Sultan of Brunei denies $2B bid for New York, London hotels
Reports of possible acquisition had human rights activists on high alert
Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah denied Monday that he made a bid for New York’s Plaza Hotel, Dream Hotel and London’s Grosvenor House hotel.
“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 spokesperson for the Sultan of Brunei told Reuters.
The Sultan, who already owns the Beverly Hills Hotel, faced a backlash from human rights groups and celebrities displeased with a recently implemented penal code in Brunei that authorizes corporal punishments — including flogging and stoning — and criminalizes offenses such as adultery and same-sex relationships, according to previous reports. [Reuters] — Julie Strickland