Wawasan Brunei 2025, the vision of Brunei Darussalam


The Wawasan Brunei 2035 have several goals such as creating well educated and highly-skilled people as measured by the highest international standard and qualification, top ten nations in life quality, being one of the top countries in the world recognize for its dynamic and sustainable economy with high income per capita. By Halim Widyawardhana, Yusuf Ali, and Triyoga Budi Prasetyo

Security plays an important role in creating peaceful condition in a country. By having a secure nation, the people of the nation may have freedom in the aspects of economy, politics, social interaction, religion, and other aspects. Unfortunately, threats may come from anywhere and various in forms. Terrorism and Cyber Attacks become two of the greatest concerns in term of security world widely and this may be troublesome to Brunei. This paper aims to analyze Wawasan Brunei 2035 on national security and state welfare. This paper used qualitative method and the data is gained from documents, archives, journal and so on. The research result that in order to prevent and counter the threats, Brunei Darussalam formulates the Wawasan Brunei 2035 or the Brunei’s Vision 2035 as a means to create security and increasing the welfare of the state. In this paper, the author utilizes the synergy theory to analyze.

Although Brunei does not have a common enemy in the world which may lead to conventional warfare or disputes, Brunei must be aware of the threats which could be launched by Non-State Actors which consist of individuals or group networks. Non-State Actors attacks are considered more dangerous since they may attack using various form of methods such as terrorism, cyber-attacks, or insurgency. These three attacks are dangerous and may cause fatal damage if it targets a nation’s critical infrastructures, since it may lead to the collapse of a state. Furthermore, these attacks do not have to follow the international law of warfare (Just War). In other word, these attacking methods could give the actors free movement and it is almost impossible to predict because the attack may occur randomly. These three methods of attacks are known as asymmetric attacks or asymmetric warfare. Asymmetric warfare is a type of war which consists of two or more nations or Nonstate actors battling each other in which each has different levels in term of the number of forces, arms, strength, and support. The methods used may also varies and unpredictable. The methods used are considered to be a new method which is unfamiliar to adversaries. As we know, throughout history, the security of a nation is considered as the most important thing and become a priority since every aspects of life would not be able to be done according to its goals if the people do not feel secure. Besides, security plays an important role in maintaining peace and stability of the country in order to support many sectors in fulfilling their goals, which indeed may lead to civil welfare.

This research is important to Indonesia because by conducting this research, the researcher could give information to the Indonesian government, the people of Indonesia, and to Indonesia Defense University (IDU) that national security plays an important role as a means to support state welfare. As we know that the number of asymmetric threats in Indonesia keeps on increasing and had occurred in Indonesia’s history, mainly the threats of insurgencies. Nowadays, Indonesia still faces some similar threats and also new types of threats such as terrorism which took place since the Bali Bombings, and also suffers from cyber warfare. So, the Indonesian government should give their attention towards these threats and have to strengthen their approaches in preventing and countering these threats. Furthermore, building good security increases the state’s welfare. Next, this research will give a sense of awareness for the Indonesian people on the asymmetric threats and the importance of national security. By being aware, people will react and support the government’s program on combating asymmetric threats. Finally, for Indonesia Defense University, this research will increase the literature on Brunei’s Vision 2035 as a means to increase their security level and state welfare.

In this research, the researcher used two main theories such as the theory of Security and the theory of welfare. This work uses the qualitative method. This method is used to obtain the data which is needed through literature study and online research. The basis of this research is the primary data taken from Wawasan Brunei 2035, Brunei’s Defense White Paper 2011, and several theories which are relevant to the research. This research also used secondary data which are taken from several resources which are related to Wawasan Brunei 2035, Brunei’s National Security, and State Welfare.

Wawasan Brunei 2035

As a means to increase the growth of economy, The Sultan of Brunei Darussalam actively promotes the development its target sectors through the five-year National Development Plans. Brunei also formulates its long-term development plan which is known as “Wawasan Brunei 2035”, or “Brunei Vision 2035”. The Wawasan Brunei 2035 have several goals such as creating well educated and highly-skilled people as measured by the highest international standard and qualification, top ten nations in life quality, being one of the top countries in the world recognize for its dynamic and sustainable economy with high income per capita. In fulfilling these goals, Brunei created several strategies as listed below.

An education strategy that will prepare the youth for employment and achievement in a world that is increasingly competitive and knowledge-based.

An economic strategy that will create new employment for the people and expand business opportunities within Brunei through the promotion of investment, foreign and domestic, both in downstream industries as well as in economic clusters beyond the oil and gas industry.

A security strategy that will safeguard Brunei’s political stability and sovereignty as a nation which links the defense and diplomatic capabilities and its capacity to respond to threats from disease and natural catastrophe.

An institutional development strategy that will enhance good governance in both the public and private sectors, high quality public services, modern and pragmatic legal and regulatory frameworks and efficient government procedures that entail a minimum of bureaucratic “red tape”.

A local business development strategy that will enhance opportunities for local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as enable Brunei Malays to achieve leadership in business and industry by developing greater competitive strength.

An infrastructure development strategy that will ensure continued investment by government and through public-private sector partnership in developing and maintaining world-class infrastructure with special emphasis placed on education, health and industry.

A social security strategy that ensures that, as the nation prospers; all citizens are properly cared for.

An environmental strategy that ensures the proper conservation of our natural environment and cultural habitat. It will provide health and safety in line with the highest international practices.

Brunei is able to exploit lots of energy resources which makes them one of the wealthiest countries in the world in term of per capita income. Although, Brunei Darussalam is a wealthy nation, they find that giving attention to national security is important since they may be open to threats which may threaten its national security and prevent them to achieve their national interest. Due to this reason, it is important to understand Brunei’s national security strategy which is based on their national interest, threats and challenges, means and instruments.

In order to understand Brunei’s National Security Strategy, it is important to understand and know about Brunei’s national interest.

Analysis of Brunei’s national security strategy should start with a review of the Brunei’s national interests and goals for the short term and for the long term. Brunei Darussalam has clear definitions of their national interests in their defense white papers:

The cohesion and stability of the nation and the preservation of the constitution and monarchy;

A stable regional environment that enables Brunei to pursue its own interests without outside interference;

The maintenance of defense capabilities capable of protecting Brunei’s sovereignty, territorial claims, and independence.

For many years, Brunei Darussalam tries to consummate their national interests by creating internal and external stability, either in the national level or in the regional level. Their effort of creating a stable nation is by increasing economic level, foreign cooperation with neighboring countries, especially with Malaysia, and strong bilateral and multilateral security arrangements with third parties.

Threats and Challenges for Brunei Darussalam’s National Security

Brunei Darussalam’s national interest is treated as guidance for them to determine the threats and challenges which they would face in the short and long terms national goals and objectives. Commonly, there are two types of threats categories dealt by Brunei, that is traditional and nontraditional security issues.

Geographically, Brunei is surrounded by large neighboring countries like Malaysia, Philippine, and Indonesia in the South. Since Brunei is surrounded by large countries, they find that it is important to increase their security awareness. Their threats may come from Non-State Actors from neighboring countries. For an example is the Abu Sayyaf Group in Philippines. According to Robert Caplan, “A small state, Brunei is disproportionately vulnerable to the ongoing Asian military modernization which threatens the current regional balance of power. A particular concern is Chinese military assertiveness.

Brunei Darussalam also has a concern in the non-traditional security threats in the region. Brunei with other ASEAN members stated these non-traditional threats which include natural disasters, transnational crime in the areas of piracy, drug trafficking, and cyber-crime, and environmental security threats such as forest fires and illegal which may create insecurity for ASEAN members including Brunei. In addition, food security also becomes an issue in Brunei because of the infertile land they have. Brunei Darussalam is dependent on oil and natural gas for its economic security to the extent that domestic economic stagnation, uncertainty in global energy markets, and instability in export markets.

In order to deal with those threats, Brunei Darussalam formulates the counter to those threats which is written in the Defense White Paper 2011.

Brunei has several fields which become the priorities such as investing in military modernization, enhancing national counter-terrorism capabilities and developing method in dealing with great disasters. The Wawasan Brunei 2035 encourages good governance, economic diversification, and increasing food self-sufficiency, and encourages the nation to focus and build the capabilities in processing the energy and keeping it secure.

In addition, Brunei Darussalam focuses and enhances its diplomatic ability as a means in realizing their national interests. As an example, in the bilateral Exchange of Letterswith 2009 which was held in Malaysia, Brunei created maritime boundaries and plans the resolution of the land border dispute in case it happens and also explained the importance of diplomacy as a means in reducing Brunei’s threat landscape.

In developing its military relationships, Brunei has made an investment in multilateral organizations with ASEAN countries and the United Nations. After Brunei’s independence, Brunei demonstrated and prefers to use soft diplomacy rather than the hard approach such as military aggression to achieve its national interest. As times goes on, Brunei shifted its strategy by using both the soft and hard approach by using its military force because they argue that it is more effective in fulfilling their goals and countering the threat they face. Besides making cooperation with ASEAN and the UN, Brunei also advanced their military technology in order to support their military strength. Although using the hard approach is considered effective in dealing with external threats, this approach will not be effective in dealing with long-term threats and internal threats.

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