Portraits of Sultan's ex-wife taken down

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The people of Brunei have begun taking down portraits of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's second wife from shops and offices after their divorce was announced, witnesses said yesterday. 

An announcement on state-run television late on Sunday said Sultan Bolkiah had divorced his second wife, former flight stewardess Mariam Abdul Aziz, and ordered all her royal titles to be withdrawn. 

Many citizens in the sultanate could be seen taking down portraits of the sultan's second wife, traditionally placed on the left side of the Sultan's picture. 

Some however said they were awaiting a formal instruction on what to do after the royal break-up, although one government source said there was already advice from the prime minister's office to take down the portraits. 

“From now on, only the portraits of His Majesty and Her Majesty (first wife) should be placed prominently on the walls of commercial and government premises,” the source said. 

He said the portrait of the first wife, Anak Saleha, must be placed on the right side of the sultan's picture and must be on the same level.  

In Brunei, the portraits of Sultan Bolkiah's two wives hung alongside his own picture in commercial outlets and government offices. – AFP  

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