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Brunei Information

Area: 5, 765 km2

Population: 292, 000 (1995)

Population Growth: 2.8% (1995)

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

Official Name: Negara Brunei Darussalam

System of Government: Constitutional Monarchy (Sultanate). The 1959 Constitution provides for the Sultan as the Head of State with full executive authority. The Sultan is assisted and advised by five Councils; the Religious Council, the Privy Council, the Council of the Ministers (the Cabinet), the Legislative Council and the Council of Succession.

Head of State: HM Paduka Seri Baginda, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam

Prime Minister: HM, The Sultan of Brunei

Key Government Ministers: Prince Haji Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Pehin Dato Haji Abdul Rahman, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources; Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, Minister of Finance

Language: Malay, Chinese (different dialects) and English

Literacy Rate: 89.2%

Ethnic Background: 67% Malay, 15% Chinese, 5% other Indigenous groups, 13% others (1993 estimates)

Religion: Brunei is an Islamic State and the Sultan is the head of the Islamic population. The majority of the Malay population is Muslim while the Chinese population is either Buddhist, Confucianist, Daoist or Christian.

Currency: Brunei Dollar or Ringgit, Br$ = 100 Sen; C$ 1.00 =Br$ 1.04 (July, 1996)

Thinking about a business trip to Brunei? Here are some things to keep in mind...

  • Business clothes should be conservative. Men should wear a suit and tie and women should wear a business suit or dress with long sleeves and a skirt that goes below the knee (that means no mini skirts!!) Drinking alcohol in public is banned, so, if you want to drink, it is going to have to be done in your hotel room!

  • a simple handshake will do the job when first meeting a business associate.

  • Bruneian businessmen go by the title "Haji" or "Dato" and businesswomen go by the title "Hajah" or "Datin." One of these titles and the person's last name should be used to greet a person.

  • The head is the most important part of the body while the feet are the least important. Take off your shoes when you go to someone's home. Do not point with the index finger, use your thumb. If you follow these few simple rules, you won't be thought of as rude!

  • Avoid any "P.D.of A" and loudness in public and you'll be okay.

  • Bruneians are very friendly people, so, be friendly back (easy enough?)

Some of this information was taken from the Information Series published by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. It is available in print format.

© 1997 - TG Magazine / The Students Commission
© 1997 le magazine TG / la Commission des étudiants