Brunei caning astonishes business world

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Brunei caning
Caning in Brunei (2003)

By sentencing two foreign workers of Thai nationality to “strokes of the cane” for overstaying their visa and work permit, Brunei has caused disconcertment across the ASEAN business community for such ‘medieval practices’, as an observer put it.

State-controlled Brunei newspaper Borneo Bulletin reported on May 24 that three Thai nationals – two men and one woman – were sentenced to jail, and the men will receive three strokes of the cane each. The sentence was passed down on May 23 by the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrate’s Court after all defendants pleaded guilty to overstaying in the country.

In addition, one man was sentenced to six months in prison, the other to three months. The woman will not be whipped, but was sentenced to three months and a week in prison.

Web threads in Thailand were full of criticism towards Brunei to hold up practices of punishment for which it repeatedly has been slammed by global watchdogs such as Amnesty International and, lately, by the human rights report of the US State Department issued in April 2013.

Rattan_cane“Ah, the joys of being part of a unified ASEAN,” one web poster said.

“This is ‘encouraging’ for everyone who wants to do business with Brunei and send his workforce there. I really wish they would rethink such practices which cause nothing but a storm of indignation.”

“Brunei is a member of the United Nations, so this organisation should enforce Brunei’s government to change its law in according with international conventions, which Brunei signed too,” another one mentioned.

“Barbaric… there is no justification for physical abuse like this, a fine or deportation yes, but to have the right to abuse anyone is outright disgusting and I hope the Thai Government will make an official complaint to Brunei,” a Thai businessman voiced his concern.

“Brunei tries to place itself on the map of ASEAN as a modern country that wants to lure investors with a business-friendly environment. With such actions I believe the government will not score high on the global FDI list,” another poster said.

“Is this how the richest country in ASEAN has to keep up law and order in the third millennium?” another one argued.

However, some mentioned that caning is part of lawful punishment in Malaysia and Singapore as well.

In Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, healthy males under 50 years of age can be sentenced to a maximum of 24 strokes of the rattan cane on the bare buttocks; the punishment is mandatory for many offences, mostly violent or drug crimes, but also immigration violations, sexual offences and (in Singapore) acts of vandalism offenses against military discipline. The punishment is applied to foreigners and locals alike.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Caning in Brunei (2003)

By sentencing two foreign workers of Thai nationality to “strokes of the cane” for overstaying their visa and work permit, Brunei has caused disconcertment across the ASEAN business community for such ‘medieval practices’, as an observer put it.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Brunei caning
Caning in Brunei (2003)

By sentencing two foreign workers of Thai nationality to “strokes of the cane” for overstaying their visa and work permit, Brunei has caused disconcertment across the ASEAN business community for such ‘medieval practices’, as an observer put it.

State-controlled Brunei newspaper Borneo Bulletin reported on May 24 that three Thai nationals – two men and one woman – were sentenced to jail, and the men will receive three strokes of the cane each. The sentence was passed down on May 23 by the Bandar Seri Begawan Magistrate’s Court after all defendants pleaded guilty to overstaying in the country.

In addition, one man was sentenced to six months in prison, the other to three months. The woman will not be whipped, but was sentenced to three months and a week in prison.

Web threads in Thailand were full of criticism towards Brunei to hold up practices of punishment for which it repeatedly has been slammed by global watchdogs such as Amnesty International and, lately, by the human rights report of the US State Department issued in April 2013.

Rattan_cane“Ah, the joys of being part of a unified ASEAN,” one web poster said.

“This is ‘encouraging’ for everyone who wants to do business with Brunei and send his workforce there. I really wish they would rethink such practices which cause nothing but a storm of indignation.”

“Brunei is a member of the United Nations, so this organisation should enforce Brunei’s government to change its law in according with international conventions, which Brunei signed too,” another one mentioned.

“Barbaric… there is no justification for physical abuse like this, a fine or deportation yes, but to have the right to abuse anyone is outright disgusting and I hope the Thai Government will make an official complaint to Brunei,” a Thai businessman voiced his concern.

“Brunei tries to place itself on the map of ASEAN as a modern country that wants to lure investors with a business-friendly environment. With such actions I believe the government will not score high on the global FDI list,” another poster said.

“Is this how the richest country in ASEAN has to keep up law and order in the third millennium?” another one argued.

However, some mentioned that caning is part of lawful punishment in Malaysia and Singapore as well.

In Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, healthy males under 50 years of age can be sentenced to a maximum of 24 strokes of the rattan cane on the bare buttocks; the punishment is mandatory for many offences, mostly violent or drug crimes, but also immigration violations, sexual offences and (in Singapore) acts of vandalism offenses against military discipline. The punishment is applied to foreigners and locals alike.

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