One of the more odd countries I’ve got to encounter is Brunei Darussalam. Not just because it took seven stops for passport controls to get back to Malaysia, but rather from their employment politics.

Because despite the ego of their Sultan (living in a palace four times the size of Versaille), he actually let some oil-money filter down to the man on the street. As long as he is Malay and Muslim, of course. Though if you happen to find yourself having Chinese parents, the golden spoon and thumb twiddling, lifelong, governmental employment are not intended for you. Neither will you, as otherwise, raise your kids with three shiny 4×4-cars in front of your villa.

My conclusion compared to what I expected is that the average citizen of Bandar Seri Begawan seemed to be much more satisfied and overall happy with their Sultan and the revenue share he supports them with (in terms of free education and healthcare plus pension after 65). Which, sadly, makes their way to equal rights even longer.


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