Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, whose title has passed within the same dynasty since the fifteenth century, is the head of state and head of government in Brunei. The Sultan is advised by several councils and a cabinet of ministers although he is effectively an absolute ruler. The media is controlled by the government and, therefore, the Royal family still retains a venerated and feared status within the country. There is no elected legislative body. In September 2004, the Sultan convened an appointed Parliament which had not met since independence in 1984, although it lacks any capacity beyond advising the monarch. Due to the absolute rule of the Sultan, Brunei is one of the most politically stable dictatorships in Asia.