Sultan Bolkiah Hassanal of Brunei

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Hassanal is the 29th sultan in a dynasty that is believed to be one of the oldest in the world.
Hassanal was educated by tutors and attended schools in Brunei and Kuala Lumpur until 1961, when he was installed as the crown prince.
Like his father, Hassanal is an anglophile who wanted to preserve the British protectorate, but the British insisted on giving up their quasi-colonial relationship.
Hassanal is believed to acknowledge that his absolute power can not last forever and to favor a gradual introduction of limited democracy.
In 1997, Hassanal was again exposed to world scrutiny when an American former beauty queen, Shannon Marketic, alleged sexual abuse by Hassanal's brother, Prince Jefri.
judge later ruled that Hassanal had sovereign immunity.
During the Asian currency crisis of 1997-98, Hassanal took an aggressive and highly visible role in supporting fellow ASEAN member nations by increasing investments in Malaysia and offering significant aid to Indonesia and Thailand.
At this time the prince was also appointed deputy minister of finance (Sultan Hassanal was minister of finance) and minister of culture, youth, and sports.
Sultan Hassanal was eager to settle the matter out of court, and Prince Jefri complied, though his choice in the matter was limited on several levels, the most benign being his devotion to his sultan.
Hassanal is to mark the 40th anniversary of his crowning on August 1.