Hassanal Bolkiah


(pronounced "HAH-soh-nol boal-KYE-ah")

"We have tried it. We had elections before 1962 and we had a few political parties, but people competed against each other and chaos resulted."

Officially known as the Sultanate of Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam), Brunei is situated on the northwest coast of the island of Kalimantan (Borneo), most of which is Indonesian territory, and faces the South China Sea. Both of its two parts are surrounded by Sarawak, which is part of Malaysia. Brunei has a coastline of about 161 km (100 mi). Its total area is 5,770 sq km (2,228 sq mi), and its capital is Bandar Seri Begawan. The population was estimated at 350,898 in 2002. The unit of currency is the Brunei dollar. The official language is Malay, and ethnically Brunei is comprised of Malay, 67%; Chinese, 15%; and indigenous races and others, 18%. The official religion is Islam (67% of the population), with smaller numbers adhering to Buddhism (13%), Christianity (10%), and animism and other beliefs (10%). The terrain is heavily forested, and the crops include rice, sugarcane, and fruit. Its natural resources consist almost exclusively of petroleum and natural gas, which together account for 99% of Brunei's exports. Brunei's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $19,000 in 2001.


Office of the Prime Minister
Istana Nurul Iman
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Also read article about Brunei from Wikipedia

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