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Leader of newest UN member gives $500,000 to N.Y.C.

The sultan of the tiny, oil-rich, Muslim nation of Brunei, the newest member of the United Nations, has given New York City a check for $500,000 to purchase meals for the homebound elderly. In return, Mayor Edward Koch gave the sultan a brass key to the city.

The sultan, Sir Muda Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah, said he wanted to follow the Koran's dictate to ''expend of the good things you have earned.'' He also gave $1 million to the United Nations Children's Fund.

Brunei, which became the 159th member of the United Nations last week, gained independence from Britain Jan. 1 after 96 years as a protectorate.

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