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Borneo Facts - Brunei Darussalam

* The present Sultan of Brunei Darussalam represents one of the world's oldest continuously ruling monarch which dated back to the 14th century.  The Brunei sultanate dynasty once ruled over the current state of Sabah, Sarawak, and lower region of the Philippines.

* The present Sultan of Brunei Darussalam has ruled Brunei since 1967 after taking over the helm from his father, the 28th Sultan, His Highness Sultan Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien.

* Brunei's influence in the Borneo region began to erode in the 17th and 18th centuries with the arrival of the British.  Sarawak was ceded to the British in the 19th century and a series of 'treaties' were forced upon the Sultan of Brunei.  This is the period when James Brooke, the first White Rajah (king) of Sarawak began to consolidate his power base.

* A revolt in 1962 upsets the British's plan to make Brunei a part of the Malaysian Federation.  The constitutions were suspended by the then Sultan of Brunei and a self-independence was declared.  Brunei then went under emergency laws until 1984, where it became completely independence from the British.

* B runei (pronounced broon-eye) was trading with China during the 6th century A.D., and, through allegiance to the Javanese Majapahit kingdom (13th to 15th century), it came under Hindu influence. In the early 15th century, with the decline of the Majapahit kingdom and widespread conversion to Islam, Brunei became an independent sultanate. Brunei was a powerful state from the 16th to the 19th century, ruling over the northern part of Borneo and adjacent island chains. But it fell into decay and lost Sarawak in 1841, becoming a British protectorate in 1888 and a British dependency in 1905. Japan occupied Brunei during World War II; it was liberated by Australia in 1945.


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