On Tuesday, I was greeted by a familiar face when I read through the morning’s news: the sultan of Brunei. He looks older now than when I knew him, of course, his face doughier and more careworn.
When I was still a teenager, I was the mistress of the sultan’s brother, the prince of Brunei. My usual stance is that they weren’t bad guys, really. Just human and impossibly rich. I have often wondered what I would have done in their place, given all the power and money in the world. I’ve never come up with a satisfactory answer.
Now the sultan is making headlines for implementing Sharia law in Brunei, including a new penal code that includes stoning to death for adultery, cutting off limbs for theft, and flogging for violations such as abortion, alcohol consumption, and homosexuality. There’s also capital punishment for rape and sodomy.