAKAR [Awang Haji MAIDIN bin Haji Ahmad] were deregistered in 2007; parties are small and have limited activity
    chief of mission: Ambassador Dato Yusoff Abd HAMID
    chancery: 3520 International Court NW #300, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838
    FAX: [1] (202) 885-0560
    chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel L. SHIELDS III
    embassy: Simpang 336-52-16-9, Jalan Kebangsaan, Bandar Seri Begawan, BC4115
    mailing address: Unit 4280, Box 40, FPO AP 96507; P.O. Box 2991, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam
    telephone: [673] 238-4616
    FAX: [673] 238-4604
    yellow with two diagonal bands of white (top, almost double width) and black starting from the upper hoist side; the national emblem in red is superimposed at the center; yellow is the color of royalty and symbolizes the sultanate; the white and black bands denote Brunei's chief ministers; the emblem includes five main components: a swallow-tailed flag, the royal umbrella representing the monarchy, the wings of four feathers symbolizing justice, tranquility, prosperity, and peace, the two upraised hands signifying the government's pledge to preserve and promote the welfare of the people, and the crescent moon denoting Islam, the state religion; the state motto "Always render service with God's guidance" appears in yellow Arabic script on the crescent; a ribbon below the crescent reads "Brunei, the Abode of Peace"
    name: "Allah Peliharakan Sultan" (God Bless His Majesty)

    lyrics/music: Pengiran Haji Mohamed YUSUF bin Pengiran Abdul Rahim/Awang Haji BESAR bin Sagap
    note: adopted 1951

Economy ::Brunei

Energy ::Brunei

Communications ::Brunei

    79,800 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    443,200 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    general assessment: service throughout the country is good; international service is good to Southeast Asia, Middle East, Western Europe, and the US
    domestic: every service available
    international: country code - 673; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Asia-America Gateway submarine cable network provides new links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean) (2011)
    state-controlled Radio Television Brunei (RTB) operates 5 channels; 3 Malaysian TV stations are available; foreign TV broadcasts are available via satellite and cable systems; RTB operates 5 radio networks and broadcasts on multiple frequencies; British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS) provides radio broadcasts on 2 FM stations; some radio broadcast stations from Malaysia are available via repeaters (2009)
    49,457 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    314,900 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 128

Transportation ::Brunei

    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    total: 1
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    3 (2013)
    condensate 33 km; condensate/gas 86 km; gas 628 km; oil 492 km (2013)
    total: 3,029 km
    country comparison to the world: 166
    paved: 2,425 km
    unpaved: 604 km (2010)
    209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m; the Belait, Brunei, and Tutong rivers are major transport links) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    total: 9
    country comparison to the world: 115
    by type: chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 8
    foreign-owned: 2 (UK 2) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Muara
    oil/gas terminal(s): Lumut, Seria

Military ::Brunei

Transnational Issues ::Brunei

    per Letters of Exchange signed in 2009, Malaysia in 2010 ceded two hydrocarbon concession blocks to Brunei in exchange for Brunei's sultan dropping claims to the Limbang corridor, which divides Brunei; nonetheless, Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Louisa Reef
    stateless persons: 21,009 (2012); note - thousands of stateless persons, often ethnic Chinese, are permanent residents and their families have lived in Brunei for generations; obtaining citizenship is difficult and requires individuals to pass rigorous tests on Malay culture, customs, and language; stateless residents receive an International Certificate of Identity, which enables them to travel overseas; the government is considering changing the law prohibiting non-Bruneians, including stateless permanent residents, from owning land
    drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty