In the past, Brunei used to be under British rule according to the British-Brunei Protectorate Treaty in 1888. This treaty signed by two countries established the Residential System which the main objective of this system was to make the Brunei administrative system to be more western by giving the complete authority to the British to take control over Brunei administration, especially in foreign policy of Brunei. This made Brunei administration belonged to the hand of Britain.
According to this system, the British would basically set up ‘Resident’ as the Britain's representative whose advices must be taken as well as acted upon by Sultan. Brunei has always been under the Islamic monarchy which the highest authority of the country belongs to Sultan but, it turned out that Sultan under the Residential system was likely to be just the symbol of the unity of Brunei lacking of real executive power. It was said that Sultan’s freedom and ability to act and decide were limited by the administrative authority of the Resident. The only executive power of Sultan that could be counted as the real executive power at that time was probably the authority to manage society and people. Sultan could appoint the District Councils to be his representatives dealing with local interests of each district in Brunei that included Brunei-Muara District council, Belait District Council, Temburong District Council, and Tutong District Council. Those kinds of administrative system made Sultan became supreme only in the name. Brunei at that time also had the government, but the government had very limited power. Some said Bruneian government at that time rarely had power. Under the Residential System, there was a constitution, but the usage and function of the constitution were still vague.
After Brunei got full independence in 1984, the political situation was quite great that there was no political tension or tense situation occurred in country. Brunei has been willing to continue using the British way of administrative system in almost every aspects, however, there were a few aspects, such as, foreign affairs, and military that Brunei had to learn to manage by itself. There were further rearrangements and minor changes in the government structure to change and improve making it more suitable for the country. Anyway, we could say that Bruneian society and Bruneian people still lived in peaceful atmosphere feeling secured and having well-being in which it was easy for rulers, both Sultan and the brand-new government, to manage the country at that time.
What drove the government to reform? What were the causes of the reform?
* Upon achieving independence in 1984, the main task that faced the Sultanate was institution-building and producing professionals and skilled civil service. Brunei was a British protectorate between from 1888 to 1984. It was almost a century that Brunei was under the British rule having no power to...