Country of the World Brunei

About the country Brunei, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULER

BRUNEI

Size: 2,226 sq. mi. (5,765 sq. km.).

Population: 165,000.

Brunei, in southeast Asia, consists of two enclaves on the northern coast of Kalimantan (Borneo). Both sections are completely surrounded by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Since 1929 subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell have pumped oil from onshore and offshore fields in Brunei, providing the sultanate with a budgetary surplus and what today amounts to a per capita income of $4,000 annually. That income is not distributed to the population, however, but is invested in British sterling. Thus, this tiny Asian nation is an important backer of the British pound. In 1967 the sultan Sir Omar Ali Saifuddin abdicated in favor of his son, Omar Hassanal Bolkiah, but Ali Saifuddin, who travels around Brunei in his own London taxi, remains the influential power behind the throne.

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