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About Brunei Darussalam

Brunei at a Glance

Official Name: Brunei Darussalam
(Translation: The Country of Brunei, Abode of Peace)
Location: Located on the northern shore of the Island of Borneo. Brunei Darussalam shares the island with the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan.
Total Land area: 5,765 km2

Temperate equatorial climate year round, characterised by temperatures ranging between 23C - 32C, and an annual average rainfall of 320cm.

There is no distinct rainy season, though the period from November to March tends to bring heavier rainfall.

Population: 390,000 (2009 est.)
Capital City: Bandar Seri Begawan.
Districts: Brunei-Muara (housing the capital city), Tutong, Belait and Temburong.
Ethnic Groups: Malay (67%); Chinese (15%), indigenous tribes (6%); others (12%)
Languages: Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the official language but English is widely spoken and understood. Various Chinese and Indian dialects, as well as native languages of Borneo, are also used by the respective communities. Arabic is also taught in schools and institutions of higher learning.
Religions: Islam is the official religion and has been since the 14th century. Other faiths practiced in the State include Christianity and Buddhism. About 67% of the population is Muslim.
System of Government:

A British protectorate since 1888, Brunei Darussalam became an independent sovereign Sultanate on 1 January 1984.

Brunei Darussalam is governed on the basis of a written constitution which came into effect in 1959.

Under the constitution, His Majesty the Sultan has executive authority and is assisted and advised by 5 constitutional bodies, namely the Council of Succession, the Council of Cabinet Ministers, the Privy Council, the Religious Council and the Legislative Council.

Head of State/Government:

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the 29th monarch to succeed to the throne. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan is also the Prime Minister and heads a team of Cabinet Ministers.

For more information on Brunei Darussalam, please visit the Links of Interest below.

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