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Brunei

borneo century petroleum sultanate

Brunei, sultanate on the north coast of the island of Borneo, on the South China Sea. It has a humid tropical climate that supports dense forests. Malay is the chief language, Islam the official religion. Rubber and timber were superseded as main products after petroleum was found in 1929. Petroleum and natural gas are now extracted both on and off shore. A local sultanate, established in the 15th century, controlled all of Borneo during the 16th century. It became a British protectorate in 1888, and a 1959 constitution gave it domestic autonomy. Brunei received full independence in 1984. At the end of the 1990s, the country suffered severely from the forest fires in Borneo.

See also: Borneo.

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