About Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam is situated on the north-west coast of the island of Borneo where historical findings suggest that the Brunei Kingdom began more than 1,500 years ago, pre-dating Islam. Its earliest existence was believed to be a tributary province of the Java-based Majapahit Empire. After the disintegration of the Majapahit Empire, Brunei rulers took charge of their own territorial responsibility.

Ancient Chinese texts reffered Brunei to as either Puni or Puli and documented interactions with the Chinese Empire in the years 518, 523, 616, 669, 977, 1279 and 1369-1643 AD.

Imperial Chinese texts also indicated the Muslim influence was established in Brunei as early as 977 AD, and the employment of Arabic characters in Brunei's written language, hitherto Sanskrit, started before 1370. Imperial Chinese texts noted that Brunei's King named Awang Alak Betatar embraced the Islamic faith in 1371 in conjunction with his marriage to a princess from a neighbouring kingdom. The Chinese people who came to Bunei in 1370 said that Brunei was ruled by an Islamic ruler known as Ma-ha-mo-sha or Sultan Muhammad Shah. Consequently, Sultan Muhammad Shah is the Islamic name of Awang Alak Betatar. As a territory administered by a Muslim government, subsequent Brunei sovereigns became known as sultans.

Brunei Darussalam's capital is Bandar Seri Begawan with a total land mass of 100.36 sq km. The total population of Brunei Darussalam was 406,200 (2009) with 57 per cent are aged from 20 to 54 years old. Majority of the population are Malays with an estimated 269,400 people, followed by Chinese with 44,600 people and 92,200 people comprising of other minor groups.

Each district is made up of several (a mukim consist of a group of kampungs or villages) where it is administrated by the District Office which is under the purview of a District Officer. The total land area of Brunei Darussalam is 5,765 sq.km.

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