While attitude against the LGBTQ community in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Myanmar has been negative, Brunei is planning to introduce new laws that would see LGBTQ people getting whipped or stoned to death for same-sex activity
The tiny sultanate is set to introduce new laws by the first week of April that could see LGBT people whipped or stoned to death for same-sex relations.
In Brunei, homosexuality is already illegal and punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. However, the new changes would see Brunei become the first Asian country to make homosexuality punishable by death, a Reuters report said.
The changes, under Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, would also apply to Muslims found guilty of adultery, sodomy and rape, according to human rights groups.
According to Matthew Woolfe, founder of human rights group The Brunei Project, the changes are expected to commence on 3 April
"We are trying to get pressure placed on the government of Brunei but realise there is a very short time frame until the laws take affect," he told Reuters.
Woolfe has called on governments to step up diplomatic pressure on Brunei.
"It took us by surprise that the government has now given a date and is rushing through implementation," the Australia-based campaigner added.
According to Woolfe, there had been no major public announcements on the implementation of the penal code changes aside from a statement on Brunei's Attorney-General's website late December which only came to light this week.
Reuters reported that Manila-based human rights groups ASEAN SOGIE Caucus and OutRight Action International, have both confirmed the implementation of the remaining changes in Brunei's sharia laws were due to take place on 3 April.
Meanwhile, Dede Oetomo, one of Indonesia's most prominent LGBTQ activists, was quoted by Reuters saying it would be a gross violation of international human rights if the changes went ahead
It is horrible. Brunei is imitating the most conservative Arab states.
Earlier this month, Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi reportedly told a German broadcaster that there were no homosexuals in Malaysia: