CNBC Insight The Source of the Sultan of Brunei's IDR 435 T Wealth Isn't Just Oil, It's in RI Entrepreneur – 20 hours ago


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The family of the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam is attracting world attention today. Prince Abdul Mateen's marriage to Anisha Rosnah bint Adam attracted attention on social media.

The reason is, the wedding was held very luxuriously for 10 consecutive days. Of course, the luxury shown is closely related to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's wealth.


It should be noted that Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is the second richest king in Southeast Asia. His wealth, according to South China Morning Post, reaching US$ 28 billion or the equivalent of Rp. 435 trillion. Apart from that, he also has 6,000 cars, including a gold-plated Rolls-Royce.

So, where does Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's wealth come from?

In general, the sultanate's wealth was obtained from oil and gas exploration in the Brunei region. Referring to history, oil exploration there began in 1928 by the British company, Shell.

Since the discovery of oil, the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam has transformed from a trading country to a rich and prosperous oil country. One of the key figures who emerged during the transformation process was Hassanal Bolkiah who became sultan to replace his father, Sultan Omar, in 1967.

In Bolkiah's hands, Brunei uses the production of tens of millions of barrels of oil per year as the foundation for its transformation into one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia. One of Brunei's highest oil production records occurred in 1980.

In that year, referring to Brunei Darussalam Yearbook, Brunei's oil production has successfully reached 82 million barrels of oil. With this large oil and gas production, the sultanate's family did not become prosperous.

Palaces can stand majestically and they can also cultivate wealth. However, this prosperity also applies to all people.

Report Economist said that thanks to profits from oil and gas, Brunei was able to exempt its citizens from income tax. In fact, providing free education, food subsidies, and so on.

Even so, over time the oil and gas sector is no longer Brunei's mainstay for cultivating wealth. Of course, this is because oil and gas prices are increasingly unstable and Brunei's annual oil and gas production is decreasing.

As a result, Sultan Bolkiah then diversified his business. One of the massive ones is through investment abroad carried out by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) since the 1990s.

It is known that BIA has invested in the US, Australia and many European countries. One of BIA's assets is hotel ownership spread across Los Angeles, London and Paris.

In Indonesia, BIA also has a hotel in Bali called Nusa Dua Hotel Beach & Spa. Apart from hotels, BIA also invests in companies and property.

So, it is the oil and gas sector and investment that makes Brunei Darussalam earn income. The large income from these two sectors also had an impact on the rise of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah as absolute ruler in Brunei Darussalam.

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(mfa/sef)