Vision 2035 of Brunei Darussalam entails a high-income capitalistic nation that will dominate the fields of regional Islamic finance, real estate infrastructural development and commercial trading hub in Borneo. In this is a manifesto where I will outline the current national standing on the global stage, the real price we need to pay for the black gold, the importance of a capitalistic society by 2035, and why all of us should move towards embracing it.

Looking at Brunei Darussalam’s economy, we can agree that we are all well-off. Even Forbes recently ranked us as one of the richest countries on earth, in terms of Gross National Product per-capita. We also have the highest Human Development Index figures, the best medicare, most peaceful and most politically stable country anywhere around the world. Unemployment figures are low and poverty is almost close to 0. The public are able to enjoy subsidized fuel and commodity prices. Under His Majesty’s government, thank God we are able to enjoy the benefits of a truly great nation under a truly great leader.

As Yin follows with Yang, there are also a downsides for Brunei’s prosperity. The GDP or output levels are very low in comparison to our peers i.e. Singapore. Our output production stands close at $20.38bn(2010) whereas Singapore’s at $208.77bn(2010). 70% of the national income is derived from our natural resources; Oil and Gas. The public sector employs almost 70% of the national population while the rest are from the private side.

Statistics aside, the nation’s output are mainly generated by the black gold(Oil), one which has an invisible price tag attached to it. Sooner or later we will have to pay a heavy price. For as the natural law of the world states that there is no such thing as something for nothing. We will all have to pay something back for what God has given us.

One day when all comes tumbling down its is the Capitalist and the Entrepreneurs who will be able to sustain and continue to develop our economy in the long run, long after the oil and gas are gone, long after our current generation passes. That moment will come. Which is why Brunei have to become a capitalistic society operated under an entrepreneurial-based economy. To tackle the issue of tomorrow we have to prepare for it today.

The above issue stated can be summed up by the late emirate,  Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum quote as follows, “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel.”

Determined to prove the saying untrue he transformed his back water port into one of the leading economies of the world: Dubai. It was as it is today because he cared for his generations to come. Let us all take his cautionary thought and beholden in making Brunei Darussalam a developed nation, that bases its main economy in another industry rather than oil and gas.

Brunei Darussalam as a Capitalistic Society is a must if it were to achieve its vision. It entails highly developed and educated citizen who are shrewd in managing financial, economical and capital affairs. He or She should have the ability to form and expand an enterprise for the betterment of the national citizens.  Part of which include in creating high-income jobs, superior value for the world and the determination to get the vision done. It should be done with the Nation’s interest at heart.

The Mother land should have more John D. Rockefellers, Henry Fords, Muhammad Ali Al-Abbars and Cornelious Vanderbilts by 2035. Highly skilled individuals with supreme imagination that dares to defy the norm and create the future as they go along. This may be extensive and hard but we can do this by “brain graining” or importing the talents out there in the world. Thus can help inspire the society up to a new level in every level. y.

Brunei Darusslam by 2035 should also strive to become a renowned developed economy, having a strong infrastructural growth in the national districts, having international franchises set up and a cemented political ties across the regional superpowers particularly with Singapore, US and China.

A developed economy of Brunei will focus in the financial, real estate and corporate sector. It should be world class. The FDI must be extensive in its reach to take economic dominance providing us healthy returns for investments. Shrewd financial minds need to be recruited, Capitalists in other words have to be developed.

The infrastructural and development growth in the 4 districts will then undergo a strong and sustainable transformation. Tall buildings, apartments, condominiums, office spaces, commercial shops will sprout out from the capital city and beyond. If Dubai can do it why can’t Brunei? The advent of Pulau Muara Besar and the BIMP-EAGA is contributing to this vision. The green in Brunei will only be affected in the minimum extent as the phase require a sustainable development.

Starbucks, Costa, Dunkin doughnuts and other international franchises will be operating in the nation which will contribute to a huge increase in national GDP. In UK the franchises provide about 1 third of their economic generator. Its part of a way in diversifying the economy. These franchises will be operated by the Nation’s Capitalists, who should then have tremendous assets abroad and in broad to pull the ventures in with confidence and integrity.

For the vision of 2035 will require uncommon skill accompanies with uncommon valor. It should be learned upon. Skills such as self-organization, business development, accounting, finance, marketing and other array of specialist field that would attain specific goals in specific industries.

Do not treat education as chore that you have to survive upon. Believe me what you are doing now will conceal a fate for the future you envisioned. You are here to contribute. You are here for a reason. So let us all think like a capitalist. All the more for the meeting of minds, as a Capitalistic society will need it. Believe me it will be an adventure of a lifetime. So learn more to earn more and to contribute more.

To conclude, Brunei Darussalam has a tremendous level of wealth under a great leader, which we all should be grateful for. We also need to see the dark future when the oil well is all but dried up, the implications which our following generation has to face with the price that nature’s law demands one day. Vision 2035 will see a developed Brunei Darussalam which will be insured by having a capitalistic society that creates value, wealth and employment for the mass. Today the youths will be the key in creating the vision of 2035.

The youths who read this I want to thank you for reading this long post, as a matter fact I want you to prove me wrong. I want you guys out there to think for yourself, and think what you can personally contribute to your nation.

Another final through which I want you all to remember is this “Do not ask what Brunei Darussalm can do for you, but ask yourself what can you do for Brunei Darussalam 2035”

For a Greater Brunei Darussalam by 2035 Awaits.

by Abdul Malik Omar