The nation of Brunei, whose formal name is Brunei Darussalam (meaning Abode of Peace), is located in Southeast Asia on the northwestern coast of Borneo, an island shared by Malaysia and Indonesia. A former British protectorate that won its independence in 1984, Brunei is an energy-rich country with a population of around 425,000 that includes Malay, Chinese, and indigenous peoples. Brunei has a high per capita income, with impressive economic growth and free social services (e.g., health care and education).

Its government is an absolute Islamic monarchy, with supreme power vested in the sultan. The country has a legal system that incorporates aspects of English common law and Sharia, with some observers claiming the latter has become more dominant since 2009. This entry provides an overview ...

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