General issues: British protectorate 1895-1941, British protectorate 1946-1959, Self government 1959-1984, Sultanate 1984-Present
Country name on general issues: Brunei
Special issues: Japanese occupation 1941-1945
Currency: 1 (Straits/Malaya/Malaya and British Borneo) Dollar = 100 Cents 1895-1967, 1 (Brunei) Dollar = 100 Sen 1967-Present
Population: 18 000 in 1900, 417 000 in 2013
Political history Brunei
Brunei is located in southeastern Asia on the island of Borneo. In the 19th century Brunei is a sultanate encompassing not only current Brunei but also large parts of current Sabah and Sarawak. Internal conflicts and increasing European influence result in the decline of the sultanate. In the second part of the 19th century Brunei cedes large parts of its territory to the ‘White Raja'James Brook, an Englishman who became raja of Sarawak in 1846. of Sarawak and to the North Borneo CompanyA chartered company that administered the current Sabah between 1882 and 1942. in what is currently Sabah. Brunei itself, in 1888, becomes a British protectorate to stop further encroachments on its territory. During WWII, Brunei is occupied by the Japanese in late 1941 and early 1942. Under Japanese rule, it is part of the North Borneo district of which current Sabah and Sarawak are also part. After the capitulation of Japan in 1945, Brunei, for a period, is under British military administration. British civil administration is restored in 1946. Brunei gains self government in 1959 and independence as the sultanate of Brunei in 1984.
Oil is found in Brunei in 1929 and since then Brunei has developed an oil industry on which it largely depends. Brunei is one of the richest countries in southeastern Asia and the world.
Postal history Brunei
The first stamps for Brunei are issued in 1895. This first issue is valid only for domestic mail and mail to Labuan, an island off the coast of Brunei. International mail is additionally franked with Labuan stamps and is processed through Labuan. This first issue is not listed in all catalogs. As of 1906, the stamps of Brunei are internationally valid. While occupied by Japan, Brunei stamps are overprinted in Japanese, the overprint meaning ‘Imperial Japanese Government’. These stamps are valid throughout the Japanese district of North Borneo. In 1945, stamps of the British military administration are introduced, overprints reading ‘BMA'‘British Military Administration’ on stamps of North Borneo and Sarawak, both valid also in Brunei. As of 1947, stamps are again issued specifically for Brunei by the British civil administration, issues to be superseded in 1984 by those of the sultanate of Brunei.