Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Brunei Darussalam, officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace is in Southeast Asia on the northern coast of the island of Borneo.  The country has two territories on the South China Sea and bordered by Malaysia.

Brunei is a small country, a little smaller than Delaware, with just over 442,000 people.  The capital and largest city is Bandar Seri Begawan.

The Bruneian Empire reigned from 1485 - 1528 extending across northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines.  The empire declined during the 19th century and in 1888 Brunei became a British protectorate.  It gained independence from from the UK in 1984.

Brunei is a sultanate, an absolute Islamic monarchy with the same family ruling the country for more than 600 years.  About  of the country are Muslim.

Brunei has extensive petroleum and natural gas fields making it the world's 5th richest country by GDP.  Brunei is a member of ASEAN.  The Brunei dollar is the official currency.

Malay is the official language and both the Latin and Arabic alphabets are used.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has been on the throne for 52 years.  In 2013 he announced his intention to impose Sharia law into its penal code with phased implementation.  Those convicted of theft will lose a hand or a foot.  Adulterers are to be stoned to death.

Homosexuality is already illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  Under the new laws those convicted of gay sex will be stoned to death.  Lesbians will receive 40 strokes of the cane and/or up to 10 years in jail.  The law stipulates that to be convicted of gay sex requires that the act be witnessed by four Muslim witnesses.

Many nations and organisations have condemned this and Hollywood celebrities are calling for boycotts of hotels owned by the Sultan.  Here's a BBC video I found out on YouTube about this.

©BBC News

Update:  As of 6 May 2019, the Sultan of Brunei declared that it will not impose Sharia law into the penal code.  

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