9 MARCH 2017
Malaysia and North Korea – a friendship on ice
North Korea and Malaysia have taken the extraordinary step of banning each other’s citizens from leaving their countries in the fallout over the killing of Kim Jong-nam. Security expert Hoo Chiew-ping traces the history of this unusual Relationship
7 MARCH 2017
Korea bans Malaysians from leaving in row over Kim Jong Nam Killing
Pyongyang has temporarily barred all Malaysian citizens from exiting North Korea in a row over the assassination of the brother of Kim Jong Un. In turn, Malaysia banned Pyongyang’s diplomatic staff from leaving
4 MARCH 2017
Kim Jong-nam assassination: Malaysia expels North Korean ambassador Kang Chol
Malaysia has expelled the North Korean ambassador to the country, asking him to leave within 48 hours and declaring him « persona non grata » after he said Malaysia’s investigation into the murder of Kim Jong-nam could not be trusted
1 MARCH 2017
Legendary Malaysian actor Jins Shamsuddin dies at 81
Legendary Malaysian actor Jins Shamsuddin, who starred in Malay films such as Pancha Delima and Sarjan Hassan, died on Wednesday evening (Mar 1). He was 81
18 FEBRUARY 2017
Thousands rally in Malaysia to support PAS bill to strengthen Shariah Court
Thousands of Malaysians have gathered at the heart of Kuala Lumpur to support a controversial bill that will strengthen the powers of the Shariah Court
9 FEBRUARY 2017
Revealed: Malaysia’s ‘new evidence’ in island row against Singapore
Malaysia’s “new evidence” that it has sovereignty – and not its southern neighbour Singapore – over the rocky outcrop called Pedra Branca comprise a letter by Singapore’s top colonial official in 1958, a naval incident report the same year, and a map of the Lion City in 1966, This Week in Asia has learnt
4 FEBRUARY 2017
Malaysia reopens Pedra Branca island row with Singapore after a decade
Malaysia on Friday reopened a decades-old dispute with Singapore calling on the UN’s top court to overturn a 2008 ruling granting its neighbour sovereignty over a tiny but strategic island
20 JANUARY 2017
Malaysia’s economy in 2016
2016 has been rather eventful for the Malaysian economy. The growth rate — the one big indicator of macroeconomic health — has crumbled. From a past average of 5 per cent in real GDP growth, 2016 is likely to see something like 4.2 per cent
18 JANUARY 2017
Malaysian court revives clemency option for jailed leader Anwar Ibrahim
Malaysia’s jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim scored a minor legal victory on Wednesday, as a court ruled that he can proceed with his bid to challenge the rejection of his petition for a royal pardon
14 JANUARY 2017
Mahathir launches new party; promises to abolish GST if opposition wins
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad officially launched the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (PPBM), pledging to unite the opposition to overthrow Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government ahead of the 14th General Election (GE14)
14 DECEMBER 2016
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar loses final bid for freedom
Jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday lost his final bid for freedom when a federal court rejected his appeal to set aside his sodomy conviction and five-year jail term
29 NOVEMBER 2016
Malaysian PM Najib Razak voices support for Islamic laws as he seeks to bolster support
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has expressed support for strict Islamic laws as he seeks to consolidate support of ethnic Malay Muslims at a party meeting this week, as frustration over graft and the economy cloud his prospects for the next election
26 NOVEMBER 2016
Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar arrested under sedition law for allegedly insulting PM Najib Razak
Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, or Zunar as he is popularly known, has been arrested under the Sedition Act for cartoons that allegedly insulted Prime Minister Najib Razak
19 NOVEMBER 2016
March for ‘reform’: Thousands protest against scandal-plagued Malaysia PM Najib Razak
More than 10,000 yellow-clad Malaysians flooded the capital on Saturday to demand Prime Minister Najib Razak resign over a corruption scandal, as feared clashes with pro-government rightists failed to materialise
18 NOVEMBER 2016
Malaysian police arrest Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, ahead of the rally
Maria Chin Abdullah, who is Bersih 2.0 chairman and Mandeep Singh, the group’s secretariat manager, were rounded up Friday after police raided their office in Petaling Jaya, a suburb outside Kuala Lumpur
14 NOVEMBER 2016
Malaysian opposition politician Rafizi jailed 18 months for possession, leaking of 1MDB report
Rafizi Ramli, vice-president of the People’s Justice Party, was found guilty by the court of violating the Official Secrets Act by possessing and disclosing part of a government audit report on the indebted 1MDB fund, founded by Prime Minister Najib Razak
1 NOVEMBER 2016
Malaysia and China sign deals on navy vessels
Malaysia has agreed to buy four Chinese naval vessels and pledged with Beijing to handle South China Sea disputes bilaterally, a Chinese official said on Tuesday, in what could be China’s latest counter to US influence in the region
31 OCTOBER 2016
Washington’s untapped influence in Myanmar
Despite China’s power and proximity, the US has more influence than it recognises in Myanmar, writes Hunter Marston
Defence high on the agenda for Malaysian PM’s China visit
Military and economic cooperation will be high on the agenda during Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s week-long visit to China, which starts on Monday
14 OCTOBER 2016
Sultan of Kelantan named new Malaysian king
Malaysia practises a rotating monarchy system among the nine states which have hereditary royal rulers known as Sultan. Yang di-Pertuan Agong acts as the country’s head of state, and is elected from among the Sultans that form the Conference of Rulers
26 SEPTEMBER 2016
Malaysia admits armed forces under probe for IS links
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein admitted today that about 1 percent of those being monitored for possible links to the Islamic State (IS) terror network are from the armed forces
19 SEPTEMBER 2016
Malaysia: ‘Frenemies’ Mahathir and Anwar unite against new security law
Once each other’s fiercest enemy, Malaysia’s ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his now-jailed former deputy Anwar Ibrahim joint hands Monday to issue a statement condemning the National Security Council (NSC) Act, a law recently approved by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government
9 SEPTEMBER 2016
Malaysia’s former PM Mahathir Mohamad unites with enemy Anwar Ibrahim in bid to oust Najib Razak
Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has met face-to-face with his one-time sworn enemy Anwar Ibrahim for the first time in 18 years, as the two unite behind a push to oust embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak
27 AUGUST 2016
Malaysian protesters call for PM’s arrest
Demonstrators have marched in the streets of the Malaysian capital to protest against alleged government corruption, calling for the arrest of an unnamed high-ranking official after million of dollars went missing from a state-owned investment fund
9 AUGUST 2016
Former Malaysia DPM Muhyiddin registers ‘progressive’ Umno splinter party Bersatu with Mahathir as chairman
Former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin registered a new political party on Tuesday (Aug 9) that he promises to be more open and progressive than Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s pro-Malay ruling Umno
1st AUGUST 2016
Malaysia’s controversial National Security Council Act kicks in
New legislation came into force on Monday (Aug 1) that grants sweeping powers to Malaysia’s National Security Council, which is chaired by the prime minister
29 JULY 2016
UN rights body raps Malaysian govt over security law
The U.N.’s human rights body said Friday it was « gravely concerned » by a new Malaysian security law coming into force next week that grants the government extraordinary emergency powers
18 JULY 2016
Singapore, Malaysia to mark ‘significant milestone’ with high-speed rail MoU
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Prime Minister Najib Razak will witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project on Tuesday (July 19) in Putrajaya, Malaysia
16 JULY 2016
Sacked Malaysian DPM Muhyiddin backs Dr Mahathir’s new party
Sacked former Malaysian deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Saturday (Jul 16) threw his weight behind former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s proposal to set up a new political party to galvanise the opposition and present a credible challenge to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition
15 JULY 2016
Opposition hopes for better days with Mahathir’s new party
Having failed to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak after more than a year of stinging attacks, former premier Mahathir Mohamad’s unprecedented move to force a change of leadership from outside Umno is a tacit admission that he no longer has clout within the ruling party
30 JUNE 2016
Influential Malaysian opposition politician Lim Guan Eng charged on graft charges
Malaysia’s opposition leader Lim Guan Eng, who is also the chief minister of the prosperous northern island of Penang, was arrested on Wednesday by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for alleged graft
27 JUNE 2016
Malaysian PM reshuffles cabinet amid speculation of snap poll
Scandal-hit Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Monday announced a cabinet reshuffle, including promoting a trusted ally to manage the economy, in what analysts said could be preparation for a snap election
24 JUNE 2016
Malaysia’s embattled PM sacks Mahathir’s son and former deputy
Najib’s ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) unanimously decided to expel former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad
21 JUNE 2016
Malaysia opposition PKR politician shot dead in Sarawak
A senior member of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) branch in Sarawak was gunned down at a traffic junction in the eastern Malaysian state on Tuesday 21
18 JUNE 2016
Embattled PM’s coalition wins by-elections in Malaysia
Malaysia’s ruling party won two parliamentary by-elections Saturday that were closely watched for indications of whether graft allegations hounding Prime Minister Najib Razak were affecting his governing coalition’s support
31 MAY 2016
Malaysia Warns Philippines’ Duterte Against ‘Reigniting’ Sabah Dispute
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rebuked Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s suggestion that he may reignite the Sabah dispute between the two nations, urging Manila on Monday to instead focus on resolving its own decades-old insurgency in the country’s South
27 MAY 2016
‘Talibanization’ for Malaysia?
After being dormant for more than a year, the issue of hudud – harsh seventh-century Islamic law prescribing the amputation of limbs for theft and stoning of adulterers – has suddenly come alive in Malaysia again
16 MAY 2016
Malaysian activist Hishamuddin Rais escapes prison sentence for sedition
Proponents of freedom of speech and the abolition of the Sedition Act are celebrating the successful appeal of veteran social activist Hishamuddin Rais today against a nine month prison sentence for sedition.
12 MAY 2016
Malaysia PM stresses unity at UMNO 70th anniversary célébrations
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday (May 12) marked 70 years of his party UMNO with a speech emphasising party unity and loyalty, peppered with subtle jabs at his vocal critic, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
5 MAY 2016
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines reach agreement to coordinate maritime security
Following kidnappings of Indonesians at sea, Indonesia has come to an agreement with Malaysia and the Philippines to boost maritime security after a sit-down in Yogyakarta today
4 MAY 2016
Malaysian cartoonist Zunar awarded Cartooning for Peace Prize
Though he faces sanctions in his home country, Malaysian satirical cartoonist Zunar was recognized for his work when the Cartooning for Peace Swiss Foundation awarded him the 2016 International Editorial Cartoons Prize on Tuesday
29 APRIL 2016
Malaysia plans to force blogs, news sites to register
The Malaysian government is seeking a law change that would require the country’s « political » blogs and news websites to register with authorities. The move has reignited allegations that it is trying to silence dissent
15 APRIL 2016
The Malaysian government’s love-hate relationship with the media
As it stands, Malaysia is currently ranked at #147 out of 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index, an annual report released by Reporters Without Borders which highlights worldwide standings in freedom of information. The country has seen an overall decline in press freedom over the years – it is at its lowest position since 2002, with its highest ranking in 2006, at #92.
23 MARCH 2016
Malaysian ex-premier Mahathir sues PM Najib over 1MDB scandal
Malaysian former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad today filed a lawsuit against the current Prime Minister Najib Razak over the 1MDB financial scandal, prompting critics to call it a “political gimmick.”
4 MARCH 2016
Malaysia: Political allies and rivals sign declaration for Najib’s removal
Leaders from across Malaysia’s political spectrum joined Friday to call for a national movement to remove scandal-hit premier Najib Razak, in a dramatic escalation of a festering corruption crisis.
29 FEBRUARY 2016
Former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad quits UMNO, again
Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad announced on Monday he was quitting the ruling party, saying it had degenerated into an organisation whose sole purpose was to protect scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak.
3 FEBRUARY 2016
Malaysia PM tightens grip on ruling party after critic toppled
Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, tightened his grip on the country’s ruling party on Wednesday after the son of his predecessor, was toppled for what he claimed was criticism of the premier’s involvement in a financial scandal.
30 JANUARY 2016
Swiss prosecutor asks Malaysia to help investigate 1MDB fund irregularities
Switzerland’s prosecutor has formally asked Malaysia for help with an investigation into the possible misappropriation of $4 billion by state-owned fund 1MDB. Malaysia’s PM has been cleared of corruption in Kuala Lumpur
26 JANUARY 2016
Malaysian PM cleared of wrongdoing in $700 million scandal
Malaysia’s top prosecutor found that the money funneled into Najib’s private accounts was a gift from the Saudi royal family. He said no criminal offence was committed, easing pressure on the prime minister to resign.
23 JANUARY 2016
Malaysian rally denounces TPP
Thousands of protesters gathered in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to denounce the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade alliance, demanding the government reject the accord in a parliamentary debate next week.
14 JANUARY 2016
Is Malaysia a world leader in the deradicalisation of Islamist miltants?
In the wake of November’s terrorist attacks in Paris, the threat of Islamic State (Isis)-inspired attacks in the region has hardly left the headlines, not least in Malaysia
9 JANUARY 2016
Can Malaysia revive its economy in 2016?
It has been a rather challenging year for the Malaysian economy. Political disruptions and economic shocks have rocked the nation
12 DECEMBER 2015
Malaysian PM emerges with firm grip on party
Despite earlier concerns that some party rebels were planning to disrupt the proceedings, there were no surprise attacks from those unhappy with his answers to the twin funding scandals that have rocked the party
5 DECEMBER 2015
Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency questions PM Najib Razak over $838 million deposits
Malaysian anti-corruption officials have questioned the country’s prime minister in an investigation into deposits of funds totalling 2.6 billion ringgit ($838 million) into his bank accounts that have prompted calls for his resignation
4 DECEMBER 2015
Malaysia enacts security law amid protests
Malaysia’s Parliament has approved a security law that will give sweeping security powers to a council led by the prime minister, in a move slammed by rights groups and critics as a step toward a dictatorship.
3 DECEMBER 2015
Rights group condemns proposed Malaysia security bill
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned a national security bill proposed this week by lawmakers in Malaysia, calling it « a tool for repression ».
18 NOVEMBER 2015
Can China Rebuild Its ‘Special Relationship’ With Malaysia?
China’s outreach to ASEAN member states continues. In addition to visits by President Xi Jinping to Vietnam, Singapore, and now the Philippines, Premier Li Keqiang is preparing to head to Malaysia. Li will be attending the various ASEAN-related meetings, including the East Asia Summit, in Kuala Lumpur, in addition to having his first official visit to Malaysia.
2 NOVEMBER 2015
UN body calls Anwar’s jailing ‘illegal’, demands release
A UN body has determined that former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been jailed illegally and called for his immediate release, according to a copy of the opinion released Monday by his family
16 OCTOBER 2015
Malaysia arrests hacker for supplying US targets to Islamic State
At the request of the United States, Malaysia has arrested a man on charges of hacking personal data of more than a thousand U.S. officials and handing it to Islamic State militants in Syria so they could target the individuals
5 OCTOBER 2015
Myanmar president sued in US over Rohingya abuse
A coalition of Muslim groups has filed suit in New York against Myanmar President Thein Sein and other government officials for alleged crimes against the Rohingya minority, which they say amount to genocide
29 SEPTEMBER 2015
China and Malaysia’s first ever joint military exercice is an important strategic move
Malaysia’s Armed Forces and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a five-day exercise on Managing Non-Traditional Threats and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) from September 17 to 22. Codenamed “Peace and Friendship 2015″
22 SEPTEMBER 2015
Malaysian opposition forms new alliance
A new Opposition coalition called Pakatan Harapan (Hope Alliance) has been formed comprising People’s Justice Party (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and National Trust Party (Amanah). http://www.asianewsnet.net/Msian-opposition-forms-new-alliance-80956.html
16 SEPTEMBER 2015
Malaysian police fire water cannons at pro-government protesters
Hundreds of protesters pelted riot police with plastic bottles Wednesday and tried to push their way into Chinatown, which was barricaded, prompting riot police to fire chemical-laced water to disperse the crowd
30 AUGUST 2015
Malaysia protests: Former leader Mahathir Mohamad joins protesters’ call for PM Najib Razak to resign on second day of rallies
Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad, 90, has urged anti-government protesters to step up their ‘people power’ movement to remove the country’s current prime minister, who is embroiled in a financial scandal
27 AUGUST 2015
Malaysia to block websites promoting anti-government rally this weekend
Malaysia will block websites attempting to spread information about a two-day rally due to be staged in three cities this weekend by a pro-democracy group demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak’s resignation
4 AUGUST 2015
Questions persist in Malaysia donations case
Malaysia’s anti-corruption commission says nearly $700m deposited into the prime minister’s personal bank accounts are donations, and are not related to a brewing scandal. But questions continue to be asked as to how Najib Razak came by the funds and who put them in his account
28 JULY 2015
1MDB scandal: Malaysia PM Najib Razak sacks deputy, attorney-general as corruption allegations mount
Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak sacks his deputy, attorney-general and four other ministers in a cabinet reshuffle widely seen as an attempt to strengthen his hold on power as he battles corruption allegations
24 JULY 2015
Malaysia suspends newspaper over ‘prejudicial’ 1MDB reports
Malaysia’s government suspended the publishing permit of the Edge newspaper group, judging that its coverage of debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) threatens public order and national security, the media company said
5 JULY 2015
Task force to probe alleged Malaysia PM money trail
A task force is investigating allegations that a probe into a Malaysian state-controlled investment fund found hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred to the prime minister’s personal bank accounts, the attorney general has said.
16 JUNE 2015
Historic Malaysian opposition alliance falls apart
The Malaysian opposition political alliance that had threatened to unseat the country’s long-ruling regime is no more, one of its three component parties declared Tuesday, following bitter disputes over policy
10 JUNE 2015
Malaysia goverment maintains marital rape not criminal
A parliamentary committee decided a decade ago after a study that it is permissible for a husband to « rape » his wife. This position was again taken by the six-member bi-partisan speacial committee set up to review marital rape laws
1 JUNE 2015
Malaysia Airlines CEO says carrier is ‘technically bankrupt’
The newly appointed chief executive of loss-making Malaysia Airlines said on Monday that the carrier is « technically bankrupt », as he announced plans for a restructuring that will cut the company’s workforce by a third.
23 MAY 2015
Myanmar signs off controversial pregnancy law
Myanmar’s president has signed a law requiring some mothers to space their children three years apart despite objections by the United States and rights activists, who say it could be used not only to repress women, but also religious and ethnic minorities
18 MAY 2015
Anwar’s wife Wan Azizah takes helm of Malaysian opposition
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was sworn into Malaysia’s parliament as opposition leader on Monday after winning the seat vacated by her husband Anwar Ibrahim when he was jailed on a sodomy conviction
7 MAY 2015
Anwar’s wife replaces him once again in Malaysian parliament
The wife of jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim won her husband’s parliamentary seat Thursday in a by-election seen as a test of support for the three-party alliance he headed, local media reported
3 MAY 2015
UN urges Myanmar to ensure press freedom during élections
The United Nations Sunday urged Myanmar to ensure that journalists can report « without fear » during crucial general elections later this year as the former junta-ruled nation marked World Press Freedom Day in Yangon
21 APRIL 2015
Malaysia urged to punish Muslims for forcing church to remove cross
Malaysia’s government faced calls on Tuesday to take action against Muslim protesters who pressured a church to remove its cross, the latest example of rising Islamic intolerance that is fuelling religious tensions in the multi-faith country
19 APRIL 2015
Malaysian cartoonist Zunar facing a possible 43 years in prison defiant ‘to the last drop of my ink’
Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar faces a possible 43 years in prison for sedition, but the defiant artist says that looming threat won’t stop his hard-hitting caricatures lampooning the ruling establishment
7 APRIL 2015
Malaysia passes controversial anti-terror Bill
The Malaysian government has pushed through controversial anti-terror legislation in the lower house, after parliamentarians hotly debated the Bill till well after 2am on Tuesday
31 MARCH 2015
Malaysia holds journalists under sedition law
Malaysian police detained a prominent publisher and a website editor on sedition charges Tuesday, the latest targets in a mounting tally of arrests that a senior opposition politician compared to an infamous 1987 political crackdown
30 MARCH 2015
Malaysia unveils anti-terror bill aimed at Islamic State supporters
Malaysia’s government on Monday unveiled a new anti-terrorism bill that allows lengthy detentions without trial, as worries grow in the Muslim-majority country over the appeal of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group
16 MARCH 2015
Anwar Ibrahim’s daughter Nurul Izzah arrested for sedition in Malaysia
The eldest daughter of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been arrested for sedition after reading out in parliament parts of a speech by her father criticising his recent jailing.
7 MARCH 2017
Thousands of Malaysia demonstrators demand opposition leader’s release
Chanting « Free Anwar! » and « Reformasi » (Reform), the demonstrators, led by members of Anwar’s family, staged a short march from a busy shopping district toward the capital’s Petronas Towers skyscrapers.
22 FEBRUARY 2015
Malaysia : PKR’s Nik Nazmi arrested over pro-Anwar rally
Police arrested PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad late this evening for joining a rally yesterday in support of jailed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that saw two activists detained
12 FEBRUARY 2015
The spiritual leader of Malaysia’s opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has died at age 84.
Nik Aziz, a revered leader in PAS, had served as Kelantan chief minister for more than two décades.
10 FEBRUARY 2015
Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian opposition leader loses final appeal to sodomy conviction, sentenced to five years’ jail
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has lost his final appeal against a conviction and been sentenced to five years in jail for sodomy.
6 FEBRUARY 2015
Malaysia, Indonesia to solve sea spats
The leaders of Malaysia and Indonesia on Friday pledged renewed efforts to resolve stubborn disputes over maritime borders that have long nagged at one of Southeast Asia’s most important bilateral relationships.
9 JANUARY 2015
Death of Former Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Yaakub, born on January 3, 1928
The 88 year old, held office as the fourth head of state between April 2, 1981 and April 2, 1985
27 DECEMBER 2014
At least 160,000 evacuated in Malaysia due to flooding
Footage shot from helicopters shows the widespread flooding across Malaysia after heavy rain caused water levels to rise, submerging houses and causing widespread devastation.The number of people evacuated due to the floods jumped to more than 160,000 on Saturday. Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has come under criticism for his absence during the crisis
23 DECEMBER 2014
Malaysia and China hold first-ever joint military exercise
The Malaysian Armed Forces and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began their first-ever bilateral military exercise yesterday to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries
21 DECEMBER 2014
Malaysia to charge S$7.60 entry fee for foreign vehicles from Singapore
Motorists with foreign-registered vehicles entering Johor Bahru from Singapore will have to pay a Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee of RM20 (S$7.55) from the middle of next year
19 DECEMBER 2014
Malaysia’s Defense Budget: A Push to the East
Malaysia’s national security focus is shifting to its eastern state of Sabah, evidenced by the money, personnel, and equipment allocated to the state in the 2015 defense budget. This shift comes in response to incidents along Sabah’s long and porous maritime border with the insecure islands of the southern Philippines. It also belies the deep distrust between the two neighbors over border issues. Malaysia’s interests in the South China Sea also come into play given that the realignment of men and materiel will allow greater force projection into the area.
15 DECEMBER 2014
UMNO Revolt against Malaysia PM
Mahathir attempt to overthrow Najib may be gaining traction
14 DECEMBER 2014
A new era in China-Malaysia relations
Cementing four decades of diplomatic relations with a commitment to address regional security issues, the home ministry has made great strides forward in fostering strong collaborations with China
11 DECEMBER 2014
26,000 millionaires in Malaysia
Malaysia has over 26,000 high net worth individuals (HNWI’s) or millionaires according to WealthInsight.
2 DECEMBER 2014
The Thai government recognises Malaysia’s role as the facilitator for peace efforts in southern Thailand, said Najib Razak
27 NOVEMBER 2014
Malaysia leader Najib Razak reverses pledge to scrap sedition law
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says a colonial-era law curbing free speech will be retained and strengthened, backpedaling on a pledge two years ago to abolish the law as part of political reforms.
19 OCTOBER 2014
Malaysia’s Sedition Act crackdown ‘chilling’ free speech
The crackdown, accelerating in recent weeks, is widely seen as an attempt by Malaysia’s longtime regime to reverse years of increasingly boisterous speech that has coincided with tremendous electoral gains by the opposition.
17 OCTOBER 2014
Malaysia wins Security Council seat
Malaysia, which will represent the Asia-Pacific region, will use its two-year term to focus on advocating for peace, promoting mediation and enhancing peacekeeping operations, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said after the vote was cast.
6 Myanmar journalists jailed over report: Press group
Six Myanmar journalists have been jailed by a Yangon court for « state defamation », the country’s interim press council said Friday, amid mounting concern over a roll back of press freedom in the former junta-run state
7 OCTOBER 2014
Two million M’sian families surviving on less than US$919.44 a month
Malaysia’s average household income may have risen by some 10 per cent in the last five years but there are still two million families living on less than 3,000 ringgit (US$919.44) a month, minister in the prime minister’s department Abdul Wahid Omar told Parliament Tuesday.
3 SEPTEMBER 2014
Malaysian law lecturer arrested for sedition
Azmi Sharom becomes the ninth person arrested this year for what many observers say are politically-related reasons.
19 AUGUST 2014
Lawyer for Malaysian Opposition Leader Is Charged With Sedition
A lawyer for the Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was charged with sedition on Tuesday, a move that Mr. Anwar denounced as part of a conspiracy to weaken his appeal of a sodomy conviction and orchestrate his return to prison
17 JULY 2014
Malaysian jet ‘shot down’ over Ukraine
A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet which crashed as it flew over eastern Ukraine with 295 people on board was reportedly shot down.
23 JUNE 2014
Christians lose divisive bid to use ‘Allah’ in Malaysia
Malaysia’s highest court on Monday dismissed a bid by Christians for the right to use the word « Allah », ending a years-long legal battle that has escalated religious tensions in the Muslim-majority country
12 JUNE 2014
The confusion about ‘Constitutional Monarchy’ in Malaysia
Recent developments in Johor have once more suddenly impelled the notion of “constitutional monarchy” to the centre of Malaysian national politics
22 MAY 2014
Malaysia stresses China ties despite Asian rows
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has distanced himself from growing territorial conflicts in Asia, telling a Japanese newspaper they should not jeopardise the « strategic importance » of his country’s ties with Beijing
9 MAY 2014
Malaysia: Muslim scholars speak out against harsh Islamic laws
This June, leading Islamic opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) will seek parliamentary support for hudud to be passed in Malaysia. Yet, many Malaysian Muslims do not want the Islamic penal code to define their identity
27 APRIL 2014
Obama raises rights concerns with Malaysia PM
Barack Obama, the US president, has said that he raised the issue of human rights with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak during his visit to the country
26 APRIL 2014
Obama Makes Landmark Visit to Malaysia
President Barack Obama has become the first U.S. president to visit Malaysia in nearly half a century. Obama on Saturday arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the third stop on an Asian tour aimed at reassuring allies in the region. President Barack Obama is the first American leader to set foot in Malaysia since President Lyndon Johnson came here in 1966
18 MARCH 2014
Malaysia’s Anwar ‘disgusted’ by missing plane speculation
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim condemned on Tuesday speculation that the captain of a missing Malaysian airliner — a member of his party and a distant relative — may have had political motives to sabotage the plane
11 MARCH 2014
Malaysia opposition MP fined for sedition
Veteran politician Karpal Singh fined $1,219 under law opposition says is increasingly used to silence critics.
10 MARCH 2014
Malaysia Judiciary Criticized Over Anwar Ibrahim Verdict
Legal advocates said an appeals court decision against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and a separate high court verdict involving his lawyer, Karpal Singh, mark a further setback to the independence of Malaysia judiciary’s
7 MARCH 2014
Malaysian court jails opposition leader for sodomy
A Malaysian court sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on Friday after finding the former deputy prime minister guilty of sodomising his aide in 2008
24 FEBRUARY 2014
Rising Islamic conservatism in Malaysia
With religion fast becoming the most contentious source of disputes in Malaysia, this perception has given rise to a host of conservative Islamic groups becoming more vocal.
21 FEBRUARY 2014
Malaysian opposition lawmaker found guilty of sedition
A Malaysian court found a veteran opposition leader guilty of sedition Friday in the latest use of a law the government had pledged to abolish in the run-up to elections last year. Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Karpal Singh slammed the Sedition Act as a « relic », and called the case against him unfair
3 FEBRUARY 2014
Malaysian court jails man who raped, then married minor
A Malaysian court on Monday sentenced a man to 12 years in jail for raping a 12-year-old whom he later married, as an activist urged the Muslim-majority nation to ban all child marriages.
27 JANUARY 2014
Religious tensions rise after bomb attack on Malaysia church
Religious tensions are on the rise in Malaysia after two home-made bombs were hurled at a church in the northern state of Penang
24 JANUARY 2014
Malaysia: Is time running out for Najib Razak?
Forces aligned with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad appear to be attempting push embattled Malaysian Premier Najib Tun Razak into giving a time frame for his eventual departure from office and naming a successor, sources in Kuala Lumpur say.
22 JANUARY 2014
Malaysia’s PAS and UMNO: Growing Convergence Over Islamic Governance?
The Islamic factor is increasingly rising to the forefront again in Malaysia as the two Muslim-based parties, UMNO and PAS, probe each other for meeting points, even as they compete for support of the majority Malay-Muslim community
20 JANUARY 2014
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim denied entry into Japan
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Monday he was « puzzled and shocked » over being barred entry to Japan, as his party questioned whether Malaysia’s ruling coalition was behind the move
19 JANUARY 2014
Malaysian king backs court ban on non-Muslims using Allah
Malaysia’s king gave his backing on Sunday to a court ruling barring non-Muslims from using the word Allah to refer to God, weighing in for the first time on an issue that has fanned religious tensions in the multi-cultural country.
13 JANUARY 2014
Malaysia’s Najib Faces Party, Public Protest
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak enters 2014 beset by growing hostility from both the public and within his own political party, the United Malays National Organization, characterized by a deluge of New Year messages across cyberspace celebrating the “year of barang naik,” Malay language for rising prices of items.
11 JANURY 2014
Malaysia will not revive ISA, says home minister
Home Minister has dismissed recent calls to revive the Internal Security Act (ISA), but says the government will look to amend other laws or draw up new ones to contain security threats.
10 JANUARY 2014
Malaysia court throws out charge against opposition’s Anwar
A Malaysian court on Friday threw out illegal-assembly charges against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim over his part in a 2012 rally that could have barred him from standing for election, his lawyer said.
2 JANUARY 2014
More than 300 Bibles are confiscated in Malaysia
Islamic authorities in Malaysia have seized more than 300 Bibles from the Bible Society because they use the word Allah to refer to God, officials say.
25 DECEMBER 2013
UMNO divides Malaysia
The grim reality of elusive unity, plagued by ethnocentric and ethno-religious divisions, is underlined by the continual existence of fault lines that anthropologist Shamsul A. B. calls ‘axes of contradictions’. The stubborn presence of such social cleavages, after half a century of nationhood, raises the issue of the efficacy of integrative policies pursued by successive Barisan Nasional (BN: National Front) governments.
12 NOVEMBER 2013
Minister reiterates ‘Allah’ only for Muslims
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom has reiterated that the use of the word Allah is exclusive to Muslims.
30 OCTOBER 2013
Malaysia court rules critical news portal can go to print
A popular Malaysian news portal that is often heavily critical of the long-ruling government has the right to issue a print edition, a court ruled on Wednesday, dismissing an appeal by the home ministry.
25 OCTOBER 2013
Ex-Malaysian minister acquitted in port scandal
A former Malaysian transport minister was acquitted Friday of cheating the government in a billion-dollar port deal that sparked a major financial scandal. The High Court said that prosecutors had not proven their case against Ling Liong Sik, who was transport minister between 1986 and 2003.
21 OCTOBER 2013
Malaysia’s Najib entrenches power as reform drive fades
Internal voting for top posts in Malaysia’s ruling coalition at the weekend have proved Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to be a canny survivor – five months after a poor showing at national elections – but at a cost to his reform agenda.
19 OCTOBER 2013
Malaysian leader strengthens hand in party polls
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak strengthened his hand in ruling-party elections, but analysts said questions remain over his stop-start plans for reforms amid resistance from conservatives.
17 OCTOBER 2013
Mahathir son in UMNO bid
Mukhriz Mahathir, the 48-year-old son of Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, will on Saturday contest the vice presidency of the country’s biggest political party, staking his claim as a potential future national leader.
14 OCTOBER 2013
Malaysian court: ‘Allah’ is Muslim-only word
Court says the Catholic Herald newspaper is banned from using Islamic term, in ruling that affects other publications.
3 OCTOBER 2013
Malaysia detention law passes key test
A controversial Malaysian government move to give authorities the power to hold people for years without charge was headed for parliamentary approval after it was passed at the lower house.
25 SEPTEMBER 2013
In Kuala Lumpur as in Beijing, people are set go to prison without going to court
The government asks parliament to amend criminal laws to set up a three-member board to rule on two-year detention without trial, which could be renewed indefinitely. The opposition is set to fight the bill.
21 SEPTEMBER 2013
Malaysian PM gets party nod to stay in power
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak faced down a threat to his leadership after nominations closed without anybody contesting his presidency of the ruling party, officials said.
16 SEPTEMBER 2013
Malaysia’s PM Capitulates to the Hardliners
The 14 September announcement of an array of new economic benefits for ethnic Malays by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak represents the premier’s final post-election capitulation to radical Malay nationalists in the United Malays National Organization
Aung San Suu Kyi meets Dalai Lama
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has risked prompting Chinese anger after it was confirmed she had a private meeting with the Dalai Lama on the sidelines of a Prague rights conference, its spokesman said Monday.
Former Malayan communist chief Chin Peng dies
Chin Peng, former secretary-general of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), died at a hospital in Bangkok on Monday morning. He was 90 years old.
14 SEPTEMBER 2013
Malaysia extends controversial affirmative action
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday announced fresh measures to benefit the country’s ethnic Malay majority despite an earlier pledge to reform the controversial affirmative action policy.
24 AUGUST 2013
Altantuya murder case: Court overturns guilty verdict
The Court of Appeal has discharged and acquitted two policemen from the charge of murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu seven years ago.
12 AUGUST 2013
Najib’s Peace Overtures
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, beset on his right flank by an implacable former Premier Mahathir Mohamad critical of his performance in the May 5 general election, has been making quiet overtures to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to explore the outlines of a unity government.
2 AUGUST 2013
DAP, Malaysia’s Biggest Opposition Party Under Threat
Government agency invalidates party elections, threatens deregistration
9 JULY 2013
Politicians laud withdrawal of controversial conversion Bill
The withdrawal of the controversial Bill which contained a clause that allows a parent or guardian to unilaterally convert minors, has received the thumbs up from politicians from both sides of the divide.
6 JULY 2013
Malaysia withdraws controversial one-parent conversion law
Malaysia has withdrawn an Islamic law which allows one parent to give consent for the religious conversion of a child, reports said Saturday, after an outcry that it discriminated against minorities. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysia-withdraws/736028.html
25 JUNE 2013
Malaysia’s king urges the people to accept GE13 results
The King of Malaysia has reiterated his call for all parties to accept and respect the results of the 13th general election
22 JUNE 2013
Thousands rally in Malaysia for polls reform
About 20,000 Malaysian opposition supporters gathered in the capital Saturday demanding the resignation of the country’s Election Commission in the wake of contentious polls.
1 JUNE 2013
Malaysia PM reaches out to opposition with electoral reform
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday the political opposition would be given an oversight role over the country’s Election Commission, a move aimed at healing divisions following a disputed May 5 election. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20130601-426738.html
29 MAY 2013
Mosque, orphanage burned in new Burma violence
A police officer and a monk in the remote Burma city of Lashio have confirmed that a mob burned down a mosque, a Muslim orphanage and shops in the northeastern town after rumors spread that a Muslim man had set fire to a Buddhist woman. http://asiancorrespondent.com/108313/mosque-orphanage-burned-in-new-burma-violence/
28 MAY 2013
Malaysian police re-arrest three for sedition: lawyer
Malaysian police on Tuesday re-arrested an activist and two opposition politicians under the Sedition Act, their lawyer said, in the latest move to spark tensions following divisive polls early this month. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysian-police-re-arrest-three-for-sed/690368.html
25 MAY 2013
Malaysians rally against ‘electoral fraud’
Tens of thousands of people held a rally near Malaysia’s capital against alleged electoral fraud, further raising the political temperature after divisive recent polls.
23 MAY 2013
Malaysia’s Home Ministry seizes tabloids published by opposition
The Home Ministry has seized copies of tabloids published by the opposition parties as they were allegedly circulated to non-members.
Malaysia arrests top opposition figures for sedition
Malaysian police have arrested three prominent opposition figures, including Keadilan party vice-President Tian Chua, under the Sedition Act.
17 MAY 2013
Malaysia’s Rigged Electoral System
A win for the opposition is nearly impossible http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5425&Itemid=178
15 MAY 2013
Malaysian PM Najib unveils ‘reconciliation’ cabinet
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday unveiled a cabinet line-up which he said would help national reconciliation. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysian-pm-najib-unveils-reconciliatio/676152.html
6 MAY 2013
Malaysia PM sworn in amid opposition protests
Malaysia has sworn in Najib Razak for a second term as prime minister after the coalition which has ruled for 56 years held on to power in elections branded as fraudulent by a bitter opposition. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/05/201356142723845697.html http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/5/6/nation/13073604&sec=nation
5 MAY 2013
Malaysia election: PM Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional keeps power
The ruling National Front coalition has won a simple majority in Malaysia’s election, extending its 56-year rule, with two-thirds of seats confirmed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22422172 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/malaysia/10038362/Malaysian-ruling-party-triumphs-as-turnout-hits-record.html http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/05/201355171316257180.html
3 APRIL 2013
Malaysia PM dissolves parliament
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has dissolved parliament ahead of a general election
20 MARCH 2013
107 to be charged over Sabah incursion
Over 100 people arrested in connection to the Feb 12 Sulu armed intrusion at Kg Tanduo about 135km from here are likely to face charges in court very soon http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/20/nation/12860560&sec=nation
19 MARCH 2013
Video expose implicates Sarawak CM, kin in alleged land graft
An international activist organisation provided today video proof of shady land deals in Sarawak that implicates the state’s Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family, with parts of the clip aired on the Al-Jazeera news channel at 10am. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/video-expose-implicates-sarawak-cm-kin-in-alleged-land-graft/?goback=%2Egde_2343547_member_224784774
17 MARCH 2013
Warming ties between Malaysia and Singapore
Suffice it to say that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong have continuously demonstrated their commitment to building good neighbourly ties between the nations that they are leading. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Business/Story/A1Story20130317-409239.html
15 MARCH 2013
Malaysian novelist wins Man Asian Literary Prize
Malaysian author Tan Tweng Eng has won this year’s Man Asian Literary Prize for « The Garden of Evening Mists, » set in the aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Malaysia. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/14/world/asia/man-asian-literary-prize/index.html?hpt=ias_c2
8 MARCH 2013
Saiful’s father says Sodomy II an ‘evil conspiracy’, apologises to Anwar
The father of Saiful Bukhari Azlan publicly admitted today that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy charge was an “evil political conspiracy” involving his son. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/saifuls-father-says-sodomy-ii-an-evil-conspiracy-apologises-to-anwar/?goback=%2Egde_2343547_member_220860241
5 MARCH 2013
Malaysia bombs armed Filipino group in Sabah
Malaysian troops backed by fighter jets have attacked an armed Filipino group, trying to end a standoff on Borneo island after violence that killed at least 27 people and sparked fears of broader insecurity in the resource-rich region. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/03/2013355257319682.html http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/05/malaysian-forces-attack-armed-filipino-group
3 MARCH 2013
Five Malaysian cops killed in firefight with Filipinos in Sabah standoff
Five members of the Malaysian security forces have been killed in a firefight in Sabah with an armed group believed to be among the Filipino followers of the Sulu Sultanate Saturday night http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297457/news/nation/five-malaysian-cops-killed-in-firefight-with-pinoys-in-sabah-standoff-reports?ref=bannerh1 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/03/2013336814161699.html http://globalnation.inquirer.net/66539/fighting-in-sabah-rages
1 MARCH 2013
Malaysia raids Sabah village to end deadlock
Twelve followers of a self-described Philippine Sultan died in a shootout with Malaysian security forces Friday, police said, as tensions ratcheted up in their 17-day standoff http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/03/20133141728737880.html http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130301-405701.html
22 FEBRUARY 2013
Malaysian polls reflect US-China competition
In a bid to garner public support and win back several economically dynamic states lost to the opposition in 2008, Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition has introduced a series of populist measures to appeal to voters. But while the upcoming election will be decided mostly on domestic issues, the polls will also reflect rising US-China competition for influence in the country. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/SEA-02-220213.html
17 FEBRUARY 2013
Sulu sultan won’t budge
Undaunted amidst mounting pressure from both the Philippine and Malaysian governments, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, the acknowledged leader of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo insisted that his royal decree that authorised the presence of his younger brother, crown prince Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram and the combined civilian and armed followers in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
4 FEBRUARY 2013
Malaysia Hit for Deporting Uyghurs
This is the second time the country has repatriated Uyghurs to China despite concerns their human rights are at risk. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/deport-02042013020002.html
25 JANUARY 2013
No easy choice for Malaysia
Animosity between Malaysia’s two leading political coalitions – the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition Pakatan Rakyat – has run high following the opposition-led Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat mass rally held earlier this month in the capital’s iconic Merdeka Stadium http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/OA26Ae01.html
16 JANUARY 2013
Will it be business as usual for Malaysia in 2013?
In 2012, the Malaysian economy and its politics went in different directions — the economy out-performed many countries, but there were uncertainties and tensions in politics. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/01/17/will-it-be-business-as-usual-for-malaysia-in-2013/
12 JANUARY 2013
Malaysia opposition holds mass election rally
At least 45,000 people have joined a massive opposition rally in Malaysia’s largest city in a show of force ahead of key general elections due in months. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/01/2013112105947732781.html
3 JANUARY 2013
Malaysian Businessman Continues Attacks on Premier
Disaffected Malaysian businessman Deepak Jaikishan is continuing to rain accusations of bribery, political favoritism, murder cover-up and other scandals against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, his wife, family and top UMNO figures despite apparent attempts to shut him up by arranging for a quasi-government agency to buy his company http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5079&Itemid=178
1 JANUARY 2013
Malaysia’s strong economy and new politics
Surprisingly, the Malaysian economy could grow at a creditable pace in 2012, despite dismal export performance associated with the slow expansion of the US economy and recession and stagnation in Europe. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/01/01/the-malaysian-economy-developments-and-challenges/
14 DECEMBER 2012
Torrent of Revelations Against Malaysian PM Continues
A controversial businessman and onetime family friend of Malaysia’s prime minister appears to be doing what the country’s political opposition has been unable to accomplish for years: publicly tie the top UMNO leader to serious and politically damaging crimes
28 NOVEMBER 2012
UMNO Youth chief calls for political transformation to be accelerated
UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has called for an acceleration in the political transformation and reforms initiated by the government so as to be in line with the changing political landscape in Malaysia. Speaking at the UMNO Youth General Assembly, he said that the party should take the lead instead of abdicating the responsibility to the opposition.
5 NOVEMBER 2012
Malaysian law reform: a stocktake
In his Malaysia Day speech on 16 September 2011, Prime Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak undertook to repeal or substantially amend the draconian laws that the Barisan Nasional government has long used to stifle political opposition and social movements, so that Malaysia could become a ‘more open and dynamic democracy’.
5 OCTOBER 2012
Graft probe after 130,000 attend Malaysia wedding
Malaysia’s anti-graft body is investigating the wedding of a top official’s son – attended by around 130,000 people – after opposition politicians questioned the celebration’s funding.
2 OCTOBER 2012
Malaysian Court Rules That Publishing a Newspaper Is a Basic Right
Obtaining permission to publish a newspaper in Malaysia, where the print media are dominated by government-linked publications, is likely to become easier after a court ruled that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to publish and is a fundamental liberty
13 SEPTEMBER 2012
Iran ‘trying to evade sanctions on oil exports’ with night transfers near Malaysia
Iran is trying evade US sanctions by secretly storing oil bound for Asia at a little-known port in Malaysia.
4 SEPTEMBER 2012
Malaysians lose British court battle over 1948 ‘massacre’
Relatives of 24 Malaysian rubber plantation workers killed by British troops in 1948 on Tuesday lost their High Court battle for a full inquiry by the British government. (for a full story go to On 12 December in Asian history)http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20120904-369574.html
19 JULY 2012
Malaysian PM warns against liberalism, pluralism
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak hit back at reform proponents, saying greater liberalism was a threat to the Muslim-majority country as it faces pivotal upcoming elections.
12 JUNE 2012
Dr Mahathir: Democracy has its limits
Democracy can only work when people understand its limitations, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/12/nation/11457649&sec=nation
22 MAY 2012
Malaysian court charges opposition leader Anwar over street protest
A Malaysian court charged opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in relation to his role in a street protest calling for electoral reform last month at which the police fired tear gas at demonstrators
7 MAY 2012
Malaysian clerics issue fatwa against demos
Malaysian clerics have issued a fatwa against demonstrations, days after Prime Minister Najib Razak said a quashed election reform rally was being used to topple the government ahead of polls http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1199702/1/.html
28 APRIL 2012
Police violence marks Malaysia reform rally
Malaysian riot police have fired tear gas and used water cannon on a crowd of protesters who had converged on the centre of the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Thousands of protesters marched on a central square in the city calling for changes to the electoral system
16 APRIL 2012
Malaysian PM pledges further civil liberties reforms
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday pledged to review the country’s tough sedition law that critics say has been used to silence dissent as part of reforms to claw back votes. Parliament was also expected to pass a new law to replace the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA) that allowed for indefinite detention without trial of terror suspects and dissidents
15 MARCH 2012
Najib eyes election, vote doubts rise
Is Malaysia headed for an orderly or tumultuous political transition? Despite widespread popular concerns about the potential for electoral fraud and irregularities, political analysts believe Prime Minister Najib Razak is poised to call snap polls in the coming months while his approval ratings are high
9 MARCH 2012
Support for Najib jumps ahead of election
Malaysians’ approval of Prime Minister Najib Razak jumped in recent months, an opinion poll released on Friday showed, putting him on a firm footing ahead of national elections that are expected to be called within months
8 MARCH 2012
Malaysia’s PM Najib to face test in upcoming election
The upcoming Malaysian general election will be a big test for Prime Minister Najib Razak. Since the ruling Barisan Nasional was deprived of its prized two-thirds majority in parliament following the March 2008 election, Mr Najib has introduced gradual reforms to change the deeply entrenched race-based system in the country
26 FEBRUARY 2012
3,000 Malaysians protest against rare earth plant
Some 3,000 Malaysians staged a protest Sunday against a rare earth refinery being built by Australian miner Lynas over fears of radioactive contamination.
9 JANUARY 2012
Anwar Ibrahim acquitted of sodomy in Malaysia
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been acquitted in a surprise end to a politically charged sodomy trial http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16463989
27 DECEMBER 2011
Malaysia: Concern over effective implementation of Domestic Violence Act
Women’s groups say that much more has to be done before the Domestic Violence Act approved by Parliament recently can be effectively implemented. They believe that related laws such as the Evidence Act and the Criminal Procedure and Penal Codes have to be amended to accommodate the numerous changes
13 DECEMBER 2011
New Malaysian king urges national unity
Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, 84, who was king previously in the 1970s, became the first person to hold the position twice and was crowned in a ceremony steeped in centuries-old Malay royal traditions
28 NOVEMBER 2011
Malaysian PM defends new protest law
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday defended a law regulating public gatherings, responding to a growing public outcry that it will limit freedom of assembly
15 OCTOBER 2011
Kedah Sultan to be King again
The Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, will serve as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong for five years from Dec 13, becoming the only ruler to serve as the King of Malaysia for a second time
10 JULY 2011
Crackdown lowered rally numbers but made Malaysian government look bad
Although Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak appears to have won the battle by closing down Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and arresting 1,667 mostly peaceful marchers and would-be marchers, the consensus seems to be that Malaysia has suffered a blow to its reputation as a moderate, democratic country
17 APRIL 2011
New Malaysian metropolis taking shape near Singapore
A new metropolis three times the size of neighbouring Singapore is taking shape in the foothills of southern Malaysia, where officials and investors have equally huge ambitions for the city. Dust billows across the horizon as sun-scorched construction crews lay roads, drainage canals, street lamps, power stations and other key installations for a development known as Iskandar Malaysia
08 MARCH 2011
Malaysia Makes a Big Bet on Crucial Metals
A colossal construction project here could help determine whether the world can break China’s chokehold on the strategic metals crucial to products as diverse as Apple’s iPhone, Toyota’s Prius and Boeing’s smart bombs
7 JANUARY 2011
Free Press Comments Put Malaysian Reporter in Hot Water
UMNO-owned mouthpiece seeks to muzzle truth-teller Utusan Malaysia, the flagship Malay-language newspaper of the United Malays National Organisation is seeking to fire Hata Wahari, one of its leading journalists, for defending the independence of the press and calling for moderation in reporting on Malaysia’s tense race relations.
Hata, a 16-year veteran reporter with Utusan who was elected president of the country’s National Union of Journalistsin September, is expected to face a disciplinary hearing on Jan. 17 into charges that he tarnished the newspaper’s image with statements he made calling for press freedom that he issued to independent media between Sept. 21 and Oct. 14 of last year.
The country’s political parties own all of Malaysia’s major dailies and television stations, in Malay, English, Chinese or Hindi. Opposition parties also own their own publications. The Internet largely supplies the country’s only independent journalism, a fact that appears to account for fast-growing online readership.
« I just issued a press statement asking the editors to please go back to our real function, to submit unbiased information to the public, » Hata said in a telephone interview. “At the moment, Utusan is doing propaganda for the government. They have raised up racial issues, so that is why they are losing the trust of most of the community in Malaysia. Everybody, even the common public, feels the same way.
« We have to go back to our original mission, not act as a propaganda tool for the government, » he told Asia Sentinel. “That is why I issued that statement. I feel I have the support of all of my friends, from the political parties and from other NGOs. »
He said he would defend himself vigorously in the disciplinary hearing, partly because if he were to lose he would also lose his right to be the National Union of Journalists president. He is also president of the Confederation of Asean Journalists. “We willfight to the end, » he added.
V. Anbalagan, general secretary ofthe National Union of Journalists, called Utusan’s claim that Hata tarnished the organization’s image with his public statements « ludicrous »
9 MAY 2009
Democracy by force in Malaysia
The battle of Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to regain control of the second-largest state on the Malaysian Peninsula may have come at a heavy price to its long-term credibility and raises questions about new Prime Minister Razak Najib’s emerging brand of leadership. Any semblance of democratic norms rapidly vanished this week when police entered the Perak state assembly hall and
physically dragged away the opposition People’s Alliance House speaker, in full ceremonial regalia, so that a candidate from the BN could take over the position
3 April 2009
On 3 April 2009, the 6th prime minister have been sworn in. Here is…
The profile of Najib Abdul Razak
The fight between Dr Mahathir and his successor Mohammad BadawyAbdullah Badawi uses a royal
commission report to try to neutralize former prime minster Mahathir Mohamad
On 19 May, Mahathir quits UMNO
Analyse of Jed Yoong in Asia Sentinel
8 March 2008
HUGE GAIN FOR MALAYSIA OPPOSITION
Malaysia’s ruling coalition has suffered its biggest electoral defeat ever, losing its two-third majority, several states and a number of senior leaders