Beverly Hills City Council Considering Asking Brunei Government ‘to Divest Itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel’

The Sultan of Brunei controls the agency that owns the Dorchester Collection, which owns the historic hotel on Sunset Blvd.

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 10:05 AM

As Hollywood opposition to the Beverly Hills Hotel mounts in light of a new anti-human rights law passed in Brunei last week, the Beverly Hills City Council is considering asking “the government of Brunei to divest itself of” the Los Angeles landmark.

Mayor Lili Bosse is bringing the matter before her colleagues at a meeting Tuesday night to discuss action after the hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, introduced strict Islamic penalties on Muslim citizens for offenses including not performing Friday prayers, becoming pregnant out of wedlock, propagating other religions and indecent behavior. Further phases of the Islamic law will subject adulterers and gay people to stoning, flogging and amputation.

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“Mayor Bosse has requested that the City Council approve a resolution condemning the government of Brunei’s laws that impose harsh penalties, including death by stoning for homosexuality and other behaviors,” a written introduction to the meeting’s agenda reads. “This resolution encourages the government of Brunei to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel.”

Hassanal Bolkiah, the leader of the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei, controls the Brunei Investment Agency, which owns the Dorchester Collection, the company that runs the Beverly Hills Hotel, as well as the Hotel Bel-Air.

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“Dorchester Collection abides by the laws of the countries we operate in,” Dochester’s statement to the press reads. “The hotels in our collection are governed by Dorchester Collection’s Code, endorsed by the company’s ownership, which emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.”

The City Council resolution, filed by  deputy city manager for public affairs, Cheryl Friedling, emphasizes that any action the city takes should not reflect poorly on the hotel management or staff.

“While recognizing that the Dorchester Collection, the Beverly Hills Hotel’s owner, is affiliated with the government of Brunei, the City of Beverly Hills has a productive and positive relationship with the hotel that goes back more than 100 years. The laws in Brunei do not affect the operation of the Beverly Hills Hotel and are no reflection on the hotel’s management and staff,” the resolution reads. “The City’s actions are intended to contribute to local and international outrage and help reverse policies and laws in Brunei that do not uphold international human rights.”


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