Skip to main content
Map of Brunei-Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam

From the 15th to 17th centuries, the whole island of Borneo was under the control of the Brunei Sultanate as a trading power.  Territory was gradually lost through wars, piracy and colonial expansion, and in 1888, Brunei became a British Protectorate.  It later turned down an opportunity to join the Federation of Malaya (with Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah), gaining full independence in 1984.  Modern Brunei is based around the three pillars of Malay culture, Islam, and absolute monarchy.  The present sultan is King Hassanal Bolkiah, who represents one of the oldest continuous ruling dynasties in the world for over 600 years.  Officials are unelected (unique among ASEAN countries) with the monarch holding absolute executive and legislative powers. Brunei became the first East Asia country to adopt sharia law, first announced in 2013 and then gazetted in 2019.
Socio-economic indicators browse all
Land-related indicators browse all

More on this country

News Browse all

Tree planting to revitalise Badas forest

26 February 2021

A tree planting ceremony was held along a stretch of road leading to Badas Dam as part of the Badas Tree Planting 2021 project yesterday. It is a collaborative research project between Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s (UBD) Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER) and Singapore…

Brunei: Forgery lands government clerk behind bars

22 February 2021

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Feb 22 (Birbeo Bulletin/ANN): A government clerk was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by the Intermediate Court on Saturday (Feb 20), for forging Department of Electrical Services’ (DES) documents. Despite Haji Alias bin Haji Md Ali’s instant guilty pleas, Judge Pengiran…

Chinese development firm signs deal to develop Brunei fishing port

11 January 2021

A Chinese state-owned company has signed a deal to redevelop and manage a fisheries port in Brunei. China's Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group has signed a deal to expand and run the Muara Fish Landing Complex alongside its partner Brunei's Darussalam Assets, a government-backed investment…

In Brunei land ownership, use, and planning is under strict central control, with ultimate authority in the hands of the Sultan and his cabinet