The Washington Post and Mt Kinabalu’s ‘Naked Blogger’

The Washington Post and Mt Kinabalu’s ‘Naked Blogger’Remember the kerfuffle about the naked foreign tourists who climbed Malaysia’s Mt. Kinabalu, stripped, urinated and caused an earthquake that killed 18 people? That story didn’t happen as it was reported. Although several people were charged and deported after being jailed briefly for causing public nuisance, allegedly for angering the spirits of the mountain and…

Malaysia’s Charade Over Refugee Camps

Malaysia’s Charade Over Refugee CampsMalaysia’s Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said earlier that he was shocked, shocked at the scenes of horror unfolding in the jungled fastness on the border between Thailand and Malaysia, where hundreds, perhaps thousands of refugees fleeing Burmese and Bangladeshi persecution have been held.  But it is difficult to take Khalid seriously, especially…

Wahhabism in Southeast Asia

Wahhabism in Southeast AsiaWhen I joined Malaysia’s foreign ministry in 1972, a major foreign policy concern in the region was that Southeast Asian nations would soon fall like dominoes to militant communism supported and abetted by the People’s Republic of China. Fortunately, the dominoes held.  Today, the old domino theory may well be applicable to a new danger…

Alarming Rise of Malaysian Religious Extremism

Alarming Rise of Malaysian Religious ExtremismPlease note that AS editors inadvertently used a picture of the wrong Aisyah Tajuddin. It has been corrected.  There are worrying signs that the sort of religious self-righteousness that fuels savage jihadi violence in the Middle East is infecting Malaysia, especially in the wake of efforts by the fundamentalist party PAS to implement a medieval…

Muslim Leaders Must Police Their Own Religion

Muslim Leaders Must Police Their Own ReligionThe recently concluded White House summit to counter violent extremism made much of  root causes like poverty, illiteracy and political alienation but missed an opportunity to address a more immediate and critical issue  – the culture of intolerance that has been allowed to fester in much of the Muslim world.  Muslim leaders – both political and…

Acrimonious Split Rattles Malaysian Premier’s Family

Acrimonious Split Rattles Malaysian Premier’s FamilyThe announcement last week by top Malaysian banker Nazir Razak of his intention to file defamation charges against bloggers believed connected to a close friend of his brother, Prime Minister Najib Razak, has laid bare what has been whispered about for months in Kuala Lumpur. There is a growing, acrimonious rift in the Razak family,…

Religious Law Threatens Malaysian Opposition Coalition

Religious Law Threatens Malaysian Opposition CoalitionMalaysia’s perpetually fragile opposition coalition headed by Anwar Ibrahim is in danger of coming completely apart as a result of a threat by the rural Parti Islam se-Malaysia to enforce 7th-century criminal law calling for stoning adulterers and amputation for thieves in the eastern state of Kelantan.  Both Anwar and Lim Kit Siang, the leader…

Najib Waffles Over MH17 Disaster

Najib Waffles Over MH17 DisasterThe global criticism that Malaysia and particularly Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein received four months ago for their handling of the disappearance of MH 370 appears to have frightened them into near silence. It would have been expected that, like the Dutch, Australians and others, they would have been boiling…

Mahathir says Maybe the CIA Got MH370

Mahathir says Maybe the CIA Got MH370On the night of March 8, at 1:20 am Malaysia time, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passed from the management of Malaysian air traffic control. The pilots said good night to Malaysia and never said hello to the Vietnamese controllers who were supposed to pick them up and monitor them. Instead, MH370, somewhere out over the…

Another Allah Case Arises in Malaysia

Another Allah Case Arises in MalaysiaOn May 11, 2008, Jill Ireland, a member of the Melanau tribe in Sarawak, landed at the low cost carrier terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, carrying with her eight compact disks containing Christian educational materials in the Indonesian language and intended for her personal use. The CDs were confiscated by customs authorities on the…
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