Recent reports that the Sultan of Brunei has made a bid for the Plaza Hotel and the Dream Hotel in New York and the Grosvenor House hotel in London are not true, a spokesperson is reported saying in a Reuters article.
“Neither His Majesty, the Brunei Investment Agency, nor the government of Brunei are involved in any way in the purchase of the Grosvenor House in London or the Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels in New York,” a spokesman at Bell Pottinger, acting on behalf of the Sultan of Brunei, wrote in an email.
Why do I mention a business story in a blog that focuses mainly on human rights issues? Well, as many readers know, some of the hotels currently owned by the Sultan through his investment agency — i.e. the famed Beverly Hills Hotel — have been boycotted by celebrities and others because Brunei has adopted draconian sharia law that calls for gay people and adulterers to be sentenced to death by stoning.
I thought it was rather odd last week when I read reports saying the Sultan had made a bid for the New York and London hotels, considering the potential for more boycotts and protest just as the current boycott in Beverly Hills seems to be fading. (See Aug. 14 report on Hollywood Reporter site called Beverly Hills Hotel Booked Despite Boycott.)
As for the nation of Brunei, I haven’t heard of any actual stonings occurring there — yet.