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Long slow descent into Hell

Sultan of Brunei

“With faith and gratitude to Allah the almighty, I declare that tomorrow, Thursday May 1, 2014, will see the enforcement of sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases,” the absolute monarch said in a royal decree Wednesday.

Brunei ruler says sharia penal code starts Thursday

Thus with a sweep of the absolute monarchs pen does a gradual descent into Hell begin for the Ruritanian sultanate. Over the next 3-years sharia law will be gradually introduced in phases:

  • Phase 1, Commencing on 1st May 2014 will introduce sharia punishments including fines or jail terms for offences ranging from indecent behaviour, failure to attend Friday prayers, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
  • Phase 2, Commencing in Late 2014 will cover crimes such as theft and robbery and include more stringent penalties such as severing of limbs and flogging.
  • Phase 3, Commencing in Late 2015 will cover more severe punishments punishments such as death by stoning for offences including sodomy and adultery.

The rationale behind this move has been stated as the Sultan’s deepening religious beliefs, but the reality has more to do with securing his throne against scandals such as the recent UK case against his brother Prince Jefri in which excesses, fraud and embezzlement were revealed, but also the recognition that the country’s oil and gas reserves won’t last forever.

The scope and operation of the new laws is still open to question, particularly whether it will apply to Brunei’s non-Muslim residents, which are a diverse collection of Chinese Buddhists, Christians and others representing about 23% of the total population.

The move is seen as significant in the region and has emboldened others, such as the Muslim dominated Kelantan state in Malaysia to attempt to introduce sharia locally (despite constitutional protections)

Map of Malaysia and Brunei

Map of Malaysia and Brunei – click to expand

Moves against this are already under way across Malaysia, led by the ethnic minority Chinese and Indian political leaders, but in the long-run, such moves may be doomed to failure given the federal structure of Malaysia and the concentration of Muslim’s in different parts of Malaysia.

For myself as a resident of Malaysia, this is a worrying development and significant enough that some of the newer members of my expat group in Penang are holding off on property investments unless there is a swift, firm and guaranteed rebuttal of this.

Constitutional guarantees (such as Article 3) are all very well, but the constitution can be amended and is subject to the vagaries and political/religious bias of the judges in the Federal Court of Malaysia (equivalent of the Supreme Court).

Equally, the court has been crushed under the heel of the executive before (in the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis) so unlikely to defy the determined will of the executive if push-comes-to-shove.


  1. Mr Ed says:

    Very worrying indeed JG, and for the 23% non-Muslim population, they are not large enough a segment of the population to fight back against a State, and too large a segment for the enthusiasts to allow the State to ignore.

    Let us hope that fracking reduces the oil wealth swiftly and perhaps Indonesia will simply absorb Brunei as the expats leave and the place collapses. Time for the UK to end the defence pact and for any remaining Gurkhas to leave.

    As for Malaysia, the madness will probably spread. Can some states secede and join a Confederacy with Singapore? The South has risen again, in a very different form. (just crowbarring in the slogan).

  2. Paul Marks says:

    Historically monarchies in the Islamic world have (generally) been moderating factors – limiting the Islamism of the population.

    This grim news is a reminder that this is not always so.

    If a bad man is monarch – the power of monarchy is turned to evil.

  3. John Galt says:

    perhaps Indonesia will simply absorb Brunei as the expats leave and the place collapses

    More likely that when the oil and gas runs out Brunei will become part of Malaysia along with neighbouring Sarawak (to the South) and Sabah (to the North). Indeed Brunei was originally part of the Malaysian Federation (predecessor to present-day Malaysia), but left after the 1962 revolt. Although as with back then it might lead to another Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation

    As for Malaysia, the madness will probably spread. Can some states secede and join a Confederacy with Singapore? The South has risen again, in a very different form. (just crowbarring in the slogan).

    Possibly. As you say, Singapore effectively seceded in 1965, but in that case neither party wanted the other. In the current circumstance the secession of Penang state would be the removal of Malaysia’s economic powerhouse. Although this might be replaced in time by other manufacturing centre’s elsewhere it would take decades and cost hundreds of billions of ringgit.

    The triple-lock preventing secession means that even if the majority of Penang residents wanted it, it could only be achieved with the agreement of the other states.

    The latin maxim “nemo dat quod non habet” is a legal principle that says you cannot confer property you do not own on another person except with the authority of the true owner or simply put – you cannot give what you do not have.

    This effectively is the position of Penang, they cannot confer independence on themselves as the property (Penang state) belongs not to them, but Malaysia as a whole.

    Any attempt at armed secession would be futile and brutally crushed.

  4. RAB says:

    In even more good news for us freedom lovers… Subway chain goes Halal. And I’m sure you noticed this one from last month…

  5. Mr Ed says:

    JG, yes my error, I was thinking of the Malaya ‘confrontation’ and Indonesian expansionism in the 1950s/1960s, but Brunei is ‘carved out’ of Malaysia not Indonesia. Shame on me, I even went to school with a former Brunei junior waterskiing champion. Perhaps Argentina will claim it, after all, it is (part of) a small island some way off their shores, and that seems to be sufficient basis for them to claim vast areas that want nothing to do with them. (Operation Blackbuck 1 took off 32 years ago tonight).

    As for the constitutional lock, yes, it looks as if the States are stitched in, but even on 6th July 1991, I had not imagined, on the 50th anniversary of Operation Groza, the aborted eastward attack by the Soviets, that the monstrous federation of slavery and death had but weeks to live.

  6. John Galt says:

    but Brunei is ‘carved out’ of Malaysia not Indonesia

    I wouldn’t say that, rather it is just a feature of the way the island of Borneo has been carved up since WWII when it was under combined control of the British as British North Borneo (Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak), with the rest of the island (Kalimantan) being under Dutch colonial administration.

    So in essence, what is now Malaysia grew up around Brunei rather the other way around, indeed at the height of the sultanate in the late 15th and early 16th centuries both Sarawak and Sabah were ruled by the sultan.

    Integrating Brunei back into East Malaysia would be something of a reunification if you will.

  7. Robert the Biker says:

    As I work in the Petrochemical field, this means another location scratched off my list of potential employers. Since Brunei like so many other places depends on its ex-pats to run nthe industry, I imagine the descent into Hell will be neither long nor slow but a distinct drop.

  8. John Galt says:

    More likely you’ll just get compoundisation like in Saudi where the oil companies will create their own gated expat communities with a nod-and-a-wink agreement that the police won’t enter unless called in by the oil company (after the hooch has been hidden and the ladies have returned to their own beds)

    Thus they will be officially “dry” unless someone wants to investigate the “non-alcoholic fruit punch” that everyone seems to have gallons of. One of the best bootleggers I know can produce a wonderful lemon flavoured vodka with no hangover – he learned his skills in a Saudi Arabian compound working as a sub-contractor for Aramco.

  9. XX a diverse collection of Chinese Buddhists, Christians and others representing about 23% of the total population. XX

    That should mean that the country bends over backwards to support them, after all, with only an “official” average of less than 10% in the West, moslems can demand the moon, and GET it.

  10. Mr Ed says:

    JG Hence ‘carved out’ in ” as it is not cut out like a cake, but looking on a map, it might upset those with ‘neatness’ in mind who abhor irregular lines on maps, and untidy things, like Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau, a perfect two-state solution between the Netherlands and Belgium.

    I am sure that many in East Malaysia look at the map with envy and hatred of the wealth and (till midnight) relative freedom over those lines on the map.

  11. Mr Ed says:

    On the hooch point, I once bought a bottle of Portuguese fig aguardente (fire water) for a boozy friend. This stuff was rough, and in the mid-1980s only 200 escudoes (90 pence) a 750 cl bottle, or 5 escudos (around 2 p) a shot.

    He said it was wonderful, it reminded him of the hooch he got in the late 1970s in Saudi Arabia.

  12. Tim Newman says:

    The oilfield camps in Brunei are already officially dry. Which means everyone drinks like fish, but officially, there is no booze AFAIK.

  13. John Galt says:

    officially, there is no booze

    I’ve worked in the oil business since 2001.

    No booze. :-)

    Yeah – right. No water either I suppose. :-)

  14. NickM says:

    Fuck ‘em as far as I’m concerned. How many UK/US soldiers were killed and maimed in Iraq to enable them to allow pre-teen marriage? We should have just dropped the mouldering corpse of Jimmy Saville on the fuckers.

  15. John Galt says:

    We should have just dropped the mouldering corpse of Jimmy Saville on the fuckers.

    Ooo! he been reasurected, charged, tried before a jury of his peers, imprisoned and died again then? must have missed that one :-|

  16. Mr Ed says:

    There’s only one ‘l’ in ‘Jimmy Savile’, the other ‘l’ is being made on Earth.

  17. NickM says:

    Give me a break. JS was guilty as sin (or a heck of a lot of unrelated folk are telling the pies most porkulent). So JG, I think that is fair comment. Do you seriously believe JG that JS was not a serial paedophile? Jim’ll Fix It! Jim’ll fuck it more like if it walked or crawled on skittering claws. I suspect this is a Leeds thing (cf Yorkshire Ripper). I hate Leeds. I once lived there and it was shite. It was stacked to Amazon warehouse level with cunts, bastards and fuckers. I once had a pizza stolen from my hands by Dickensian spawn. They dispersed into the maze that is the “Little London” housing estate. My local pub was run by a twat who had been dishonourably discharged from the Army catering corps for beating someone almost to death with a “For Sale” sign from a house. My girlfriend was assaulted by kids on tricycles who rammed her ankles out of sheer badness. Porn grew under bushes. It was underclass hell. At one point in an earlier home. Now this was a back-to-back so the yard was to the side (through the back adjoining wall we could hear the “domestics” which sounded like the apocalypse in pannage. But back to the side yard…There was a stock of shite there you wouldn’t believe. The kids once piled it against the house and constructed a sort of ziggurat of junk and climbed up in order to break in. This failed so they torched it and we had the Fire Brigade round.

    JS lived in Leeds.- and not far away. Forgive me if I am jaundiced but bear in mind that is only a fraction of the shite that happened.

  18. John Galt says:

    While your views on Leeds are understandable, your linking it to Jimmy Savile’s behaviour is irrational. Equally, I’ve no doubt that he was a weird fucker, but last time I checked that wasn’t a crime.

    Retired solicitor Anna Nicholas over at Anna Raccoon has some connection to this as she was an inmate at Duncroft and has been gradually and systematically debunking these allegations one-by-one and has discovered forged letters, accounts that don’t tie with known and easily provable facts, etc., etc.

    There maybe some truth somewhere in these allegations, but if there is the police haven’t discovered it. All they’ve discovered is lots of poor, sometimes desperate women, who think they can tell a tale of woe and get a bit of attention and compensation. They can’t exactly be called out-and-out liars because the accused is dead and the police are riddled with an irrational culture of victimology that would have Peel spinning in his grave.

    The fantasy that Jimmy Savile is the worst paedophile we’ve ever had, with hundreds or even thousands of victims over a period of decades, but was never charged because of police corruption or incompetence is ludicrous.

    He seems to be no more guilty than the other Top of the Pops DJ’s who indulged in a bit of slap-and-tickle in the 60′s and 70′s. I am not condoning this, but simply acknowledging that it happened and was commonplace.

    The main complainant (Karin Ward) is still pushing her line of bullshit even though she’s already been caught out time-and-again because so much of her allegations have been proven to be demonstrably false as well as requiring vast numbers of performers and BBC staff to “see and not speak”.

    Quite simply Nick, I find the blind credence of the MSM and the public at large to these events both depressing and familiar – its the same sort of hysteria as the Ritual Child Abuse nonsense of the 1980′s which were all proven to be bullshit, but only after families and lives were destroyed.

    List of UK satanic ritual abuse allegations

    Cleveland child abuse scandal

    In short, Nick, you’re falling for a classic “moral panic” and the bandwaggon is fully-loaded and on a roll. Time to ignore the MSM headlines, read the facts and apply a bit of critical thinking.

    Exclusive – The Origins of Savilisation – Part One

    Exclusive – The Origins of Savilisation – Part Two

    Exclusive – The Origins of Savilisation – Part Three

    Exclusive – The Origins of Savilisation – Part Four

  19. Paul Marks says:

    The area around the Royal Armoury museum (the canal and the church) is very nice. As is the museum itself (new events are put on there every day – which stops the staff getting bored, and means that each visit is a new experience).

    But do not think much of the rest of Leeds.

  20. NickM says:

    Paul, Leeds has some fine Victorian arcades. Most of course were ripped out as they were in Newcastle. Yes, T Dan Smith and all that. Replaced by a God-awful shopping centre. Leeds though was also cut-up badly by urban motorways.

    JG, Yeah, OK, I know… Leeds = JS is a silly equation and I apologise but they fit together in my mind in terms of the Leedsite mindset I encountered. You just don’t get that level of cussed bastardy anywhere else (apart from possibly Siloth). Actually Siloth is on a plane of it’s own. From the condemned bandstand to the piss-poor “kite festival” to the pubs that had signs saying, basically,, “eff off”. But Leeds is on a different scale.

    OK, JS was an oddball and no that should not be against the law. But the evidence against JS is overwhelming. Even his family don’t deny it. You bring up one case via Anna and that proves nowt. No serial predator is like that all the time.

    It is not far from the “Chewbacca defence”.

    I will admit the Cleveland and Orkney cases are very disturbing and do hint at the prospect of Salem but… Just because those appalling miscarriages of justice (and I know the Cleveland one well because I’m from the NE and it was all over the press and TV for ages). But because x and y ain’t true don’t mean z isn’t. Perhaps a better example for your case (also NE) would be the alleged sexual molestation of Freddie the Dolphin. Me and my brother almost died not laughing at each other when that came on the lunch-time news. Freddie had allegedly been sexually assaulted near Amble Harbour by a conservationist who objected to boats full of tourists going out too close and bumping into him. Fair enough. But his opponent (who was making a pile from such boat trips) smeared him with the accusation of sexual activity with the critter. There was a shit-storm in the NE over it. When Wendy Gibson broke the news on the telly my brother and I were having lunch with my Gran and we subdued our giggling even unto my Gran ejaculating, “Eee! Even the fishes of the sea aren’t safe!” That was something else.

    It was of course nonsense. Freddie and I have been in a long-term relationship for many years and we are currently petitioning the ECHR to obtain a civil marriage consummated with a nice bit of halibut. Good enough for Jehovah.

    But, JS was guilty as sin. As to the whole process of Yewtree… That’s a different matter Bill Roache and that Tory MP (and a few others no doubt) who basically don’t have anything to answer and if dragged to court are there utterly ridiculously well that’s different. As to the Tory some of the prosecution witnesses didn’t want to be there. Gawd help us all!

  21. John Galt says:

    JG, Yeah, OK, I know… Leeds = JS is a silly equation and I apologise but they fit together in my mind in terms of the Leedsite mindset I encountered.

    No apology required, we all have our touch-points and clearly this is yours. I haven’t lived in Leeds since I left Armley (the district rather than the gaol) in 1993, so feel unqualified to speak, but it was at best a rather tired collection of Victorian terraces populated by working class folk where kids played football in the streets. Neither Downton Abbey nor a Clockwork Orange, just life I guess.

    But the evidence against JS is overwhelming. Even his family don’t deny it. You bring up one case via Anna and that proves nowt. No serial predator is like that all the time.

    So, that makes “trial by media” acceptable does it? I’ve yet to hear a single, compelling and demonstrably verifiable accusation against Jimmy Savile, all I’ve heard is scandal and gossip and as the Yewtree cases have shown (Max Clifford excepted), the juries ain’t buying it either.

    If you have a case for the prosecution, I’m happy to hear it, but I will condemn no man, not even a weird fucker like Jimmy Savile, without compelling and demonstrable evidence against him.

    Alice More: Arrest him!
    More: Why, what has he done?
    Margaret More: He’s bad!
    More: There is no law against that.
    Will Roper: There is! God’s law!
    More: Then God can arrest him.
    Alice: While you talk, he’s gone!
    More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
    Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man’s laws, not God’s– and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

    A Man for All Seasons

  22. Paul Marks says:

    Nick I do not doubt that Leeds in (say) 1914 was a wonderful looking city. And not so much fog to mix with the coal smoke – unlike London.

    London (before the modern era) would have killed me quite quickly.

    Oddly enough the most prosperous cities on Earth a century ago were probably in Upstate New York – places such as Buffalo.

    People doubt that the cities of the Roman Empire could decline in population (dramatically) BEFORE they were conquered – but it people look at many cities in the United States (including those of upstate New York) they can see that a population collapse without any external cause is quite possible.

    By the census of 2020 (if it is held) many of the cities of America will be “returning to nature” (at least the Greens will be plased).

    Although I suspect that ugly Houston (which still has a manufacturing and trading base) will still be chugging along.

  23. John Galt says:

    Having driven through Detroit on my way to Dearborn, MI – it was like driving through Beirut with fire damaged, crumbling and decaying buildings everywhere and this was 17 years ago. It’s got a lot worse since, but the vultures are still picking the last scraps of flesh off the carcass

    Hopefully the bankruptcy will annul the cities union contracts so that some remnant can be saved, but the vast majority should just be bulldozed and the earth cleared. A ghost city serves no-one except the criminals, junkies and drug dealers.

    They should wipe the slate clean.

  24. Paul Marks says:

    Sir – there is an assumption that there will be someone to wipe the slate clean.

    Sadly many States (and the FEDERAL government) are really on the same road as the cities.

    That is the other shoe – and it will drop.

  25. Mr Ed says:

    Nick you are right that Leeds has a serious problem with its underclass, however, re Sir James Savile, he was never convicted of anything, and in this day and Age when people call the police to arrest street preachers, the only thing that I can personally ‘blame’ him for is an asthma attack as a result of hearing a prank text to BBC Radio Ulster, and even then, my attribution of blame should fail any remoteness of loss test.

  26. John Galt says:

    Interesting viewpoint from a professor of Law indicates that there may be implicit constitutional hurdles as well as the explicit ones.

    For example, if the State law on crime is made applicable only to Muslims and two thieves, one a Muslim and the other a non-Muslim, on conviction receive radically different penalties, is this not a flagrant violation of the rule of equality before the law under Article 8?

    Article 8 forbids differentiation between persons on the ground of religion “except as expressly authorised by this Constitution”. There is an exception in Article 8(5) in relation to personal law. “This Article does not invalidate or prohibit any provision regulating personal law”.

    Matters of theft, robbery, rape, incest and homosexuality are by no stretch of imagination matters of personal law. This means that it is arguable that our Constitution does not permit two thieves, similarly situated, to be treated differently for purposes of the law relating to punishment

    Shad Faruqi, Emeritus Professor of Law

  27. Mr Ed says:

    The Lefties in Hollywood have started to take note of this.

  28. Well Jay Leno is what Hollywood thinks of as a an evil black hearted reactionary Mr Ed (hence his being forced out by NBC – in spite of very high ratings) – but they are all making the same mistake.

    It is the mistake that Mr Blair and Mr Bush made – they (the crowd in Hollywood) think this is a problem with a few bad people (in this case – the “Sultan”). It is not. The problem is Islam – as a belief system. If Brunei was a democracy it would not be better – indeed it would most likely already have Islamic law.

  29. Mr Ed says:

    Meanwhile, socialism seems to be waxing in Syria, as Homs is being evacuated.

  30. To be fair I doubt that baby Assad (and co) is really socialist. He is a mixed economy welfarist – but then so is Mr Cameron (and even Mr Farage – come to that). Of course Assad is also a ruthless supporter of his own “community” (i.e. religious sect) – just like the other side are.

    Which are the good guys? Errr – neither side.

    A friend of mine in Israel really wants to visit the Crusader castles in Syria – but, like Nick’s desire to visit Egypt, I believe it is a very bad idea.

  31. Mr Ed says:

    Yes, but I’d tend to believe Mr Assad more than Mr Cameron were he to promise, say, a referendum.

    I’m not discounting taqqiya or that Mr Assad would be likely to kill me were I to annoy him.

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