Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: The outside World Intrudes

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: The outside World Intrudes

Article excerpt

Mark Cleary and Simon Francis

Traditionally, Brunei has prided itself on its ability to forge its own patterns of social and economic development coupled with its distinctive culture and system of governance. In its elaboration of the concept of Malay Muslim Monarchy (Melayu, Islam, Beraja --- MIB), and its efforts to direct economic and social development at its own pace and with its own priorities, the country and its ruler have sought to channel and control external influences, whether those influences are felt in political, economic or cultural terms. That desire remains strong and has been an important motif in royal pronouncements (tita h) and in the media throughout 1998. But there can be little doubt that the impact of the economic downturn in the region, coupled with the unravelling of the complex tangle of business failures surrounding the collapse of Amedeo Corporation, the failed business conglomerate controlled by Prince Jefri, the Sultan's brother, has demonstrated that the shape of Brunei's society and economy cannot be insulated from external influences. …

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