Brunei's Sultan announces that syariah penal code will start on Thursday

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AFP) - The Sultan of Brunei announced on Wednesday that a controversial new penal code featuring Islamic criminal punishments would be phased in beginning on Thursday.

"Today... I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that tomorrow, Thursday May 1, 2014, will see the enforcement of syariah law phase one, to be followed by the other phases," Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said in a speech.