Legislative Council of Brunei

Majlis Mesyuarat Negara Brunei

مجليس مشوارت نڬارا بروني
Coat of arms or logo
Established18 October 1959[1]
Abdul Rahman[2]
since 11 February 2015
Hassanal Bolkiah
since 1 January 1984
Political groups
National Development Party
Length of term
5 years
First election
18 October 1959
Last election
20 January 2023[4]
Meeting place
Legislative Council Building, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Legislative Council of Brunei
1959 Constitution of Brunei

The Legislative Council of Brunei (Malay: Majlis Mesyuarat Negara Brunei; Jawi: مجليس مشوارت نڬارا بروني; abbrev: Legco) is a national unicameral legislature of Brunei. The council comprises 36 appointed members, that only has consultative tasks.[5][6] Under Brunei's 1959 constitution, His Majesty Hassanal Bolkiah is the head of state with full executive authority, including emergency powers since 1962. The Council holds its sitting annually in March at Legislative Council Building in Bandar Seri Begawan.


The council was established in 1959 by virtue of Article 23 of Brunei's Constitution of 1959. The 1959 constitution included five advisory bodies, including a Legislative Council, and granted the sultan full executive authority. When the left-wing Brunei People's Party (BPP), which aspired to overthrow the monarchy, gained all 10 of the council's elected seats in 1962, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III invalidated the results.[7] Its first sitting was held at Lapau on 21 October 1959.

Following the nation's first election on 30 and 31 August 1962, the Legislative Council's initial meeting was held on 10 October 1962. Part of the constitutional rules governing general elections were suspended in 1962, and members' seats were filled by royal appointment beginning on 28 August 1963. On 12 April 1970, the 1965-elected council was dissolved after completing their 5-year term.[8] The 1970 elected-council was dissolved on 15 December 1977 with the approval of the Sultan of Brunei, according to the Chapter 55 of the 1959 Constitution. The Sultan has agreed to reform and re-elect several members from the previous council. A new council was officially reconvened on 22 December 1977.[9] Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah dissolved the council on the following day. The inaugural meeting of the council took place on 27 December 1983, and it was disbanded on 13 February 1984.[10] Hence, legislative powers were fully vested in the Sultan.

After a 21-year hiatus, the Sultan reconvened on 25 September 2004, with the proposed modification to the 1959 constitution as its first item on the agenda. The Council approved a constitutional proposal that would have increased its size to 45 seats, 15 of which would be elected. The Sultan disestablished the council on 1 September 2005 and, on the following day, reestablished the Council based on the amended version of Brunei's Constitution.[10] Five members of the new Legislative Council, who were indirectly elected to represent village councils, were appointed by the Sultan in September 2005. In 2006 and 2007, plans for a 45-member legislature with 15 seats up for public vote were still on the table, but elections were still not scheduled by year's end. All state authority remains in the hands of the sultan's family and chosen successors, and the Internal Security Act (ISA) keeps the sultan's personal authority largely untouched.[7]

The Legislative Council met in 2006 and 2007 to examine government spending, suggesting that it has adopted budget review as a regular duty in recent years. The plans for elected Council members, Brunei's 2006 membership in the Asian Development Bank, and government initiatives to promote the private sector while combating corruption and radical Islam are all considered preparations for the anticipated depletion of the nation's oil and gas reserves, which currently make up 90% of state revenues. This modest increase in Council activity and increased focus on government spending are all part of these preparations. With the money, the government has long been able to stave off calls for political reform by keeping the majority of the populace in work, lavishing them with benefits, and exempting them from paying income tax.[7]

A member of the Council asked information from the second finance minister of the nation during a meeting in March 2007 regarding government investment organizations like the Workers Trust Fund and the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA). The Minister of Home Affairs, a member of the sultan's appointed cabinet, urged for prudent use of the national budget in April in yet another sporadic appeal for accountability.[7] On 6 March 2007, the Sultan gave his permission to be present at the International Convention Centre in Berakas for the opening ceremony of the first sitting of the Legislative Council's third session. Additionally present were Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commerce, and Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, Crown Prince and Senior Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. The People's Awareness Party (PAKAR) was completely disbanded, and the president of the Brunei National Solidarity Party (PPKB) was forced to resign. In addition, the government's Registrar of Societies tightened its supervision over political party activity in 2007.[10]

The first meeting of the fourth session of the Legislative Council began on 4 March 2008 at the new building in Jalan Kebangsaan. The Sultan officiated the grand opening by signing a plaque shortly after receiving the Royal Salute and inspecting the guard of honour by the personnel of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).[11]


Since 1959, the council has played significant roles towards Brunei; not only to consider and approve budgets and revenue estimates, but also to advise the Sultan on the drive of the Government, to review policies implemented by the Government and to pass bills and motions brought by the Government and other members of the council.

Legislative procedure

The Council follows the practice of other Commonwealth parliaments. All bills presented in the Council go through three readings. All bills, however, must obtain prior approval from the Cabinet prior to their presentation in the council. Once a bill is passed, a bill must obtain Royal Assent in order to turn such bill to an Act.

Speakers of Legislative Council

No. Portrait Name Term of office Ref
Took office Left office
Ali Mohamed Daud March 1959 1 September 1962 [12]
Abu Bakar Salleh 10 October 1962 1963 [13]
Ibrahim Mohammad Jahfar June 1963 19 February 1971 [14]
Alam Abdul Rahman 14 July 1971 30 November 1974
5 Abu Bakar Umar 1 December 1974 12 December 1981
Kemaluddin Al-Haj 12 December 1981 13 February 1984 [15][16]
Council dissolved
Kemaluddin Al-Haj 25 September 2004 1 March 2011 [17][18]
Isa Ibrahim 1 March 2011 11 February 2015 [19][20]
Abdul Rahman Taib 11 February 2015 Incumbent [21]


The Council comprises the Sultan, the Crown Prince,[22] cabinet ministers and three types of members: members with titles, members representing districts, and members among outstanding Bruneians. All members, other than the Sultan, are appointed by the Sultan in accordance with Article 24 of Brunei Constitution. The rest of the deputies outside of the cabinet, which are deputies ex-officio of the LegCo, are appointed for five year terms.

The subsequent list as below are returning members of LegCo appointed by Sultan on 20 January 2023 as announced in Borneo Bulletin.[23]

Cabinet ministers

Since 24 October 2023 (a reshuffling of the Cabinet which had served since 30 January 2018), the Council consists of the following ex-officio deputies:[24]

Ministry Minister
Prime Minister's Office
Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications
Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Development
  • Hon. Juanda Abdul Rashid
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Finance and Economy
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Home Affairs
Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism
Ministry of Religious Affairs

Titled and clergy persons

Title Name Notes
Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Jaya

Dato Paduka Awang Haji

Judin Asar Clerk to the LegCo
Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji

Abdul Rahman Ibrahim Former Minister of Finance II and at the Prime Minister's Office
Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji

Adanan Mohd Yusuf Former Minister of Health and Home Affairs
Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji

Suyoi Osman Former Minister of Health, Development and Education

Functional seats

Pursuant to Second Schedule of Article 24 (1) (a) (iii),[25] these seats given for persons who have achieved distinction on their own professional field or good contribution for communities across Brunei.

Title Name Notes
Hajah Safiah Abdul Salam
Mr Lau How Teck
Ms Chong Chin Yee
Dr. Haji Mahali Momin
Haji Salleh Bostaman Zainal Abidin
Hajah Rosmawatty Abdul Mumin
Pengiran Haji Isa Aliuddin

District representatives

These deputies of the districts are appointed by the Sultan among those village heads and penghulu of townships (mukim), which since the 2010s are elected directly by the people of their areas.

Districts Name Notes
Belait 1 Salleh Othman Penghulu of Mukim Bukit Sawat
Belait 2 Lim Swee Ann Village head of Kampong Bukit Sawat
Tutong 1 Tekpin Ya’akub Penghulu of Mukim Ukong
Tutong 2 Abdul Aziz Hamdan Village head of Kampong Sengkarai
Temburong Sulaiman Nasir Village head of Kampong Labu Estate and Kampong Piasau-Piasau
Brunei-Muara 1 Amran Maidin Penghulu of Mukim Lumapas
Brunei-Muara 2 Lawi Lamat Village head of Kampong Subok
Brunei-Muara 3 Zainol Mohamed Village head of Kampong Putat
Brunei-Muara 4 Mohamad Ali Tanjong Village head of Kampong Lumapas 'B'
Brunei-Muara 5 Daud Jihan Village head of Kampong Belimbing

Legislative Council Building

Since achieving independence, this is the first time that the nation held the council meeting at the new grand parliament building on 4 March 2008, the construction for which began in March 2005 under the 8th National Development Plan. Three blocks make up the structure. In addition to office space and a conference room, the building has a banquet hall, library, meeting rooms, auditorium, surau, gym, VIP rooms, and canteen. It also has a parade ground in front of the building, parking, a landscaped area, and a three-acre lake. Judin Asar, the council's clerk, claimed that the new structure would help the council carry out its mission to provide better services to the government and country, particularly those pertaining to the privy council, legislative council, and cabinet ministers meetings.[11]

See also


  2. ^ "Brunei Darussalam". 5 July 2018. Archived from the original on 2 February 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Ahli-Ahli". Archived from the original on 2021-09-08. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  4. ^ "New Legislative Council appointed » Borneo Bulletin Online". New Legislative Council appointed. 2023-01-20. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  5. ^ "Brunei Darussalam" (PDF). United Nations (Human Rights Council): 4. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Brunei". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  7. ^ a b c d Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Refworld | Freedom in the World 2008 - Brunei". Refworld. Retrieved 2023-03-11.
  8. ^ "Majlis Mashuarat Negeri di-bubarkan" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 1970-04-15. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  9. ^ "Ahli2 M.M.N. yang di-susun semula" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 1977-12-28. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-07-17.
  10. ^ a b c "Sultanate - News | Negara Brunei Darussalam | Sultan officiates LegCo meeting". sultanate.com. Retrieved 2023-03-11.
  11. ^ a b "Sultan opens new Legislative Council building". bn.china-embassy.gov.cn. Retrieved 2023-03-11.
  12. ^ Horton, A. V. M. (2005-01-01). "Negara Brunei Darussalam: obituaries 2005". Borneo Research Bulletin. 36: 16–29.
  13. ^ "Pembukaan Rasmi Majlis Meshuarat Negeri Yang Baru" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 1962-10-17. p. 5. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  14. ^ "Speaker M.M. Negeri Meninggal Dunia" (PDF). Pelita Brunei. 24 February 1971. pp. 1, 4–5.
  15. ^ "Masyarakat mainkan peranan bantu banteras jenayah rasuah » Media Permata Online". Masyarakat mainkan peranan bantu banteras jenayah rasuah. 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  16. ^ "Majlis Mesyuarat Negara: Acuan Kebruneian » Media Permata Online". Majlis Mesyuarat Negara: Acuan Kebruneian. 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2023-01-29.
  17. ^ "DEWAN MAJLIS" (PDF). Majlis Mesyuarat. 25 September 2004. p. 1.
  18. ^ "DEWAN MAJLIS" (PDF). Majlis Mesyuarat. 1 March 2011. p. 1.
  19. ^ "DEWAN MAJLIS" (PDF). Majlis Mesyuarat. 1 March 2011. p. 1.
  20. ^ Md Zain, Nurliah (2 March 2016). "MMN wadah permuafakatan" (in Malay). Bandar Seri Begawan: Pelita Brunei. Archived from the original on 9 September 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  21. ^ "New Legislative Council appointed » Borneo Bulletin Online". New Legislative Council appointed. 2023-01-20. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  22. ^ He is a member of Cabinet of Brunei. Therefore, he is a member of the Council.
  23. ^ "New Legislative Council appointed » Borneo Bulletin Online". New Legislative Council appointed. 2023-01-20. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  24. ^ Hj Abu Bakar, Rasidah; Bandial, Ain (7 June 2022). "HM: New cabinet must carry out duties with "full loyalty and responsibility"". The Scoop. Archived from the original on 6 July 2022. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). www.agc.gov.bn. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-08-31.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

04°54′48″N 114°56′55″E / 4.91333°N 114.94861°E / 4.91333; 114.94861