An introduction by the editor: In recent days Brunei has been in the international news for implementing Sharia law including laws that allow publicly stoning homosexuals to death, cutting off limbs by the justice system and floggings for robbery. A few years ago a blog by Sanne van Oosten was written about this subject. Even though these specific laws weren’t implemented then yet, severe punishments for seemingly small or non-existent offences did already exist. Despite these laws, Sanne van Oosten was amazed by the love with which the people of Brunei spoke of their country. One could say that they are afraid to state their opinion as the regime is so repressive, but that really didn’t seem to be the case here. The people of Brunei really love their country. The blog was received with a host of angry reactions from inhabitants of Brunei, thus underlining the main hypothesis of the article. One reaction, however, was very interesting and enlightening. That was this reaction by Teah Abdullah.
Abdul Malik Omar
The debate on Brunei’s brain drain has again hit a feverish pitch since Hardware Zone published a post entitled “Very severe brain drain as Brunei falls into decline, talented Bruneians leaving the country“. Citizens like myself are only too indifferent to the negativity surrounding the subject but it kind of begs the question: Why do many of the talented and skilled Bruneians leave the country?
Suicide attempts or cases of suicide itself can become a subject of much talk in Brunei. Discussions of it stirs up coffee break talks with assumptions on the cause of death or the decision to pursue suicide. Death is a curious thing, I admit, and when things like these happen to people I don’t know, I tend to ignore it because it doesn’t pertain me. My ignorance is not because I’m heartless, but because entering other people’s personal territory seems invasive. However, with rising use of technology and Bruneians’ dependence on Facebook and the easy-to-use Whatsapp messenger as a strong platform for communication, it’s hard to avoid these things even if you request people to not send you these information.
Abdul Malik Omar
With the advent of globalization, I believe Brunei Darussalam as a whole should embrace an entrepreneurial economy if it were to achieve its national vision of 2035. An entrepreneurial economy is defined as a government and nation that puts value in innovation, entrepreneurship and the willingness to compete.
Abdul Malik Omar
My vision for 2035 of Brunei Darussalam entails a capitalistic nation, well known throughout the world as the land of the elites. In this manifesto I will outline the current national standing on the global stage, the real price we need to pay for the black gold, the importance of a capitalistic society, what I envisioned of 2035 and how all of us should move towards embracing it. Particularly, the national youths.
Sanne van Oosten
Visiting Brunei was very interesting to us. Especially from the point of view of a political scientist. Brunei has free education, practically free medical care, free museums and subsidized fuel. And no…. income tax! All thanks to good ole black gold: oil. 90% of export revenue is thanks to oil and this also makes for a nice and fat piggy bank for the government, or should I say Sultanate, of Brunei.