Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The problem with Western Media and Brunei.

Brunei has been in the spotlight lately when it's ruler, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, introduced Huhud laws into his country.

Perhaps before we go stoning (no pun intended) the Sultan's intentions, I've reproduced (with permission from the author) a sensible write-up in my humble opinion for us to ponder.

The problem with Western Media and Brunei. 
So Brunei implements Sharia law. A Muslim country in the South China Sea finally decides to establish laws based on Islam, their state religion, practised by the majority of inhabitants, and the West are slandering the Sultan and his government with the idea that Sharia law removes the rights of homosexuals and adulterous people, and that capital punishment by stoning, lashing and caning is a flagrant disregard to human rights. It has come to the extent where public celebrities from the West are organising boycotts of the Sultan's properties and hotelier businesses for his undeniable right, to implement a sovereign act on his own people which, quite interestingly, the Western media didn't report, that most Bruneians welcome. 
It is hypocritical of the West to criticise a small country in the South China Sea, one which they rarely visit, for criminalising homosexuality and coercing fellow Westerners to boycott Brunei, when other Asian countries, like Singapore and Malaysia also do the same. Yet, these celebrities, perhaps, frequenting these countries more often, do not care as much to boycott Singapore and Malaysian businesses. 
In fact, Sharia law is implemented in full in touristy countries like the Maldives, and the increasingly expat friendly Qatar. 
Moreover, Sharia law is established in countries which the West invaded and left to rebuild itself, like Iraq and Afghanistan. Interesting that Hamid Karzai and Talabani were not chastised by these Western celebrities for their implementation of Sharia law. 
What else did the Western Media not report? 
Well, the fact that the Brunei government provides free education to all her citizens regardless of their religion, from kindergarten all the way to university.
The fact that all newly weds are gifted with a government sponsored house.
The fact that through sheer genius, Brunei pegs its currency to Singapore, giving them purchasing power that is 4x better than Singaporeans because they have a cost of living that is 2x better than Malaysia.
The fact that medical care is free.
The fact that access to contraception is easy.
The fact that treatment for STD and HIV is accessible and easy and performed without prejudice.
The fact that women are more educated than men.
The fact that women face no prejudice in the workforce.
The fact that 20% of senior management is held by women.
The fact that sexual harassment is punishable with jail time.
The fact that rape victims are not punished and will not be punished under Sharia law.
The fact that all reports of rape are actively being pursued by the police and investigated with prudence and justice.
The fact that Brunei is extremely sensitive to corruption and has an anti-corruption bureau successful in eradicating minor and major corruption. 
Brunei is an Islamic country. It has for some time limited Sharia only to family and personal status. But has decided to completely implement Sharia law with the same rigour and justice it has always exercised under Common Law. 
Brunei has provided for her people the best of life. And here, the West who has been struggling to provide debt-free education, free healthcare and zero-prejudice for women, is criticising this small Asian country on how Brunei should treat her citizens.