Brunei Darussalam: Ideology and law in a Malay sultanate

Black, E. Ann (2011). Brunei Darussalam: Ideology and law in a Malay sultanate. In E. Ann Black and Gary F. Bell (Ed.), Law and Legal Institutions of Asia: Traditions, adaptions and innovations (pp. 299-339) Port Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

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Author Black, E. Ann
Title of chapter Brunei Darussalam: Ideology and law in a Malay sultanate
Title of book Law and Legal Institutions of Asia: Traditions, adaptions and innovations
Place of Publication Port Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Open Access Status
Series Cambridge Law series
ISBN 9780521116497
Editor E. Ann Black
Gary F. Bell
Chapter number 9
Start page 299
End page 339
Total pages 41
Total chapters 11
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Although Brunei Darussalam (also named 'Brunei, the Abode of Peace') is one of the longest continuous monarchies in the world, it was only in 1984 that Brunei shed its colonial links vvith Great Britain to become a fully independent nation. It is only one of two nations1 which function as sultanates and is the smallest nation in Asia, with a population of around 400000. It has a boundary length ofless than 400 kilometres, vvith its total area 5769 square kilometres. Brunei is situated on the island of Borneo on the South China Sea side and is comprised of two small enclaves surrounded by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Sarawak owns the narrow portion of land, the Limbang, which separates the two parts of Brunei. The large Indonesian province of Kalimantan makes up the remaining portion of Borneo. As has been the pattern throughout the island, Brunei is an ethnically pluralistic society. Although social scientists and census takers have found the identification and classification of the varied Bornean ethnic groups difficult,2 the Government of Brunei has categorised the Brunei Malays and six ethnic groups (puakjati, or original tribes) -the Kedayan, Tutong, Belait, Dusun, Bisaya and Murut -as Malay for the purposes of nationality. The result is that census data shows that Brunei Malays comprise 68 per cent of the population, Chinese 15 per cent, other indigenous groups 6 per cent and other races 11 per cent. The label 'other indigenous groups' covers the 20000 plus citizens who, during the early 20th century, came from contiguous parts of Borneo to reside in Brunei, mainly Iban, Kadazan, Punan and Melanau. Religion is an important component in Brunei life. Islam is the state religion, with the population comprising a Muslim majority (67%), Buddhists (13%), Christians (10%), and holders of indigenolls animistic beliefs, and others (10%). Despite its small size, Brunei is one of the wealthier nations of Asia. This is due to the country's natural resources. Brunei is the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia and the world's fourth largest producer of liquefied natural gas. Its petro-carbon-derived wealth, together with income from investments abroad, has been used to secure high living standards for the people (currently second only to Japan in Asia), with the Government providing free health and education services together with low interest housing loans for its citizens. Brunei is one of only a few non-democratic nations in the region. Elections were suspended in 1962. [Chapter Introduction]
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Created: Wed, 12 Oct 2011, 15:16:35 EST by Ms Ramona Hooyer on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law