Thursday, 28 February 2013

Education System in Brunei Darussalam

brunei student
Education in Brunei. There are about 30 Brunei Darussalam Government secondary schools and over 120 Government primary schools in Brunei Darussalam, as well as a number of private schools. The University of Brunei Darussalam also offers degrees in English and Malay medium subjects.
From Grade 1 of Primary school onwards, students in Bruneian schools study English Language, Mathematics, ICT and Science through the medium of English. Subjects such as Malay Language, Malay Islamic Monarchy, Religious Studies, Physical Education and Art are in Malay-medium. Geography is English-medium from Grade 4. History is taught in Malay in primary school and in English in Secondary school.

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Monday, 25 February 2013

Brunei Darussalam is a ASEAN country

sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Brunei
Information About Brunei Darussalam is an oil rich sultanate that obtained independence in 1984. It offers tourists grand mosques, river journeys and virgin rainforests that cover 70% of country. Located on the island of Borneo, it is one of the smallest nation in ASEAN covering just 5,765 square kilometres. Brunei Darussalam is a sovereign, independent, democratic islamic monarchy.

The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is dominated by the picturesque Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. The Istana Nurul Iman is the most impressive site in Brunei Darussalam  and the world's largest residential palace. The sculpture nearby celebrate ASEAN unity. The Kampong Ayer or water village has been describe as the "Venice of the East". It is home to 30,000 people and features stilthouses over the water.
The Royal Ragalia Building is hoe to a collection of ceremonial jewels. Brunei History Centre has a display on the history of the Sultans. The Royal Ceremonial Halla or Lapau is where traditional royal ceremonies are normally held. Tasek Recreational Park has natural waterfalls, gardens and a lake. The market or tamu, located on the banks of the Kianggeh river, is open daily and the Tamu Hujung Minggu opens at the weekend and offers many exciting goods.
At Kampong Parit, just out of Bandar Seri Begawan, there is a mini replica of a rural village. Easy access to the rainforest and waterfalls is possible at Wasai Kandal. Jerudong Theme Park Brunei is an adventure theme park open free to public. The nearby polo complex is one of the world's largest. The Arts and Handycrafts Centre in Kota Batu has weaving and silverware displays.

The Malay Technology Museum provides an insight into the past lifestyle of the people. The Jame 'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Gadong area is Brunei largest mosque. The Bukit Shahbandar Forestry Park provides over 70 ha of forest, ponds, trails and obsrvation towers. Meragang, Serasa and Muara beaches are popular recreational areas.
The geographically distinct, Temburong District contains dense forest and patches of land utilized for hill rice. The isolated Rainforest Centre at Kuala Belalong is a focus for learning about the lowland tropical forests. Ulu Temburong National Park, the nation's first, provided access to recreation and accommodation facilities.
There are several festivals including National Day on 23rd February, the Sultan's birthday on 15th July, Chinese New Year and many Muslim religious festivals like Hari Raya where open house is common.

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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Brunei Darussalam, Share The Window into Borneo

iban brunei

Borneo is that large and mystical island in South East Asia
that  many have heard about, but few have seen.

The largest section, which stretches inland from the eastern coastline, is Kalimantan, part of Indonesia. The Malaysian states of Sabah (to the north) and Sarawak (to the south) lie along the western and northern coastline. 

Near the border of Sabah and Sarawak is Brunei Bay, and the Sultanate of Brunei DarussalamBrunei Darussalam Location on Borneo.With a population around 300,000, and a coastline barely 150 kms long, it is by far the smallest of all the Borneo states. It is also the only nation with its territory solely on Borneo. 
Only Brunei’s future is inextricably tied  and share to Borneo’s destiny.
Borneo has large reserves of  petroleum and gas

Omar Ali Saifudin Mosque
Omar Ali Saifudin Mosque

Most of this resource lies either close to the coast, or below shallow seas just offshore. 
Being the only nation residing solely on Borneo, Brunei's income from this resource has remained tied to Borneo. 
The results are substantial in terms of environmental protection, social services, and standards of living.
The world renowned Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre is a focal point where researchers from all nations come to learn more about rainforest ecology. New species are uncovered every year.

Brunei has not needed to cut it’s trees to finance development. Almost eighty percent of Brunei remains uninhabited jungle. Much of that is preserved as Forest Reserve or National Park.
Brunei’s recent development has continued to focus around the traditional water based transport routes that have dominated Borneo’s settlement and trading for centuries. 

Towns are located close to the coast, around Brunei Bay, or along rivers. 
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei’s capital, sits astride the Brunei River, with the modern commercial centre on one side separated from Kampong Ayer Brunei traditional water village housing on the other. 

There is no bridge; boats carry people as they have always done.
But the people in those water village houses are now connected to the world community with satellite TV dishes and mobile phones. 

Many work in modern air conditioned office blocks using up to date technologies and services. 

At work, their tools, practices and communication align with modern international practices. 

When they go home they return to many traditional styles, dress, customs and  community practices.
This unique combination of up-to-date services contrasting with traditional lifestyles makes Brunei Darussalam a unique Window into Borneo

If you have just a few days, Brunei Darussalam travel’s compact size, diversity of venues, well established natural and cultural museums, activities, attractions and transport services let’s you conveniently experience the amazing contrasts that are Borneo.

With more time, Brunei Darussalam travel  is your practical Gateway to Borneo, and the well serviced support base from where you can make excursions to explore the whole island.
  • Brunei’s national airline – Royal Brunei Airlines  RBA Brunei– is the only international airline that flies direct to Borneo from major regional and international centres.
  • Royal Brunei airlines has an extensive network linking out to Borneo, and the region.
  • Communication services are world class, and reliable. Disappear into a different world, knowing you can fax, phone or e-mail if needed.
  • Pubic health standards are amongst the highest in the region. You can enjoy the cheap and traditional foods at roadside stalls and markets.
  • Road transport services are well developed and uncongested. Get to places quickly, either with modern air-conditioned public buses, tour operator services, taxis, rental cars - or a bike.
  • Crime rates are extremely low, guns are illegal, and alcohol is limited. It’s safe to wander the streets, night stalls, beachfronts, fishing jetties and shops in the cool of the evening. 
So bring the family, learn something new, and have some fun!

  Enjoy Borneo and  Visiting Brunei!

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Friday, 22 February 2013

Country Brief of About Brunei Darussalam

soas mosque

Country Brief of Information About Brunei Darussalam


The Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam is situated on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, lies inland on the Brunei River. Brunei occupies 5,765 square kilometres and is divided into two parts, both of which are surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Relatively little of Brunei's landmass is cultivated and around 60 per cent is covered by primary forest.

Brunei's coastline stretches for 161 kilometres along the South China Sea. Brunei is one of many nations with outstanding claims regarding South China Sea boundaries.
Brunei's tropical climate is hot, humid and rainy. The average annual temperature is 27.1°C and the country receives an average of almost 2.9 metres of rain annually.


The population of Brunei is estimated at 427,000 (2011 IMF data), about 66 per cent of whom are ethnic Malay. A further 11 per cent are ethnic Chinese and about three per cent are indigenous. The relatively large population of foreign contract workers is drawn from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, as well as from South Asia.
Malay is the official language, although a sizable minority speak Chinese dialects and English is widely used in commerce, education and government. The local variety of Malay (Kedayan or Bukit Malay) is quite different from standard Malay.
Islam is the official religion of Brunei Darussalam and the Islamic faith permeates the social and cultural fabric of the country. There are minority groups of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and a small number of people who practise indigenous religions.

Political overview

Brunei's National Day is 23 February – a date associated with Brunei's independence in 1984. Its political structures are informed by the national philosophy of Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB), or Malay Islamic Monarchy.
Brunei is constitutionally an absolute monarchy. It is ruled by the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, His Majesty Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, who is both the head of state and Prime Minister. He is also the head of the Islamic faith in Brunei. His Majesty is the 29th Sultan in one of the oldest continuous hereditary royal lines in the world.
The Sultan's eldest son, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, was proclaimed Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam and heir to the throne of Brunei on 10 August 1998. Brunei achieved internal self-government in 1959 following a period of British rule when Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III (the father of the present Sultan) assumed executive authority. However, under Brunei's first constitution written in 1959, the country's foreign relations remained under Britain's control.

In the District Council elections in July-August 1962, the Brunei People's Party (PRB) won 54 of the 55 seats. Then, in a September 1962 poll dominated by the PRB's campaign against Brunei's proposed absorption into the planned Malaysian Federation, the PRB won all the elected seats in the Legislative Council. The Sultan delayed convening the Legislative Council and affirmed his intention to take Brunei into Malaysia. In December the military wing of the PRB revolted. The revolt was rapidly quelled with the assistance of British troops, its leaders forced into exile and the PRB banned. The elective provisions of the Constitution were suspended and no elections have been held since.
Brunei ultimately declined to join the Malayan Federation due to disagreements over financial arrangements and difficulties in determining the rank of the Sultan among the Malay rulers.
On 4 October 1967, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III abdicated in favour of his 21 year-old eldest son, the present Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III passed away on 7 September 1986.
Under a November 1971 agreement, Brunei obtained full internal autonomy and ceased to be a protected state. Britain continued, however, to retain responsibility for Brunei's foreign relations and accepted a potential role in Brunei's defence. The two countries signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 1979 terminating the 1971 agreement. They also committed to realising full independence for Brunei in 1984. His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei declared Brunei's political independence from Britain on 1 January 1984 and independence from the United Kingdom was achieved on 23 February 1984.
In 1984, Brunei's Government was restructured into a formal ministerial system with the Sultan as Prime Minister. The Sultan also serves as Minister of Defence and Minister of Finance. He is advised by, and presides over, four policy councils: the Council of Cabinet Ministers, the Legislative Council, the Privy Council and the Religious Council. The Sultan appoints the members of each of these Councils.
After a 20 year hiatus, the Sultan reconvened the Brunei Legislative Council on 25 September 2004, appointing 21 members. His Majesty then appointed a new Council with 29 members in September 2005. A 24 member Legislative Council was appointed for a five year term on 1 June 2011.
The Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, now holds the position of Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office. The Sultan's brother, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The thirteen other Cabinet Ministers are not members of the royal family.
Brunei has one legal political party, the Parti Pembangunan Bangsa (National Development Party or NDP).
Brunei's judicial system reflects the strong influence of British common law. The Supreme Court comprises the High Court and the Court of Appeals, while the Subordinate Court consists of the Magistrates' Courts. The Chief Justice and Judges of Brunei's Supreme Court are sworn in by the monarch for three-year terms. The Privy Council in London remains the final court of appeal for civil cases. The jurisdiction of the Islamic Courts, which coexist with the Supreme Court, is limited to family law and property matters for Muslims including inheritance.
The royal family retains a venerated position within the country and adverse comment regarding royal family matters is forbidden in Brunei.

Foreign policy

Brunei's foreign policy aims to promote national policies through bilateral and multilateral forums, by encouraging cooperation in all fields. The goal is to contribute towards promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region, particularly by fostering deeper understanding among countries. To this end, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remains the cornerstone of Brunei's foreign policy. Brunei became a member of ASEAN in 1984.
The guiding principles of Brunei's foreign policy include: mutual respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and national identity of all nations; recognition of the equality of all nations large and small; non-interference in internal affairs; peaceful settlement of disputes and cooperation for mutual benefit.
Brunei is active in a range of regional and multilateral forums, including Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation, and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue. Brunei will chair ASEAN and host the EAS in 2013. It is a member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and joined the United Nations (UN) when it became independent in 1984. Brunei was one of the four original members of the 2006 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership which has the potential to expand to include Australia, the United States, Malaysia, Vietnam, Peru, Canada and Mexico through the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations currently underway

Economic overview

Brunei's small, high-income, open economy is underpinned by revenue from the oil and gas sector, with per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP)  over US$38,000 in 2011. In 2010, oil and gas accounted for around 60 per cent of Brunei's GDP. Brunei's extensive foreign investments form a large, yet unreported contribution to the national budget.
Small scale manufacturers and primary production (including agriculture, fisheries and forestry) make up the rest of Brunei's economy. Brunei imports nearly all of its major manufactured products and nearly 90 per cent of its total food requirements.
Despite Brunei's high dependence on oil and gas, this sector employs only three per cent of the workforce. The public sector is by far the largest employer of Brunei's population, providing employment for over half the workforce.
Brunei has a low tariff regime and no capital gains or personal income tax, although private businesses pay company tax. Company tax for oil and gas exploration and production companies is 55 per cent. For all other companies it is 22 per cent. Brunei's monetary policy and banking regulation is administered by the Brunei Monetary Authority (AMBD), created in 2011, and the Brunei Dollar (BND) is pegged to the Singapore Dollar. Both currencies are legal tender in Brunei and Singapore.
The Brunei Government aims to diversify the economy away from heavy dependence on oil and gas by promoting private non-energy sector development and attracting more non-oil and gas related investment. The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) was formed in November 2001 to stimulate the growth, expansion and development of the economy by promoting Brunei as an investment destination and facilitating diversification projects.
In January 2008, the Brunei Government released its Vision 2035 (Wawasn 2035) , which sets out the overarching goal of delivering economic diversification by 2035 and the broad development strategies which Brunei will pursue over this period. Five year National Development Plans (RKNs) then set out detailed project and budgets for delivering Vision 2035. The RKN for the period 2012 to 2017 was announced in April 2012 and it continued to target an annual growth rate of 6 precent over the life of the Plan.

Recent economic performance

The global economic crisis had limited impact on Brunei, mainly due to limited global exposure in its capital markets. The fall in oil prices following the global economic crisis and subsequent decline in energy production saw Brunei's GDP contract by 1.9 per cent in 2008 and 1.8 per cent in 2009. Brunei saw a return to positive growth with  GDP increasing by 2.6 per cent in 2010 and 2.2 per cent in 2011, due in part to more favourable external conditions and the large fiscal and current account surpluses built up in recent years.
Brunei's domestic banks are adequately capitalised and profitable. Banks are also highly liquid, with more than half of total deposits parked abroad. Further stability was provided by the Government's October 2008 guarantee of all Brunei-dollar and foreign currency deposits until the end of 2010. This measure has since been replaced by long term deposit protection under the Brunei Deposit Protection Corporation.

Economic outlook

Brunei's heavy dependence on the oil and gas sector means that its economy is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in oil and gas prices. This dependence looks set to continue in the medium term.
Brunei's existing oil and gas reserves were expected to last for at least the next two decades. A phase of extensive new exploration and investment in enhanced recovery has commenced which includes the development of two major new offshore deep-water blocks. While it is still too early to determine precisely the size of any new reserves, the Brunei Government's Energy White Paper had set the ambitious target of a doubling of Brunei's daily oil and gas production by 2035.

Australia-Brunei bilateral relations

Australia and Brunei enjoy a warm relationship dating back to well before 1959, when Brunei achieved internal self-government. The relationship has strengthened in recent years, with growing links across a range of areas including defence and security, education and trade.
Brunei is an important partner for Australia in the Commonwealth, APEC, the EAS, the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and multilateral organisations like the UN and WTO. Brunei was the ASEAN Coordinator in negotiations for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), which was signed in Thailand on 27 February 2009 and entered into force on 1 January 2010.
In June 2005, Brunei's Foreign Minister, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, agreed to an Australian proposal to erect a permanent memorial to mark the 1945 landings in Brunei of the Australian force, which ended Japanese occupation and commenced reconstruction. A delegation of Australian veterans, led by the then Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Hon Alan Griffin MP, travelled to Brunei to attend the inauguration ceremony for the memorial in December 2008.
Australia is developing a strong education and training relationship with Brunei. It is keen to facilitate linkages between Australian and Bruneian education institutions, including increasing the number of Bruneian students undertaking Australian tertiary courses.

Defence and security links

Australia has a strong Defence relationship with Brunei, with avenues of engagement including strategic dialogue, bilateral military exercises and technical assistance. Military exercises conducted with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces include reciprocal army and navy exercises. Australia also provides some training and military expertise.
On 15 February 2005, Australia and Brunei signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism during the visit to Australia by His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei. The MOU provides for cooperation on customs, finance, immigration, intelligence, law enforcement, security and transport. During then Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty's visit to Brunei in May 2008, the two countries signed an MOU on combating Transnational Crime and Developing Police Cooperation.

Bilateral visits

His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei made his first official visit to Australia in February 2005, visiting again in September 2007 for the APEC Summit in Sydney and in October 2011 to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth. The Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce, visited Brunei on 2-4 October 2012.
The Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, and Minister for Energy in the Prime Minister's Department, Pehin Yasmin, visited Australia in July 2012. In August 2008, Brunei's Minister for Education visited Australia and in March 2009, the Deputy Minister of Education also visited. Brunei's second Minister for Defence, Dato Paduka Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat, visited Australia in February 2012.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Foreign Affairs, the Hon Richard Marles MP, visited Brunei in August 2012. The Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, visited Brunei in October 2010 to attend the second EAS Environment Ministers' Meeting. Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, visited Brunei in September 2011 to attend the fifth EAS Energy Ministers' Meeting.

Bilateral economic and trade relationship

Brunei was ranked as Australia's 35th largest merchandise trading partner in 2011-12, though this ranking likely understates the level of transhipped trade between Australia and Brunei via Singapore.
Trade and investment is an important focus of Australia's bilateral relationship with Brunei. Total direct bilateral trade with Brunei in 2011-12 amounted to $1.38 billion, with Australia's imports of crude petroleum from Brunei comprising just over $1.34 billion. Australia's merchandise exports to Brunei in 2011 totalled $37 million, consisting mainly of food and food products including meat excluding beef ($5 million), live animals ($5 million), beef ($3 million) and specialised machinery and parts ($3 million).
In the services sector, a number of Australian teachers and other professionals work in Brunei. In 2011-12, Australia's service exports to Brunei (mainly education) were worth $45 million. Australia is now the second preferred destination for Bruneian students.

Australian trade and investment strategies

The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement

On 27 February 2009, the former Minister for Trade Simon Crean joined trade ministers from the ten member states of ASEAN (including Brunei) and New Zealand in signing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) in Thailand. As lead ASEAN Coordinator in the negotiations, Brunei played an important role in securing this Agreement.

Export opportunities

There are good trade and investment opportunities in Brunei including in the oil and gas, education, food and agriculture, financial and service sectors.

Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)

Austrade has identified potential opportunities for Australian suppliers of goods and services in a number of sectors. Austrade's Brunei country page has general information on doing business and on specific export opportunities. Austrade Brunei can also provide advice on accessing opportunities in Brunei.

Australia-Brunei Darussalam Business Council

The Australia-Brunei Darussalam Business Council (ABDBC) was established in 1994 in response to the growing interest in trade and investment between Australia and Brunei. The Council's objectives are to foster friendship and understanding between the business communities of both countries, promote technical cooperation, trade, investment and tourism, and facilitate the development of new business strategies to enhance the bilateral business relationship. The ABDBC's founder and President is Mr Francis Wong. The contact details for the ABDBC are:
  • Ph: 618 8221 5722
  • Fax: 618 82215001
  • Address: 63 Grote St, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000
Updated November 2012

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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Spread of Islam In Brunei

brunei jamee ashr Hassanal bolkiah mosque
Go to Masjid (Mosque) in Brunei

Brunei Brief History
Brunei Darussalam has been an independent nation since 1984. It is one of Southeast Asia's oldest sovereign nations with a long and colourful history. Its recorded history spans 600 years.
Prior historical references have been found Chinese and Hindu chronicles of the sixth and seventh centuries referring to Brunei as "Polo", "Puni" and "Poli". Early writers have also called it "Brunei" and "Brune".
Brunei rose to prominence in the 15th and 16th centuries when the country extended throughout Borneo and the whole of the present day Philippines.
The first sultan to embrace Islam in Brunei was Sultan Muhammad I who reigned for 39 years in the 14th century. About the year 1478, the sultans in the region were strong enough to free themselves from the influence of Hindu rulers.
The stability of the sultans that followed this period firmly rooted Islam in Brunei. In the pre Islamic Brunei the first capital Puni was established in the district of Temburong. Later the capital was moved to Kota Batu where the Brunei Museum now stands.
Finally it was established in Bandar Seri Begawan during the reign of Sultan Muhyiddin I in the 17th century. In the past Brunei's wealth was founded on the export of camphor, pepper and gold.
Brunei's golden age centred round two remarkable rulers Sultan Bolkiah and Sultan Hassan. Under their rule the Royal Court developed a splendour and ritual on par with that of anywhere in the world and the territorial and religious influence of the country reached its peak.
However, the thrust of European influence within the region in the 17th and 18th century saw a marked decline in the power and territory of Brunei a process which was hastened in the 19th century.
The British influence was predominant and Brunei lost much of its territory to Sarawak under its white raja, James Brooke. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate and in 1906, the British Residential system was introduced in Brunei. In 1959, Brunei resumed full internal sovereignty. Yet Britain remained responsible for defence and foreign affairs.
In 1918, Sultan Muhammad Jamulul Alam, the 20th ruler and the great grandfather of the present sultan, was installed as the Yang Di Pertuan.
The year 1929 marked the historic discovery of oil in Seria during the rule of the 27th Sultan of Brunei, Ahmad Tajuddin, who ruled for 26 years from 1924-1950. Brunei History - 2 remained under the Residency Agreement until 1959, when domestic and internal rule was granted by the Constitutional Amendment of the year.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien, the father of the present sultan became the 28th Sultan of Brunei in 1959. His rule lasted from 1950 to 1967 during which period his vision and prudence propelled Brunei towards prosperity and modernity.
It was a period of transition but the Sultan was keen to maintain a separate Bruneian identity and opposed all attempts made to merge Brunei with Sarawak and North Borneo.
He fought many obstacles but fought to restore Brunei to its former glory.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien abdicated in 1967, paving the way for his eldest son , the current sultan to ascend the throne as the 29th Sultan of Brunei
After an alliance of 96 years with Britain, His Majesty the Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah, proclaimed Brunei Darussalam a sovereign , independent , democratic Muslim monarchy on January 1st, 1984.

General Information About Brunei
Total Land Area: 5,270 km
Land boundaries: 381 km
Coastline: 161 km
Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Other Large Cities: Seria, Kuala Belait
Official Language: Malay
National Currency Unit: Brunei Dollar
National Day: February 23

Location and Geography
Brunei Darussalam location on the southwest of the island of Borneo. It faces the South China Sea along the northwest coast of the Island of Borneo and is bordered with Malaysia with the exception of the north coastline. Brunei has an exclusive fishing zone of 200 nautical miles in its territorial sea of 12 nautical miles.
The majority of the country (about three-quarters) is covered with tropical rainforests. Brunei's terrain is made up of flat coastal plain rising to the mountains in the east. Hilly lowland lies to the west. Brunei has a very small area of arable land. There are a few permanent crops, meadows and pastures. The country has an equatorial climate characterized by high temperature, high humidity and heavy rainfall. There is no distinct wet season.

Population: 0.32 million (1999)
Crude Birth Rate: 23 per thousand people (1998)
Crude Death Rate: 3 per thousand people (1998)
Infant Morality Rate: 6 per thousand (1999)
Life Expectancy: Male: 72 years, Female: 77 years (1998)
Urban Population: 66.6 percent (1998)
Adult Literacy: 89.00 percent (1998)

Brunei is the third largest oil producer in South Asia and the fourth largest producer of liquefied natural gas in the world. The country depends on revenues from crude oil and natural gas to finance its development programs. Oil and natural gas being the economic backbone of the country, also constitutes major exports. In addition, forestry is playing an increasing role in the economy. The Government is also encouraging agricultural development to reduce the dependency on imported foodstuffs.
GDP at Current Market Prices: 4828 million US$ (1998)
Per Capita GDP: 15574 US$ (1998)
Share of Sectors in GDP: 2.0% Agriculture, 32.5% Industry, 34.1% Services, (1998)
Total Exports: 2552 million US$ (1999)
Total Imports: 1328 million US$ (1999)
Major Exports: Crude oil, petroleum products and liquefied natural gas
Major Imports: Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, foodstuffs
Major Trading Partners: Japan, US, UK, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan

1841 Brunei ceded Sarawak to James Brooke
1846 Brunei ceded Labuan to Britain
1847 Brunei signed Trade Relations Treaty with Britain
1888 Brunei became a British-protected State
1906 British Resident appointed
1906-41 A new form of government emerged which included a State Council
1931 Exploration for oil commenced
1929 Oil was struck at Seria
1941-45 Japanese occupation during World War II
1950-67 Reign of Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien
1962 Armed rebellion put down
1967 Brunei issued its own currency
1967 The voluntary abdication of the 28th Sultan, His Highness Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien (Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien)
1968 Coronation of His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan
1970 The State capital, Brunei Town, was renamed Bandar Seri Begawan
1971 The 1959 Agreement was amended and brought up-to-date
1972 LNG plant began operation
1973 Deep Water Port opened in Muara
1973 Official opening of the world's largest LNG plant
1974 Brunei International Airport opened
1975 The launch of Royal Brunei Airlines
1979 Brunei and Britain signed the Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation
1984 Brunei resumed full political sovereignty
1984 Brunei joined ASEAN, OIC and the United Nations
1984 Brunei celebrated its first National Day
1985 University of Brunei Darussalam was formed
1986 The demise of Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, His Majesty's father, the 28th Sultan.
1987 University of Brunei Darussalam opened
1988 Opening of the Malay Technology Museum
1989 The first convocation of University Brunei Darussalam
1990 The first Al-Hafiz of Brunei Darussalam
1991 The setting up of the Brunei Islamic Trust Fund (TAIB).
1992 Brunei joined Non Aligned Movements (NAM)
1992 Silver Jubilee of the reign of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam
1998 Proclamation of His Royal Highess Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah as the Crown Prince

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Proud To be Bruneian, The Brunei People

 Brunei People
About Brunei Darussalam People
Brunei Darussalam is a Malay nation as the Malay racial group making up approximately 66.3% dominates the population.

The rest of the racial groups are the Chinese (11.2%), the Indigenous groups (Ibans, Dusuns, etc) and the expatriates. There are more males than females in Brunei (186,200 or 52% male: 171,600 or 47.9% female).

The annual increase in population is 2.3% (2002), while the birth rate is 20.2 per 1000 (2002) and the death rate is 2.9 per 1000 (2002).

The people of Brunei Darussalam are mostly young with 53.2% of the population in the working age group between the ages of 20-54. Only 5.3% of the population are above the age of 55.

The breakdown by district shows that Brunei-Muara is the most populous, with about 69% of the country's population, followed by Belait, which has approximately 17%, Tutong 12% and finally Temburong with less than 3% of the population.

Language And Religion 
Bahasa Melayu is the Brunei official language but English is widely spoken, alongside Mandarin and the other Chinese dialects such as Hokkien, Hakka and Cantonese. Indian languages used include Tamil and Hindi.
Islam is the state religion but it coexists with other beliefs, which are openly practised.

share the pictures, 
they are very happy as The Bruneian, the Brunei People.

Brunei flag

Brunei People

Brunei People

Brunei People

Brunei People

Brunei People

Brunei People
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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Brunei Holidays : The Brunei's Clock Tower History

The pictures of Brunei Clock tower
The pictures of Brunei Clock tower

Brunei Clock Tower is one of Brunei Holidays - tourist attractions in Brunei. A couple of yesterday's photographs on Maulidur Rasul in the past were taken from my uncle's album. I borrowed his album Brunei Darussalam brief history sometime last year and it contained a treasure trove of photographs. Not only he has photographs of events which had him in it but also photographs of national events. I guess in those days, people like to keep those kind of photographs as well as I have seen this national event photographs in other people's albums. You buy them from the photo studios.

Anyway, one photograph which interested me very much was this particular photograph of our 'Achitect of Modern Brunei' Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien. This photograph showed him and Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the first Agung of Malaysia or rather Malaya in those days, sitting together. The site of this photograph will interest you. Look at the background, you can just make out the Secretariat Building on the right of the photograph and on the left you can just make out the old Police barracks that used to be in front of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.

Sultan Omar and Tuanku Abdul Rahman (bruneiresources)
Sultan Omar and Tuanku Abdul Rahman (bruneiresources)
So this photograph of this brunei history, was taken somewhere near the Post Office and the Secretariat Building. In fact to be exact this site was in the middle of the cross roads of Jalan Sultan and Jalan Elizabeth II. Why?

What most people have forgotten is that, that blue clock tower was to commemorate the visit of Tuanku Abdul Rahman to Brunei Darussalam. The foundation stone was laid by Tuanku Abdul Rahman during his visit to Brunei in July 1959. It was on 11th July 1959 when this photograph was taken. That clock will be 50 years old this coming July 2009.

Source :

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Brunei Darussalam National Day

Stone Boat Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddin
Stone Boat Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddin
About Brunei Darussalam national day (Hari Kebangsaan Brunei), The state of Brunei - which celebrated its National Day on Saturday - has been ruled by a succession of Sultans tracing their royal lineage back to the 15th century. Officially known in Malay as Negara Brunei Darussalam, or Abode of Peace, this wealthy Southeast Asian nation regained independence from the United Kingdom on January 1, 1984.

This tiny country, with a land area of 5,765 sq km, is located 443 km north of the Equator on the north coast of the island of Borneo and is surrounded by the east Malaysian state of Sarawak but for its coastline meeting the South China Sea. Its equatorial climate is hot, humid and wet year round.
Sultan of Brunei
Sultan of Brunei

Of Brunei's population of 374,577, two-thirds is of Malay origin. The remainder is comprised of Chinese, Indian and indigenous Malay groups. Brunei is also home to a large number of expatriates. These include Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers, as well as professionals from Western countries, predominantly Australia and Britain.

Malay is the official language but English is widely spoken, and a significant minority speaks Chinese. Although the official religion is Islam, other faiths are also practiced.

 Tamu Kianggeh Market

The Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam was very powerful from the 14th to the 16th century, with a realm covering the whole island of Borneo and the southwestern Philippines. The decline of the Empire of Brunei came in the 19th century with the loss of much of its territory to the White Rajahs of Sarawak. Brunei was divided in half, and from 1888 to 1985 was a British protectorate.

Today, Brunei's small but prosperous economy is built on both domestic and foreign entrepreneurship as well as government regulation. Crude oil and natural gas production account for nearly half of its GDP and more than 90 percent of exports, while domestic production is supplemented with large overseas investments.
Brunei is a tax-free society, where citizens enjoy one of the highest per capita incomes on earth, while the state provides a robust welfare system. Brunei's future directions include boosting its banking and tourism industries, with plans by its national airline Royal Brunei to become a hub for international travel between Europe and Australia and New Zealand, as well as servicing major Asian destinations.

Diplomatic ties between Brunei and China were established in September 1991, and bilateral relations have seen steady growth since, with frequent official exchanges and visits. Governments of the two countries have signed documents of cooperation covering a wide range of areas including economy and trade, energy, aviation, health, culture, tourism and education. Trade volume between China and Brunei reached nearly $300 million in 2004.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Brunei Darussalam Brief History

Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque Kampong Kiarong brunei

About Brunei darussalam, The power of the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam was at its peak from the 14th to the 16th centuries. The Sultanate's suzerainty is thought to have extended over the coastal regions of modern-day Sarawak and Sabah, the Sulu archipelago, and the islands off the northwest tip of Borneo.

It has been debated when Islam first arrived in Brunei. A number of relics show that Islam may have been practiced in Brunei by the 12th century.

Among these relics are tombstones found in the various Islamic graveyards in Brunei, particularly the tombstone at Rangas [location required] graveyard of a Chinese Muslim by the name of Pu Kung Chih-mu. He was buried there in 1264. This is more than a hundred years before the conversion of Awang Alak Betatar who became the Islamic Sultan Muhammad Shah, the first Sultan of Brunei.

Pu is a common surname that, according to Chinese historians, identifies a person as a Muslim. The tombstone also identified Pu Kung Chih-mu as having originated from Ch'uan-chou City in China. During the Song Dynasty, Arab and Persian Traders flocked to Canton (Kwang Chow) in Kwangtung Province and Chuan-chou in Fukien Province.

The tombstone of Pu Kung Chih-mu is not the only Chinese Muslim grave in Rangas graveyard. Another grave nearby belonged to another Chinese Muslim by the name of Li Chia-tzu from Yung Chun (Fukian) who died in 1876. Yung Chun is another city in China where Muslim travellers frequently traded.

According to Chinese records, stated in the “Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca Compiled From Chinese Sources” written by WP Groeneveldt in 1880, one Chinese Islamic trader arrived in Brunei in the 10th century. His name was P’u-lu-shieh. He was both a trader and a diplomat. P’u-lu-shieh name is akin to Abu al-Layth.

The Brunei King at that time was named Hiang-ta (Bongto). The arrival of the diplomat-trader from China was greeted with great ceremony. If this is so, Islam has actually arrived in Brunei in the year of 977.

One may discount the fact that the Muslim diplomat-trader did not do anything in Brunei but merely brought greetings and therefore one should not read too much into this. However the interesting thing was that the Brunei King’s delegation to China to return the Emperor’s greetings was headed by another Muslim by the name of P’u A-li (Abu Ali).

Based on this fact alone, Abu Ali must have held an important position in the Brunei Government if he was tasked to be Brunei’s Ambassador in those days and even if the King of Brunei then was not himself a Muslim, some members of his royal court were Muslims.

A number of European historians claimed that Brunei was still not a Muslim nation until the 15th century. However, the Ming Shih, Book 325, a Chinese reference book noted that the King of Brunei in 1370 was Ma-ho-mo-sa. Some say that this should be read as Mahmud Shah. But local Brunei historians take this to refer to “Muhammad Shah” the first Islamic Sultan of Brunei, during his reign Brunei was also visited by Arab, Persian and Sindhi merchants.

Robert Nicholl, a former Brunei Museum Curator argued in another paper entitled “Notes on Some Controversial Issues in Brunei History” in 1980 that the name Ma-ho-mo-sa could be pronounced as Maha Moksha, which means Great Eternity. Maha Mokhsa would make it a Buddhist name. Nicholl goes on to argue that even the Brunei Sultan who died in Nanjing in 1408 was not a Muslim. Another European Historian, Pelliot, Ma-na-jo-kia-nai-nai was reconstituted as Majarajah Gyana (nai). But the closest title would have been Maharaja Karna. However Brunei historians have stated that the King was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan who would have been the second Sultan of Brunei.

Nicholl further argued that Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam as late as the 16th century and not during the 14th century as is widely known. However according to Brunei historians, Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam in 1376 and that he ruled until 1402. After which time, it was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, who died in China who ascended the throne. That was when Sultan Ahmad reigned in Brunei beginning 1406, during his reign Brunei was visited on various occasions by the Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He.

Most likely there were two waves of Islamic teachings that came to Brunei. The first was brought by traders from Arabia, Persia, India and China. The second wave was brought about by the conversion of Sultan Muhammad Shah. With the coming of the second wave, Brunei’s Islamisation hastened.

The propagation of Islam in Brunei was led by a Syarif with the name of Syarif Ali who was a descendant of The Prophet Muhammad through his grandsons Sayydinia Hassan or Sayydinia Hussin.

Syarif Ali arrived from Taif. Not long after he arrived in Brunei, he was married to a daughter of Sultan Ahmad. Syarif Ali built a mosque in Brunei. Syarif Ali was closely connected to a few other well known Islam propogationists in the region such as Malik Ibrahim who went to Java, Syarif Zainal Abidin in Malacca, Syarif Abu Bakar or Syariful Hashim in Sulu, and Syarif Kebungsuan in Mindanao.

Syarif Ali ascended the throne as the third Sultan of Brunei when he took over from his father-in-law. Because of his piousness, he was known as Sultan Berkat (Berkat means ‘blessed).

The mosque, especially the pulpit, was used by Sultan Syarif Ali himself. Sultan Syarif Ali himself conducted the sermons during Friday prayers. So he was not only the Sultan but he was also the Imam and brought the religion directly to the Brunei people.

According to Thomas Stamford Raffles in his book The History of Java, the Islamic activities of Sultan Syarif Ali were not limited to Brunei. He was also known to have gone over to Java to propagate Islam, where he was known as Raja Chermin. He tried hard to convert the Majapahit King named Prabu Angka Wijaya.

The efforts of the Brunei Sultans in spreading Islam helped to spread the religion not only in Borneo but also as far north as to the southern Philippines islands. When Malacca fell to the Portuguese in 1511, it was Brunei that played a major role in the spread of Islam in the region[12] (see also: Ottoman expedition to Aceh).

By the 16th century, Brunei had built one of its biggest mosques. In 1578, Alonso Beltran, a Spanish traveler described it as being five stories tall and built on the water. Most likely it had five layers of roofs to represent the Five Pillars of Islam.

Islam was firmly rooted in Brunei by the 16th century. This mosque was destroyed by the Spanish in June that same year.

European influence gradually brought an end to this regional power. Later, there was a brief war with Spain, in which Brunei's capital was occupied. Eventually the sultanate was victorious but lost territories to Spain.

The decline of the Bruneian Empire culminated in the 19th century, when Brunei lost much of its territory to the White Rajahs of Sarawak, resulting in its current small landmass and separation into two parts. Brunei was a British protectorate from 1888 to 1984, and occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945 during World War II.

There was a small rebellion against the monarchy during the 1960s, which was suppressed with help from the United Kingdom. This event became known as the Brunei Revolt and was partly responsible for the failure to create the North Borneo Federation. The rebellion partially affected Brunei's decision to opt out of the Malaysian Federation.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Brunei Darussalam Local customs

Mosque in Kampong Ayer
Mosque in Kampong Ayer
As it is difficult to give general guidelines on what behaviour is acceptable to different groups of people on different occasions, this section aims to give general guidelines and background information only.
The life of the average Bruneian revolves around his religion, Islam, with certain things being forbidden (haram), certain things being tolerated but not encouraged (makruh) and certain things which fall under the embrace of Islam (halal). Pork, the consumption of alcohol, eating meat not slaughtered under Islamic guidance, casual touching, adultery and coming into contact with the wet nose or hair of a dog are haram. Smoking is considered makruh.
Kampong Ayer in Brunei
Kampong Ayer in Brunei

About Brunei Darussalam Culture

Some of the basic codes of conduct, as in most Islamic countries, are as follows:
  • Use only the right hand when offering or passing something as the left hand is considered to be unclean.
  • Do not point with the forefinger, as this is considered rude. It is better to point with the thumb of the  right-hand.
    When beckoning someone, use an open hand with the fingers waving downwards.
  • Bruneians shake hands by only lightly touching and then bringing the hands to the chest. However, some Muslims prefer not to shake hands at all.
    It is not customary for members of the opposite sex to shake hands.
  • When sitting, especially on the floor, make sure the soles of the feet do not point to anyone, but are either  tucked under the body, or pointing towards the floor.
  • Do not point your feet towards anyone or point at something.
  • Do not smack the fist of your right hand into your left palm.
  • It is polite to accept even just a little food and drink when offered. When refusing anything offered, it's  polite to touch the plate lightly with the right hand.
  • Do not stand with your hands on your hips as this is considered rude.
  • Do not touch people on the head. This is regarded as extremely disrespectful as the top of the head is  considered a sacred spot.
  • Avoid public display of affection as this is seen in bad taste.
  • Unless instructed by the owner to do otherwise, remove your shoes when entering a house.
source :

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Brunei Darussalam : Language and People

People of Brunei
About Brunei Darussalam. The official language of Brunei Darussalam is Bahasa Melayu, but English is also widely spoken, especially in business and commerce. Jawi (Malay written in Arabic script) is taught in schools and most signs in the country are written in both Jawi and Roman script.

People of  Brunei, Malays make up around 67% of the 357,800 strong
population (including indigenous peoples of the Kedaya, Tutong, Belait, Bisaya, Dusan and Murut tribes). Chinese (15%), Indians, people of smaller tribes and some 15,000   20,000 expatriate workers from Europe and Asia make up the remainder of the population.
English is the official language in the office. If you wish you can learn some Malay here.
The satelite TV has many English language channels, one Dutch channel (BVN) in addition to Malay, Chinese and Indian.

Brunei People
Brunei Home
Brunei People
Brunei Local Girls

Bahasa Malay (Malay Language)

Yes Ya
No Tidak
Excuse me Ma'afkan saya
Pardon? Ma'af?
I'm sorry Ma'afkan saya
I don't understand Saya tidak faham

Good morning Selamat pagi
Good afternoon Selamat petang
Goodnight Selamat malam


Welcome Selamat Datang
Please  Tolong
Thank you Terima kasih
You're welcome Kembali
What is your name? Siapa nama awda?
My name is  Nama saya………
How much? Berapa?
Where is the toilet? Di mana tandas?
I want to go to  Saya mahu pergi ke……

We have a few languages institutes in our location.
The recommended language institutes are CFBT and Alliance Francais. These are registered and company-recognised.
The other schools, in Seria or Kuala Belait area, which can teach the local language -Malay- are recognised by the Ministry of Education of Brunei.

source :

Brunei Share : The legends surrounding of Bukit Tempayan Pisang

The legends surrounding Bukit Tempayan Pisang can be promoted to attract tourists. This suggestion was yesterday made by Minister of Hom...