“Oh is that in the Middle East?”
“No, it’s in Asia near Malaysia and Singapore!”
“Oh, that’s great! Now I know!”
A typical conversation I have always encountered when I meet new people who are not familiar where Brunei is.
Where should I start? Brunei is a tiny country with a small population of over 400,000. Brunei was the only Malay state in 1963 to choose to remain a British dependency rather than join the Malaysian Federation.
It became independent in 1984 and, thanks to its large reserves of oil and gas, now has one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Its ruling royals, led by the head of state Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, possess a huge private fortune.
A country of dense forests and mangrove swamps whose people enjoy high subsidies and pay no taxes; Brunei is highly dependent on imports. Despite its immense wealth, most of the country outside the capital remains undeveloped and unexploited.
While oil and gas exports account for the bulk of government revenues, reserves are dwindling and Brunei is attempting to diversify its economy. It markets itself as a financial centre and as a destination for upmarket and eco-tourism.
Want to find out more about our food and local dance culture? Brunei Society will be distributing small food items for you to have a taste of our local cuisines and we will also be performing that night! So, please do come and support the Go Global Party on Wednesday, 21st March 2012 from 7.30 pm onwards in the LCR!
Tickets are only £4.50, available from the UEA Box Office! Please invite all your friends to come along.
-Amilin Omar, Brunei Society
Why not have a look at the Go Global Week Events Programme to see what else is on?