Kuala Lumpur - Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Wednesday announced the implementation starting May 1 of a Sharia-based penal code, which includes punishments such as amputations and death for certain crimes.
The sultan made the announcement during a ceremony in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan, according to the Brunei Times.
It said the first phase of the implementation would only cover general offences determined by the state, including not performing Friday prayers.
The general offences are punishable by fines, imprisonment or both.
Corporal punishment such as whipping and amputation for crimes such as theft will be enforced in the second phase. The death penalty will come into force in the third phase, the report said.
Brunei is a tiny oil-rich South-East Asian sultanate with about400,000 people, about 67 per cent of whom are Muslims.