The sultan of Brunei has announced a controversial new penal code based on Islamic criminal punishments criticised by UN human rights officials.
"Today... I place my faith in and am grateful to God the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday May 1, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases," Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said.
Islamic law penalties would be introduced over time and would eventually include flogging, amputation and death by stoning for various crimes.
Many members of the Muslim ethnic Malay majority have voiced cautious support for the changes. However, non-Muslim citizens led a rare burst of criticism on social media earlier this year, but largely went silent after the sultan called for a halt.
"Theory states that God's law is harsh and unfair, but God himself has said that his law is indeed fair," the sultan said.
The UN's human rights office recently said it was "deeply concerned", adding that penalties such as stoning were classified under international law as "torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment".
Brunei officials have said such cases would require an extremely high burden of proof and judges would have wide discretion to avoid such punishments.
The sultan has warned of pernicious foreign influences such as the internet, and indicated he intends to place more emphasis on Islam.
Nearly 70 percent of Brunei's 400,000 people are Muslim Malays while about 15 percent are non-Muslim ethnic Chinese.
Brunei and its Islamic law.
I do not know...Im oblivious.
I must admit Im ignorant of the real basis of Islamic law.
If in Islamic term I shall be called a 'jahil' person, derived from arabic word 'jahiliah'.
No doubt. I am.
I know as a Muslim country, one should implement Islamic law or hudud.
Unlike Malaysia, although it is internationally known as Islamic country due to the majority of the population with Islamic faith (pardon me if Im wrong here), there is no Islamic law implemented.
We have Syariah law for the Muslims. And the Civil court.
It is complicated maybe because Malaysia consist of three major race with three major religions.
Islam, Buddist, Hindu. The country also recognised Christianity because most Chinese and not as many Indians are Christians.
And there are cases where Muslims converts who are divorced from their Muslim by birth spouses have problems with the rights of taking care of their child.
I pitied those poor kids.
The Kelantan, the east coastal state of the peninsula, during the leadership of the Nik Aziz Nik Mat the intentions was there to implement Islamic law but they pulled the idea away perhaps due loads of reason.
Particularly economic, I guess.
No one will want to invest in the state if Islamic law with restrictions so harsh, I felt Allah almighty is so not fair having to have this Islamic law enacted accordingly.
But the again, it must be men or those clergy (whom are men, obviously) made it so complicated to suits the men better then the weaker gender.
They made it to be pro men, and always to the benefits of men...although after learning deeper, the men were actually suppose to assist and help the women. Not taking advantage of and not be held back from doing what they are capable of and especially not banning them from driving a car.
But Brunei and Islamic law?...
A friend casually commented saying that the Sultan had enough of the world and now it is time to go back to the reality and not wanting to be questions in the hereafter of what he did and not.
I thought so too...
But, the Bruneian royals and their extravagant lifestyles and womanising -- I wonder how the Sultan's brothers and cousins will take this new law.
Shall it be no more imports of famous SYT to entertain them no more?
Que sera sera....