Independence

On 14 November 1971, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah left for London to discuss matters regarding the amendments to the 1959 constitution. A new agreement was signed on 23 November 1971 with the British representative being Anthony Royle.

Under this agreement, the following terms were agreed upon:

  • - Brunei was granted full internal self-government
  • - The UK would still be responsible for external affairs and defence.
  • - Brunei and the UK agreed to share the responsibility for security and defence.

This agreement also caused Gurkha units to be deployed in Brunei, where they remain up to this day.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (right) in 2004

On 7 January 1979, another treaty was signed between Brunei and the United Kingdom. It was signed with Lord Goronwy-Roberts being the representative of the UK. This agreement granted Brunei to take over international responsibilities as an independent nation. Britain agreed to assist Brunei in diplomatic matters. In May 1983, it was announced by the UK that the date of independence of Brunei would be 1 January 1984.

On 31 December 1983, a mass gathering was held on main mosques on all four of the districts of the country and at midnight, on 1 January 1984, the Proclamation of Independence was read by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The sultan subsequently assumed the title "His Majesty", rather than the previous "His Royal Highness". Brunei was admitted to the United Nations on 22 September 1984, becoming the organisation's 159th member.

Relations with the Philippines which Brunei has been in a love-hate dynamic with due to the constant wars they waged against each other, in their territories; like when Arab led Malay-Bruneians destroyed Panay's Court of Nobles and in some time later, Spanish lead Latinos and Filipinos burned Brunei's Great Mosque, historically, was then symbolically patched up when Filipino Visayan architect Leandro V. Locsin, helped design and build the Istana Nurul Iman Palace, a name taken from Malay Istana and Arabic Nur-ol Imaan and means Palace of the Light of Faith which is now the largest residential Palace in the world.