Last Friday was 1st August 2008. It was 40 years ago when His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah was coronated as the 29th Sultan of Brunei, a long line of Sultanate which started in the 14th Century.
However according to Chinese records, friendly exchanges between Brunei and China have a long history. The earliest records date back more than 2,000 years ago as early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC to 23 AD) when commodity trade relations existed and official exchanges between the governments during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD to 907 AD). By the time of the Song Dynasty (960 AD to 1270 AD), there were official and non-governmental commercial and cultural exchanges have been officially recorded in the history of China. I got the information from a book called 'The Collection of Historical Documents Related to Bilateral Relations Between China and Brunei Darussalam' edited by Liu Xinsheng, published by World Affairs Press China in 2006.
So if we were to take the lineage of the rulers of Brunei beyond the 13th century, then our rulers have been in existent and we as a country has certainly been in existence for a really really long time.
Anyway, I digress. To mark His Majesty's 40th Coronation Anniversary, the Postal Services Department issued a special set of commemorative stamps. These stamps depict events from the coronation in itself. This is the 4th set of Coronation Anniversary Stamps. The previous ones were to celebrate the 10th Anniversary in 1978, the 20th Anniversary in 1988 and the 30th Anniversary in 1998.
This year's stamps are also available on first day covers as well as on miniature sheets. When I went to the Philatelic Counter yesterday to get my order, I was told that there are two types of miniature sheets. One is the one that you can see here and the other is a $40 miniature sheet which the Postal Services had to return back because due to colour differences. That one will be released as soon as the printers come back with the corrected colours.