BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei - Non-Muslims are allowed to drink alcohol in hotel rooms under the new law, on the condition that there are no Muslims present.
According to Hj Hardifadillah Hj Mohd Salleh, special grade officer of Syariah law, it is permissible for non-Muslims to consume alcohol in hotel rooms as such places are deemed private. Under the soon-to-be enforced Syariah Penal Code Order, it is an offence for non-Muslims to drink alcohol in public.
Section 104 (5) states that any non-Muslim who drinks liquor or any intoxicating drink in public could face a maximum fine of $8,000 (S$8,000), imprisonment for up to two years or both.
However, non-Muslims can only drink alcohol in hotel rooms provided there are no Muslims present. "So when you consume alcohol, make sure there are no Muslims in your hotel room," said Hj Hardifadillah.
He explained that drinking alcohol in the presence of Muslims is considered a crime for non-Muslims under Section 104 (6).
It states that any non-Muslim who sells, advertises, serves, offers, gives as present or exhibits any liquor or intoxicating drink to a Muslim is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $8,000, imprisonment for up to two years or both.
Under the new law that will be enforced on April 22, a person who consumes drinks or food into which liquor or any intoxicating drink has been mixed or added is said to consume liquor any intoxicating drink.
Non-Muslims over 17 years of age can import two bottles of liquor (approximately two litres) and 330ml of beer (approximately 12 cans) through permits issued by the Royal Customs and Excise Department at the Ministry of Finance.
Import permits for liquor and intoxicating drinks can be obtained from any customs control posts or customs branches of passenger ships.