Situated along the northwest coastline of Borneo, Brunei Darussalam is a tranquil nation with a modest size of 5,765 square kilometres located on the northern side of Borneo Island. Brunei shares borders with the Malaysian state of Sarawak which divides it into two parts – the west enclave which holds three districts including the Brunei-Muara District where the capital Bandar Seri Begawan is, and the east enclave which is the Temburong District. Brunei is governed according to the constitution and national ideology of the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB).
As an equatorial country, Brunei has high rainfall and warm temperatures all year round. There is no distinct rainy season, though the period from November to March tends to bring heavier rainfall.
Brunei’s economic success was driven by its oil and gas industry, which accounts for over half of its gross domestic product (GDP) and 90 per cent of its exports. The country is home to some of the biggest oil fields and natural gas reserves in Southeast Asia. In order to reduce its dependence on the oil and gas industry, the government has introduced policies and initiatives to nurture other industries and diversify economic growth.
Diversification of the economy has gradually been growing in fields of aquaculture, finance and tourism. The country’s population is ethnically diverse and has a reputation of being hospitable and accommodating among locals and to visitors alike. Most of the population are Malays, with the remaining made up of Chinese, Indians and various tribal communities with diverse backgrounds and faiths that blend harmoniously into the Bruneian society.
The Abode of Peace is an apt name for Brunei as the country is embraced by the hands of peace, stability and security.
Copyright 1993 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook All rights reserved.