The Sultan Of Brunei is often called the "World's Biggest Car Collector," because, namely, he has a lot of cars. But Jay Leno hates him. And you should, too.
Jay showed up with his wife, Mavis, to a rally yesterday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, to protest a series of laws recently instituted by the Sultan.
The hotel is owned by the country's investment fund, which is directly controlled by the family of the ruling monarch.
The Sultan of Brunei, also known by his non-titular name, Hassanal Bolkiah, is the ruling monarch and absolute dictator of the country that goes along with his title.
Longtime readers of Jalopnik should probably know what an atrocious monster the Sultan is already, as he serves not so much as a collector of fine automobiles, as a hoarder.
A collector curates, a hoarder piles.
The Sultan's car collection has sat in various states of rot for years, especially after the investment firm belonging to his brother, Prince Jefri, collapsed in the late 1990s.
While he has tried to sell of some of the cars, he hasn't sold off nearly enough. So like a collector of rare books who's run out of a toilet paper, he's resorted to letting the remnants of his stockpile tarnish.
If you've never thought about Brunei for more than five seconds, and, let's be honest, most people in the world wouldn't, it's a tiny little country in Southeast Asia, snuggled by Malaysia. On a small scale, it looks like this:
On a broader scale, it looks like this:
In case you can't tell, it is actually smaller than Delaware.
And if you've never been to Delaware, which is understandable, because there's not a whole lot there besides credit card companies, it is really, really small.
But more than 400,000 people live there, and while the little country of Brunei was once famous as a lavish tropical nation of free healthcare, free education, and generous housing subsidies, all fueled by vast oil reserves, it is becoming notorious for another reason.
Last week, the Sultan enacted sweeping Sharia laws with incredibly devastating punishments for even minor infractions. Even as the Sultan has portrayed himself as a friend of the West for decades, and has participated in all the decadent "pleasures" his own laws condemn.
Petty crimes are now punishable by flogging, even amputation. Capital "crimes," such as homosexuality, adultery, and apostasy, are punishable by stoning.
Blasphemy and pregnancy outside of marriage are illegal. The country's Christian minority has found that baptisms are illegal.
But while most of the rest of the world has already settled on the fact that the death penalty itself is pretty barbaric, and the United States is bickering about whether or not lethal injection is humane, it is out of the question that the practice of stoning is outdated at best, and a horrific transgression against humanity at worst.
And while Brunei hasn't actually executed anyone since 1957, we can't be exactly sure how they would carry it out. But by adding it, along with a bunch of other horrible laws, to their books, they are opening up the door for it to occur. So while we don't know how stoning will look over there, we do know how it is carried out in other countries.
First, you get buried. Iran's Islamic Penal Code states that men convicted of adultery are to be buried in the ground up to their waists; women, up to their chests. If the conviction is based on the prisoner's confession, the law says, the presiding judge casts the first stone. If the conviction is based on witness testimony, the witnesses throw the first stones, then the judge, then everyone else—generally other court officials and security forces. Stones must be of medium size, according to the penal code: Not so big that one or two could kill the person, but not so small that you would call it a pebble. In other words, about the size of a tangerine. The whole process takes less than an hour.
The TL;DR version is that they bury you until you can't escape, and then a mob throws stones at your head until one finally kills you. It is very, very painful, and can be very, very bloody.
In Brunei, that's what you'll get for loving someone who just happens to not be the opposite gender.
So while you may think that the denizens of Brunei are lucky for dwelling in the presence of the Ferrari Mythos, just remember why a real car collector like Jay Leno is protesting.
The Sultan of Brunei is a horrible dictator.
Photos via Getty Images