Useful Notes: Brunei
Brunei, officially known as the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace (Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam; Jawi: نڬارا بروني دارالسلام), is a monarchy in Southeast Asia, bordered at all sides by Malaysia. It has the highest per capita income of all ASEAN countries. The population is about 400,000, with Malay's forming a majority and Chinese forming a minority. Malay, both written in Latin and Arabic scripts, and English are official languages. The country's government is headed by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, for a while the richest person in the world. His ranking decreased, but he still had considerable wealth. It is described as an oil sheikhdom which is not Arab. It had an ample amount of natural gas reserves which the government funded to its health and education services. The Bruneian economy is very strong due to said massive oil reserves, and they make currency matters simple by pegging it 1:1 to the Singapore dollar. Also, the government is a strict Islamic monarchy, which was criticized by human rights groups as undemocratic. The culture was described as like Malaysia but more conservative [after all, it still had Sharia law], and sometimes Malaysian culture mocked the Bruneians in their media, with the Indonesians occasionally doing the same. A common joke among business travellers there is that there is only one hotel in the entire country that serves alcohol. The Bruneians in turn mock the Malaysians and Indonesians for their lack of supposed piety and being supposedly poorer than them. The Sultanate once ruled over most of Borneo [the island's name of Borneo may have come from Brunei] during the 14th to 16th century, and for a while, also held Southern Philippines. The coming of the Europeans [Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch] ended its regional hegemony, although the Sultanate survived. A war was fought between Brunei and the Spanish forces in 1578 known as the Castille War. There is also a brief civil war in Brunei from 1660 to 1673, due to a disagreement between the Crown Prince and one noble over a cockfight. It also lost territory to the White Rajahs of Sarawak, had also surrender to Britain Sabah [a fact disputed by the Philippine government as it claimed that Brunei leased Sabah to Sulu, now a part of the Philippines] and had to accept British protection in 1884, a status ending a century later. Brunei was occupied by Japan during World War II and like other Southeast Asian countries, suffered under Japanese rule. It was liberated in 1945. During the 60s, Brunei experienced a rebellion in the country's jungle, abetted allegedly by Indonesia. Believing that the Brunei Revolt caused a lot of trouble for his rule, the Sultan at the time decided to opt out of joining Malaysia, and also partly motivated by the desire that the oil revenues should be the sultan's and his country's, not Malaysia's. There is a Brunei sultan's tomb, Tomb of the King of Boni, located at Nanjing, China. The Bruneian Flag
The yellow field stands for the Sultan (yellow is also a royal color across Southeast Asia), while the white and black diagonal stripes symbolize the chief ministers of Brunei. At the center is the all-red national emblem, consisting of the crescent of Islam (with a motto which reads "Negara Brunei Darussalam [State of Brunei, Abode of Peace]" in Arabic), the parasol of the monarchy, and a pair of upturned hands signifying the government's benevolence; below is a ribbon which reads "Always in service with God's guidance", also in Arabic.