Nagara Brunei Darsussalam Government/History 354 Campbell University
Brunei Brunei is located on North Borneo between Sarawak and Sabah
Sultanate of Brunei Brunei is an absolute monarchy; it became independent in The sultan is heir to a dynasty begun in the 15 th Century. The country occupies 2,226 sq. miles and has a population of 374,000. The per capita GDP is $24,826. Key source of national income is oil and LNG. Sultan Hassanal Bokiah
Brunei In the early 1500s, Brunei controlled coastal Borneo and exercised hegemony over the Philippines all the way north to Manila. Began tribute relations with China in 977. In the 1570s, was attacked twice by the Spanish from the Philippines. Ceded Sarawak in 1841; became a British protectorate in 1888.
Sarawak and Sabah James Brooke, the first of the white Rajahs, acquired Sarawak by conquest and negotiation between 1839 and In 1878, the Sultan of Sulu sold Sabah to Baron Von Overbeck, who then sold it to the British North Borneo Company. In 1890, Brooke acquired Limbang, splitting Brunei in two. In 1906, the British introduced the Residency system in Brunei.
Protecting the Oil Brunei’s rich oil fields were discovered in Brunei Shell splits the profits with the Sultan. The oil and gas reserves are important enough for the British to maintain a Gurkha battalion in Seria at Brunei’s expense. The British also provide officers for two additional native battalions. Close military ties are maintained with Singapore for training and defense. Gurkha holds Khukuri
Monarchy Challenged In 1962, Partai Rakyat Brunei (PRB) under the leadership of A. M. Azahari seized the Brunei Shell facilities at Seria. The revolt was quickly quelled with the help of British forces. A major instigator and supporter was the PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party. The revolt shaped the Sultanate’s attitude toward joining the Federation of Malaysia and hardened its stand on representative forms of government.
Institutions and Social Groups The Sultanate: –Brunei is an absolute monarchy. There is no distinction between the wealth of the state and that of the ruler. –The Sultan and his brother acquired a playboy image that they are trying to change. There were complaints by Philippine entertainers, movie stars and Ms. U.S.A. that invitations to the palace were accompanied by demands for sexual favors. –The Sultan was also embarrassed by gross corruption of Prince Jefri and others associated with the collapse of the Amedeo conglomerate in He initiated a law suit that led to a settlement and reconciliation.
Institutions and Social Groups Democratization: –There is no democracy in Brunei. The Sultan has sought to substitute an ineffective “visit the people program.” –In 1985, the Brunei National Democratic Party was allowed to form. In 1986, the party called for a constitutional monarchy. In 1988, the leaders were arrested and the party deregistered. –The Brunei Solidarity National Party was registered in It has not been allowed to actively function.
Institutions and Social Groups Appointed Legislature –Legislative Council met in 2004 for first time in 20 years with 21 members appointed by the Sultan; passed constitutional amendments calling for a 45-seat council with 15 elected members; Sultan dissolved the council in 2005 and appointed a new council with 29 members. –The 15 elected seats have not been filled. The last elections were held in March 1962 (the year of the revolt).
Institutions and Social Groups Economy: –The country’s oil and gas reserves are now estimated at between 30 and 40 years. Oil and gas represent about 40% of the current economy. –The Sultanate has sought to develop its infrastructure and diversify into small industries such as pharmaceuticals, cement, steel, chemicals, ceramics and garment manufacture.
Institutions and Social Groups Chinese Minority –There are about 57,000 Chinese in Brunei out of a total population of 380,000 or 15%. They are among the best educated and most entrepreneurial. –Only 10% of the Chinese are eligible for citizenship. A 30 year residency of which 25 must be continuous is required and candidates must pass an almost impossibly difficult Malay language test. –Over 40,000 Chinese are stateless. They have only identity papers, but not passports.
Institutions and Social Groups Foreign Policy: –Brunei’s foreign policy has been pro-western. –ASEAN membership has been a key factor in achieving the country’s goal of security. –Brunei’s relationship with the U.S. led to the Sultan making a $10 million donation to help the Contras in (Ronald Reagan’s “Irangate.”) –Brunei supported the U.S.-led liberation of Kuwait in 1990.