Sultan Sir Hassanal Bolkiah

Who is he? Sultan of Brunei.

Who is he? Sultan of Brunei.

Where's that? Tiny oil rich state on the north west coast of Borneo. And It's all his. Fortune guesses his wealth at $40 billion, though it's hard to separate his money and that of the national treasury. So why's he in the news? Celebrated his 50th birthday yesterday.

Oh, happy day. Michael Jackson and Prince Charles were invited. Michael is to give a concert today, and Hassanal conferred on Charles an award equivalent to a knighthood. Normally given to those of Brunei royal blood, but occasionally bestowed on royal foreigners. Hassanal went to Sandburst, and both play polo. No mention of an alimony loan.

The Sultan Bolkiahs have ruled Brunei for over 500 years. Hassanal holds the post of prime minister and defence minister. Is supported by brothers Muhammad in foreign affairs, and Jefri in finance.


The loot Hassanal is reported to have major shares with Shell and Mitsubishi which produce, market and transport the country's oil and gas resources likely to last another 20 years.

Likes to carry cash when travelling once relieved of $30,000 in a bag by thieves in a Milan hotel room.

A big tipper. On a Kuwait visit, cash gratuities were between $80,000 and $100,000.

Owns the Dorchester hotel in London, and another in Beverly Hills. Much of his wealth is in foreign real estate and stocks.

The party Jacko's concerts in the Jerudong amusement park have been allotted $15 million.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks for the 300,000 lucky residents of Brunei cost a further $10 million. Flags bedecked the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

Last word Goes to Hassanal.

"Our mission is to diversify the national economy while reducing dependence on the oil and gas sector. This can be achieved if we have a proper plan and management that is really sustainable . .