The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah

Hassanal Bolkiah is The Sultan of Brunei, he is also the twenty-ninth and current monarch . He is also the country’s current Prime Minister. Hassanal was born on July 15, 1946. He is one of the few absolute monarchs left in the world. He is the eldest son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III and his mother, Raja Isteri (Queen) Pengiran Anak Damit. Hassanal succeeded his father to become Sultan of Brunei on October 5 1967, following his father’s abdication.

The Sultan of Brunei has been ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Forbes estimated in 2008 that he had a total peak net worth of around 20 billion dollars. The Sultan is currently the second longest currently serving monarch, and is only bested by Queen Elizabeth II. He celebrated his Golden Jubilee on October 5, 2017 which marked his fiftieth year of reign on the Bruneian thrown.

The Sultan of Brunei- Early life

Hassanal Bolkiah was born on July 15, 1946 in the Bruneian town of Istana Darussalam. The town is now called Bandar Seri Begawan. The Sultan received his secondary education at Victoria Institute in Kuala Lumpur. He then attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom and graduated in 1967. He was coronated as the Sultan of Brunei on August 1 1968 a ceremony which also made him the Brunei head of state. Like his father before him, Hassanal was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Brunei was a protectorate of the United Kingdom until 1984.

What legal powers does the Sultan possess?

The Sultan of Brunei

The 1959 Brunei constitution gave the Sultan the privilege of being the head of state with full executive authority. This constitution also included emergency powers as of 1962. It has been reported that on March 9, 2006 the Sultan reportedly amended the Brunei constitution to make himself incapable of being convicted for committing any wrongs under Bruneian law. The Sultan, as the Prime Minister is also the head of the Bruneian government. Bolkiah also holds other ministerial responsibilities within the Bruneian government.

The Sultan is the Bruneian minister of defence which means that he is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. Bolkiah addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Brunei Darussalam’s admission to the United Nations in September 1984. In 1991 he introduced an ideology of conservatism to Brunei which was called Melayu Islam Beraja or Malay Islamic Monarchy. This ideology saw the Bruneian Monarchy as the defenders of the Islamic faith.

Bolkiah has recently started to take a more democratic approach after declaring himself as the Prime Minister and President of the country. The legislative council that was dissolved in 1962 was reopened in 2004. Hassanal Bolkiah is the Head of Religion of Brunei and Islam is the official Religion of the country. The Sultan made a decree that Islamic celebrations should be celebrated on a large scale.

In 2014 the Sultan advocated the adoption of Sharia penalties such as the stoning to death of all adulterers. He banned all celebrations of Christmas in 2015 including the wearing and usage of all Christmas based memorabilia. the ban only affected local Muslims as Christians are still allowed to celebrate their holiday. Even though there was not an absolute ban on the event it still affected decorations in public spaces but did not include places like churches of small shops.

Controversy surrounding the Bruneian Royal Family

Hassanal and his brother Jefri were sued by Shannon Marketic in 1997. Shannon stated that the brothers had hired her along with other women for promotional work but they were instead held as virtual prisoners, drugged and sexually abused. The Sultan denied that any of the accusations had taken place. Shannon’s lawsuit named Miss USA 1997 and a fellow victim but be declined the invitation to file her own lawsuit. A judge at a US based court dismissed the suit after 18 months of legislation, siting the grounds that the Sultan was immune to prosecution as head of state.

The Sultan of Brunei

The Sultan had open disagreements with his brother Jefri Bolkiah who was the owner of a network of companies and investment vehicles under the name “Amedeo”. The companies were run by Jefri’s son Hakim. It was used to buy the luxury company Asprey and build amusement parks along with other projects in Brunei. The Amadeo Group collapsed in 1998 due to its 10 billion dollar debt.

Between 1983 and mid-1998 some US$40 billion of what were called “special transfers” were made from the accounts of the Brunei Investment Agency. An independent investigation was undertaken into the circumstances of these special transfers, concluding that in round figures, US$14.8 billion were paid to the accounts of Prince Jefri apart from the US$8 billion to accounts of the Sultan and US$3.8 billion for Government purposes.

Hassanal owned one of the largest private car collections in the world with a total of around 2,500 cars. His brother Jefri was the one who bought these cars for himself and other members of the royal family including the Sultan. They were bought in an attempt to fuel the family’s passion for luxury cars. The car collection and Prince Jefri’s other luxurious indulgencies costed billions of US dollars . Prince Jefri’s luxurious style of living ultimately landed him in trouble and the royal family in a financial crisis. The car collection was eventually abandoned and most of the non-garaged cars were beyond saving. The rest were auctioned and sold.

Personal life

The Sultan of Brunei

Hassanal Bolkiah’s first wife was his first cousin Princess Pengiran Anak Saleha who later became the Queen. He later divorced her and married a flight attendant by the name of  Mariam Abdul Aziz, he divorced her in 2003 and stripped her of all her royal tittles. He married  Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim in 2005 and they divorced in 2010 and the Sultan stripped her of all her royal tittles just like the other wives that he had before her. Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah is the current Crowned Prince of Brunei and is also the Sultan’s heir. Hassanal Bolkiah has 5 sons and 7 daughters with all of his wives.

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Donald Trump owner of The Trump Organization and frothy-fifth president of the United States

Donald John Trump is an American media personality and businessman who previously served as the 45th President of the United States. He served in this capacity from 2017 to 2021.Donald Trump was born on June 24, 1946 . He was born and raised in Queens, New York . Trump has a net worth of around 2.4 billion USD. He took charge of his father, Fred Trump’s real estate business in 1971 and renamed it to the Trump Organization. He has expanded the company’s operations to building Golf courses, hotels, resorts and casinos over the years . He also started other side ventures.

Donald Trump-Early Life

Donald Trump was born at the Jamaica Hospital in the borough of Queens, New York. He is the forth child of Fred Trump and Mary Anne Macleod Trump. Trump grew up with 3 older siblings and one younger sibling in the Jamaica Estates neighbourhood of Queens and attended the private institution, Kew-Forest School from Kindergarten to the seventh grade. He later attended the New York Military Academy at the age of 13. The school is a private boarding institution. In 1964 he matriculated to Fordham University and he transferred to Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, two years later, graduating in 1968 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Economics.

Donald Trump

New York Times reported in 1973 and 1976 that he graduated first in his class at Wharton but he never made the school’s honour role. Trump’s lawyers threatened Fordham and NYMA in 2015 stating that he would take legal action if they released his school records. In 1966 Tump was deemed fit for military service based on medical examinations and in 1968 a local draft military board classified him as eligible to serve. In October of 1968 he was classified 1-Y, a conditional medical deferent and he was permanently disqualified in 1972 due to bone spurs.

Family Life

Trump married Czech model  Ivana Zelníčková and their union produced 3 children. He would later Marry Marla Maples in 1993 after Ivana divorced him due to his infidelity. His union with Marla produced one daughter which Marla would eventually end up raising due to their divorce in 1999.Trump would later marry Milania Knauss in 2005 and that union has produced one son. Trump is still currently married to Milania and she served as his first lady during his presidential term.

Religious affiliations

Donald has Christian beliefs. Trump attended Sunday school and was confirmed in 1959 by the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens. His parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, which belongs to the Reformed Church. The Pastor of Marble (Norman Peale) ministered to the Trump family until he died in 1993. Trump described that the pastor was a mentor to him. The church later stated in 2015 that Trump is not an active member. In 2020 Trump stated that he classifies himself as a non-denominational Christian.

Businesses and assets

Trump worked at his father, Fred’s real estate company during his college years at Wharton after leaving Wharton in 1968. The name of the company was Trump Management and the company owned middle class rental housing in New York City’s outer boroughs. He would eventually become the president of the company in 1971. Donald began to use the company as an Umbrella Brand and it was registered as a corporation in 1981.

The Trump family launched their first Manhattan venture in 1978 and this attracted plenty of public attention to a then young Donald Trump. The venture was the renovation of the derelict Commodore Hotel which is adjacent to the Grand Central Terminal. It was financed by a 400 million dollar property tax abatement that was arranged by Fred Trump. Fred also joined Hyatt after guaranteeing 70 million in bank construction financing. The hotel reopened in 1980 with the new name The Grand Hyatt Hotel. Trump obtained the rights to develop Trump tower in the same year The tower is a mixed-use skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan.

The building is the headquarters of the Trump organization and was Donald Trump’s primary residence until 2019. The Trump organization has vastly expanded its operations ever since its inception. They are the owners of many buildings and developments, all across America and the world

Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s Company – The Trump Organization

The Trump Organization is a group of about 500 business entities of which Donald Trump is the sole or principal owner. Around 250 of these entities use the Trump name. The organization was founded in 1923 by Donald Trump’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Christ Trump, and his father, Fred Trump, as E. Trump & Son. Donald Trump began leading it in 1971, renamed it around 1973, and handed off its leadership to his children in 2017.The Trump Organization, through its various constituent companies and partnerships, has or has had interests in real estate development, investing, brokerage, sales and marketing, and property management.

Trump Organization entities own, operate, invest in, and develop presidential real estate, hotels, resorts, residential towers, and golf courses in various countries. They also operate or have operated in construction, hospitality, casinos, entertainment, book and magazine publishing, broadcast media, model management, retail, financial services, food and beverages, business education, online travel, commercial and private aviation and beauty pageants.

Trump Organization entities also own the New York television production company that produced the reality television franchise The Apprentice. Retail operations include or have included fashion apparel, jewelry and accessories, books, home furnishings, lighting products, bath textiles and accessories, bedding, home fragrance products, small leather goods, vodka, wine, barware, steaks, chocolate bars, and bottled spring water.

Since the financial statements of the Trump Organization’s holdings and Donald Trump’s personal tax returns are both private, its true value is not publicly known, though a wide range of estimates have been made. Trump has publicly released little definitive financial documentation to confirm his valuation claims. On several occasions, Trump has been accused of deliberately inflating the valuation of Trump Organization properties through aggressive lobbying of the media (in particular the authors of the annual Forbes 400 list) to bolster his perceived net worth.

Political History and Presidency

Trump has changed his political affiliation on many occasions. He first registered as a Republican in 1987. He became a member of the Independence Party in 1999. It is a New York affiliate of the Reform Party. He would also identify as a Democrat in 2001 and a Republican in 2009. He also identified as having no political affiliation in 2011 before eventually reidentifying himself as a Republican in 2012.

Trump was a candidate in the California and Michigan primaries for nomination as the Reform Party candidate for the 2000 presidential election. He would withdraw from the race in February of 2000. A 1999 poll matched him against Republican nominee George W. Bush and the likely Democrat nominee Al Gore. The poll showed that Donald Trump had 7% support.

In 2012 during speculations of the credibility of Obama’s citizenship conspiracies. Trump was speculating that he would run in the presidential elections. Trump lost interest because his presidential aspirations were not taken seriously. During the 2016 campaign Hillary Clinton had a significant lead over Trump in the national polls but in July of the same year her lead narrowed in the national poll averages.

On July 15 2016 Donald Trump publicised his decision to select Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. The two were later nominated 4 days later by the Republican Party and the Republican National convention. Trump and Clinton would face off in 3 presidential debates in September and October 2016. Trump would eventually win the election and was sworn in as the 45th president of the USA on January 20 2017. He would serve as president until the 20 January 2021 after he lost his bid for re-election to current US president and Democrat Joe Biden. His presidential term was not without controversy but he claimed that he always held the best interests of America and its citizens very dearly.

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump and the 2020 election Controversy

A batch of emails released by the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee appears to paint a clearer picture of how former President Donald Trump and his allies attempted to pressure the U.S. Justice Department to investigate unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. The 232 pages of documents detail the unprecedented pressure campaign that Trump, along with his chief of staff and other allies, conducted to get senior officials at the Justice Department to challenge the results of the election in the face of Trump’s loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

In one example, Trump directed sham claims of voter fraud to then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen less than an hour before the president tweeted that Attorney General William Barr — who publicly stated that there was not evidence of widespread election fraud would be stepping down and replaced by Rosen.

The newly released emails also highlight multiple conspiracy theories surrounding election fraud pushed by then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. On Dec. 30, 2020, Meadows emailed Rosen a translation of a document that alleged there was a plot in which U.S. election data was altered in Italian facilities and loaded onto “military satellites” and that Trump was “clearly the winner.” After Meadows sent Rosen a YouTube link on Jan. 1 detailing the conspiracy theory, Rosen forwarded the email to then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who replied: “Pure insanity.”

The cache of documents reveal that Meadows emailed Rosen multiple times to share unverified allegations of election fraud or to ask him to take steps to change the election results.

The documents also highlight how Trump used official White House channels, along with a private attorney, to hound the Justice Department to file a lawsuit in the Supreme Court with the aim of having the court declare that the Electoral College vote counts in six states that Trump lost could not be tallied. The draft complaint — circulated by Trump’s White House assistant to Rosen, Donoghue and Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall — requested that the court order a “special election” for president in those six states.

The release of the documents to the public comes after the committee submitted a request in late May to the Justice Department for documents related to the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn the election.”These documents show that President Trump tried to corrupt our nation’s chief law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost,” Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a statement Tuesday. “Those who aided or witnessed President Trump’s unlawful actions must answer the Committee’s questions about this attempted subversion of democracy.”

The Oversight Committee will hold its second hearing on the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection on Tuesday afternoon and has requested that several former Trump administration officials appear for a “transcribed interview” on the efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Those people are: Meadows; Donoghue, who served as acting deputy attorney general at the time; former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark; former Associate Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian; and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung Jin Pak.

Trump and allies also pressured state officials in Georgia to overturn the election results there. In December 2020, Trump personally called a Georgia law enforcement official and asked her to find evidence of voter fraud, and then in early January 2021 he asked the secretary of state to “find” enough votes for him to win. In February, the Fulton County district attorney announced a criminal probe into Trump’s actions to interfere with Georgia’s election results.

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