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End of Asia Unit. Malaysia : Growth of Terrorism. History. Evidence of human habitation in Malaysia dates back 40,000 years. Traders and settlers from India and China arrived as early as the 1st century AD, establishing trading ports and towns in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

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End of asia unit

End of Asia Unit

Malaysia : Growth of Terrorism


  • Evidence of human habitation in Malaysia dates back 40,000 years.

  • Traders and settlers from India and China arrived as early as the 1st century AD, establishing trading ports and towns in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

    • This resulted in strong Indian and Chinese influence on the local cultures, and the people of the Malay Peninsula adopted the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Sanskrit inscriptions appear as early as the 4th or 5th century.

  • In the early 15th century, Parameswara, a prince of the former Srivijayan empire, founded the Malacca Sultanate, commonly considered the first independent state in the peninsula.

    • Parameswara became a Muslim, and due to this the conversion of Malays to Islam accelerated in the 15th century.

    • Malacca was an important commercial centre during this time, attracting trade from around the region


  • Malaysia is a federal constitutional elective monarchy. The system of government is closely modeled on that of the Westminster parliamentary system, a legacy of British colonial rule.

  • The head of state is the Yang di-PertuanAgong, commonly referred to as the king.

    • The Yang di-PertuanAgong is elected to a five-year term by and from among the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states; the other four states, which have titular Governors, do not participate in the selection

  • Legislative power is divided between federal and state legislatures. The bicameral federal parliament consists of the lower house, the House of Representatives and the upper house, the Senate.

    • The 222-member House of Representatives is elected for a maximum term of five years from single-member constituencies, which are determined based on population.

    • All 70 senators sit for three-year terms; 26 are elected by the 13 state assemblies, and the remaining 44 are appointed by the Yang di-PertuanAgong upon the Prime Minister's recommendation.

    • The parliament follows a multi-party system and the government is elected through a first-past-the-post system. Since independence Malaysia has been governed by a multi-party coalition known as the BarisanNasional

Law code
Law code

  • Malaysia's legal system is based on English Common Law.

  • Although the judiciary is theoretically independent, supporters of the government hold many judicial positions.

  • The highest court in the judicial system is the Federal Court, followed by the Court of Appeal and two high courts, one for Peninsular Malaysia and one for East Malaysia.

  • Malaysia also has a special court to hear cases brought by or against Royalty.

  • Separate from the civil courts are the Syariah Courts, which decide on cases which involve Malaysian Muslims and run parallel to the normal court system.

  • The Internal Security Act allows detention without trial, and the death penalty is in use for crimes such as drug trafficking.

Muslim influence
Muslim Influence

  • The Malaysian constitution guarantees freedom of religion while making Islam the state religion.

  • According to the Population and Housing Census 2000 figures, ethnicity and religious beliefs correlate highly. Approximately 60.4% of the population are practicing Islam. 19.2% Buddhism; 9.1% Christianity; 6.3% Hinduism; and 2.6% practice Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions.

  • All ethnic Malays are considered Muslim by law of the Constitution

  • Muslims are obliged to follow the decisions of Syariah courts in matters concerning their religion. The Islamic judges are expected to follow the Shafi`i legal school of Islam, which is the main madh'hab of Malaysia.

  • The jurisdiction of Shariah courts is limited only to Muslims in matters such as marriage, inheritance, divorce, apostasy, religious conversion, and custody among others.

  • No other criminal or civil offences are under the jurisdiction of the Shariah courts, which have a similar hierarchy to the Civil Courts.

  • Despite being the supreme courts of the land, the Civil Courts (including the Federal Court) do not hear matters related to Islamic practices

Influence of islam
Influence of Islam

  • The Sunni Islam of the Shafi'i school of thought is the official, and legal form in Malaysia, although syncretist Islam with elements of Shamanism is still common in rural areas.

  • Mosques are an ordinary scene throughout the country and adhan (call to prayer) from minarets are heard five times a day.

  • Government bodies and banking institutions are closed for two hours every Friday so Muslims workers can conduct Friday prayer in mosques.

  • The Malaysian authorities have strict policies against other Islamic sects including Shia Islam. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has faced persecution in Malaysia. A notable sect that has been outlawed is Al-Arqam.

Issues today
Issues Today

  • Persons Trafficking

    • Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, and men, women, and children for forced labor; Malaysia is mainly a destination country for men, women, and children who migrate willingly from countries including Indonesia, Nepal, India, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam to work, some of whom are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude by Malaysian employers in the domestic, agricultural, construction, plantation, and industrial sectors; a small number of Malaysian citizens were reportedly trafficked internally and abroad to Singapore, China, and Japan for commercial sexual exploitation

  • tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; while the government increased the number of convictions obtained under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act during the year and continued public awareness efforts on trafficking, it did not effectively investigate and prosecute labor trafficking cases, and failed to address problems of government complicity in trafficking and lack of effective victim care and counseling by authorities (2011)

  • Drug Trafficking

    • prosecuted vigorously and carries severe penalties; heroin still primary drug of abuse, but synthetic drug demand remains strong; continued ecstasy and methamphetamine producer for domestic users and, to a lesser extent, the regional drug market

Islamic influence
Islamic influence

  • The term "Islam Hadhari" ("Civilizational Islam") is a type of progressive Islam heavily promoted by former Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to emphasize the central role of knowledge in Islam. This doctrine espouses a belief in hard work, honesty, good administration and efficiency are equally valued and appeals to Muslims to be inclusive, tolerant and outward-looking.

  • Manhaj Islam Hadhari aims to achieve ten main principles:

    • Faith and piety in God

    • A just and trustworthy government

    • A free and independent people

    • Mastery of knowledge

    • Balanced and comprehensive economic development

    • A good quality of life

    • Protection of the rights of minority groups and women

    • Cultural and moral integrity

    • Environment safeguarding

    • Strong defenses

  • Abdullah MohdZain, a minister in the prime minister's department, says, "It emphasizes wisdom, practicality and harmony." He added that "It encourages moderation or a balanced approach to life. Yet it does not stray from the fundamentals of the Qur'an and the example and sayings of the Prophet."

  • There are however Muslims in Malaysia that disagree with this concept, as the teachings of Islam are already complete and thus, they feel that Islam does not need a new name or face.


  • Background

    • The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945.

    • Indonesia declared its independence after Japan's surrender, but it required four years of intermittent negotiations, recurring hostilities, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949.

    • Free and fair legislative elections took place in 1999 after decades of repressive rule.

    • Indonesia is now the world's third most populous democracy, the world's largest archipelagic state, and home to the world's largest Muslim population.

    • Current issues include: alleviating poverty, improving education, preventing terrorism, consolidating democracy after four decades of authoritarianism, implementing economic and financial reforms, stemming corruption, holding the military and police accountable for human rights violations, addressing climate change, and controlling infectious diseases, particularly those of global and regional importance.

    • In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in Aceh in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face low intensity armed resistance by the separatist Free Papua Movement.


  • Although Muslim traders first traveled through South East Asia early in the Islamic era, the earliest evidence of Islamized populations in Indonesia dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra.

  • Other Indonesian areas gradually adopted Islam, and it was the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century.

  • For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences, which shaped the predominant form of Islam in Indonesia, particularly in Java.

  • The first regular contact between Europeans and the peoples of Indonesia began in 1512, when Portuguese traders, led by Francisco Serrão, sought to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in Maluku.

  • Dutch and British traders followed. In 1602 the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and became the dominant European power. Following bankruptcy, the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800, and the government of the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalized colony.


  • For most of the colonial period, Dutch control over the archipelago was tenuous outside of coastal strongholds; only in the early 20th century did Dutch dominance extend to what was to become Indonesia's current boundaries.

  • Despite major internal political, social and sectarian divisions during the National Revolution, Indonesians, on the whole, found unity in their fight for independence.

  • Japanese occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule, and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement.

    • A later UN report stated that four million people died in Indonesia as a result of famine and forced labor during the Japanese occupation.

  • Two days after the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Sukarno, an influential nationalist leader, declared independence and was appointed president.

  • The Netherlands tried to reestablish their rule, and an armed and diplomatic struggle ended in December 1949, when in the face of international pressure, the Dutch formally recognized Indonesian independence (with the exception of the Dutch territory of West New Guinea, which was incorporated into Indonesia following the 1962 New York Agreement, and the UN-mandated Act of Free Choice of 1969).


  • Sukarno moved Indonesia from democracy towards authoritarianism, and maintained his power base by balancing the opposing forces of the military and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI).[

  • An attempted coup on 30 September 1965 was countered by the army, who led a violent anti-communist purge, during which the PKI was blamed for the coup and effectively destroyed.

  • Around 500,000 people are estimated to have been killed.

  • The head of the military, General Suharto, out-maneuvered the politically weakened Sukarno, and was formally appointed president in March 1968.

  • His New Order administration was supported by the US government,and encouraged foreign direct investment in Indonesia, which was a major factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth. However, the authoritarian "New Order" was widely accused of corruption and suppression of political opposition.

  • Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the late 1990s Asian financial crisis. This increased popular discontent with the New Order and led to popular protest across the country.

  • Suharto resigned on 21 May 1998.In 1999,

  • East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia, after a twenty-five-year military occupation that was marked by international condemnation of repression of the East Timorese.

  • Since Suharto's resignation, a strengthening of democratic processes has included a regional autonomy program, and the first direct presidential election in 2004.

  • Political and economic instability, social unrest, corruption, and terrorism slowed progress, however, in the last five years the economy has performed strongly.

  • Although relations among different religious and ethnic groups are largely harmonious, sectarian discontent and violence has occurred .A political settlement to an armed separatist conflict in Aceh was achieved in 2005


  • Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system. As a unitary state, power is concentrated in the central government.

  • Following the resignation of President Suharto in 1998, Indonesian political and governmental structures have undergone major reforms.

  • Four amendments to the 1945 Constitution of Indonesiahave revamped the executive, judicial, and legislative branches.

  • The president of Indonesia is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces. and the director of domestic governance, policy-making, and foreign affairs. The president appoints a council of ministers, who are not required to be elected members of the legislature.

  • The 2004 presidential election was the first in which the people directly elected the president and vice president.The president may serve a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms.

  • The highest representative body at national level is the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating the president, and formalizing broad outlines of state policy. It has the power to impeach the president.

  • The MPR comprises two houses; the People's Representative Council (DPR), with 560 members, and the Regional Representative Council (DPD), with 132 members.

  • The Supreme Court (MahkamahAgung) is the country's highest court, and hears final cessation appeals and conducts case reviews.

    • Other courts include:

      • the Commercial Court, which handles bankruptcy and insolvency

      • a State Administrative Court (Pengadilan Tata Negara) to hear administrative law cases against the government; a Constitutional Court (MahkamahKonstitusi) to hear disputes concerning legality of law, general elections, dissolution of political parties, and the scope of authority of state institutions

      • Religious Court (Pengadilan Agama) to deal with codified Sharia Law cases.


  • Modern Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.

  • Together with Malaysia and the Philippine islands, this area is home to over 250 million Muslims.

  • Historically, the region has been referred to as the East Indies, but we will use the term “archipelago” to include the modern nations of Indonesia,


  • Recent Terrorism in Indonesia can in part be attributed to the al-Qaeda-affiliated JemaahIslamiyah Islamist terror group.

  • Since 2002, a number of 'western targets' have been attacked. Victims have included both foreign—mainly Western tourists—as well as Indonesian civilians.

  • Terrorism in Indonesia intensified in 2000 with the Jakarta Stock Exchange bombing, followed by four more large attacks.

  • The deadliest killed 202 people (including 164 international tourists) in the Bali resort town of Kuta in 2002.

  • The attacks, and subsequent travel warnings issued by other countries, severely damaged Indonesia's tourism industry and foreign investment prospects.

  • However, after the capture and killing of most of its key members and leaders, most notably Imam Samudra, Amrozi, Abu Dujana, AzahariHusin, and the latest one, Noordin Top, the terrorist cells in Indonesia are more and more insignificant