Brunei. In February, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah took legal
action against his youngest brother Prince Jefri Bolkiah and
some seventy other persons to recover some of the money lost
through the prince's lavish business and extensive luxury
consumption; inter alia ordered a pleasure hunt for $ 500
million. At the same time, Sultan Jefris frozen assets in
both Brunei and abroad. The Prince was dismissed in 1998
from Brunei's investment firm BIA, whose job is to secure
the country's supply when the oil runs out. According to
some data, the fund's assets under Jefri's management had
decreased from $ 110 billion to $ 40 billion.
However, part of the loss was due to the economic crisis
that hit Asia in the late 1990s. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the Prince himself claimed
that he was the subject of a conspiracy that conservative
forces at the brother's court were behind. A settlement was
concluded outside the court in May, after Prince Jefri
promised to return all state property he bought for money
from the BIA.
In July, signals emerged that tougher times are imminent
for the nation's citizens, who have been able to live well
on oil revenues. The government presented plans to introduce
income taxes, while announcing cuts in government spending.