Brunei Government - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Brunei Darussalam

conventional short form: Brunei

local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam

local short form: Brunei

etymology: derivation of the name is unclear; according to legend, MUHAMMAD SHAH, who would become the first sultan of Brunei, upon discovering what would become Brunei exclaimed "Baru nah," which roughly translates as "there" or "that's it"

Government type

absolute monarchy or sultanate

Capital

name: Bandar Seri Begawan

geographic coordinates: 4 53 N, 114 56 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: named in 1970 after Sultan Omar Ali SAIFUDDIEN III (1914-1986; "The Father of Independence") who adopted the title of "Seri Begawan" (approximate meaning "honored lord") upon his abdication in 1967; "bandar" in Malay means "town" or "city"; the capital had previously been called Bandar Brunei (Brunei Town)

Administrative divisions

4 districts (daerah-daerah, singular - daerah); Belait, Brunei dan Muara, Temburong, Tutong

Independence

1 January 1984 (from the UK)

National holiday

National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of independence from British protection; the Sultan's birthday, 15 June

Constitution

history: drafted 1954 to 1959, signed 29 September 1959; note - some constitutional provisions suspended since 1962 under a State of Emergency, others suspended since independence in 1984

amendments: proposed by the monarch; passage requires submission to the Privy Council for Legislative Council review and finalization takes place by proclamation; the monarch can accept or reject changes to the original proposal provided by the Legislative Council; amended several times, last in 2010

Legal system

mixed legal system based on English common law and Islamic law; note - in April 2019, the full sharia penal codes came into force and apply to Muslims and non-Muslims in parallel with present common law codes

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICC

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Brunei

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years

Suffrage

18 years of age for village elections; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed and presided over by the monarch; note(s)- 4 additional advisory councils appointed by the monarch are the Religious Council, Privy Council for constitutional issues, Council of Succession, and Legislative Council; Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah is also Minister of Finance, Defense, and Foreign Affairs and Trade

elections/appointments: none; the monarchy is hereditary

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Council or Majlis Mesyuarat Negara Brunei (36 seats; members appointed by the sultan including 3 ex-officio members - the speaker and first and second secretaries; members appointed for 5-year terms)

elections: appointed by the sultan

election results: NA; composition - men 33, women 3, percent of women 8.3%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the Court of Appeal and the High Court, each with a chief justice and 2 judges); Sharia Court (consists the Court of Appeals and the High Court); note - Brunei has a dual judicial system of secular and sharia (religious) courts; the Judicial Committee of Privy Council (in London) serves as the final appellate court for civil cases only

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch to serve until age 65, and older if approved by the monarch; Sharia Court judges appointed by the monarch for life

subordinate courts: Intermediate Court; Magistrates' Courts; Juvenile Court; small claims courts; lower sharia courts

Political parties and leaders

National Development Party or NDP [YASSIN Affendi]

note: Brunei National Solidarity Party or PPKB [Abdul LATIF bin Chuchu] and People's Awareness Party or PAKAR [Awang Haji MAIDIN bin Haji Ahmad] were deregistered in 2007; parties are small and have limited activity

International organization participation

ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, C, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Dato Paduka Haji Serbini bin Haji ALI (since 28 January 2016)

chancery: 3520 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 237-1838

FAX: [1] (202) 885-0560

consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Emily M. FLECKNER (since 20 August 2020)

telephone: [673] 238-7400

embassy: Simpang 336-52-16-9, Jalan Duta, Bandar Seri Begawan, BC4115

mailing address: Unit 4280, Box 40, FPO AP 96507; P.O. Box 2991, Bandar Seri Begawan BS8675, Negara Brunei Darussalam

FAX: [673] 238-7533

Flag description

yellow with two diagonal bands of white (top, almost double width) and black starting from the upper hoist side; the national emblem in red is superimposed at the center; yellow is the color of royalty and symbolizes the sultanate; the white and black bands denote Brunei's chief ministers; the emblem includes five main components: a swallow-tailed flag, the royal umbrella representing the monarchy, the wings of four feathers symbolizing justice, tranquility, prosperity, and peace, the two upraised hands signifying the government's pledge to preserve and promote the welfare of the people, and the crescent moon denoting Islam, the state religion; the state motto "Always render service with God's guidance" appears in yellow Arabic script on the crescent; a ribbon below the crescent reads "Brunei, the Abode of Peace"

National symbol(s)

royal parasol; national colors: yellow, white, black

National anthem

name: "Allah Peliharakan Sultan" (God Bless His Majesty)

lyrics/music: Pengiran Haji Mohamed YUSUF bin Pengiran Abdul Rahim/Awang Haji BESAR bin Sagap

note: adopted 1951



NOTE: The information regarding Brunei on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Brunei 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Brunei 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.