Brunei’s culture is primarily Malay (representing its heritage) with significant Islamic influences, although it is considerably more conservative than Indonesia and Malaysia. Bruneian culture is influenced by Malay civilizations found across the Malay archipelago. There have been four eras of cultural, animistic, Hindu, Islamic, and Western influence. Islam had a significant impact and was accepted as Brunei’s ideology and philosophy. The Malay language is Brunei’s official language, although English is also widely spoken since it is taught as a required subject in most schools.
Alcohol is not sold or consumed in public in a Sharia-compliant nation. Non-Muslims are allowed to carry a certain quantity of alcohol from their place of departure overseas for personal use.
The media in Brunei is considered to be pro-government. Freedom House has designated the nation as “Not Free,” and press criticism of the government and monarchy is uncommon. The press, on the other hand, is not overtly antagonistic to other viewpoints and does not restrict itself to reporting on the administration. In 1953, the government approved the formation of Brunei Press PLC, a printing and publishing firm. The English-language Borneo Bulletin is still being published by the business. This publication started as a weekly community newspaper and transitioned to a daily publication in 1990. In addition to The Borneo Bulletin, the local Malay newspapers Media Permata and Pelita Brunei are distributed daily. Brunei Times is an independent English newspaper that has been published in the country since 2006.
With the advent of digital television utilizing DVB-T, the Brunei government now owns and manages six television channels (RTB 1, RTB 2, RTB 3 (HD), RTB 4, RTB 5, and RTB New Media (gaming site)) as well as five radio stations (national FM, Pilihan FM, Nur Islam FM, Harmony FM and Pelangi FM). Cable television (Astro-Kristal) and a private radio station, Kristal FM, have been made accessible by a private business. It also offers an online campus radio station, UBD FM, which broadcasts from Brunei Darussalam Institution, the country’s first university.