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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.

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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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