Ulu Muda Forest Reserve
Ulu Muda, Malaysia
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HM Sultan HassanalHM Sultane Saleha
Consort Princess Mariam
Consort Princess Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim
HRH Prince Mohamed, brother of the Sultan HRH Consort Princess Zariah
HRH Prince Sufri, second brother of Sultan
HRH Prince Jefri, third brother of Sultan
HRH Princess Masna, eldest sister
HRH Princess Nor’ain, 2nd sister
HRH Princess Amal ‘Umi Kalthum, 3rd sister
HRH Princess Amal Rakiah, 4th sister
P. = Pengiran, P.A. = Pengiran Anak
Hassanal Bolkiah[pronunciation?], GCB GCMG (full name: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien; born 15 July 1946) is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. He is also the first and incumbent Prime Minister of Brunei. The eldest son of the late Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien III and the late Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit, he succeeded to the throne as the Sultan of Brunei, following the abdication of his father on 4 October 1967.
The Sultan was born on 15 July 1946 in Brunei Town (now called Bandar Seri Begawan) as Pengiran Muda (Prince) Hassanal Bolkiah. The Sultan received high school education at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, after which he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom.
He subsequently became the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam on 4 October 1967, after his father abdicated.
His coronation was held on 1 August 1968, and made him the Yang di-Pertuan (Head of State) of Brunei. Like his father, he has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, of which Brunei was a protectorate until 1984.
Under Brunei's 1959 constitution, the Sultan is the head of state with full executive authority, including emergency powers since 1962. On 9 March 2006, the Sultan was reported to have amended Brunei's constitution to make himself infallible under Bruneian law. Bolkiah is also the Prime Minister as well as holding the portfolios of Minister of Defence and Finance. As Minister of Defence he is also the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces; an Honorary General in the British and Indonesian armed forces and an Honorary Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy. He appointed himself as Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Royal Brunei Police Force.
He addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Brunei Darussalam's admission to the United Nations in September 1984. In 1991, he introduced a conservative ideology to Brunei called Melayu Islam Beraja (Malay Islamic Monarchy, MIB), which presents the monarchy as the defender of the faith. He has recently favoured Brunei government democratization and declared himself Prime Minister and President. In 2004, the Legislative Council, which had been dissolved since 1962, was reopened.
His designated successor is his eldest son, Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah.
The Sultan's official residence is the Istana Nurul Iman, with 1,888 rooms, 290 bathrooms, and a floor area of 2,152,782 square feet (200,000 m2). The Istana also houses several offices of government, including that of the Office of the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan, the Office of the Grand Chamberlain as well as the offices within the Prime Minister's Department. Parts of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance are also located at the palace. The Crown Prince, who is the Senior Minister, also works from offices at the Istana. Hyatt Borneo Management Services and HM The Sultan's flight also maintain offices there.
The University of Brunei Darussalam and Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University (UNISA) were established. In addition, technical and vocational institutions also built, such as the Institute of Technology Brunei, Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College, and vocational schools.
The religious Institute Tahfiz Al-Quran Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah was established. Scholarships for study in the country and abroad were provided. As of 2012[update] there were 106,000 students. of whom more than 3,600 were students at the University.
The Royal Brunei Armed Forces were expanded with the establishment of three major branches of the Royal Brunei Land Forces, Royal Brunei Navy and Royal Brunei Air Force.
Medicines and medical treatment are free of charge to children, policemen and members of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in hospitals and government clinics, and subject to a small charge for others.
There is one doctor per 949 patients. The life expectancy of the people and the country's population is 74.2 years for men and 77.3 years for women.
Other facilities offered include various National Housing Plan Scheme (RPN), Land Allocation Scheme, the additional monthly pension on the elderly, subsistence allowances for widows and people with disabilities.
Hassanal Bolkiah established the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation (YSHHB).
In January 2013, the Royal College of General Practitioners created the honour of ‘Companion of the College’ to mark its 60th anniversary. The Sultan became the first recipient of this award in recognition of the work he has done to promote healthcare in Brunei and abroad. An auditorium in the College's headquarters at 30 Euston Square, London- where the Sultan was inaugurated- was also named in his honour.
Brunei Darussalam is a member of various international and regional organizations such as ASEAN, Commonwealth, the Organization of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Hassanal Bolkiah was chairman of Summit APEC Leaders in 2000 when Brunei Darussalam hosted the summit. Hassanal Bolkiah was also the chairman of ASEAN Summit in 2013 when Brunei Darussalam hosted the summit.
Hassanal Bolkiah attended various meetings of international organizations.
Hassanal Bolkiah is Head of Religion, and Islam is the official religion of the country. Mosques, surau and stations were built across the country. The Sultan decreed that Islamic celebrations such as Early Years Celebration Prophet's birthday, Isra and Miraj and Nuzul Al Quran are celebrated on a large scale. He often attends mosques and surau throughout the country for the obligatory Friday prayers.
There have been national economic development plans; oil and gas remain the main source of national income. Steps are being made to establish a petrochemical industry.
In the Islamic banking sector, Brunei Islamic Trust Fund (TAIB) was established on 29 September 1991, while in 2006, the Islamic Bank of Brunei (IBB) and the Islamic Development Bank of Brunei (IDBB) consolidated into Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) with total assets of US$5 billion.
The Sultan married his current consort, Pengiran Anak Saleha, later the Raja Isteri, in 1965. His former second wife, Hajah Mariam (the former Pengiran Isteri), was a former stewardess for the national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines. He divorced her in 2003, stripping her of all her royal titles. In August 2005 her place was taken by a former Malaysian TV3 presenter, Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, who is 33 years younger than the Sultan. They divorced in 2010, and as with Hajah Mariam, the Sultan stripped her of all titles, honours, and monthly allowance. The divorce was announced on Radio Television Brunei by the Grand Chamberlain.
Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah is the current Pengiran Muda Mahkota ("Crown Prince") and the Sultan's heir, as the eldest son of the Sultan and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha. As of 2012[update] Hassanal Bolkiah had five sons and seven daughters with his three wives. He also has 10 grandchildren.
In Malay the Sultan's full title is Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam.
The Sultan received an honorary doctorate at the Moscow State University for International Relations (MGIMO), 2005.[where?] He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Oxford, England, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Chulalongkorn University of Thailand. In 2003, he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities and Culture from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogyakarta, Indonesia. On 27 January 2005, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the National University of Singapore. On 14 April 2011, he was conferred the Honorary Doctorate of Law by King's College London. The scroll for the honorary doctorate was presented by Lord Duoro, the chairman of the Council of King's College London. He was awarded with an honorary doctorate in philoposhy and humanities on 21 April 2011 from Universitas Indonesia, one of the oldest universities in Asia having been established 160 years ago.
The Sultan holds an honorary commission in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as an Air Marshal. He is also an Honorary Admiral of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, a title given to him by Queen Elizabeth II when he took the salute at the passing out parade of the 2001 summer term at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, the Royal Navy's officer-training school in the United Kingdom. He has an English residence at Binfield Manor in Berkshire.
In April 2008, he was made an honorary member of the Indonesian Satgas Atbara Special Operations Unit. He holds the rank of Honorary Colonel of Pakistan's Special Service Group (SSG), awarded to him during his visit to the Pakistan Army's SSG headquarters at Cherat. He possesses red beret and paratrooper wings of the Black Hawk paratroopers, presented to him by the Indian Army during his state visit to India.
In January 2013 the Royal College of General Practitioners inaugurated the Sultan as the first Companion of the College for services to healthcare in Brunei and abroad.
Between 2001 and 2005 a UK businessman, Mark Burby, was defrauded by two members of the Brunei royal family, Pengiran Ayub (the Sultan's cousin) and Pengiran Damit (the Sultan's sister-in-law). The case went to trial, and the Brunei Royals were ordered to pay over £50M of lost earnings to Burby. After the judgement, Burby went to work for a more-senior Brunei Royal on the understanding that the Sultan would ensure that the debt was paid. As of July 2009[update], the debt remained unpaid.
He had open disagreements with his brother, Jefri Bolkiah who owned a network of companies and investment vehicles under the name "Amadeo" run by his son, Prince Hakim, which was used to buy the luxury goods company Asprey and build an amusement park and other projects in Brunei. In July 1998 the Amadeo group collapsed under US$10 billion in debt. Between 1983 and mid-1998 some US$40 billion of what were called "special transfers" were made from the accounts of the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA). An independent investigation was undertaken into the circumstances of these special transfers, concluding that in round figures, US$14.8 billion were paid to the accounts of Prince Jefri, US$8 billion to accounts of the Sultan and US$3.8 billion for Government purposes; the destination, purpose and recipients of the remaining transfers were not established. Due to the secretive nature of the state and the blurred lines as to where the royal family’s finances and the state finances began and ended, establishing the true course of events is very difficult.
Prince Jefri was accused of misappropriating state funds to pay for his own personal investments, bought through BIA and Amadeo companies and removed from his position as head of BIA. In February 2000 the Bruneian government attempted to obtain a freezing order on Prince Jefri’s overseas assets, which led to him countersuing in New York. Following protracted negotiations a settlement agreement was signed by the Prince in May 2000, the terms of which were never made public. However, Prince Jefri claimed assurances were made to him by the Sultan with regards to keeping certain properties in order to maintain his lifestyle, which BIA denied. In accordance with the settlement agreement signed in 2000, the prince began to return his assets to the state, including more than 500 properties, both in Brunei and abroad, more than 2,000 cars, 100 paintings, five boats, and nine aircraft. In 2001 ten thousand lots of Prince Jefri’s possessions went to auction.
However, the BIA alleged that the Prince failed to uphold the agreement by failing to disclose all his accounts, and allowing money to be taken from frozen accounts, and restarted legal proceedings in order to gain full control of the Prince's assets. After a number of appeals, this finally reached the Privy Council in London, which can serve as Brunei's highest court of appeal as a result of Brunei's former protectorate status. The Privy Council rejected Prince Jefri's evidence, describing his contention that the agreement allowed for him to retain a number of properties as "simply incredible", and ruled in favour of the Government of Brunei and the BIA; consequently the Prince's appeal was dismissed and he was ordered to return the rest of his assets to Brunei. The decision of the Privy Council did not end the litigation between Prince Jefri and the BIA. The BIA re-opened proceedings in Malaysia and the Cayman Islands, resulting in the BIA gaining control over the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and The New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan.
The BIA also re-opened collateral litigation in the High Court of England and Wales. After winning before the Privy Council, the BIA asked the court to determine whether Prince Jefri should be held in contempt of court for allegedly making misstatements in his listing of assets. The contempt proceeding was scheduled for a hearing in June 2008, but the Prince did not attend, instead going to Paris.Judge Peter Smith did not rule on whether Prince Jefri was in contempt, but did issue a warrant for his arrest. As of November 2010, the warrant still appears to be in place, meaning the Prince will be arrested if he enters the UK.
As of October 2009, Prince Jefri appears to have been allowed back to Brunei. He is not back in any official government role but retains all his royal titles and decorations and remains in the royal protocol order. He is seen at major national functions like the national teachers day celebrations, the Sultan's birthday and at the National Day Celebrations. His most recent appearance was at The Legco (Legislative Council) opening ceremony in March 2012.
In 1997, former Miss USA Shannon Marketic filed a lawsuit against the ruling family of Brunei for $90 million. In the case, Marketic alleged that she and 6 other young women were paid $127,200 each for a modeling job in Brunei (whereas on the ABC news program 20/20, Marketic said she was supposed to provide "intellectual conversations" with visiting guests of the royal family). These other women include former Miss Teen USA and future Miss USA Brandi Sherwood, who was invited along by Shannon, and Miss United Kingdom runner up Paula Bradbury.
Marketic maintained that she and Stephanie Granton were held as "sex slaves" at the Sultan's palace and were "intimidated and coerced into performing physically and morally repulsive acts of prostitution." They were allegedly expected to dance at nightly parties during which they were groped and grabbed by men, one of whom was the Sultan's son, Prince Azim. During the dances Marketic was also allegedly abused verbally with comments made about her bare breasts. The women were often told to go with a man to have "tea" with him, and then had sex with him. In her interview on 20/20, Marketic said that after 32 days, she had a letter sent to the US Embassy; shortly afterwards, she was paid $10,000 by the ruling family and flown back to the United States. The case was thrown out due to the immunity of the ruling family as heads of state. There has been no further investigation into this case although there are allegations both supporting and refuting her claims. Paula Bradbury separately sued the Sultan and won £500,000 in settlement.
The Sultan has one of the world's largest and most expensive and rarest car collections, numbering in the thousands. Some brands, including Bentley, Ferrari, Bugatti, and Rolls-Royce, make new cars exclusively for the Sultan that are not sold or advertised to the public.
The Sultan's involvement in sports includes playing polo, golf, and badminton. He also enjoys race car driving, piloting helicopters, and aircraft. On international trips, he pilots his own Boeing 747-400. He is also very fond of gold and has a Rolls-Royce coated with 24k gold.
He often enjoys fine cigars, and has a notable favorite, the Gurkha Centurian, that was commissioned specifically for him.
His 1,800-room palace, the Istana Nurul Iman, is considered the world’s largest private residence.
The Sultan is the prime minister, minister of defence, minister of finance, head of Islam, head of customs, head of the supreme commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the inspector general of the Royal Brunei Police Force.
See also List of Bruneian Honours awarded to Heads of State and RoyalsSee also List of honours of the Bruneian Royal Family by country
He has been awarded :
N.B. * decoration founded by the sultan on 1st August 1968 ; ** = decoration founded by the sultan on 15th August 1982
Negeri Sembilan :
Sarawak : DUBS of Sarawak (9.3.1989)
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