Pengiran Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien was born at Kota palace, Kampong Sultan Lama, Brunei Town on 3 Zulkaedah 1332 Hijrah, corresponding to 23 September 1914. He was the second of ten children of Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam II and Raja Isteri Fatimah. His older brother later become Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin. His siblings were; Pengiran Muda Besar, Pengiran Muda Tengah, Pengiran Anak Puteri Besar, Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Akhazul Khairi Waddien, Pengiran Anak Puteri Tengah, Pengiran Anak Puteri Damit, Pengiran Muda Anum, Pengiran Muda Laila Gambar and Pengiran Muda Bongsu.
Pengiran Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien studied at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar in Perak, British Malaya from 1932 to 1936. After finishing education in Malaya, he returned to Brunei in 1936 to work in the Forestry Department, Kuala Belait as a cadet Officer. This job enabled him to be closer to the people in villages and remote areas. As such he was also able to understand the people's problems and their needs.
In 1938, he was transferred to the Judiciary Department, also in Kuala Belait in 1937. Here, he was able to learn about the Criminal and Civil Procedure Code from the Assistant British Resident, Hughes-Hallet. He remained there until 1938.
In 1941, he worked as an administrator in the British Resident's office. It was here that he studied English language under the guidance of H.F. Stalley.
During the period of Japanese Occupation and the Second World War, He worked at the Japanese Governor's office as a secretary to the Japanese Sub-district commander, Kimura.
After the war, in 1947, He was subsequently appointed a member of Brunei State Council and chairman of the Syariah Court.
He was the first member of the royal family to suggest fact-finding visits to the rural villages.
His first wife was Dayang Siti Amin binti Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Setia Laila Diraja Awang Haji Hashim, but the couple had no children. On 6 September 1941, He married his cousin as his second wife, Pengiran Anak Damit binti Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja Permaisuara Pengiran Anak Abdul Rahman. She was the granddaughter of Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin. She bore him 10 children, including the eldest, Hassanal Bolkiah, the incumbent Sultan of Brunei.
On 13 September 1979, his wife, Paduka Suri Seri Begawan Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit died. After that, for the last time, he married Pengiran Bini Hajah Salhah binti Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja Permaisuara Pengiran Anak Abdul Rahman, who was also his sister-in-law. The couple, however, had no children. She died on Friday, 18 February 2011.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III had several grandchildren,By his eldest son, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah:Pengiran Anak Puteri (Princess) Hajah Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Puteri (Princess) Hajah Muta-Wakkilah Hayatul Bolkiah.Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda (Crown Prince) Al-Muhtadee Billah.Pengiran Anak Puteri (Princess) Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Puteri (Princess) Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah.Pengiran Muda (Prince) Abdul Malik.Pengiran Muda (Prince) Haji Abdul Azim.Pengiran Anak Puteri (Princess) Azemah Ni'matul Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Puteri (Princess) Fadzillah Lubabul Bolkiah.Pengiran Muda (Prince) Abdul Mateen.Pengiran Muda (Prince) Abdul Wakeel.Pengiran Anak Puteri (Princess) Ameerah Wardatul Bolkiah.By Prince Haji Muhammad Bolkiah (born 1947):Pengiran Anak Hajah Taiyibah Qalbul Bolqiah.Prince 'Abdu'l Qawi (born 1974).Pengiran Anak Hajah Ruqiyah Mataul Bulqiah.Prince 'Abdu'l Fattah (born 1982).Prince 'Abdu'l Mu'min (born 1983).Pengiran Anak Mansurah Izzul Bolkiah.Prince Omar 'Ali (born 1986).Pengiran Anak Khaliilah Bolqiah.Pengiran Anak Naafi'ah Khairul Bulqiah.Prince 'Abdu'l Muqtadir.By Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah (born 1951):Prince Muhammad Safiz (born 1974).Pengiran Anak Kamilah.Pengiran Anak Muhdiyatul Bulqiah.Pengiran Anak Hamlatul Arsy MuliaPengiran Anak Ajeerah Fidrausul Bulqiah.Pengiran Anak Raafi'ah Amalul Bulqiah.Prince 'Abdul Khaliq.Pengiran Anak 'Aliiyah Amalul Bulqiah.Prince 'Abdul Aleem.Pengiran Anak 'Aizzatul Bulqiah.By Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah:Prince Haji Abdul Hakeem.Pengiran Anak Hamidah Jamalul Bulqiah.Prince Muda Bahar.Pengiran Anak Joanna Jefri Bulqiah.Pengiran Anak Samantha Richelle Bulqiah.Pengiran Anak Karraminah Clarisse Bulqiah.Prince Kiko.By his daughter, Princess Masna:Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Haji Mohammed Al-Mokhtar.Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul 'Ali Yil-Kabier.Pengiran Anak Hajah Ameenah Bushral Bulqiah.Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Qudduus.By his daughter, Princess Norain:Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Hadi Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Kadir.Pengiran Anak Hajah Siti Radhiah.Pengiran Anak Wahidah Widadul Bolqiah.Pengiran Anak Hafiyyah.By his daughter, Princess Umi Kalthum Al-Islam:Pengiran Anak Haji Mohammed Saifullah.Pengiran Anak Hajah Huda Bahaaul Bulqiah.Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Nafee'.Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Ghaffar.Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Mui'z.By his daughter, Princess Amal Rakiah:Pengiran Anak Hajah Mujaabah Safaaul Bolqiah.Pengiran Anak Abdul Mun'im.By his daughter, Princess Amal Nasibah:Pengiran Anak Abdul Badee'.Pengiran Anak Abdul Rashid.By his youngest daughter, Princess Amal Jefriah:Pengiran Anak Hajah Nurul Amal Ni'matullah Athirah.Pengiran Anak Hajah Nurul Amal Munjiatul Athirah.Pengiran Anak Muhammad Abdul Haffiz.Pengiran Anak Muhammad Abdul Qayyum.Pengiran Anak Muhammad Abdul Razaaq.
Great GrandchildrenPengiran Anak Raheemah Sanaul Bolkiah binti Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim, granddaughter of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Hariisah Widadul Bolqiah binti Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim, granddaughter of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak 'Abdul Raqiib bin Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim, grandson of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak 'Abdul Haseeb bin Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim, grandson of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Raqeeqah Raayatul Bolqiah binti Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim, granddaughter of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Muda Abdul Muntaqim, grandson of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah, granddaughter of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Muda Muhammad Aiman, grandson of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak 'Abdul Hafeez bin Pangiran Anak Khairul Khalil, grandson of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.Pengiran Anak Raihaanah Hanaa-Ul Bolqiah binti Pangiran Anak Khairul Khalil, daughter of Princess Majeedah.
He had the title Pengiran Bendahara Seri Maharaja Permaisuara conferred on him by his brother, Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin on 15 July 1947.
Upon the death of his brother, who left no male heirs, on 4 June 1950, he was proclaimed the next Sultan on 6 June 1950.
Omar Ali Saiffudien III was crowned as the Sultan Dan Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on 31 May 1951. In conjunction of the coronation, he was conferred with the Honorary Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) by Queen Elizabeth II. In September 1951, upon becoming Sultan, he performed his first pilgrimage to Mecca, and made another in April 1962.
Under Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III’s leadership, Brunei gradually gained self-rule while its external affairs and defence remained under the charge of Britain. The introduction of the 1959 constitution effectively brought to an end to the Resident’s rule in Brunei and reinstated the Sultan’s internal sovereignty, making him the supreme executive head of government in Brunei. He was increasingly able to make his own decisions in finance and administration.
In 1959, the post of the British Resident was replaced with that of High Commissioner. The High Commissioner was still required to give advice to the Sultan on all matters concerning the administration of the state except on matters pertaining to religion and customs.
One of his contributions was in raising the inherited monarchy to a height of prosperity. After he came to power, he faced formidable challenges from within the sultanate as well as from the British Government to bring Brunei in line with the status enjoyed by other Southeast Asian countries.
Upon his ascension to the throne, Sultan Omar Ali Saiffudien III also became the head of the Islamic religion in the country. His influence over religion guaranteed the continued beliefs and practices of Islam among the people.
One important contribution of the Sultan was to regularise Islamic administration in Brunei. In 1948, a religious council, comprising the Mohammedan Religious Advisers, was formed. Due to the Sultan's initiative, the council met for the first time on 31 January 1948. He himself was appointed chairman of this council. After examining several laws on Islamic affairs in the Malay Peninsula, the board made new proposals regarding the religious administration in Brunei.
According to his speech during the Opening Ceremony of the Shariah Council,
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III was also responsible for the formation of the Department of Religious Affairs on 1 July 1954. The department was responsible for all the important decisions made on Islam in Brunei. All aspects of Islamic activities such as community life, laws, education, missionary activities and social administration were supervised by these two religious bodies.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III was also concerned about the insufficient time allocated for religious instruction in government schools, and authorized the government to request for assistance from Johor. In 1954, two religious officers from Johor were sent to Brunei. They were Haji Othman bin Mohammad Said and Haji Ismail bin Omar Abdul Aziz. (The latter, also known as Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja, was appointed as the State Mufti in 1962 until his death in 1993). As a result of their recommendations, in September 1956, religious schools operating in the afternoon were established.
The Bruneian government also offered religious scholarships to students with potential to continue their higher education overseas. This was limited to Aljunied Arabic School in Singapore at first, but from 1956 onwards, students were also sent to the Islamic College in Klang and Al-Azhar University in Cairo for degree courses.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III granted permission to build mosques and surau throughout the country in his efforts to expand and strengthen the Islamic religion. The most significant of all his achievements was the completion of a new state mosque named after him, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque on 26 September 1958. He was also responsible for making Islam the state religion of Brunei. This was stated in the 1959 Constitution Agreement. Islam’s position was therefore strengthened in Brunei.On 21 October 1952, Brunei was visited by Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent.On 25 September 1958, the Sultan received the visit of Tuanku Syed Harun Putra Jamalullail, the King of Perlis, Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj, the Sultan of Selangor; Sultan Abu Bakar Riayatuddin Muazzam Shah; and Anthony Abell who attended the ‘Berkhatan’ ceremony of the Sultan’s sons, Crown Prince Hassanal Bolkiah and Prince Mohamed Bolkiah.The Sultan received the visit of guests: Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang, Sultan Hisamuddin of Selangor, King Syed Putra of Perlis, Tuanku Munawir of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and his deputy, Abdul Razak Hussein, who attended the official opening ceremony of the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque.On 6 July 1959, the Sultan received the visit of Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, the first Yang Di Pertuan Agong of the Federation of Malaya and, Tunku Kurshiah, the first Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaya.On 1 March 1965, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh visited Brunei.
In 1952 the Sultan worked for the implementation of the constitution as the foundation of governance and the achievement of independence from the United Kingdom. On 9 June 1953, he was conferred with the Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (KCMG) by Queen Elizabeth II.
In July 1953, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III formed a seven-member committee named Tujuh Serangkai to find out the citizens’ views regarding a written constitution for Brunei. In May 1954, a meeting attended by the Sultan, the Resident and the High Commissioner was held to discuss the findings of the committee. In March 1959 the Sultan led a delegation to London to discuss the proposed constitution. The British delegation was led by Alan Lennox-Boyd, 1st Viscount Boyd of Merton who was the Secretary of State for the Colonies. The British Government later accepted the draft constitution.
On 29 September 1959, the Constitution Agreement was signed in Bandar Seri Begawan. The agreement was signed by Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III and Sir Robert Scott, the Commissioner-General for Southeast Asia. Some of the points of the constitution were:The Sultan was made the Supreme Head of State.Brunei was responsible for its internal administration.The British Government was now responsible for foreign and defence affairs only.The post of Resident was abolished and replaced by a British High Commissioner.
Five councils were also set up:The Executive CouncilThe Legislative Council of BruneiThe Privy CouncilThe Council Of SuccessionThe State Religious Council
Under the Constitution, the Sultan remained the supreme executive authority in the state. Five councils were created to assist him. They were the Executive Council, Privy Council, State Religious Council, Legislative Council and the Council of Succession. Five principal administrative posts were also created. They were the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister), State Secretary, Attorney-General, State Financial Officer and Religious Adviser.
During his reign, 3 chief ministers was appointed according to the Constitution. They were Pehin Dato Perdana Menteri Dato Laila Utama Haji Ibrahim Bin Mohammed Jahfar, Dato Paduka Haji Marsal Bin Maun, and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran Dr. Haji Mohd. Yusof bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahim.
A series of National Development Plans were initiated by the 28th Sultan of Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddien III.
The First National Development plan was introduced in 1953. A total sum of B$100 million was approved by the Brunei State Council for the plan. E.R. Bevington from the Colonial Office in Fiji. A $14 million Gas Plant was built under the plan. In 1954, survey and exploration work were undertaken by the Brunei Shell Petroleum on both offshore and onshore fields. By 1956, production reached 114,700 bpd. His Highness had launched the first delivery of 10-inch oil pipeline from the seabed off the coast of the Seria oil Base on 28 October 1964.
Developments on education were also made. In 1952, a written policy on education was made. By 1958, expenditure on education totalled at $4 million. Communications were also improved with new roads built and reconstruction works at Berakas Airport being completed at 1954.
The second National Development Plan was launched in 1962. A major oil and gas field was discovered in 1963, with this discovery, Liquefied Natural Gas became important. Developments in the oil and gas sector has continued actively and oil production has steadily increased since then. The plan also saw an increase of production of meat and eggs. The fishing industry increased its output by 25% throughout the course of the plan. The Muara Deepwater Port was also constructed under the plan. Power requirements were met and studies were made to provide electricity to rural areas. Efforts were made to eradicate malaria, with the help of the World Health Organisation, under the plan. Efforts were successful, bringing the down the cases of malaria from 300 cases in 1953 to only 66 cases in 1959. The death rate was also brought down from 20 per thousand in 1947 to 11.3 per thousand in 1953. This has been attributed to public sanitation and improvement of drainage and the provision of piped pure water to the population.
Brunei's first state election was held in 1962. This was to elect members to sit in the Brunei Legislative Councils. These elected members would then be involved in discussions of governmental policies. However, beside this, the Sultan still held the absolute power and authority in the government.
Among the political parties which contested in the election were Brunei People's Party (PRB), The Barisan Nasional Organisation (BNO), and The Brunei United Party (BUP).
The polling went on for two days on 30 and 31 August 1962. The Brunei People's Party won the election.
When Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya announced his proposal for a merger of Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien saw this as an opportunity for Brunei to achieve independence from British influence. He sent a congratulatory telegraph to Tunku Abdul Rahman, showing his support for the merger.
For him, Brunei as a small country, still needed a protection of a larger country; the only way to achieve this was by merging with Malaya and the rest of the states.
On 8 December 1962, the PRB, led by A.M. Azahari led a rebellion against the government because of Brunei's intention to join Malaysia. With British military aid, the rebellion was later crushed and PRB were defeated. In July 1963, a year after the revolt, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III made the decision that Brunei was not to join Malaysia.
After the rebellion, the discussion still goes on. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III sent a delegation to attend meetings of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (MSCC). The views of the people was also seek by the committee chaired by Marsal Bin Maun, the Chief Minister of Brunei at that time.
The views were varied, some were in favour of Brunei joining Malaysia, some opposed and some wanted the Sultan to make the decision.
In 1963, a meeting was held to discuss the prospect of Brunei joining Malaysia. They failed to reach an agreement on the issues of Brunei's oil revenue and federal rights to taxation. The Sultan also refused to accept that he was to ranked as the most junior member in line to be the Yang Di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. In fact, the then-Yang Di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia at that time was waiting to finish his term.
Finally, the Federation of Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963, without Brunei.
After ruling for 17 years, on 4 October 1967, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien willingly abdicated in favour of his eldest son, Crown Prince Hassanal Bolkiah. At the time of the announcement, the Crown Prince was in England, training as a cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. The Prince returned immediately to Brunei.
After his abdication from the throne at the age of 53, he took the title of His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan, a title he held until his death in 1986. He was conferred with the Honorary Grand Commander of the Victorian Order (GCVO) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Brunei on 29 February 1972.
After his abdication, his eldest son, Crown Prince Hassanal Bolkiah ascended the throne to become the twenty ninth Sultan of Brunei.
The coronation ceremony began with the flying of the yellow flag at Bukit Panggal and the red flag at Bukit Sungai Kebun in February 1968. The announcement was also made throughout the country by Radio Televisyen Brunei. The new Sultan rode to his coronation at the Lapau Diraja on 1 August 1968, on a royal carriage drawn by fifty specially selected soldiers of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.
Omar Ali Saifuddien placed the crown on the head of his son, and handed him the Keris Si Naga, symbol of supreme power in Brunei.
The new Sultan took vows to maintain peace and prosperity of the nation. He also promised to improve the standard of living of his subjects through various development projects and the protect and uphold Islam and Brunei's Adat Istiadat.
After the crowning ceremony, the new Sultan proceeded in procession through the capital, passing lines of school children cheering 'Daulat Tuanku.'
Among the foreign dignitaries who attended the ceremony were, the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and the British High Commissioner to Brunei, A.R. Adair, who represented Queen Elizabeth II.
Although he had retired from the throne and all his responsibilities to his country had been handed over to his son, Hassanal Bolkiah, but as a father, he still held the lead responsibility towards his son’s perfection. That is why he always held open discussion together with his son, both in Council or anywhere, including in London. He wanted to see his son’s success in leading the administration of the State. He always led and guided his son in carrying out the duties as the Sultan of Brunei in preparation for the time Brunei would eventually become an independent and sovereign country.His Highness witnessed the signing of the amendment and revision of the 1959 Agreement at the Lapau, Bandar Seri Begawan on 23 November 1971.His Highness accompanied his son, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to London to initial the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation on 29 September 1978.His Highness attended the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation to assume full responsibility towards the independence and sovereignty of Brunei Darussalam, and responsibility for foreign affairs and defence from the United Kingdom. His Highness became one of the signatories of the treaty which was held at the Lapau, Bandar Seri Begawan on 7 January 1979.On 29 February 1972, Brunei was visited by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Brunei achieved its independence on 1 January 1984. Although he had abdicated seventeen years ago, Omar Ali Saifuddien III continued to play an important role as a mentor to his son. He was elected as the first Minister of Defence and consequently conferred the rank of Field Marshal in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. He attended the first Celebration of Independence Day of Brunei Darussalam on 23 February 1984.
Omar Ali Saifuddien III welcomed the arrival of Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on his official visit to Brunei on 26 July 1984.
As Defence Minister, he attended the official opening ceremony of the Reconnaissance Armoured Vehicle Squadron of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces on 30 July 1984. He also attended the opening ceremony of the International Literary Festival IV on 9 December 1985.
Omar Ali Saifuddien III died on 7 September 1986, several weeks before he would have his 72nd birthday. On that day, the Grand Chamberlain, officially announced his death.
On 8 September, a state funeral was held. A large number of world leaders attended the funeral, including Malaysian Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Iskandar of Johor and fellow Malay Rulers from Malaysia such as Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang, the Yang Di Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Jaafar, Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah of Terengganu, Tuanku Syed Putra of Perlis, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah, Sultan Salahuddin of Selangor and Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak, US Vice President George H. W. Bush (representing President Ronald Reagan), President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, President Suharto of Indonesia, President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan, President Hussain Muhammad Ershad of Bangladesh, Secretary of British Foreign Affairs and the Commonwealth, Sir Geoffrey Howe, and many others.
His body was laid in state at the "Lapau" (the former Legislative Building at Bandar Seri Begawan) before being moved to nearby Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque for a funeral prayer. A casket draped with his royal standard flag was placed on a hand drawn carriage for the funeral procession around the Capital. He was buried in the Royal Mausoleum in Bandar Seri Begawan, alongside his wife, and his father, Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam II, his grandfather, Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin and his eldest brother and predecessor Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin.
Several foreign leaders had given their quotes about Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III,
A Surah Yassin book was published with the consent of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, to mark the 40th day of the passing away of his late father.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III was the second cousin of Pehin Orang Kaya-Kaya Koroh bin Santulan of Keningau in Sabah, Malaysia, the First Native Paramount Leader of (North Borneo), now Sabah state, Malaysia who was also the father of former Sabah State Minister Tan Sri Stephen (Suffian) Koroh, and Sabah's fifth State Governor, Tun Thomas (Ahmad) Koroh, (the elder brother of Suffian). Santulan, the father to Pehin Orang Kaya-Kaya Koroh was an ethnic mixed race Kadazan-Dusun and Murut descendant of Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin, the 25th Sultan of Brunei, was also a Pengeran (by descent).
He was a keen admirer of the wartime British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. This can be seen in the way he dressed in several occasion.
He also ordered the construction of Churchill Memorial at Bandar Seri Begawan. Now, the memorial had become the Royal Brunei Regalia Building.
He had an interest in writing poems. Apart from that, he was also known for designing the national medals. He also made a design of flowers on his cloths, the "Tenunan Brunei" which he wore on several occasions.
Also, he was interested in self-defence martial arts such as silat and kuntau.
His works is on "Syair" (poet). Among his poems were:-The Constitutional Poem (Syair Perlembagaan)."Syair Asli Rajang Hari".Rampaian Laila Syair.
This poems contains his advices for the people of Brunei.Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien is regarded as the Architect of Modern Brunei.On 13 July 1991, he was proclaimed as the 'Religious Paramount Figure (Tokoh Agung Agama) for Brunei Darussalam.An annual exhibition known as "Paduka Anakanda Julangan Kasih Ayahanda" was introduced in 2005, in memory of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III. The first exhibition was held on 27 July to 6 August 2005.By the consent of his son, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Brunei Darussalam, organised an annual Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Memorial Lecture that started on 25 February 2009 to commemorate the late mopnarch, who is seen as an exemplary statesman. In the first Memorial Lecture, Singapore's Minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew was invited to give a speech titled "The Legacy of Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien". The second memorial lecture was held on 7 October 2010 and the speech was given by Dr. Mohd. Yusof bin Abdul Rahim.Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Education Award, introduced on 23 September 2012.His date of birth, 23 September was declared as Teachers Day Celebration.The date he was installed as the 28th Sultan of Brunei, 31 May has been declared as Establishment Anniversary of Royal Brunei Armed Forces.The date 29 September 1959, when the Proclamation Written Constitution for Brunei Darussalam took place, has been declared as Public Service Day.The capital, Brunei Town, was renamed Bandar Seri Begawan in his honor, on 5 October 1970, by his eldest son, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. "Begawan" was Omar Ali Saifuddien's title after he abdicated.Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque was named after the sultan, ompleted in 1958.The Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien at the capital.Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College.The Seri Begawan Religious Teaching University.The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Institute of Islamic studies of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.The Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College.The Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Kampong Katimahar.
His portrait is depicted on the obverse. The reverse of these coins, and all subsequent series, was designed by Christopher Ironside OBE. The coins issued were 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 sen.
His portrait also depicted in Brunei's $500 note. On the $25 note depicting the picture of him crowning his son as his successor to Sultan.1914–1947: Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda1947–1950: Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Bendahara1950–1967: Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan1967–1984: Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan1984–1986: Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei - Darjah Kerabat Mahkota Brunei - D.K.M.B. (received after foundation in 1982 by his son) Grand Master & 1st Class of the Royal Family Order of Brunei - Darjah Kerabat Laila Utama Yang Amat Dihormati - D.K. (Laila Utama) - founded on 1 March 1954 Grand Master & 1st Class of the Order of the Hero of the State of Brunei - Darjah Pahlawan Negara Brunei Yang Amat Perkasa Darjah Pertama - P.S.P.N.B. - founded on 28 November 1959 Grand Master of the Order of Loyalty to the State of Brunei - Darjah Setia Negara Brunei Yang Amat Bahagia - P.S.N.B. - founded on 28 November 1959 Grand Master of the Order of Merit of Brunei - Darjah Paduka Seri Laila Jasa Yang Amat Berjasa - P.S.L.J. - founded in February 1964 Grand Master of the Order of the Crown of Brunei - Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Brunei Yang Amat Mulia - S.P.M.B. - founded on 1 March 1954 Grand Master & 1st Class of the Order of Gallantry of the State of Brunei - Darjah Perwira Agong Negara Brunei Yang Amat Setia Darjah Pertama - P.A.N.B. - founded on 28 November 1959Pingat Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien., P.O.A.S.Pingat Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin (1943). Pingat Puspa Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien (Coronation Medal - 1951). Pingat Puspa Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah (Coronation Medal - 1968). United Kingdom :Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG)-1953 (CMG)-1951Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (2 June 1953)Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)-1972General Service Medal (1962)Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (5 February 1977). Malaya : Honorary Recipient of the Order of the Crown of the Realm (DMN, 31 August 1958)Silver Jubilee Medal of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.Royal Brunei Police Medal.Gurkha Reserve Medal.Became the first defence minister and bestowed the rank of General in the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.Chief of Military Medal.Warrior Soldiers Medal.Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara, D.M.N.Darjah Kerabat Yang Utama, D.K. - Johor.Darjah Kerabat Yang Utama, D.K. - Selangor.Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati (Al-Yunusi), D.K. - Kelantan.Sultan Idris Iskandar Shah Coronation Medal, on 26 October 1953.Sultan's Coronation Medal, on 10 February 1960.Coronation Medal of Yang Di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, on 17 April 1961.Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Coronation Medal, on 28 June 1961.Yang Di Pertuan Agong's Coronation Medal, on 10 July 1980.Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Silver Jubilee Medal.