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Brunei
-the capital: Bandar Seri Begawan-

"BRUNEI is located on Borneo and consists of two parts that are completely surrounded by Malaysia. It is a state slightly larger than Gelderland. There is a lot of gas and oil in the ground and the inhabitants benefit from that. Especially the sultan. With an estimated wealth of more than twenty billion, he is one of the richest people on earth. Nobody pays tax, education and health care are free."

The Sultanate of Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam) officially Nation of Brunei, "the Abode of Peace" is a small, but - thanks to natural gas and petroleum resources - very rich country, located on Borneo. It is surrounded by Malaysia and it is almost an enclave in that country, surrounded by Sabah and Sarawak. Brunei is strategically located on the South China Sea, close to vital shipping routes connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It has an exclusive economic fishing zone that extends to Louisa Reef in the southern Spratly Islands, although it makes no territorial claim to the offshore reefs.

Brunei is a small and fabulously rich oil-rich sultanate with a population of just under half a million, as illegal immigrants from countries like Indonesia and the Philippines are included.
It is a member of the Commonwealth and has a good level of education and good health care. The inhabitants are devout Muslims.


Golden Car

 

The heyday of the Sultanate of Brunei occurred between the 15th and 17th centuries, when control extended to coastal areas of northwestern Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei then came across a period of decline caused by internal strife Royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers and piracy. Brunei became a British protectorate in 1888.
It was given the option of joining Malaysia as a state in 1963, but withdrew from the Federation due to disagreements over the amount of its oil revenues to be given to the central government in Kuala Lumpur. Independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for more than six centuries.

The backbone of Brunei's economy is oil and gas, and the Sultan of Brunei is known to be one of the richest people in the world with an estimated personal wealth of about $ 40 billion. Gross domestic product per capita is well above most other developing countries, and significant income from foreign investment is additional to income from domestic production. The government provides all medical services and subsidizes rice and housing.
All sectors of the economy are fairly highly regulated, and government policy is a strange mix of subsidies, protectionism and encouragement to entrepreneurship. Brunei's leaders are trying to balance the country's steadily increasing integration into the world economy with the common interest.

Brunei is officially an Islamic state, with hundreds of grand beautiful mosques all over the country. Sale of alcohol is prohibited. Bringing in meat (other than seafood) that is not certified as "halal" (slaughtered according to Islamic law) is also prohibited.
Many shops and restaurants will be open during the fasting month of Ramadan. However, eating, drinking or smoking in front of people who are fasting is considered rude and asking for permission is appropriate.

 

Most of the population is Malay (67%) and there is also a significant Chinese minority of about 15%, as well as some indigenous peoples, including the Duson tribes living upstream in the jungle and in the Temburong district (the smaller eastern part unrelated to the rest of Brunei). There are a large number of foreign workers who work in oil and gas extraction or in positions such as restaurant workers, field workers and domestic workers. The male / female ratio is 3: 2. More than a quarter of people are short-term immigrants, most of whom are male.

Brunei has flat coastal plains that rise to mountains in the east, the highest point being Bukit Pagan at 1850 m, with some hilly lowlands in the west .
There are no typhoons, earthquakes, severe floods and other forms of natural disasters to contend with, and the biggest environmental problems are the seasonal haze from forest fires (caused by illegal land reclamation) in nearby Indonesia.

National holidays:

  • Independence Day: 1 January

  • National holiday: 23 February

  • Constitution Day: 29 September


Kampong Ayer

 

 

   Ben van Wijnen

 

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