Brunei

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The State of Brunei (alternatively known as the Sultanate of Brunei) (Behasa Melayu: Negeri Brunei Darussalam or State of Brunei, Abode of Peace) is an absolute monarchy located on the northern coast of the island of Borneo. It is surrounded by Sarawak on 3 sides. Prior to 1 January 1984, Brunei was a British protectorate, with the Sultan of Brunei remaining as the local head of state.

Since becoming independent in 1984, Brunei has been a very loyal member state of the British Commonwealth. The ruling Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, is one of the world's richest men. Bruneians have a very high standard of living, because the economic system is mainly based on the oil industry, but tourism is becoming increasingly an important economic activity.

Official languages

The official languages of Brunei are Malay and English. It is a requirement to publish all Bruneian Government documents in both official languages.

Court system

See also: List of Bruneian Privy Council cases.

Although Brunei is an independent monarchy, the highest institution that is part of the court system is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which sits in London, England. There is a unique arrangement in which the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council makes a report to the Sultan of Brunei instead of to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain

Currency

See also: Banknotes of Brunei, Coins of Brunei, and Postal Orders of Brunei

The currency of Brunei is the Bruneian dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. The Bruneian dollar was introduced during 1967 to replace the Malaya and British Borneo dollar.

Brunei's foreign relations

In addition to being a British Commonwealth member state, Brunei is a member of the United Nations, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, and the Association of South East Asian Nations.

Religion

Nearly all Bruneians are Muslims, but there is a Christian minority, who are mainly from the Bruneian Chinese community.