More traders cut ties with Brunei over gay sex laws


LONDON: Travel agents, London’s transport network and finance houses were among a rising number of companies to cut ties with businesses owned by Brunei to protest over the Sultanate’s introduction of the death penalty for gay sex and adultery.The move – which rolled out further Islamic Syariah laws which punish sodomy, adultery and rape with death – prompted a corporate backlash after actor George Clooney and singer Elton John called for a boycott of hotels owned by the country, including the Beverley Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

The nine luxury hotels of the Dorchester Collection, which is owned by Brunei’s state-owned Brunei Investment Agency made a public appeal, saying its values were “far removed from the politics of ownership”.

The backlash also spread to universities.

More than 50,000 people signed a petition calling on Oxford University to rescind an honorary degree awarded to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, the world’s second-longest reigning monarch and prime minister of the oil-rich country. — Reuters

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