The Sultanate of Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam) officialy Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace is a small but – thanks to natural gas and petroleum resources – very rich country located in Southeast Asia. It’s surrounded by Malaysia and has two parts physically separated by Malaysia, almost being an enclave. Strategically located on the South China Sea, close to vital sea lanes linking Indian and Pacific Oceans, it has an exclusive economic fishing zone that extends as far as Louisa Reef in the southern Spratly Islands although it makes no public territorial claim to the offshore reefs.
The country is a pint-sized and fabulously wealthy oil-rich sultanate with a population of just under half a million, if illegal immigrants from countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines are included.
It is a member of the Commonwealth and has good education and hygiene.
The population is devoutly Muslim.
The Sultanate of Brunei’s heyday occurred between the 15th and 17th centuries, when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate. It was offered the opportunity to join Malaysia as a state in 1963, but opted out of the Federation due to a disagreement on the amount of its oil income that would have to be given to the central government in Kuala Lumpur. Independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries.
Geography and climate
The climate of the country is tropical equatorial. The average annual temperature is 26.1°C (79.0°F), with the April–May average of 24.7°C (76.5°F) and the October–December average of 23.8°C (74.8°F).
Brunei’s topology is of a flat coastal plain rises to mountains in the east, the highest point being Bukit Pagan at 1,850m, with some hilly lowlands in the west.
There are no typhoons, earthquakes, severe flooding and other forms of natural disasters to contend with, and the biggest environmental issues is the seasonal haze resulting from forest fires (that is caused by illegal clearing of land) in nearby Indonesia.