US worries over Brunei's hudud


WASHINGTON: The United States has raised concern with Brunei about a new penal code introduced by the sultan which would include Islamic syariah law penalties such as stoning to death, US officials said.

But the State Department is not following a growing boycott of a luxury hotel chain linked to all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

“Our ambassador has relayed our concerns privately to the government of Brunei,” State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said.

But she said the department did not “take a position on” the boycott, which has seen a growing list of celebrities spurn the luxury Dorchester Collection.

“It’s our understanding that the boycott specifically targets the Dorchester Collection of hotels which issued a statement that it does not tolerate any forms of discrimination of any kind,” Psaki said.

“As such, the State Department has no specific restrictions prohibiting an employee from staying in a Dorchester hotel.”

Oil-rich Brunei’s new penal code, which will eventually include tough Islamic syariah penalties such as severing of limbs and death by stoning, was due to officially come into effect today.

The initial phase beginning then introduces fines or jail terms for offences including indecent behaviour, failure to attend Friday prayers and out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

A second phase covering crimes such as theft and robbery is to start later this year, involving more stringent penalties such as severing of limbs and flogging.

Late next year, punishments such as death by stoning for offences including sodomy and adultery will be introduced.

US television star Jay Leno on Monday joined a growing list of celebrities vowing to boycott the hotel chain, along with comedian Stephen Fry, TV host Sharon Osbourne and comedian Ellen DeGeneres.

The Dorchester Collection is reportedly owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, a sovereign wealth fund under the oil-rich sultanate’s Finance Ministry. — AFP

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

brunei , hudud law , US

   

Next In Regional

Olympic host Tokyo hits record 2,848 COVID-19 cases, seeks more hospital beds
Covid-19: Number of deaths equals previous high of 207
‘Made in China, sold on Amazon’ merchants scramble to minimise losses after US platform closes over 50,000 Chinese shops
Indonesia's BRI Life probes reported data leak of 2 million users
Tokyo Olympics: Chinese athlete abused online after disappointing finish at Tokyo 2020
Speculation over whether Alibaba will re-enter music streaming gains traction after Tencent loses exclusive rights
China moves to protect food delivery drivers from digital exploitation, knocking stocks such as services giant Meituan
China’s tech giants go on hiring spree for fresh graduates despite Beijing’s crackdown on the sector
KLCI ends higher, bucking regional markets’ downtrend
Myanmar floods, coup, complicate growing COVID-19 outbreak

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers