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Demonstrators set to descend Brunei-owned hotel in Brisbane

Demonstrators set to descend Brunei-owned hotel in Brisbane

Hassanal_Bolkiah

The latest in an increasing line of boycotted Brunei-owned businesses, demonstrators will descend on a hotel in Brisbane this week.

Outraged LGBTI people and allies will show up in full force to protest the Royal on the Park Hotel on 13 April.

The hotel is reportedly owned by the current Sultan of Brunei who has been globally condemned for introducing the death penalty for LGBTI people.

What’s going to happen?

In the first large-scale rally in Australia to oppose the sultanate’s baneful legislation, protesters are set to gather at the City Botanic Gardens at 1pm.

Across the street is the hotel on 152 Alice Street.

High-profile speakers will join protesters to pressure the Sultan’s business’ interests. To prioritize LGBTI people, not only as prospective customers, but as people.

More info about the protest can be found here.

‘What we can do, we should do’

Organizer Bill Rutkin OAM said it was vital Australian citizens do all they can do stop the slaughter of innocent people.

‘Brunei is a country in our region, and a member of the Commonwealth, so it’s entirely appropriate that we take action,’ said Rutkin.

‘Arguably, the average Australian can’t do much about this issue – but what we can do, we should do.

‘Boycotting this hotel and having a protest is something we can do.

‘The corrupt regime in Brunei is perverting the holiness and the sanctity of religion for their own vile political purposes. We must do all we can to stop it.’

As of today (9 April) just over 140 people have showed their interest in attending.

Adding their voice

Just last week, demonstrators descended to the Dorchester Hotel in London to denounce the Sultan-owned business.

Meanwhile, Australian travel agency STA Travel and Virgin Australia severed ties with the country’s national air carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines.

Similarly, London train network TfL did the same after ads for the airline were spotted by commuters.

Moreover, high-profile celebrities – from George Clooney to Dua Lipa – have spoken bluntly of their decisions to boycott all Brunei-owned hotel businesses.

While the UN denounced the laws as ‘inhuman’ and ‘draconian.’

Background of Brunei

Rulers of Brunei have long enforced strictly traditional interpretations of Islamic teachings. The country, in Southeast Asia, operates under an absolute monarchy.

In other words, the head of state, the Sultan of Brunei, is also head of government. Royalty and lawmaking are one the same.

For example, under the current 51-year-long monarch Hassanal Bolkiah, the country banned alcohol and forbade the proliferation of non-Islamic faiths.

Sharia Penal Code: In three stages

Back in 2014, Bolkiah announced the Brunei governmental bloc would implement the Sharia Penal Code in three stages.

The first stage of legal reforms was no struggle to lawmakers, but its second and third stages experienced holdups.

However, the Bruneian Attorney General’s Chambers website officially posted plans to fast-track implementation of the SPC on 29 December 2018.