Brunei Darussalam – Abode of Peace

Following information that Brunei military had searched Civilisation 3000’s website, a reciprocal online search revealed some pleasing information. 

Abode of Peace 

Brunei  – the State of Brunei Darussalam, meaning the “abode of peace” – is a sovereign state on the island of Borneo.The rest of the island belongs to Malaysia and Indonesia. 

Careful management of the country’s hydrocarbon reserves has given Bruneians a standard of living that is among the highest in the world in terms of per capita GDP. Brunei Darussalam is ranked first in macroeconomic stability by international ranking agencies. It is working to diversify its economy, encouraging visitors to its rainforests and mangroves and developing the financial sector. 

Social harmony 

Social harmony is sustained by the Sultanate’s social development programmes and distinct culture. There is a generous welfare system preventing socially vulnerable groups from sliding into poverty, with government food and fuel subsidies, housing schemes, free health care and education. As a Sharia country, the sale and public consumption of alcohol was banned in the early 1990s and all pubs and nightclubs closed. 

International co-operation 

Brunei has formed many international links, becoming a member of ASEAN, the Organisation of Islamic Conferences  and the United Nations in 1984. It acceded to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) in 1989 and hosted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2000. It was one of the original members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) when it came into force in 1995. 

Armed forces 

In addition to the country’s four battalions, since independence in 1984 a British military garrison has been stationed at the request of the current Sultan, in a renewable agreement lasting five years at a time, to protect the major oil installations. The Sultan pays up to £40 million per year to help support the British presence. 

Disaster relief and humanitarian assistance 

Brunei contributes substantially to disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. In 2009 it hosted the latest of a 14 year series of US/South East Asian bilateral exercises, responding to a simulated natural disaster with search and rescue, amphibious landings, casualty evacuation, diving and salvage operations – ‘proper soldiering’. The importance of this work in the region was evident during the 2004 Asian tsunami, and – later – major earthquakes in Indonesia, cyclones in Myanmar and typhoons in the Philippines. 

Thriving despite not having an elected parliament  . . .

Though Civilisation 3000 is not portraying this, or any other country, as perfect, its lack of an elected parliament – which would be considered by many a serious blemish – has not prevented it from developing a contented and compassionate society. In Britain, the parliamentary corporate-political nexus has failed to do this – see reports on these  sites. 

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, described the first move towards setting up an elected parliament as a “cautious” reform: “Its existence is not designed to spark chaos and apprehension among the community,” he said in a speech to the 21 appointed members. 

Westminster please note.

COMMENT

From Birmingham UK:

Don’t be fooled… Brunei is not a country (even if legally a State), it’s a rich man’s play field… see Amnesty USA report from
’09: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA15/001/2009/en/1f0f2a30-8919-4abb-8e20-d263499cf3d0/asa150012009en.pdf

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