A few of Sultan Hassanal’s kinfolk have proven an identical propensity to spend. Prince Abdul Mateen, one of many sultan’s 12 youngsters, frequently posts photos of himself on Instagram in gilded halls, enjoying polo and showing with a tiger cub and different tokens of wealth. Prince Azim, one other son, was reported in 2007 to have flown jewellery to Mariah Carey on a non-public jet.
Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the sultan’s youthful brother, constructed an amusement park that was free to guests, bought lodges world wide and gained a fame in Western tabloids for mansions and mistresses.
He spent so freely within the 1990s — throughout a monetary disaster in Asia — that in 2000 the sultan sued him, accusing him of misspending billions on 2,000 automobiles, 17 airplanes, a number of yachts and quite a lot of investments. (It was solely the beginning of a long-running feud between the brothers.)
The Brunei Funding Company, an arm of the federal government, owns 9 of the world’s most unique lodges, together with the Beverly Hills Resort and Resort Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the Dorchester in London and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris.
A Legislation and a Backlash
Homosexuality was already unlawful in Brunei when the nation first introduced the brand new penalties for homosexual intercourse, adultery and theft — which embody amputation in addition to stoning — six years in the past. Worldwide outrage on the time, although, prompted the nation to delay them.
Related condemnation adopted the current announcement that Brunei would go forward with the legal guidelines, which took impact on Wednesday. Celebrities and Los Angeles officers referred to as for boycotts of the lodges, and college students at King’s Faculty London and Oxford have requested their universities to strip the sultan of honorary levels. America, Britain and different international locations additionally denounced the penalties.
Public strain is unlikely to persuade the sultan to vary his thoughts now, stated Francisco Bencosme, the Asia-Pacific advocacy supervisor for Amnesty Worldwide. “The extra worldwide outcry there’s, it makes the sultan look extra like he’s the defender of conservative Islam,” he stated.