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Monday 11th December
Brunei Facts
Negara Brunei Darussalam is on the island of Borneo in Southeastern Asia.

Brunei shares Borneo, one of the largest islands in the world, with Malaysia and Indonesia.

Brunei is divided into two parts, separated by Malaysia, with Brunei Bay to the north of the country.

The official name of Brunei is Negara Brunei Darussalam which means "Abode of Peace".

The highest point in Brunei is Bukit Pagon (1,850 m).

Trade took place with the Chinese before the arrival of Europeans in the region.

In the fifteenth century present-day Brunei was part of an empire which included Sarawak and Sabah and reached almost as far as Manila in the Philippines.

Islam was brought to Borneo in the early part of the fifteenth century.

Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator, was one of the first Europeans to visit "Brunei".

Brunei was also visited by Dutch and Spanish explorers in the early sixteenth century.

In 1841, James Brooke, an Englishman born in India, was given the region now known as Sarawak in return for helping to put down a rebellion in Borneo.

The island of Labuan, off the coast of Borneo, was annexed by the British in 1846.

Towards the end of the 1880s, Brunei became a British Protectorate; administration by a British Resident began in 1906.

Oil was discovered in Brunei in the 1920s.

During the Second World War, between 1941 and 1945, Brunei was occupied by the Japanese.

In 1959 a written Constitution gave Brunei internal self-rule and allowed a legislative council.

In 1963 Brunei decided not to join the Federation of Malaysia.

The Constitution was amended in 1971 to give the Sultan full control over internal affairs; the UK remained in control of defence and foreign affairs.

Brunei gained independence in 1984.

Brunei became a member of ASEAN (the Association of South-East Asian Nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand - 1984).

Brunei is a monarchy and has been ruled by the same family for over six centuries.

Brunei is a member of the Commonwealth.

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