'Reprehensible' for Royal family to 'collude' with Brunei

Prince Charles and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The British government and the Royal family have been accused of “colluding” with the oppression of LGBT people in Brunei.

The south east Asian kingdom is due to impose death by stoning as a punishment for gay sex and adultery as part of its adoption of Sharia law.

Brunei’s sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, has received numerous honours from the British state, including the rank of honorary Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright, LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell said it was “reprehensible” that the state had honoured Mr Bolkiah.

“It’s totally reprehensible that the British government and the Royal family have colluded with a dictator who persecutes his own people,” Mr Tatchell said.

“It’s all about money, because we sell weapons to Brunei, we do trade with Brunei, Brunei is a major oil producer, lots of the things that Brunei has we want and that is why the British government is putting trade before human rights.

“This is the sordid nature of our relations with so many tyrannies around the world, we put making money before the human rights of the people there and that is so, so wrong.”

As a Commonwealth member, the Kingdom of Brunei is a signatory of the Commonwealth Charter, which pledges that member states are “implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination”.

Mr Tatchell said the proposed laws “quite clearly violate the charter” and called on the general secretary of the Commonwealth to condemn the kingdom’s move.

The kingdom's sultan is considered to be one of the wealthiest leaders in the world, with an estimated person wealth of $20bn. 

Brunei's Finance Ministry also owns a number of luxury hotels around the world, including London's Dorchester and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.