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About the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam

(Source: Awang Haji Abdul Karim bin Haji Abdul Rahman, et.al.1992.<br>Daulat. Bandar Seri Begawan: Department of History Centre,<br>Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports)
(Source: Awang Haji Abdul Karim bin Haji Abdul Rahman, et.al.1992.
Daulat. Bandar Seri Begawan: Department of History Centre,
Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports)

General Haji Sir Hassan al-Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'Izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam (Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah) is the 29th Sultan of Brunei stated in the lineage of the Kings of Brunei. He is the eldest son of Sultan Omar 'Ali Safiuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien entitled Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien III and Pengiran Anak Damit.

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah was born on July 15, 1946 at the Palace of Darussalam, Bandar Brunei (Bandar Seri Begawan). He was appointed as the Crown Prince entitled Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota of the Sultanate of Brunei on August 14, 1961. Six years later, He was crowned as the Sultan entitled Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah on October 5, 1967.

The Sultan’s  Marriage and Children

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah has nine siblings consisting of three brothers and six sisters. The names of His siblings are Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Perdana Wazir Sahibul Himmah Wal-Waqar Pengiran Muda Haji Mohammed Bolkiah, Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja Permaisuara Pengiran Muda Haji Sufri Bolkiah, Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Di-Gadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Haji Jefri Bolkiah, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajjah Masna, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajjah Nor’ain, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajjah Umi Kalthum Al-Islam, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Amal Rakiah, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Amal Nasibah, and Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Amal Jefriah.

The Sultan has experienced three times of marriages. The first marriage was held on July 25, 1965 with Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajjah Saleha binti Almarhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Muhammad Alam, which blessed with two sons and four daughters. The names of the children are Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Duli Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Duli Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Malek, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajjah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajjah Muta-Wakillah Hayatul Bolkiah, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajjah Majeedah Nuurul Bolqiah, and Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajjah Hafizah Sururul Bolqiah.

On October 28, 1981, the Sultan has the second marriage with Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Isteri Hajjah Mariam binti Haji Abdul Aziz. She is a former stewardess for the national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) and has a blood of Brunei, Japan, and Scotland. They are blessed with two sons and two daughters, who are Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Duli Pengiran Muda Haji ‘Abdul ‘Azim, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Duli Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Mateen, Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah, and Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Fadzilah Lubabul Bolqiah. This marriage has ended with a divorce in 2003.

The Sultan’s third marriage was held in 2005 with Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, a former Malaysian TV3 presenter. They are blessed with one son and one daughter, who are Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Duli Pengiran Muda 'Abdul Wakeel and Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah. This marriage has also ended with a divorce in 2010. 

The Sultan’s  Early Education

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah had first studied in the form of private tuition at Darul Hana Palace. In 1955, He studied at the formal education for the first time at Malay school of Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam in Bandar Brunei (Bandar Seri Begawan). Five years later, He continued His high school education in Malaysia's premier school Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur for two years to get the Lower Certificate of Education degree.

In 1964, the Sultan continued His further education at Maktab Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin (SOAS) in Bandar Brunei. Two years later, the Sultan attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England for one year, where He received an education of the Cadet Corps and obtained the rank of Captain in the Goldstream Guards team. In October 1967, the Sultan returned to back home to be the 29th of the Sultan of Brunei few months before graduation.

Award and Honorary Titles

During the Sultan reigns in the Sultanate of Brunei, He has obtained numerous awards, both in academic and military. 

The appreciations awarded to the Sultan in academics are:

  1. An honorary doctorate from a Russian university
  2. An Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Oxford, England
  3. An Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland
  4. An Honorary Doctorate from the Chulalongkorn University of Thailand
  5. An Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities and Culture from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogyakarta, Republic of Indonesia in 2003
  6. An Honorary Doctor of Laws by the National University of Singapore on January 27, 2005
  7. An Honorary Doctorate of Law by King's College London presented by Lord Duoro, the chairman of the Council of King's College London
  8. An honorary doctorate in philosophy and humanities on 21 April 2011 from Universitas Indonesia on 21 April 2011

The appreciations awarded to the Sultan in military are:

  1. An honorary commission in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as an Air Marshal
  2. An Honorary Admiral of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, which 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
  3. An honorary member of the Indonesian Satgas Atbara Special Operations Unit
  4. An Honorary Colonel of Pakistan's Special Service Group (SSG), awarded to him during his visit to the Pakistan Army's SSG headquarters at Cherat
  5. The Sultan possesses red beret and paratrooper wings of the Black Hawk paratroopers, presented to him by the Indian Army during His state visit to India

Political Role as the Sultan

When Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah ascended the throne on October 5, 1967, from the governmental point of view, in fact the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam was under a transition. It was marked with several things, firstly the success of the Sultanate of Brunei in maintaining the first general election on August 30, 1962. Secondly, on December 8, 1962, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam faced a rebellion from the Brunei People's Party (PRB), which established North Kalimantan National Army (TNKU). The rebellion was successfully stopped by Sultan Omar ‘Ali Safiuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien.

Five years after the general election has been conducted in 1962 and TNKU rebellion has ended, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah ascended the throne. He was inherited from his father and trying to make changes in the system of the government including the agreement review of 1959 between United Kingdom and the Sultanate signed by Sultan Omar 'Ali Safiuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien Heatlie with Sir Robert Scott, the British Commissioner General in Southeast Asia. The agreement that contained the British’s acknowledgment of the Sultanate existence and rule except in three matters, which were the external political, security, and defense under British government authority, were felt as disadvantages of the Sultanate of Brunei, so the Sultanate initiated to make change. This agreement actually was an effort to gain the independence of the Sultanate of Brunei into a sovereign nation.

Therefore, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah as the representative of Brunei Darussalam and Anthony Henry Fanshawe Royale as a representative from the United Kingdom signed an agreement that was a revision of the 1959 Agreement on November 23, 1971, located in Lapau, Bandar Seri Begawan. In general, the contents of revision were: firstly, giving full access to the Sultanate of Brunei to rule, and secondly, under the government of the United Kingdom, the Sultanate of Brunei reserves the right to organize and be responsible for defense and security matters.

The significant change that was successfully made after the agreement signatory of 1971 was an granting authority by the United Kingdom to the Sultanate of Brunei to participate and be responsible for defense and security matters. Whereas refer to the Agreement of 1959, those two matters were under the authority of the British Government. However, even those two matters were granted to the Sultanate, the British Government were kept still interfering. 

Based on the agreement of 1971, the Sultan tried to bring back the British Government to the table. Finally, in 1979 the Sultan successfully held the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with the British. The agreement was signed by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Lord Goronwy Robert on January 7, 1979, located at Lapau, Bandar Seri Begawan. In general, the content of the agreement of 1979 includes the British recognizes the sovereignty of the Sultanate of Brunei, and gives the authority and responsibility to arrange a variety of relationships within or outside the state.

After the agreement of 1979 has been signed, inside the structure of the Sultanate of Brunei formed a new department called Diplomatic Department. Its main task was taking over the duty, authority, and responsibility that had been held by Crown Agents under the supervision of the British. After the Sultanate of Brunei proclaimed its independence on January 1, 1984, and changed the name into Brunei Darussalam State, the Department of Diplomatic referred to as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the agreement of 1959, 1971, and 1979, the Sultanate of Brunei has become sovereign. The administration of the Sultanate gradually became the national government. Finally, after Brunei Darussalam has been recognized as a sovereign territory under the agreement of 1979, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah proclaimed the Independence Brunei Darussalam on January 1, 1984.

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