46 Facts About Brunei


Brunei is the only sovereign state entirely on Borneo; the remainder of the island is divided between Malaysia and Indonesia.

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The maritime state of Brunei was visited by Spain's Magellan Expedition in 1521 and fought against Spain in the 1578 Castilian War.

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In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate and was assigned a British resident as colonial manager in 1906.

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Brunei has been led by the Sultanate of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah since 1967, and had gained its independence as a British protectorate on 1 January 1984.

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Brunei has the second-highest Human Development Index among the Southeast Asian nations, after Singapore, and is classified as a developed country.

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Brunei became a Hashemite state when she allowed the Arab Emir of Mecca, Sharif Ali, to become her third sultan.

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Scholars claim that the power of the Sultanate of Brunei was at its peak between the 15th and 17th centuries, with its power extending from northern Borneo to the southern Philippines and even in the northern Philippines (Manila) which Brunei incorporated via territorial acquisition accomplished through royal marriages.

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However, Islamic Brunei's power was not uncontested in Borneo since it had a Hindu rival in a state founded by Indians called Kutai in the south which they overpowered but didn't destroy.

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Brunei briefly rose to prominence in Southeast Asia when the Portuguese occupied Malacca and thereby forced the wealthy and powerful but displaced Muslim refugees there to relocate to nearby Sultanates such as Aceh and Brunei.

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Brunei subsequently encountered the Magellan expedition wherein Antonio Pigafetta noted that under orders from his grandfather the Sultan of Brunei, Ache had previously sacked the Buddhist city of Loue in Southwest Borneo for being faithful to the old religion and rebelling against the authority of Sultanate.

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Turks were routinely migrating to Brunei as evidenced by the complaints of Manila Oidor Melchor Davalos who in his 1585 report, say that Turks were coming to Sumatra, Borneo and Ternate every year, including defeated veterans from the Battle of Lepanto.

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These expeditionary forces had spread to other nearby Sultanates such as Brunei and had taught new fighting tactics and techniques on how to forge cannons.

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Brunei lost much of its territory to him and his dynasty, known as the White Rajahs.

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Once the Japanese occupied Brunei, they made an agreement with Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin over governing the country.

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Brunei's administration was reorganised into five prefectures, which included British North Borneo.

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Brunei town was bombed extensively and recaptured after three days of heavy fighting.

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The administration of Brunei was passed to the Civil Administration on 6 July 1945.

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The first British High Commissioner for Brunei was the Governor of Sarawak, Sir Charles Ardon Clarke.

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Brunei gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984.

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Brunei was admitted to the United Nations on 22 September 1984, becoming the organisation's 159th member.

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Brunei is a southeast Asian country consisting of two unconnected parts with a total area of 5, 765 square kilometres on the island of Borneo.

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The total population of Brunei is approximately 408, 000 as of July 2010, of which around 150, 000 live in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan.

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Climate of Brunei is tropical equatorial that is a Tropical rainforest climate more subject to the Intertropical Convergence Zone than the trade winds and with no or rare cyclones.

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Brunei is exposed to the risks stemming from climate change along with other ASEAN member states.

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Brunei has a parliament but there are no elections; the last election was held in 1962.

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Brunei has technically been under martial law since the Brunei Revolt of 1962.

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Brunei became a founding member of the World Trade Organization on 1 January 1995, and is a major player in BIMP-EAGA, which was formed during the Inaugural Ministers' Meeting in Davao, Philippines, on 24 March 1994.

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Brunei is one of many nations to lay claim to some of the disputed Spratly Islands.

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The Brunei government denies this and says that their claim on Limbang was never dropped.

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The Brunei navy has several "Ijtihad"-class patrol boats purchased from a German manufacturer.

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Brunei is divided into four districts, namely Brunei-Muara, Belait, Tutong and Temburong.

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In May 2019, the Brunei government extended its existing moratorium on the death penalty to the Sharia criminal code as well that made homosexual acts punishable with death by stoning.

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In 2015, the then-head of the Catholic Church in Brunei told The Brunei Times, "To be quite honest there has been no change for us this year; no new restrictions have been laid down, although we fully respect and adhere to the existing regulations that our celebrations and worship be [confined] to the compounds of the church and private residences".

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Brunei's revised penal code came into force in phases, commencing on 22 April 2014 with offences punishable by fines or imprisonment.

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Brunei is the first country in Asia to have banned shark finning nationwide.

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Brunei has retained most of its forests, compared to its neighbours that share Borneo island.

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Brunei has the second-highest Human Development Index among the Southeast Asian nations, after Singapore, and is classified as a developed country.

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Brunei's leaders are concerned that increasing integration in the world economy will undermine internal social cohesion and have therefore pursued an isolationist policy.

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Government of Brunei has promoted food self-sufficiency, especially in rice.

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In July 2009 Brunei launched its national halal branding scheme, Brunei Halal, with a goal to export to foreign markets.

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Culture of Brunei is predominantly Malay, with heavy influences from Islam, but is seen as much more conservative than Indonesia and Malaysia.

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Media in Brunei are said to be pro-government; press criticism of the government and monarchy is rare.

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The Brunei Times is another English independent newspaper published in Brunei since 2006.

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Brunei government owns and operates three television channels with the introduction of digital TV using DVB-T and five radio stations (National FM, Pilihan FM, Nur Islam FM, Harmony FM and Pelangi FM).

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Brunei debuted at the Olympics in 1996; it has competed at all subsequent Summer Olympics except 2008.

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Brunei has had slightly more success at the Asian Games, winning four bronze medals.

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