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Brunei’s draconian new penal code comes into force | The ThaigerBrunei’s draconian new penal code comes into force | The Thaiger

Southeast Asia

Brunei’s draconian new penal code comes into force

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Kritsada Mueanhawong

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PHOTOS: Beverly Hills Hotel, just one of many hotels partly owned by the Brunei royal family

Outrage greets Brunei’s anti-gay laws and draconian punishments as they come into force.

The harsh new criminal laws in Brunei, including death by stoning for sex between men or for adultery, and amputation of limbs for theft, is now in effect.

Despite an international outcry from other countries, rights groups, celebrities, and students, Brunei’s 72 year old Sultan appears determined to drag his small ASEAN monarchy back into the dark ages.

The country is on the island of Borneo and bases its new penal code on Shariah, Islamic law based on the Quran and other writings, though interpretations of Shariah can vary widely in different countries adopting Shariah around the world. The country only has 420,000 citizens.

Human Rights Watch called the new penal code “barbaric to the core,” and celebrities and Los Angeles officials have called for a boycott of nine hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei — three in the UK, and two each in France, Italy and the U.S.

Celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, George Clooney and Elton John say they are boycotting Brunei-owned hotels over the country’s implementation of the harsh new criminal sentences.

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Crime

Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines

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Kanchanaburi police officer’s twin sons arrested for trafficking methamphetamines | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon News

Twin sons of a Thai police officer have been arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, according to Thai-language daily Matichon. The arrests were made yesterday.

Thai army and border patrol Police stopped a car driven by the two 20 year old twins at a routine checkpoint in western Thailand. A routine search of the vehicle uncovered 2,000 methamphetamine tables in 4 separate containers.

The twins told police that a Burmese person told him to fetch the drugs from the Phaya Tongsoo Village in Myanmar, just across the border from the Sangkhlaburi district in Kanchanburi A Burmese man later took one of the twins across the border to a temple, where he received 2,000 methamphetamine pills.

The father of the twins is a Thai police officer who had served in Sangkhla Buri and Thong Phapoom districts in Kanchanaburi. He is now working at the Office of Police Region 9, accord to Matichon News.

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Thailand

Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty

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Migrant workers risk losing their legal status, the Cabinet to extend work permit amnesty | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Frontier Myanmar

Over 1.7 million migrant workers in Thailand are going to lose their legal working status because they can’t submit work permit renewal and a health certificate with Covid-19 test results in time. The Labour Ministry then proposes the cabinet will extend the registration period (amnesty) for migrant workers to help maintain their legal status. Migrant workers, including those illegal and unemployed workers, are required to register with authorities via the ministry’s website from January 15 until February 13.

According to the Labour Minister, every migrant worker to renew their work permit must receive a Covid-19 test at hospitals designated by the Public Health Ministry. The Department of Medical Sciences will be responsible for the testing costs.

Illegal and unemployed workers, who registered with the Ministry, will be allowed to stay in the Kingdom for 2 years without penalties. Only those migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are allowed to overstay their current visas, but are required to register with the provincial employment office in the area they work, as part of the amnesty.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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