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Brunei: Facts about country that has world’s second-longest reigning monarch

Brunei, official name Brunei Darussalam is a small, independent country that sits on the islands of Borneo and it’s located on the north coast and surrounded by Malaysia.

The country is the fourth smallest country in Asia after the Maldives, Singapore and Bahrain.

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The country’s capital and largest city is Bandar Seri Begawan, formerly known as the Brunei Town.

Brunei

According to historians, Brunei acquired it’s name name from a man identified a Awang Alak Betatar who exclaimed ‘Baru Nah’ which means ‘That’s it.

Awang is also the man behind the formation and kick off of the Sultanate of Brunei.

Immediately, after he established his dynasty in the country, he was rebaptised as Sultan Muhammad Shah.

The country’s full name is Negara Brunei Darussalam where Negara means ‘country’ and Darussalam means ‘abode of peace’.

The Sultan has the final say.

Brunei is an absolute monarchy with the Sultan blessed with all powers. The Sultan is the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, and Finance Minister in the country.

Apart from that, the Sultan has full executive authority and he is the head of state.

There has never been elections witnessed in the country even when there is no Parliament.

The country’s citizens are guided by both the English common law and the Islamic Sharia law.

Sultan of Brunei is the world’s second longest reigning monarch

The current King of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah whose family has been on the throne for the last six centuries.

He took over the position in October, 5 1967.

With over 50 years in the seat, Hassanal has become the world’s second longest-reigning King.

The first world’s longest reigning monarch is Queen Elizabeth II.

The country banned shark finning

The shark finning is a cruel and harmful practice to the survival of the sharks species.

Brunei, in June 2013 became the first Asian country to ban shark finning in a move applauded by by conservation organizations worldwide.

The directives barred anyone from catching sharks in the waters of Brunei.

It is also a illegal to export, import and trade any shark products.

World’s largest stilt settlement

Brunei has the world’s largest stilt named Kampong Ayer but often referred to as “Venice of the East”.

The historical settlement is on the Brunei River which flows past the Bandar Seri Begawan city.

And interestingly the settlement is built on the the river whilt all buildings supported by stilts standing on the waters.

The houses are then interconnected by walkaways and bridges. The settlement is a major tourism attraction in the country.

Religion

Islam is the official religion in Brunei. Other religions like Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism are practiced but in very low percentage.

The government has also imposed restrictive rules to all non-islamics.

In Brunei it is illegal for non-islamics to proselytize, or teach teacher the christian faith in school. All schools must teach about Islamic no matter what religion they are.

The mosques of Brunei are also main tourists destination due to their beauty and elegance.

The mosques are made are made using traditional and futuristic elements which are perfectly blended in the architecture of these mosques.

Rarest wildlife species

The rainforest of Brunei have played a major role in the country majorly being a home to world’s rarest species.

The country has manage to 70 per cent of its rainforest even though it’s a small country and has development pressures.

You will find some of the most threatened species of flora and fauna. Other notable wildlife species are rhe Sunda clouded leopard, proboscis monkey, hornbills, flying lizards, saltwater crocodiles among others.

It’s rich in Oil and Natural gas

According to economic reports, Brunei is the third largest producer of oil in Southeast Asia and the ninth largest producer of natural gas in the world.

The production of the oil and natural gas plays a major role in the Brunei economy and accounts up to 90 per cent.

The most important oil fields in the country is onshore oil field at Seria.

The country also constructed a monument in 1991 to celebrate the barrel of oil produced at the Seria oilfield.

The monument is called the Billionth Barrel.

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LGBTQ members are stoned to death.

Brunei created a harsh criminal law which states that anyone who practices adultery or gay sex must be stoned to death.

The penal code make the country first in east or southeast Asia to have a sharia penal code at the national level. Most countries in middle east such as Saudi Arabia adhere to the Sharia rules.

The new rule was formerly published in 2013 but had a controversial delay of seven years after international outcry.

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