The official name of Brunei is State of Brunei, Abode of Peace. Its local name is Brunei. A state on the north-west coast of Borneo, south-eastern Asia, Brunei is bounded by the South China Sea in the north-west, and on all other sides by Malaysia's Sarawak state.
Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Population: 379,000 (estimated)
Area: 5,765 sq km (2,225 sq mi)
Chief towns: Kuala Belait, Seria, Bangar
Currency: 1 Brunei Dollar (B$) = 100 sen
Time zone: GMT +8
Language: Malay. English and Chinese are widely spoken
Ethnic groups: Malay 67%, Chinese 15%, indigenous 6%, others 12%
Education is compulsory between the ages of five and fourteen. It has an adult literacy of 85%. It has only one university.
Brunei consists of two coastal enclaves. The western part is hilly, and the eastern enclave is more mountainous and forested.
Principal rivers: Belait, Brunei, Temburong.
Highest point: Bukit Pagon 1850m (6070 ft).
Climate of Brunei
Brunei has a tropical monsoon climate with rainfall totals in excess of 2500mm on the coast, doubling in the interior. It has high temperatures and humidity, and no marked seasons. It has an average daily temperature ranging between 24 degrees centigrade and 30 degree centigrade.
Government of Brunei
Brunei is a hereditary monarchy governed by the Sultan who rules by decree, advised by a Privy Council, a Council of Cabinet Ministers and a Religious Council. The unicameral Legislative Council was reconvened in 2004 for the first time in 20 years, and passed constitutional changes enlarging it and making it partially elected in future.
Exploitation of substantial deposits of petroleum and natural gas (nearly 50% of GDP) has given Brunei one of the world's highest per capita incomes including income from overseas investments. Most of the country's food has to be imported. It diversifies ino financial services and tourism. Its main crops are rice, fruit, vegetables and poultry.
Brief History of Brunei
By the 19th century the powerful sultans of Brunei held a reduced territory that had become a pirates' paradise. The British restored order and Brunei came under British protection in 1888 to 1971. Oil was discovered in 1929. It achieved internal self-government in 1971, and gained independence in 1984. In 2004, the Sultan reopened the Legislative Council, which had been disbanded twenty years earlier.
Brunei's memberships include: UN, Commonwealth of Nations, ASEAN, Apec.
Chambers Book of Facts, Chambers Harrap Publishers 2007