Happy Birthday to His Majesty, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the 29th Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, on his 67th Birth Anniversary on July 15, 2013.
A working monarch, Sultan Bolkiah is active in state and global affairs. He was installed as Sultan on October 4, 1967, after the abdication of his father, Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien III, regarded as the ''Architect of Modern Brunei.'' His coronation as Yang Di-Pertuan (Head of State) was held on August 1, 1968. Under the Bruneian Constitution, the Sultan as Head of State has full executive authority, including emergency powers. Sultan Bolkiah is Prime Minister as well as Minister of Defense and Finance. As Minister of Defense, he is Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Honorary General in the British and Indonesian Armed Forces, and Honorary Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy. He is Inspector General of Royal Brunei Police Force.
Born July 15, 1946, at Istana Palace in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan as Pengiran Muda (Prince) Hassanal Bolkiah, he got his early education at Istana Darul Hana and Victoria Institution in Malaysia, after which he went to the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, Britain, where he was commissioned Captain in 1967. He was bestowed honorary degrees from a number of universities, including an Doctorate of Laws from the University of the Philippines on January 28, 2003. He has received international awards and citations from several countries.
Brunei is a member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Non-Aligned Movement. The Sultan was chairman of Summit APEC Leaders in 2000 when Brunei hosted the summit. The Philippines and Brunei are close partners in ASEAN and in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area. Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Brunei started in 1984. President Benigno S. Aquino III went on a state Visit to Brunei on June 1-2, 2011, attended the Royal Wedding of the Sultan's eldest daughter, Her Royal Highness Hajah Hafizah Surunul Bolkiah, on Sept. 23, 2012, and attended the 22nd ASEAN Leaders' Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan on April 23-24, 2013.
We greet His Majesty, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, on his 67th Birth Anniversary. We wish him the best, good health, and success in all his endeavors. MABUHAY!