Brunei Versus Singapore General Facts Politics Essay

Both, Singapore and Brunei are Southeast AsiaA?s most comfortable economic systems in footings of income distribution, living criterions of its citizens and unemployment rate. Singaporeans every bit good as Bruneians enjoy one of the worldA?s highest criterions of life. Singapore every bit good as Brunei is governed by a instead centralised authorities with three subdivisions: executive, legislative assembly and bench. Brunei every bit good as Singapore are despite the instead centralised and bossy authorities politically stable and have enjoyed periods of economic growing. Both states are members of different international organisations such as the ASEAN, APEC, UN and the Commonwealth of Nations. Brunei has a figure of diplomatic missions abroad and has close dealingss to Singapore, sharing an interchangeable currency government and close military dealingss with the little city state. Singaporean armed forces are trained with BruneiA?s and both currencies portion the same value.[ 1 ]

Social demographics:

The little city state of Singapore is characterized by its multi -racial and multicultural society. Its population of about 5 million people is made up of a bulk of Chinese, big minorities of Malays and Indians and so a group of aliens who work and study at that place. As Singapore is a instead bureaucratic and administrative province cultural groups are reasonably every bit represented in the authorities. In add-on, SingaporeA?s population is extremely educated due to heavy governmental disbursement on the instruction. SingaporeA?s counterpart the bantam oil-rich state of Brunei Darussalem has a population of about 350.000 people. Cultural Malays form the bulk of approximately two-third, followed by minority groups of Chinese and autochthonal people.[ 2 ]Even though the official linguistic communication is Bahasa Melayu, besides BruneiA?s authorities pushes frontward instruction by presenting English as a linguistic communication of instruction.

Government Profile:

Whereas Singapore is officially a democratic province with a legal model of a democratically electoral system, Brunei is an absolute monarchy[ 3 ], giving the Sultan the power to name the countryA?s cabinet and all curates. The regulating construction of Brunei Darussalam rests on the state ‘s written Constitution along with the three pillars of its national doctrine, viz. Malay, Islam and Monarchy. Singapore every bit good as Brunei has a fundamental law which is the foundation rock for the successful running of the authorities. As both states are former British settlements their fundamental laws are chiefly influenced by the British Common Law.

The Executive:

The Sultan is the caput of the province and the executive caput of the authorities.[ 4 ]In Singapore these offices are divided between the President, Sellapan Ramanthan, who is the caput of the province and the Prime Minister as the caput of the authorities, which is the most powerful office in the Singaporean authorities. The cabinet is appointed by the president and is responsible to the Parliament. Prior to 1992 the president was appointed by the Parliament and played a instead ceremonial function. The president is straight elected every six old ages by the populace ; nevertheless R Nathan has remained in office for three periods. BruneiA? s PMO in contrast is held by the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam who are assisted by the cabinet which he appoints and together with the latter the sovereign of Brunei makes up the executive subdivision.[ 5 ]

The Legislature:

The legislative assembly in Singapore comprises the President and the Parliament which is unicameral and its 84 members are elected every four old ages. However, a little figure of curates is appointed by the president. Singapore is alone in its presidentA?s maps as he is at the same time portion of the legislative assembly and executive. Since self-determination in 1965 the dominant party has been the PeopleA?s Action Party ( PAP ) presently led by PM Lee Hsien Loong. Merely a little figure of seats are given to resistance chiefly due to the countryA?s vote system which will be discussed in more item subsequently. The legislatureA?s chief maps are law-making, commanding of financials issues and Ministerial answerability. BruneiA?s legislative assembly is made up of the Legislative Council which underlies the Constitution ( 1959 ) , nevertheless merely one election has been held of all time since ( in 1962 ) . 1970 the Council was changed to be appointed by the Sultan who declared in 2004 that fifteen out of 20 seats will be elected ; no vote has been held yet. The legislative has merely advisory powers as all ministries are held by his stateliness, which in bend means all important determinations are made by the Sultan.

The Judiciary:

SingaporeA?s judicial system is based on the English Common Law and tribunals are obliged to move harmonizing to its written fundamental law. The Legal system is preponderantly made up of the Supreme Courts and Subordinate Courts. The Supreme Court is headed by the Chief Justice and is divided into the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Criminal Appeal. Judges are appointed by the president, who acts on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, after audience with the main justness. Harmonizing to the Internal Security Act of the Constitution the authorities has the possibility to collar and action citizens who seemingly pose a menace to the National Security.[ 6 ]SingaporeA?s judicial system still allows for collaring suspects without a test. In contrast, Brunei has a double legal system. Similar to SingaporeA?s judicial system it is partially based on the English Common Law, However, besides on the Indian Penal Court.[ 7 ]Identically as in Singapore the legal establishments comprise the Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts. The Supreme Court is wholly responsible for the disposal of justness in Civil Law and includes the Court of Appeal and the High Court.[ 8 ]Whereas the Chief Justice supervises the full judicial system the Chief Registrar is the caput of disposal for the Judiciary Department.

Governing Parties vs. Resistance:

Singapore officially has a multi-party authorities, nevertheless it is so a individual party authorities as the PAP has been in charge since independency in 1965. Resistance parties such as the National Solidarity Party or the Singapore Democratic Alliance do non hold any existent opportunity to derive power. The rigorous party subject besides contributes to keeping power. Presently 2 out of 86 seats in the Parliament are given to the resistance. Singapore can besides be seen as a socialist democracy. All legal models for a functioning genuine democracy do be, nevertheless in fact the PAP uses the legal system and its fundamental law to keep power. Even in the Sultanat Brunei Darussalem exists an resistance ; nevertheless it does non hold any power in the authorities. Since self-governing in 1959 there has been one election held in 1962, where the BruneiA?s PeopleA?s Party won about 98 % of the legislative seats.[ 9 ]As a consequence the Sultan outlawed all political parties under a go oning province of exigency. In the 80s once more several political parties such as Brunei National Democratic Party ( BNDP ) and the Brunei National United Party ( BNUP ) emerged which peaked in 1988 when political parties were banned and dissolved, to boot, many leaders were arrested.

Voting System:

There are two types of elections held in Singapore. Parliamentary elections are held every 4 old ages whereas Presidential elections are held every six old ages.

The Parliament is elected by a assorted system of Single Majority ballot and a Party Bloc ballot ( PBV ) . The PBV system divides the state into multi-member territories and does non necessitate an absolute bulk of ballots. Thus the victor takes all the seats in the territory. Voters have a individual ballot and can take between party lists instead than single campaigners. Citizens oversea are allowed to vote, nevertheless, merely under certain conditions. Voting is mandatory and every citizen above the age of 20 one is required to vote.[ 10 ]

Presidential elections are held every six old ages. Campaigners must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Presidential Elections Committee to run for presidential term. To obtain this certification a campaigner has to carry through certain demands harmonizing to the Constitution. The prospective campaigner must besides hold severed any connexions with any political party ; in short, he is supposed to be non-partisan. Furthermore the prospective campaigner must be above 45 old ages old. However, as the Presidential Elections Committee has non found an appropriate campaigner except R. Nathan since 1993, no vote has been held which in bend agencies that he has remained in office for three periods.[ 11 ]Whereas the PAP has remained power supported by its legal models the Sultan of Brunei has non allowed any elections, except one in 1962, yet. At first sight these states are non comparable in footings of vote system, but both ways of authorities lead to a strikingly similar result: One establishment regulations. Due to the vote system the PAP has remained power and makes Singapore a one-party opinion authorities with a instead bossy intension.

However, one has to acknowledge that under the regulation of the PAP Singapore has gone through periods of unbelievable economic growing while governing in a politically stable environment. Apart from that the PAP has succeeded in governing with cultural harmoniousness, a high grade of security and about without corruptness. The same applies for the Monarch ; he succeeded in making a instead stable authorities by utilizing his absolute power.


As mentioned supra Singapore every bit good as Brunei is despite the geographical size tremendously comfortable economic systems. Since autonomous these states managed to develop good working economic systems while at the same time increasing the life criterions of their citizens. Outgos in instruction have created a extremely educated population which meets the demands of extremely competitory and fast turning economic systems, which in bend agencies to contract the spread between rich and hapless. Whereas Brunei benefits from its oil-richness the capitalistic province of Singapore exports chemicals and electronics which make up the bulk of its GDP. Oil and natural gas made up approximately 68 % of BruneiA?s GDP in 2006.[ 12 ]As both provinces are geographically little their chief imports consist of natural stuffs and nutrient. Brunei chiefly exports natural gas and oil and imports machinery, conveyance trade goods and manufactured goods.[ 13 ]Apart from that it is deserving adverting that Brunei does non hold any external debts.[ 14 ]

Liberty limitation and media control:

A similar statement applies for Brunei in footings of autonomy limitations. Indeed citizens are restricted in footings of raising the voice against the public presentation of the Sultan and his cortege. In Singapore every bit good as in Brunei Darussalem media is controlled and restricted by the authorities. However, there is small discontent as its people enjoy the advantages of a stable economic system in footings of lodging subsidies and free medical service and instruction. Harmonizing to the Freedom House Index 2010 Brunei is ranked is being non free for its citizens while Singapore is rated as being at least partially free.[ 15 ]Despite heavy media control the cyberspace is non restricted, but it is non used for look of political autonomy, this must be taken into history when mensurating the peopleA?s freedom.[ 16 ]


Both states are despite their geographical size economically every bit good as politically successful. Normally centralised authoritiess with one establishment in charge are instable, economically less developed and characterized by civilian agitation. Therefore Singapore every bit good as Brunei is a miracle per Se as seemingly bossy authoritiess have succeeded. Even though internationally voices argue that SingaporeA?s “ intercrossed ” democracy is delinquent to alter into a echt democracy its people are satisfied and do non hold any inducements to claim a alteration of authorities, merely because it was the PAP which has led Singapore to the point where it is today. It is true that there are liberty limitations for its citizens, but the authorities compromises with societal public assistance. Lee Kuan Yew one time justified the manner the PAP was governing with the statement that the western manner democracy is non an appropriate manner of authorities for his citizenships. He came up with the thought of an “ Asiatic ” democracy. Oppositions have to acknowledge that the governing party provides for a high grade of transparence and equality amongst its citizens with its big bureaucratic and administrative organic structure. Of class, these Torahs are used as tools to stamp down resistance voices ; nevertheless, it is legal and diminishes corruptness due to terrible penalties. The statement of prosperity and public services besides applies for Brunei Darussalem. Despite limitations people appear to be content as the cyberspace is non controlled, nevertheless it is non used to show discontent and to mobilise oppositions, therefore limitations are exist but they do non impact peopleA?s lives significantly as they do non desire to do usage of their non- bing rights in this state.