Pop star Dua Lipa is the latest celebrity to condemn the atrocities of Brunei, after its government passed laws that prohibit the stoning of LGBTI people.
But in a tweet today (4 April) Lipa, too, has encouraged her followers to boycott Brunei-owned businesses.
Last month, Gay Star News broke the news that Brunei was quietly rushing to implement the Sharia Penal Code.
What did she say?
With the Twitter hastag ‘#BoycottBrunei’ gaining traction, Lipa jumped into the conversation.
‘Gay rights are human rights,’ she tweeted.
Gay rights are human rights. Boycott the the industries and the people that believe in inhumane anti LGBT+ laws. Taking a stand today and forever to show support. The fight is never over we’re only scratching the surface but we need to be louder than ever. #BoycottBrunei 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/hFkaa27KzD
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) April 4, 2019
‘Boycott the the industries and the people that believe in inhumane anti LGBT+ laws. Taking a stand today and forever to show support.
‘The fight is never over we’re only scratching the surface but we need to be louder than ever.’
She paired her proclamation with a photo of her sneakers – complete with Pride flag rainbow on the sides – on top of a soundboard.
‘Thank you for always making me feel valid’
Hundreds of her fans flocked to show their support of Lipa.
One fan said: ‘Thank you for always making me feel valid and accepted since day one.’
Another was profusely thankful: ‘Thank you for speaking up about this!
‘We all know how busy you’ve been but the fact you took the time to voice important issues means a lot.’
Similarly, a fan said: ‘Thank you for always speaking up about important issues and fighting for what’s right.’
Dua Lipa: Gold star ally
Lipa has been a long-term ally of the LGBTI community.
Notably, she cried onstage after security dragged Pride flag-waving fans from her concert in Shanghai, China.
While homosexuality is not illegal in China, the government has banned any homosexual content online or on film and television.
Why should we boycott Brunei?
Back in 2014, the Sultan of Brunei – the nation’s leader – announced the Brunei governmental bloc would implement the Sharia Penal Code.
The Bruneian Attorney General’s Chambers website officially posted plans to fast-track implementation of the SPC on 29 December 2018. It would legalize stoning and amputation as punishment for several crimes.
Brunei itself – a tiny, oil-rich patch of the island of Borneo – has only 430,000 people living there.
Yet, this in no way stopped the immense and continuing condemnation of their government.
While the UN denounced the laws as ‘inhuman’ and ‘draconian.’
The US State Department criticized the move, too, but stopped short of fully condemning the law.
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.
All a stark contrast to neighbouring Muslim-majority nations, such as Indonesia or Malaysia.
Things have been this way since 1962, when a left-leaning political party, Parti Rakyat Brunei, won local elections.
But the Sultan refused to recognize this, and the party staged a failed coup. As a result, Brunei has been under emergency rule, granting the Sultan full executive decision-making power.