Celebrate oil rich Brunei’s success

THIRTY years ago last month my wife and I had the privilege of attending the ceremonies of the first National Day of a small, oil-rich country, Brunei Darussalam, which had had full independence imposed upon it by the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland six weeks earlier.

Although not a democratic country and therefore lacking in nay-sayers, any reluctance to accept independence was pushed aside by the ruler, Sultan Sir Hassanal Bolkiah, who adopted a positive approach which was embraced by a population with enthusiasm and pride, determined to make a successful independent country.

Since then Brunei Darussalam has played above its weight. It has built up its armed forces, and strived to build a diversified industrial base. It even continued a monetary union with ­another country, Singapore, to the detriment of neither.

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If a country with a population the size of Aberdeen and with a limited spread of resources can thrive and be a voice on the world stage, why are the Scots continuing to be told we are too small and insignificant to be worthy of determining our future and our affairs? Why can’t the Better Together group recognise that we do not need to be carried along on the shirt-tails of Westminster with policies suited to a London-centric, banker-­led, imbalanced economy to thrive and be a voice in the world?

Colin R Mowat, Laurencekirk

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