Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace
Negara Brunei Darussalam ( Rumi)
نڬارا بروني دارالسلام ( Jawi)
Flag of Brunei
Crest of Brunei
Flag Crest
  • الدائمون المحسنون بالهدى
  • Sentiasa membuat kebajikan dengan petunjuk Allah
  • "Always in service with God's guidance"

Location of  Brunei  (green)in ASEAN  (dark grey)  –  [Legend]
Location of  Brunei  (green)

in ASEAN  (dark grey)  –  [ Legend]

and largest city
Bandar Seri Begawan
4°53.417′N 114°56.533′E / 4.890283°N 114.942217°E / 4°53.417′N 114°56.533′E / 4.890283; 114.942217
Official languages Malay [a]
Recognised English [b]
Other languages
and local dialects [2] [3]
Official scripts
Ethnic groups (2004 [4])
Religion Sunni Islam
Demonym Bruneian
Government Unitary Islamic absolute
Hassanal Bolkiah
Al-Muhtadee Billah
Abdul Aziz Juned
Legislature Legislative Council
•  Sultanate
•  Empire
15th – 19th century
16 April 1578 – 26 June 1578
16 December 1941 – 10 September 1945
29 September 1959
1 January 1984
23 February 1984
• Total
5,765 km2 (2,226 sq mi) ( 172nd)
• Water (%)
• Jul 2013 [5] estimate
415,717 [5] ( 175th)
• Density
72.11/km2 (186.8/sq mi) ( 134th)
GDP ( PPP) 2015 estimate
• Total
$25.245 billion [6] ( 116th)
• Per capita
$54,537 [6] ( 10th)
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
• Total
$17.060 billion [6] ( 111th)
• Per capita
$36,855 [6] ( 22nd)
HDI (2014) Increase 0.856 [7]
very high ·  31st
Currency Brunei dollar ( BND)
Time zone Brunei Darussalam Time ( UTC+8)
Drives on the left
Calling code +673 [c]
ISO 3166 code BN
Internet TLD .bn [8]
  1. ^ Under Article 82: "Official language" of the Constitution of Brunei, Malay is the official language.
  2. ^ Under Article 82: "Official language" of the Constitution of Brunei, English is used in official documents (official documents are bilingual; Malay and English). [9]
  3. ^ Also 080 from East Malaysia.

Brunei ( Listen i /brˈn/, broo-NYE), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace [10] ( Malay: Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: نڬارا بروني دارالسلام‎), is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. It is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island's territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia. Brunei's population was 408,786 in July 2012. [11]

At the peak of the Bruneian Empire, Sultan Bolkiah (reigned 1485–1528) is alleged to have had control over most regions of Borneo, including modern-day Sarawak and Sabah, as well as the Sulu archipelago off the northeast tip of Borneo, Seludong (modern-day Manila), and the islands off the northwest tip of Borneo. The maritime state was visited by Spain's Magellan Expedition in 1521 and fought against Spain in the 1578 Castille War.

During the 19th century, the Bruneian Empire began to decline. The Sultanate ceded Sarawak ( Kuching) to James Brooke and installed him as the White Rajah, and it ceded Sabah to the British North Borneo Chartered Company. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate and was assigned a British resident as colonial manager in 1906. After the Japanese occupation during World War II, in 1959 a new constitution was written. In 1962, a small armed rebellion against the monarchy was ended with the help of the British. [12]

Brunei gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984. Economic growth during the 1990s and 2000s, with the GDP increasing 56% from 1999 to 2008, transformed Brunei into an industrialised country. It has developed wealth from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields. Brunei has the second-highest Human Development Index among the Southeast Asian nations, after Singapore, and is classified as a " developed country". [13] According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brunei is ranked fifth in the world by gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity. The IMF estimated, in 2011, that Brunei was one of two countries (the other being Libya) with a public debt at 0% of the national GDP. Forbes also ranks Brunei as the fifth-richest nation out of 182, based on its petroleum and natural gas fields. [14]


According to legend, Brunei was founded by Awang Alak Betatar, later to be Sultan Muhammad Shah. He moved from Garang, a place in the Temburong District [15] to the Brunei River estuary, discovering Brunei. According to legend, upon landing he exclaimed, Baru nah (loosely translated as "that's it!" or "there"), from which the name "Brunei" was derived. [16] He was the first Muslim ruler of Brunei. [17] Before the rise of the Bruneian Empire under the Muslim Bolkiah Dynasty, Brunei is believed to have been under Buddhist rulers. [18]

It was renamed "Barunai" in the 14th century, possibly influenced by the Sanskrit word "varuṇ" (वरुण), meaning "seafarers". [19] The word " Borneo" is of the same origin. In the country's full name, Negara Brunei Darussalam, darussalam ( Arabic: دار السلام‎‎) means "abode of peace", while negara means "country" in Malay.

The earliest recorded documentation by the West about Brunei is by an Italian known as Ludovico di Varthema, who also said the "Bruneian people have fairer skin tone than the peoples he met in Maluku Islands". On his documentation back to 1550;

We arrived at the island of Bornei (Brunei or Borneo), which is distant from the Maluch about two hundred miles, and we found that it was somewhat larger than the aforesaid and much lower. The people are pagans and are men of goodwill. Their colour is whiter than that of the other this island justice is well administered... [20]