Monday, March 5, 2018

Monday, Bandar Siri Begawan, Brunei


Brunei is a two-hour drive from Miri, but a world away in culture.  It's a country owned by an individual family.

The 29th Sultan of Brunei is loved by those we speak with locally, but they seem a bit frightened of saying otherwise.   It's clear that he has provided benefits to those who work for him (everyone), and retirees.  These include free education, health care, housing, infrastructure (nice roads), and large mosques. 

What isn't clear is the degree to which his imposition of Sharia law has made life intolerable for women, gays, drug-users, and anyone wanting to speak poorly of him.  There are articles in western media detailing the bad-boy activities of he and his brother (and you thought Trump was bad), but there are certainly advantages to having a government of one. 

The kids are well-fed, and there don't seem to be any homeless on the streets (it's illegal).  Westerners are not allowed to talk about the religion, or the Sultan.  There doesn't seem to be much effort to recruit tourists outside of more muslims. 

It's a novelty country, and more power to him.  Though I don't see how he could have any more, actually.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Monday, Mar 5th, Bandar Siri Begawan, Brunei.

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