World Bulletin / News Desk
Brunei will enforce sharia criminal law next year, the Islamic kingdom's sultan announced on Tuesday.
The law would be enforced from April, said the 67-year-old sovereign, Hassanal Bolkiah.
"It is because of our need that Allah the Almighty, in all his generosity, has created laws for us, so that we can utilise them to obtain justice," said the sultan, who also holds the post of prime minister.
The tiny kingdom, which has Southeast Asia's highest per-capita income after Singapore, has been preparing to introduce the sharia penal code for years.
In the past, the sultan has said that sharia criminal law should be established to work alongside the country's civil law more prominently.
Brunei, which neighbours two Malaysian states on Borneo island and has a population of just over 400,000, already enforces Islamic teachings more sternly than Malaysia and Indonesia, the other majority Muslim countries in Southeast Asia. The sale of alcohol is banned and evangelism by other religions is strictly forbidden.
The sultan added that the government's overall policies would not be affected by the legal change, in a possible nod to foreign investors.Last Mod: 22 Ekim 2013, 16:23