Brunei. According to Countryaah, Brunei will introduce sharia laws in 2014, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced in October. The new laws can mean the death penalty through stoning for infidelity, amputation of a hand for theft and punishment for anyone who has drunk alcohol or performed an abortion. The Sultan, who for many years prepared the new legislation, said Sharia law should be seen as a “special guidance” of God. The Shari’a laws are to be phased in in spring 2014. They only apply to the country’s Muslims, who make up two-thirds of the population. With the new laws, the Sultan wants to strengthen the influence of Islam in society. In the past, he has made mandatory religious education for Muslim children and that companies should stay closed during Friday prayers.
Brunei has harsher alcohol laws than the Muslim neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia. The sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Criminal punishment already exists in Brunei’s secular laws regarding immigration crimes. Alongside the civil courts, there have already been sharia courts, but so far they have only addressed civil law issues relating to inheritance and divorce.