The tiny Southeast Asian country of Brunei, population 409,000, has long been a relatively moderate Islamic state. Hassanal Bolkiah, the oil-producing country’s imperial ruler, is hell-bent on changing that — the moderate part, that is.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah — one of the world’s wealthiest men — said a new Sharia Penal Code in the works for years was officially introduced on Tuesday in the tiny, oil-flush sultanate and would be phased in beginning in six months.
Based on individual cases, punishments could include stoning to death for adultery, severing of limbs for theft, and flogging for violations ranging from abortion to alcohol consumption, according to a copy of the code.
The easiest way for adulterous Brunei citizens to avoid death or mutilation is to leave Islam, as the code applies to Muslims only (who make up two-thirds of the population). Then again, the new rules probably contain some barbaric punishment for apostasy, too.
In his autocratic crackdown on immorality, the sultan, whose net worth is north of $20,000,000,000, might want to send the constables to his brother Jefri’s door. Jefri Bolkiah is alleged to have pilfered $15,000,000,000 from the state’s coffers when he was the finance minister in the 1990s. More to the point,
Subsequent court battles and exposes revealed salacious details of Jefri’s un-Islamic jet-set lifestyle, including allegations of a high-priced harem of Western paramours and a luxury yacht he owned called “Tits.”
When announcing the new penal code today, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah stressed that
“[It] does not in any way change our policies … as a member of the family of nations.”
He should tell that to the women who are going to be buried up to their waist and stoned until they die.
(Thanks to Scott for the tip)