Brunei is an independent Islamic sultanate. The 1959 constitution (parts of which were suspended in 1962) confers supreme executive authority upon the sultan and provides for five Constitutional Councils: a Privy Council, Council of Ministers, Legislative Council, Religious Council, and Council of Succession to assist him. The members of these bodies are appointed by the sultan. The chief minister ( mentri besar ) is also appointed by the sultan and is responsible to him for the exercise of executive authority. An elected Legislative Council is being considered as part of constitutional reform, but elections are unlikely for several years. In August 2000, the foreign minister confirmed that a review of the constitution had been submitted to the sultan for approval, and that "an element of an election" was in this report.
At his 1992 Silver Jubilee celebration the sultan emphasized his commitment to preserving Brunei's political system based on the concept of Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB), or Malay Islam Monarchy, as the state ideology. MIB combines Islamic values and Malay culture within a monarchical political framework with the monarchy as defender of the faith.