The state of Islam in Brunei

The state of Islam in Brunei

East Asia Forum·2019-10-23 07:00

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Author: Kerstin Steiner, La Trobe University

Brunei is a politically stable country whose extensive oil and gas resources make it one of the richest countries in the world. Oil wealth arguably allows the state to control the population through financial incentives such as no income tax and subsidised petrol. But this wealth is now coming under threat with the decline of oil prices and crude reserves. Brunei experienced four years of recession (2012–2016) from which it has only marginally recovered since 2017. The perceived thread to economic growth and stability went hand in hand with an increased focus on Islam in Brunei. Still, it is very important to note that Islam has always played a pivotal role in the political landscape of Brunei.

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