Return to homeMalaysia online news: http://www.Malaysiakini.com
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(Econ, 6/2/07, p.42)
The island of Borneo, the 3rd largest in the world, was divided
among the sultanate of Brunei, Indonesia, and the Malaysian states
of Sarawak and Sabah, whose capital is Kota Kinabalu. Other states
of 9 included Selangor and Trengganu.
(SFEC, 10/18/98, p.T10) 1.83Mil BC In 2009 Malaysian
archeologists reported that prehistoric stone axes found in Perak
state in 2008 were the world's oldest dating to about this time. The
result had a margin of error of 610,000 years.
c65000BC Geneticists in 2005 used DNA evidence to
conclude that human emigration from Africa took place about this
time from the southern end of the Red Sea and then pushing along the
coast of India and Southeast Asia. The Orang Asli people of Malaysia
likely descended from this 1st migration.
(SFC, 5/13/05, p.A7)(Econ, 12/24/05, Survey p.5)
c500 AD The first settlers of Madagascar began
arriving from the Malay Archipelago in the middle of the first
millennium. DNA studies in 2012 indicated that the number of women
in the first group of settlers numbered about 30.
(Econ, 3/24/12, p.84)
600-1200AD Ceramic shards at Kampong Sungai Mas in
the Bujang Valley date to this time. Brick foundations and a block
of shale with a Buddhist mantra inscribed in Sanskrit was also
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.F)
671 Chinese monk I-Tsing, wrote
that he visited Srivijaya in for 6 months during this year.
Srivijaya (also written Sri Vijaya) was a powerful ancient
thalassocratic Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra, modern
day Indonesia, which influenced much of Southeast Asia.
1400 The Malaysian city of
Malacca was founded and it was soon used by Zheng He, a Chinese
Muslim from the Ming court, as a base for his treasure ships.
(Econ, 11/15/14, SR p.5)
1511 Malacca (Melaka), the
center of East Indian spice trade, was captured by the Portuguese.
When the Dutch gained influence in Indonesia and Jakarta they took
over Melaka and built the fortress A Famosa. St. Paul’s Church,
originally called Our Lady of the Hill, was built by the Portuguese
following their takeover of Malacca.
(TL-MB, p.10)(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T8)(Econ, 11/15/14,
1641 The Dutch pushed the
Portuguese out of Malacca and renamed Our Lady of the Hill church to
(Econ, 11/15/14, SR p.5)
1658 The sultan of Brunei gave
Sabah, the northeastern part of Borneo, to the sultan of Sulu, who
ruled a part of what later became the Philippines.
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.39)
1646 The Cheng Hoon Teng
Buddhist temple was built in Malacca.
(SFEC, 3/19/00, p.T8)
c1700-1800 Monosopiad, an 18th cent. warrior,
collected some 42 human skulls. His house near Sandakan is known as
the House of Skulls.
(SFEC, 10/17/98, p.T11)
1710 St. Peter's Roman Catholic
Church was built in Malacca.
(SFEC, 3/19/00, p.T8)
1728 The Muslim Kampung Hulu
Mosque was built in Malacca.
(SFEC, 3/19/00, p.T8)
1786 Capt. Francis Light landed
in Penang (Malaysia) and built Fort Cornwallis. Light, acting on
behalf of the East India Company, swindled the island from the
ruling sultan with a promise of protection. The British usurped the
land to break the Dutch monopoly on the spice trade.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T8)(SFEM, 12/19/99, p.8)(SFC,
1819 The British claimed
Malacca from the Dutch. They used St. Paul’s church as an ammunition
dump and put a lighthouse in front.
(Econ, 11/15/14, SR p.5)
1832 Pres. Jackson sent the
frigate Potomac to bombard the pirate lair of Kuala Batu.
(WSJ, 10/9/01, p.A22)
1839 Britisher Sir James Brooke
arrived in an armed schooner to Sarawak, Malaysia, and helped the
Sultan of neighboring Brunei subdue rebel, headhunting Iban (Dayak)
tribes. As a reward he was made the Raja of Sarawak, and his heirs
continued to rule until 1946.
(Hem, 6/96, p.133)
1841 Britisher Sir James Brooke
was made the Raja of Sarawak (Borneo). His heirs continued to rule
(Hem, 6/96, p.133)(Econ, 2/15/14, p.35)
1848 It was discovered that
palm oil, a native of West Africa, grew well in the Far East. By
2010 Indonesia and Malaysia produced 90% of the world’s palm oil.
(Econ, 6/26/10, p.71)
1860s Prospectors for tin
founded the city of Kuala Lumpur ("muddy confluence") at the
confluence of the Kelang and Gombak rivers.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T3)
1873 Britain sent an agent,
Henry Wickham, to Brazil to get rubber seeds. The Seedlings were
cultivated in Kew Gardens and transplanted to Malaysia.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)
1878 The sultan of Sulu leased
Sabah in perpetuity to the British North Borneo Company. In 1946 the
company ceded control of Sabah to Britain.
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.39)
1888 In Malaysia the Lake
Gardens opened in Kuala Lumpur.
(SSFC, 3/29/15, p.L4)
1890s A tin rush was on and the
elite gathered at the Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T3)
1902 Thailand annexed 3
southern provinces, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, that had been part
of a Malay Muslim sultanate called the Kingdom of Pattani.
(SFC, 1/23/04, p.A7)(Econ, 6/4/05, p.40)
1902 The Khoo Kongsi, a Chinese
clan house on Penang, burned down the night it was completed. The
temple was rebuilt.
(SFEM, 12/19/99, p.30)
1910 Royal Dutch Shell began
pumping oil out of Sarawak, a British colony on Borneo. Sarawak
became part of Malaysia in 1963.
(Econ, 6/9/12, p.46)
1915 By this year Malay
plantations produced 107,860 tons of rubber compared with 37,200
tons in Brazil.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)
1921 China’s Xiamen University
was founded by Tan Kah Kee, a business tycoon, who made his fortune
in Southeast Asia, including what is now Malaysia. In 2013 Xiamen
University, based in eastern Fujian province, announced plans to
open a branch in Malaysia by 2015.
1938 British expatriates in
Kuala Lumpur converted a hunting tradition to a drinking and running
event called Hashing, named in reference to the bad food at the
Selangar Club where they hung out.
(SFC, 8/11/00, WBb p.7)
1941 Dec 1, British declared a
state of emergency in Malaya following reports of Japanese attacks.
1941 Dec 6, Dutch and British
pilots saw Japanese invasion fleet at Singapore.
1941 Dec 8, Japanese bombers
1945 Aug, A British Royal Air
Force B24 Liberator bomber crashed in Malaysia. Later research
showed that it was carrying supplies for Force 136, a British
Special Operations unit.
1945 At the end of World War II
Thailand was compelled to return territory it had seized from Laos,
Cambodia and Malaya. The exiled King Ananda returned.
1945-1949 A series of wars for independence during
this period spread from India to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and
Singapore. In 2007 Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper authored
“Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia."
(WSJ, 8/9/07, p.D7)
1948 Dec 12, British soldiers
surrounded the Sungai Rimoh rubber estate in Batang Kali, shot 24
Malaysian rubber plantation workers and set the village on fire. In
1970 Britain’s incoming Conservative administration dropped a police
investigation, claiming a lack of evidence. In 2012 relatives of
killed workers lost their High Court battle for a full inquiry by
the British government.
1957 Aug 31, The Federation of
Malaya (Malaysia) gained independence from Britain (National Day).
Malaysia established itself as a constitutional monarchy. Article 11
in the constitution gave every person “the right to profess and
practice his religion." Pro-bumiputra (sons of the soil)
discrimination was laid down in the constitution to ease Malays’
fears of being marginalized by Chinese and Indian migrants. A 1988
amendment denied the regular courts all jurisdiction over matters
dealt with by the Muslim sharia courts.
(YN, 8/31/99)(SFC, 11/22/01, p.A29)(AP,
8/31/07)(Econ, 9/1/07, p.11)
1957 The Barisan Nasional
Coalition began ruling Malaysia.
(Econ, 8/13/11, p.40)
1959 Malaysia adopted a
Banishment Act allowing the government to expel non-citizens.
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.53)
1960 Malaysia introduced the
Internal Security Act (ISA) to stem a communist insurgency. It
allowed authorities to detain people indefinitely without trial.
(SFC, 4/25/01, p.A12)(Econ, 9/24/11, p.52)
1960s US pres. Lyndon B. Johnson visited the
country. In honor of his visit a new plantation was named LBJ. The
plantation was later sold for the development of an information
technology zone called the Multimedia Super Corridor.
(WSJ, 1/8/97, p.A12)
1961 May 3, A British Colonial
Office telegram stated the general guidance for keeping papers out
of the hands of newly elected independent governments. Items should
be disposed of if they "might embarrass members of the police,
military forces, public servants or others eg police informers;
might compromise sources of intelligence" -- or might be used
"unethically" by incoming ministers. Under "Operation Legacy",
officials in Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Tanzania, Jamaica and other
former colonial territories were briefed on how to dispose of
documents that "might embarrass Her Majesty's government." This was
only made public in 2013.
1963 Sep 16, The Federation of
Malaysia was formally established. Sabak (Sabah) and Sarawak,
Britain’s colonies on Borneo, joined the Malayan peninsula to form
Malaysia with Tunku Abdul Rahman (60) as prime minister. The
federation formed under bitter opposition from Indonesia, which
refused to recognize the country and waged a guerrilla war against
it. Race riots erupted between ethnic Malays and the Chinese
(PC, 1992, p.988)(SSFC, 3/10/02, p.C10)(Econ,
9/20/08, p.60)(Econ, 2/23/13, p.39)
1964 Sep 2, Indonesian
paratroopers landed in Malaysia.
1965 Aug 9, Singapore
proclaimed its independence from the Malaysian Federation.
(AP internet, 8/9/97)
1965 Malaysia was seated on
the UN Security Council. Indonesia became the first nation ever to
withdraw from the United Nations in protest of the seating of its
neighbor refusing to recognize it and waging a guerilla war against
it. In 1966 a peace agreement with Malaysia was reached and shortly
thereafter Indonesia resumed its membership in the UN.
1966 Malaysia and Indonesia
reached a peace agreement and shortly thereafter Indonesia resumed
its membership in the UN.
1967 Mar 26, Jim Thompson,
American ex-serviceman, disappeared while on holiday in the Cameron
Highlands of Northern Malaysia. He revived the Thai silk industry
after WW II. He was one of the first to adopt a classic Thai house
to the requirements of modern life, and his home is now a museum in
(Hem, Mar. 95, p.63)(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.T14)
1967 Aug 8, The Association of
Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established in Bangkok by the
five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined
on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Laos and Myanmar on 23
July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.
1969 May 10, Malaysia held its
3rd general election since independence. Opposition advances at the
polls were followed by bloody race riots. Smoldering racial tensions
erupted between the Malays and the Chinese with riots that killed
1969 May 13, In Malaysia deadly
race riots took place in Kuala Lumpur.
(Econ, 5/16/09, p.49)
1969 Malaysia adopted an
Emergency Ordnance that allowed people to be detained without
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.53)
1970 Sep 22, Abdul Razak
(1922-1976) became Malaysia’s 2nd prime minister.
1971 Nov 1, The Five Power
Defense Arrangements were concluded by the defense ministers of
Australia, Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore. In 2017 it
was upgraded to deal with terrorism threats and new security
(Econ, 11/5/11, p.54)(AP, 6/2/17)
1971 Malaysia introduced a New
Economic Policy (NEP), which ushered in affirmative action for
Malays. The temporary bill expired in 1990, when it was renamed and
1974 Petronas, Malaysia’s
national oil firm, was given exclusive rights to the nation’s
hydrocarbons. Until this year all of Malaysia’s oil was pumped by
(Econ, 10/10/09, p.69)
1974 In Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim
was detained for 22 months for organizing political opposition
groups and for distributing a book by Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A11)
1975 Apr 4, The first group of
boat people from Vietnam began arriving in Malaysia. More than 1
million people fled from the close of the war to the early 1980s.
(SFC, 4/17/96, p.A-9)
1975 Aug 4, In Malaysia the
Japanese Red Army raided a building in Kuala Lumpur that housed US,
Swedish, Japanese and Canadian embassies. 52 hostages were exchanged
for Red Army members.
1976 Jan 14, Abdul Razak
(b.1922), Malaysia’s 2nd prime minister, died. His son Najib Razak
(23) was soon elected to parliament.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tun_Abdul_Razak)(Econ, 11/8/08, p.60)
1977 Sep 27, Japan Airlines
Flight 715, a DC-8, crashed into a hill in bad weather while
attempting to land at the Kuala Lumpur Subang Airport. 34 people,
including 8 of the 10 crew members and 26 of the 69 passengers, were
killed when the aircraft broke on impact.
1981 Mahathir Mohamed was named
prime minister. He led the United Malays National Organization
(SFC, 11/24/97, p.A11)
1982 McDonald's, the US fast
food giant, began operations in Malaysia.
1983 In Malaysia PM Mahathir
Mohamed initiated Proton, the Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (National
Car Project). Production of the 1st model, Saga, began in 1985 in
association with Mitsubishi of Japan.
(Econ, 5/8/04, p.61)(WSJ, 7/14/04, p.B2B)(Econ,
1983 Malaysia passed an Islamic
banking law and set up Bank Islam. Takaful Malaysia, an Islamic
insurance company, was set up in 1984.
(WSJ, 4/4/07, p.A13)
1984 Daim Zainuddin became
chairman of the main investment arm of United Malays National
(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.B5B)
1985 Malaysia’s PM Mahathir
Mohamed and government colleagues conceived the idea of a national
highway about this time.
(Hem., 1/96, p.97)
1986 A law was enacted that
prohibited publications of "malicious allegations" against the
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A15)
1987 Malaysia’s PM Mahathir
Mohamad (b.1925) locked up more than 100 critics under the
colonial-era Internal Security Act.
(Econ, 12/5/15, p.42)
1987 In Malaysia Sultan
Iskandar (1932-2010), the 24th Sultan of Johor, was accused of
causing the death of a golf caddy in Cameron Highlands by assault.
He could not be prosecuted due to the immunity that was accorded to
1987 In Malaysia women’s groups
began campaigning for a law against wife-beating. A weak law was
passed in 1994.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1988 May, In Malaysia
construction of the North-South Expressway was begun.
(Hem., 1/96, p.97)
1988 In Malaysia an amendment
to the constitution denied the regular courts all jurisdiction over
matters dealt with by the Muslim sharia courts.
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.42)
1990 In Malaysia the 1970 New
Economic Policy (NEP), which ushered in affirmative action for
Malays, expired. It was renamed and hardly changed.
(Econ, 8/27/05, p.34)
1990 Malaysia’s poverty rate
stood at 22.8%.
(Econ, 4/8/06, p.42)
1991 In Malaysia authorities
banned Mak Yong, a traditional form of dance theater.
(WSJ, 4/19/06, p.A1)
1992 In Malaysia a rare earths
plant in northern Perak state was forced to shut down over protests
from residents who blamed it for birth defects in nearby
1992 Panama disease, caused by
the fusarium fungus, mutated to a form capable of attacking the
Cavendish variety of banana and wiped out plantations in Malaysia.
The disease had previously destroyed the popular Gros Michel
variety, which was left growing only in remote parts of Uganda and
(Econ, 10/22/05, p.85)
1994 The North-South Expressway
of Malaysia was completed. It spans the western side of the Malay
Peninsula from Singapore to the Thailand frontier for 520 miles.
(Hem., 1/96, p.97)
1994 Malaysia passed a Domestic
Violence Act. It made wife-beating unlawful but only after a
cease-and-desist order and went into effect in 1996. Women’s groups
had begun campaigning seven years
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1994 Malaysia under PM Mahathir
Mohamed awarded the Bakun Dam concession to Ekran Bhd. The
government took over the project following the financial crises of
(WSJ, 1/8/04, p.A14)
1994-1997 Malaysia engaged in a tight money policy
as the economy grew at a breakneck speed.
(WSJ, 11/22/05, p.A13)
1995 July, Irene Fernandez,
head of the human rights group Tenaganita, published a report after
interviewing immigrant inmates on prison conditions. 71 deaths have
been caused by alleged abuse.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A15)
1995 Sep, A Fokker-50
operated by a Malaysian airline crashed on arrival at Tawau,
Malaysia airport, killing 34 people. The plane touched down 500
yards short of the runway, pulled up and crashed into a shantytown.
1995 Danny Ooi launched The
Malaysia Book of Records.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.B1)
1995 Kuala Lumpur. High trade
deficit. Money is denominated in "ringgit". [It reached 4.7 billion
dollars on annualized basis.]
(WSJ, 10/30/95, p.A-11A)
1996 Apr 18, Malaysia was to
send about 1200 Vietnamese boatpeople back home.
(SFC, 4/17/96, p.A-9)
1996 May 20, In Malaysia timber
exports have reached $1.5 billion from the state of Sarawak in
north-central Borneo Island. The lives of the local Penans and other
forest peoples have been forever fractured. Half of Sarawak is zoned
for logging, 8% is to be permanently protected, and 42% is to be
stripped away for development.
(SFC, 5/20/96, p.A-8)
1996 Jun, Malaysia’s Domestic
Violence Act went into effect. Women’s groups had begun campaigning
nine years ago and a weak version was passed in 1994.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1996 Jun 10, In Malaysia Irene
Fernandez, head of the human rights group Tenaganita, went on trial
for her 1995 published report on prison conditions of immigrant
inmates. 71 deaths have been caused by alleged abuse. She was
charged under a 1986 law that banned the publication of "malicious
allegations" against the government. Seven years later, she was
sentenced to one year in prison but appealed. In 2008 she was
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A15)(SFC, 5/29/96, p.A8)(AP,
1996 Jun 13, A report from
Kuching told of Borneo’s 2nd high tech plant being cut out of the
tropical rain forest.
(WSJ, 6/13/96, p.A6)
1996 Jun 14, Issues that had
blocked the building of the $6.02 billion Bakun hydroelectric dam in
Sarawak state on Borneo were resolved.
(WSJ, 6/14/96, p.A10)
1996 Jun 19, A court order
stopped work on the $5.4 billion Bakun Dam due to violation of
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A10)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of
a Big Mac in Malaysia was $1.51.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Parade, p.17)
1996 Jul 10, Entrepreneur Tan
Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun was backing a new development to rise
above the Kelang River in Kuala Lumpur. Called KL Linear City the
plan called for a 24 year project that would consist of a 1.24
mile-long, 10-story, tube-like structure. It was disclosed as a
footnote in Malaysia’s 75 year plan released in April.
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A10)
1996 Aug 3-4, There was a
nationwide power blackout that lasted 16 hours in some areas.
(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A5c)
1996 Sep 15, In Singapore all
120,000 internet subscribers will have to go through proxy servers
which will screen them from dozens of sites that contain nudity and
(SFC, 8/15/96, p.B2)
1996 Dec 25, Tropical storm
Greg killed at least 163 people in the northern Borneo state of
(WSJ, 12/27/96, p.A1)(SFC, 12/30/96, p.A8)
1996 Abdullah Sungkar (1999)
and Abu Bakar Baasyir, self-exiled Indonesian clerics, together with
Riduan Isamuddin, established Jemaah Islamiyah in Malaysia.
(WSJ, 1/15/03, p.A1)
1996 In Malaysia the Pergau
hydroelectric dam, supported by British aid, was commissioned. The
project involved at least 3 separate scandals. In 2012 Time
Lankester authored “The Politics and Economics of Britain’s Foreign
Aid: The Pergau Dam Affair."
(Econ, 11/17/12, p.77)
1997 Jan, Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad went to Silicon Valley to describe a new
"multimedia supercorridor" which would include a new airport and two
new cities with high technology centers.
(Hem., 4/97, p.42)
1997 Feb 28, It was reported
that the Dayaks were killing the Madurans in the rain forest of West
Kalimantan, Borneo. The indigenous Dayaks had killed as many as 300
Madurans in fierce hand combat after a peace treaty was broken. The
Madurans were moved in by the government from an overpopulated area.
(SFC, 2/28/97, p.A16)
1997 May 12, It was reported
that the Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur was opened as a public
attraction last week. It was scheduled to be demolished in 6 months.
(WSJ, 5/12/97, p.B1)
1997 May 31, The 7-member ASEAN
alliance, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, met in Kuala
Lumpur and agreed to allow Burma to become a member in July. Laos
and Cambodia were also to be admitted. The members were Thailand,
Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.D3)
1997 Aug 9, In Indonesia huge
fires in tropical forests and plantations on Sumatra and Borneo and
Java were blamed on slash-and-burn farming techniques. Fires
originally set by developers to clear forest for palm plantations in
Borneo and Sumatra ran out of control and darkened skies across much
of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The World Bank estimated that
8% of total global emission of greenhouse gases for the year were
due to the fires.
(SFC, 8/9/97, p.A12)(SFC, 9/25/97, p.A11)(Econ,
1997 Sep, American billionaire
George Soros, vilified by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad as the
cause of the national financial crises, defended himself and called
his accuser "a menace to his own country."
(SFC, 9/22/97, p.A10)
1997 Oct 1, Asian currencies
dived in foreign exchange markets in part because of comments by
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir: "I would like to suggest that we
do away with trade in currency as a commodity."
(WSJ, 10/2/97, p.A12)
1997 Dec 8, The Rupiah dropped
10% on rumors that Pres. Suharto had suffered a stroke.
(WSJ, 12/10/97, p.A16)
1997 Dec 19, A Singapore
operated Boeing 737 jet crashed by the Musi River north of Palembang
on its flight from Jakarta to Singapore. All 104 people on board
were feared dead.
(SFC, 12/20/97, p.A10)
1997 Malaysia banned the export
of sand hurting Singapore’s efforts to secure supplies for its
booming construction industry and sea-fill plans. Indonesia followed
suit in 2007 and caused a surge in the price of sand.
(Econ, 10/10/09, p.46)
1997 In Malaysia a virus struck
the village of Nipah and killed 105 people, most of whom were
involved in the hog-farming industry. Some 1.2 million hogs were
destroyed and the Nipah virus epidemic ran its course over 7 months.
The epidemic was later related to burning rain forests and bats
seeking new food sources that passed the virus to pigs that passed
it to humans. Most animals recovered but it was lethal to 40% of
(SFC, 9/28/99, p.A9)(SFC, 5/29/00, p.A4)(WSJ,
1998 Mar 15, Random drug
testing at all Malaysian schools was to be instituted with urine
(SFC, 3/16/98, p.A9)
1998 Mar 26, In Malaysia riots
flared in 4 detention camps that housed mainly Indonesian illegal
immigrants. The Internal Security Act allowed the detention without
trial of people caught helping illegals. 8 inmates and one policeman
were killed. Over 200 inmates escaped from one camp.
(WSJ, 3/27/98, p.A10)
1998 Apr 21, Skydivers from
Malaysia parachuted the national car, the Proton Wira sedan, onto
the North Pole this week.
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.A13)
1998 May 15, Tuanku Mizan
Zainal Abidin (b. 1962) became the 17th Sultan of Terengganu and the
13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the constitutional head of state of
1998 Sep, Malaysia was
scheduled to host the Commonwealth Games.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T3)
1998 Jun 27, The new $3.61 bil
airport in Sepang north of Kuala Lumpur was scheduled to open. The
new $2.25 [$2.5] billion int’l. airport covered 25,000 acres and was
opened by King Tuanku Jaafar.
(WSJ, 8/30/96, p.B8B)(SFEC, 6/28/98, p.A17)
1998 Jun 30, In Malaysia the
new Kuala Lumpur Int’l. Airport (KLIA) began operations.
(SFEC, 7/5/98, p.T3)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.35)
1998 Sep 1, Capital controls
were imposed on the stock market. Foreigners holding stocks were not
allowed to take their money out of the country for one year. Dr.
Mahathir ordered that the austerity measures of Anwar Ibrahim be
(WSJ, 9/8/98, p.A14)(WSJ, 10/30/98, p.A11)
1998 Sep 2, Malaysia PM
Mahathir Mohamad ousted deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim after
the deputy disagreed with the free-spending policies of his boss.
(SFC, 9/21/98, p.A12)(SFC, 9/22/98, p.A7)
1998 Sep 7, The market index
(WSJ, 9/8/98, p.A14)
1998 Sep 8, The market index
fell a record 21.5%, 95.5 points to 349.56. A regulatory reprieve
gave foreigners their first chance to sell since capital controls
were imposed on Sep 1.
(WSJ, 9/8/98, p.A14)
1998 Sep 9, The reprieve to
sell stock under the old rules was withdrawn. The market closed at
(WSJ, 9/10/98, p.A19)
1998 Sep 20, In Malaysia Anwar
Ibrahim (51) was jailed following charges of sexual hijinks. His
arrest coincided with protests calling for the resignation of the
prime minister and with the end of the competition of the
Commonwealth Games and a state visit by Queen Elizabeth II. Ibrahim
was beaten by police chief Abdul Rahim Noor. Noor was sentenced to 2
months in prison for the assault in 2000.
(SFC, 9/21/98, p.A12)(SFC, 3/15/00, p.A10)
1998 Sep 21, In Malaysia
thousands of protestors clashed with police as the finale to the
Commonwealth Games proceeded. The Suaram human rights group said
that 34 people were arrested.
(SFC, 9/22/98, p.A7)
1998 Sep 25, In Malaysia Abdul
Malek was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA), at the
height of the "Reformasi" (Reforms) demonstrations following the
sacking and arrest of deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. In 2007 a
Malaysian court awarded Malek 740,000 dollars for his wrongful
arrest and assault in custody. It was the first time that a
Malaysian court had awarded significant compensation for illegal
detention and abuse.
1998 Sep 27, In Malaysia about
10,000 people gathered in Kuala Lumpur to protests a crackdown on
dissent by the Mahathir regime.
(WSJ, 9/28/98, p.A1)
1998 Oct 17, In Malaysia Azizah
Ismail, wife of Anwar Ibrahim, joined some ten thousand protestors
demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Mohamad.
(SFEC, 10/18/98, p.A20)
1998 Nov 2, In Malaysia the
sex-and-politics trial of Anwar Ibrahim began.
(SFC, 11/2/98, p.A14)
1998 Nov 14, In Malaysia
thousands gathered to criticize Prime Minister Mahathir as world
leaders gathered for the 6th APEC forum.
(SFEC, 11/15/98, p.A17)
1998 Nov 16, VP Al Gore spoke
in Malaysia at the APEC conference and accused the government of
(SFC, 11/18/98, p.C2)
1998 Dec 9, Azizan Abu Bakar,
the ex-driver of Anwar Ibrahim, repeated in court his allegation
that he was sodomized by Ibrahim in 1992.
(SFC, 12/10/98, p.C7)
1998 The 1,482-foot Petronas
Towers were completed in Kuala Lumpur as the world’s tallest
buildings. They were built by Petroliam Nasional, Malaysia’s
national oil company. The twin buildings stood 88-stories with
241-foot spires. They stood 29 feet taller than the Sears Building
in Chicago, and remained the tallest in the world until Taipei 101
was completed in 2004.
p.B2)(Econ, 10/10/09, p.69)
1998 In Malaysia the government
of PM Mahathir Mohamad pegged the ringgit at 3.80 at to the dollar
in order to bring stability to the economy.
(Econ, 4/10/04, p.64)
1998 Hong Kong suffered a slump
in GDP of over 6% as did Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and
(Econ, 11/22/08, p.51)
1998 In Malaysia pirate attacks
rose to 67 as compared to 51 in 1997.
(SFC, 2/4/99, p.A12)
1999 Jan 5, Malaysia admitted
that former Deputy Premier Anwar was beaten by police after his
arrest in September.
(WSJ, 1/6/99, p.A1)
1999 Jan 7, Police inspector
general Abdul Rahim Noor announced his resignation effective Jan 8.
(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A16)
1999 Jan 8, In Malaysia Prime
Minister Mahathir named Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (59) as his heir
(SFC, 1/9/99, p.A14)
1999 Mar 18, In Malaysia an
outbreak of encephalitis caused an order for the extermination of
64,000 pigs and the evacuation of 11,000 people.
(SFC, 3/19/99, p.A14)
1999 Mar 21, In Malaysia
soldiers began killing the pig population to control an outbreak of
Japanese encephalitis. The number of pigs to be killed rose to at
least one million.
(SFC, 3/22/99, p.A11)(WSJ, 3/29/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar, Malaysia gave the
green light for the development of the Port Klang Free Zone as a
regional trans-shipment hub to rival Singapore. After 10 years the
project was stalled and close to default with cost overruns at $987
(Econ, 9/5/09, p.47)
1999 Apr 4, In Malaysia Azizah
Ismail, the wife of Anwar Ibrahim, announced the formation of the
People’s Justice Party (PKR) and called on opposition forces to
topple Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
(SFC, 4/5/99, p.A9)(Econ, 12/4/10, p.54)
1999 Apr 8, In Malaysia it was
reported that some 111 people had died in the last 6 months from a
new virus that was believed to be spreading from pigs to humans.
(SFC, 4/9/99, p.A16)
1999 Apr 13, In Malaysia Anwar
Ibrahim was convicted on 4 charges of corruption by High Court Judge
Augustine Paul. He was sentenced to 6 years on each charge with the
sentences to run concurrently.
(SFC, 4/14/99, p.A14)
1999 May 3, It was reported
that Prime Minister Mahathir said that his deputy, Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi, would succeed him after elections in 2000.
(WSJ, 5/3/99, p.A1)
1999 Jul 8, In Malaysia Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad unveiled phase one of Cyberjaya, a
futuristic high-tech city expected to cost some $5.3 billion.
(SFC, 7/9/99, p.D2)
1999 Sep 10, Anwar Ibrahim was
hospitalized after lawyers claimed that he had been poisoned with
arsenic. Ibrahim had lost 26 lbs and suffered hair loss, numbness in
his fingers, erratic blood pressure and migraines.
(SFC, 10/6/99, p.C16)
1999 Sep 19, In Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, over 10,000 people protested against PM Mahathir Mohamad
on the one-year anniversary of the arrest of ex-Deputy Premier Anwar
Ibrahim, who was reported to be suffering from arsenic poisoning.
Police responded with tear gas and water cannons. Protesters wore
red and adopted the battle cry of “reformasi" from neighboring
(SFC, 9/20/99, p.A9)(WSJ, 9/20/99, p.A1)(Econ,
1999 Oct 5, A judge ordered the
sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim to proceed and said medical tests
showed no evidence of arsenic poisoning.
(SFC, 10/6/99, p.C16)
1999 Oct 11, Murray Hiebert,
Canadian journalist, was released after 4 weeks in jail. He had been
sentenced to 6 weeks for a 1997 article about a court case.
(WSJ, 10/12/99, p.A21)
1999 Nov 9, In northern
Malaysia Carolyn Janice Ahmad (35) was allegedly killed as a
sacrifice to obtain lottery tips from the Hindu goddess Kali. Her
skeletal remains were discovered in a shallow grave at an oil palm
plantation in June 2001. In 2004 a court acquitted 3 Malaysians
charged with killing the American woman
1999 Nov 11, In Malaysia Prime
Minister Mahathir (73) dissolved parliament and planned early
(SFC, 11/11/99, p.A24)
1999 Nov 29, In Malaysia PM
Mahathir Mohamad and his ruling National Front coalition won over a
two-thirds majority in Parliament. Wan Azizah Ismail, wife of Anwar
Ibrahim, led the newly formed National Justice Party (Keadilan) and
won her husband’s former seat. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party
(Pas), whose leaders favor strict Islamic law, won control of
Trengganu state and kept control of Kelantan state.
(SFC, 11/13/99, p.A12)
1999 King Salahuddin Abdul Aziz
assumed the throne as the nation’s 11th king since independence in
1957. He introduced a rotating royalty system whereby the sultans of
the 9 states choose the king by secret ballot. Each sultan than
takes a turn as monarch for 5 years.
(SFC, 11/22/01, p.A29)
1999 Malaysia began moving
government departments from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya, its new
11,300-acre $5.3 billion administrative capital, 25 miles away.
(SSFC, 7/18/04, p.D12)
1999 Malaysiakini, an
independent online newspaper in Malaysia, was founded as a free
site. In 2002 it was forced to start charging for use.
(Econ, 3/15/08, p.52)
2000 Jan, In Malaysia
terrorists held a meeting in Kuala Lumpur. The US CIA informed the
FBI that Khalid Al-Midhar had a US visa. Midhar was later one of the
Sep 11, 2001, terrorists.
(SFC, 6/4/02, p.A10)
2000 Mar 13, CBS began filming
its "Survivor" show on the Malaysian island of Pulau Tiga. Filming
lasted to April 20 and the last survivor was to be awarded a $1
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.C15)
2000 Apr 23, Philippine gunmen
abducted 20 people from a Malaysian resort on Sipadan Island.
Islamic insurgents took credit for the attack. They later freed 2
hostages and demanded $2.4 million in ransom for 19 captives.
(SFC, 4/25/00, p.A10)(WSJ, 4/27/00, p.A1)(SFC,
2000 Apr 29, In Malaysia a
court upheld the 1999 corruption conviction against former finance
minister Anwar Ibrahim.
(SFEC, 4/30/00, p.A17)
2000 Apr, Steven Gan (35)
founded Malaysiakini.com, an online newspaper.
(SFC, 4/18/00, p.A8)
2000 Jul 6, In Malaysia
commandos ended a 4-day standoff and forced the surrender of 27
militants of Al-Ma’unah (Brotherhood of Inner Power), led by Amin
Razali. 2 non-Muslim hostages were slain in the process. 19 cult
members were found guilty Dec 27, 2001.
(SFC, 7/7/00, p.D6)(SFEC, 8/13/00, p.B9)(SFC,
2000 Aug 8, Anwar Ibrahim,
former deputy prime minister, was convicted of sodomy and sentenced
to 9 years in prison. Sukma Dermawan, Ibrahim’s codefendant and
adopted brother, was also found guilty.
(SFC, 8/8/00, p.A11)
2000 Aug 8, Some 29 members of
the Al-Ma’unah Islamic sect were charged with treason for the July
looting of 2 army camps in Perak.
(SFEC, 8/13/00, p.B9)
2000 Aug 22, In Sarawak 15
people including 13 children were killed when a tractor-trailer rig
collided with a school van.
(SFC, 8/24/00, p.A13)
2000 Aug 23, The final winner
of the "Survivor" TV contest set on Pulau Tiga island was broadcast
to as many as 40-50 million viewers. Richard Hatch (39), a corporate
trainer from Newport, R.I., won the $1 million grand prize. In 2006
Hatch was convicted on three counts related to tax evasion and was
sentenced to 51 months in Federal prison plus three years of
(SFC, 8/23/00, p.A1)(SFC, 8/24/00,
2000 Aug, 78 4-man teams in the
Eco-Challenge Sabah encountered flooded rivers over a 2-week race in
Malaysian Borneo. A number later found themselves infected with
(SFC, 9/15/00, p.A12)
2000 Sep 10, Abu Sayyaf rebels
kidnapped 3 men from Pandanan Island off Borneo and took them to
Jolo island in the Philippines.
(WSJ, 9/12/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov 5, In Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, thousands of people protested the rule of Prime Minister
(SFC, 11/6/00, p.A15)
2000 Nov 24, It was reported
that recent monsoon flooding killed 10 people in Malaysia and at
least 5 people in Thailand. The death toll from flooding in Thailand
reached over 30, mostly children. At least 49 died from mudslides in
(SFC, 11/24/00, p.D8)(WSJ, 11/27/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov, A Malaysian
politician was assassinated. The militant group Jemaah Islamiyah was
believed to be involved.
(WSJ, 8/13/02, p.A14)
2000 Dec 31, 15 parachutists
planned to leap from the Petronas Towers just before midnight and
land in the new year.
(SFC, 12/31/00, p.B2)
2001 Mar 11, Ethnic violence
between Malays and ethnic Indians continued for a 4th day. Five
people were killed in the last 4 days.
(SFC, 3/12/01, p.A15)
2001 Apr 10, Malaysia arrested
at least 4 opposition leaders as the 2 year anniversary approached
of jailed former Deputy Premier Anwar’s conviction.
(WSJ, 4/11/01, p.A1)
2001 Sep 25, The government
accused Nik Adli Nik Abdul Aziz (34), an Islamic school teacher, for
plotting to overthrow the government. His father served as the chief
minister of Kelantan state. Nik Adli allegedly belonged to the
Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia militant group.
(WSJ, 9/26/01, p.A16)
2001 Nov 21, King Salahuddin
Abdul Aziz died at age 75.
(SFC, 11/22/01, p.A29)
2001 Dec 8, Malaysian
authorities said that would expand a policy of caning illegal
immigrants to include 1st-time offenders.
(SSFC, 12/9/01, p.A18)
2001 A Malaysia bank
introduced a corporate bond that complied with Islamic prohibitions
on interest. The bonds were benchmarked to interest rates, but
technically based on profit sharing, leasing or trading By
2007 the global Islamic bond market reached an estimated $50 billion
in outstanding securities.
(WSJ, 4/4/07, p.A1)
2001 Tony Fernandez (b.1964),
Malaysian entrepreneur, acquired AirAsia and soon re-launched it as
a low-cost domestic carrier with 2 B737 planes purchased from a
Malaysian conglomerate. Ryanair signed on with a 5% stake. By 2009
the company had 76 planes. By the end of 2004 the low cost airline
planned to have 30 planes.
(Econ, 3/13/04, p.63)(Econ, 2/7/09, p.35)(Econ,
2002 Jan 6, It was reported
that Malaysia authorities had arrested 13 suspected members of
extremist groups since Dec 9 with possible links to the Sep 11
(SSFC, 1/6/02, p.A8)
2002 Jan 12, Malaysia announced
the arrests of 2 more suspected militants tied to al Qaeda and
linked to a cell in Singapore.
(SSFC, 1/13/02, p.A11)
2002 May, Malaysia’s PM
Mahathir Mohamed met with Pres. Bush in Washington, DC. In 2006 it
was revealed that lobbyist Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to
organize the meeting. Mahathir later said that at the time he had
been persuaded by the Heritage Foundation to meet with Bush because
the conservative think tank believed he could help "influence (Bush)
in some way regarding US policies."
2002 Jun 23, In Malaysia Fadzil
Noor, the leader of the main opposition, Parti Islam se-Malaysia
(PAS), died after failing to recover from emergency heart surgery
nearly two weeks ago.
2002 Jun 25, Malaysia's ruling
party said on Tuesday Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, one of Asia's
longest-serving leaders, will hand power to his deputy late next
year in a move investors praised as an orderly transition.
2002 Jul 2, Malaysia said it
had not reached any new agreements with Singapore on the sale of
water to the island state and other issues after two days of talks.
2002 Jul 31, Thousands of
illegal immigrants headed for Malaysia's ports to meet a midnight
deadline for them to leave the country or risk a caning.
2002 Aug 2, Australia and
Malaysia signed a counter-terrorism pact which pledged them to work
together to fight suspected Islamic militants in the region.
2002 Aug 31, Malaysia said it
has agreed to temporarily halt deportation of Filipino workers and
their families amid public outrage over reports of their
2002 Sep 7, Indonesian
officials say 35 deportees from Malaysia have died at sprawling
makeshift camps in Borneo as they await the arrival of a navy vessel
bringing medical help.
2002 Nov 4, China signed a
landmark agreement, “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the
South China Sea," with ASEAN (Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines,
Vietnam) on avoiding open conflict in the disputed South China Sea
Spratly Islands. Indonesia objected and Taiwan was barred from
(Reuters, 11/4/02)(Econ, 5/22/04,
2002 Dec 17, Malaysia won
control of two tiny palm-fringed islands when the World Court ruled
in its favor in a long-running dispute with Indonesia.
2002 Malaysia issued the
world’s first sovereign sukuk, an Islamic bond.
(Econ, 1/5/13, p.60)
2002 Abdul Razak Baginda helped
Malaysia negotiate the purchase of French submarines.
(WSJ, 3/29/07, p.A13)
2002 Oil was found in 4,400
feet of water off the coast of Sabah state in Borneo, Malaysia. The
filed dubbed Kikeh was contested by Brunei.
(WSJ, 6/27/03, p.A11)
2003 Feb 25, In Malaysia a summit of 116
developing countries suspicious of US military dominance united
behind calls to give Baghdad more time to disarm.
2003 May 20, Malaysia launched
its government sponsored BioValley complex at a cost of $150
million. In 2005 the journal Nature reported it as a failed project.
2003 May 24, Malaysia PM
Mahathir Mohamad met with Brunei's 29th Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah to address the issue of the Kikeh oil find off
(WSJ, 6/27/03, p.A11)(SSFC, 6/28/03, p.C6)
2003 Jun 25, The Malaysia
Parliament passed a post secondary school National Service Bill to
encourage nation building by integrating participants in a state-run
(Econ, 10/23/04, p.44)
2003 cAug 4, Pres. Putin
visited Malaysia to seal a $900 million sale of Sukhoi fighter jets
and tout Russia's liberal sale policies.
(WSJ, 8/5/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 10, Pirates in the
Strait of Malacca struck a small tanker near the Port Klang, Kuala
Lumpur. They looted the ship and took it into Indonesia waters and
sought $100,000 ransom for the top 3 officers.
(SFC, 8/15/03, p.A8)
2003 Sep 29, In Malaysia PM
Mahathir Mohamad presided at the inauguration of the Berjaya Times
Square, a $460 million project that was derailed by the 1997-98
Asian financial crises.
2003 Oct 5, In Malaysian Borneo
armed kidnappers riding in a speedboat raided a remote resort,
seizing six people before escaping.
2003 Oct 11, In Malaysia
delegates from Islamic nations gathered in the new administrative
capital of Putrajaya with Iraq as a center piece of discussion.
(SSFC, 10/11/03, p.A3)
2003 Oct 16, Malaysian Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad told a summit of Islamic leaders that
"Jews rule the world by proxy" and the world's 1.3 billion Muslims
should unite, using nonviolent means for a "final victory."
2003 Oct 20, President Bush
personally condemned the Malaysian prime minister for his statement
that Jews rule the world, pulling Mahathir Mohamad aside at an
international economic meeting to tell him the remarks were "wrong
2003 Oct 31, Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi became Malaysia's first new prime minister in a generation,
succeeding Mahathir Mohamad.
2003 Nov 30, In Malaysia 2
passenger buses collided on a windy road in the Kuala Lipis
district, killing at least 14 people.
2004 Jan 7, Najib Razak, a
veteran politician, was named as Malaysia's deputy PM.
2004 Jan 13, Thai and Malaysian
military forces began joint land and air patrols along their jungle
border for the first time since the 1970s.
2004 Jan 27, In Malaysia an
Iranian asylum seeker set himself on fire in an apparent suicide
attempt outside the Kuala Lumpur headquarters of the UN refugee
2004 Feb 9, In Malaysia
anti-corruption officers arrested the former head of scandal-plagued
steel company Perwaja.
2004 Feb 12, Malaysia's land
minister was arrested and charged for his involvement a deal to sell
millions of dollars worth of shares his government agency owned in
the second high-profile anti-corruption case this week amid a
2004 Mar 3, Malaysia's new PM
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called a snap national election that will pit
the long-ruling secular coalition government against a
fundamentalist Islamic opposition.
2004 Mar 21, Elections were
held in Malaysia. An Islamic leader implied that those who backed
government candidates would go to hell. Malaysia's secular
government won a sweeping victory in two Muslim-dominated states and
looked headed for a nationwide rout of the fundamentalist Islamic
(WSJ, 3/8/04, p.A1)(AP, 3/21/04)
2004 Mar 22, In Malaysia
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sworn in as prime minister, a day after
scoring a landslide election victory that handed the fundamentalist
Islamic opposition its worst defeat in more than a decade. The
national Front Coalition won 199 out of 219 seats in parliament.
(AP, 3/22/04)(Econ, 11/17/07, p.53)
2004 Apr 7, In Malaysia 3 men
armed with firebombs, machetes and an ax attacked Myanmar's embassy,
hacking one senior official and starting a fire that destroyed the
2004 May 28, Malaysia issued a
detention order for Buhary Syed Abu Tahir, a Sri Lankan businessman,
on charges that in 2002 he brought 7 Libyan technicians to Malaysia
to be trained to operate machines to produce centrifuge parts for
Libya’s nuclear weapons program. Tahir was a key associate of Abdul
Qadeer Khan, former head of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
(WSJ, 6/4/04, p.A10)
2004 Aug 31, The $4 million
film “Princess of Mount Ledang," directed by Saw Teong Hin, opened
on Malaysia’s 47th anniversary of independence.
(SFC, 8/26/04, p.E5)
2004 Sep 2, Anwar Ibrahim was
set free after his sodomy conviction was overturned by Malaysia's
highest court. This was six years to the day after the one-time heir
apparent to the country's premiership plunged into a divisive fight
with his political mentor.
2004 Sep 15, Malaysia declared
its entire northern Kelantan state a quarantine zone to halt the
spread of bird flu.
2004 Azman Mokhtar was
appointed as head of Khazana, a Malaysian government passive holding
company, with a mission to overhaul some 40 partially state-owned
(Econ, 8/20/05, p.50)
2004 Producers and users of
palm oil, 90% of which is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia, set up
a Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
(Econ, 8/1/15, p.59)
2005 Jan 1, Malaysia was
forecast for 4.7% annual GDP growth with a population at 25.9
million and GDP per head at $4,750.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.91)
2005 Feb 26, Malaysia's PM
Badawi told Proton to set its sights abroad as he launched the
national carmaker's 1.8 billion ringgit (474 million dollar) new
2005 Apr 4, A minister said
Malaysia plans to hire 169,000 foreign workers to overcome an acute
labor shortage after a crackdown on illegal migrants.
2005 May 25, Japan and Malaysia
agreed to key elements of a free-trade pact, to be launched in
December, covering automobiles and most other economic sectors.
(WSJ, 5/26/05, p.A10)
2005 Jun 24, Malaysia's ruling
UMNO party suspended cabinet minister Isa Samad for six years for
2005 Jun 29, In Malaysia Hamisa
Abu Hassan Saari (22) was arrested after police found some drugs on
a friend. A police officer secretly recorded her with a cell phone
as she was forced to strip and do squats, though she had no drugs.
The recording got on the Internet and led to a special commission
that denounced the police procedures and led to significant changes.
(SFC, 11/23/06, p.A34)
2005 Jul 3, Police in Malaysia
raided the compound of Ayah Pin, born as Ariffin Mohammad, in
Terengganu state, and arrested 21 followers. Pin claimed divinity as
the earthly incarnation of what he called the Sky Kingdom. The
ruling UMNO party tracks “deviant sects" and refuses to endorse the
idea that Muslims should interpret and observe their faith as they
(Econ, 7/25/05, p.34)
2005 Jul 4, In Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, UN agencies met for a 3-day conference on bird flu virus
and said the disease remains as dangerous as ever and nations must
do more to prepare for a pandemic among humans.
2005 Jul 18, Malaysia launched
its first bond fund on the stock exchange as part of an Asian scheme
to augment underdeveloped capital markets.
2005 Oct 9, It was reported
that dengue fever was causing concerns in Malaysia and Martinique.
Malaysia reported 71 deaths so far this year from over 27,000 cases.
Martinique reported almost 1,000 cases a week since mid-September.
(SSFC, 10/9/05, p.D2)
2005 Oct 19, Malaysia’s
government unveiled a policy draft to eliminate disparities in the
treatment of local and foreign auto makers.
(WSJ, 10/20/05, p.A13)
2005 Oct 21, Indonesian police
said they had arrested four people allegedly involved in smuggling
hundreds of pounds of explosive materials from Malaysia into
2005 Nov 19, It was reported
that the Nipah virus, naturally found in bats, had moved to
Malaysian pigs. It killed about 40% of the 265 people it had
(Econ, 11/19/05, p.85)
2005 Nov 22, Ministers from the
114 members of the Nonaligned Movement ended a 2-day conference in
Malaysia and agreed to launch an Internet-based news network to
counter what they called prejudiced reporting by Western media.
Bernama, Malaysia’s state news agency, will oversee the network.
(WSJ, 11/23/05, p.A14)
2005 Dec 3, Malaysia's state
media said Southeast Asian lawmakers want Myanmar expelled from the
ASEAN regional grouping unless it frees democracy icon Aung San Suu
Kyi and other political prisoners within a year.
2005 Dec 10, In Malaysia
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer signed the Treaty of
Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, which calls for signatories
not to interfere in each other's internal affairs. The treaty was
born within the 10-member ASEAN, which made signing the pact a
condition for entry into next week's inaugural East Asian summit.
2005 Dec 14, The 1st East Asia
Summit was held successfully in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2005 Malaysia opened its $1650
million Bio Valley project. By 2012 it was known as the “Valley of
the Bio Ghosts."
(Econ, 1/21/12, SR p.14)
2005 Malaysia’s $5 billion
Bakun Dam on the Balui River was expected to be completed.
(SFC, 5/22/01, p.A10)
2006 Jan 15, In Malaysia a
homemade bomb filled with nails and bullet casings exploded outside
a shopping mall on Penang Island, killing one man and injuring
2006 Jan 17, Subur Sugiarto, an
alleged key aide to a Malaysian fugitive blamed for a series of
deadly terrorist attacks in Indonesia, was captured in the central
Javanese town of Boyolali en route to Jakarta. A local officer
alleged that Sugiarto was "a henchman" of Noordin Top, who is
believed to be a senior member of the al-Qaida-linked Southeast
Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.
2006 Jan 27, Malaysian
dissident politician Anwar Ibrahim sued former PM Mahathir Mohamad
for defamation after Mahathir refused to apologize for calling him a
2006 Jan, The Lord Murugan
Statue, the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in Malaysia and second
tallest statue of Hindu deity in the world, was unveiled after 3
years of construction during Thaipusam festival at the Sri Murugan
Perumal Kovil at the foot of Batu Caves. It was second place to the
Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal.
2006 Feb 3, Malaysia's national
carmaker Proton renewed its alliance with Japan's Mitsubishi Motors
Corp. with a technical pact that involves jointly developing new
2006 Feb 9, President Bush
outlined details of an alleged plot to hijack an airliner and fly it
into a skyscraper in Los Angeles. The next day security officials
and terrorism experts in Southeast Asia said Malaysian engineer
Zaini Zakaria (38) was among three men al-Qaida was preparing to
take part in an attack on Los Angeles. Zaini has been detained
without trial under the Internal Security Act in Malaysia since he
surrendered in December 2002.
2006 Feb 24, A prominent
Malaysian newspaper avoided punishment for publishing a cartoon
about the Prophet Muhammad drawings controversy, offering an apology
that was accepted by the government.
2006 Feb 28, The Malaysian
government sharply raised fuel prices to trim a ballooning
fuel-subsidy bill. Interest rates and inflation were expected to
rise as a result.
(WSJ, 3/1/06, p.A7)
2006 Mar 5, Malaysian PM
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched an information offensive to counter
public dismay after the government imposed the country's biggest
ever fuel price hikes.
2006 Mar 7, Malaysia said it
has lifted a ban on US beef imports in place for more than two
years, to make up for a shortage after it restricted access to
Australian and New Zealand beef.
2006 Mar 8, Malaysia and the US
announced that they have agreed to begin negotiating a free trade
deal to eliminate trade barriers between the two nations.
2006 Mar 27, Malaysia’s
government said it will end subsidies to flag carrier Malaysia
Airlines and let it operate only 19 domestic routes, in competition
with budget carrier AirAsia, under a major restructuring that will
shed thousands of jobs.
2006 Mar 31, Malaysia’s PM
Abdullah Badawi introduced a new 5-year plan. It hoped to slash the
poverty rate from 5.7% to 2.8% by 2010.
(Econ, 4/8/06, p.42)
2006 Apr 12, Malaysia abandoned
plans to build a controversial new bridge to Singapore, saying that
the city-state's demand for airspace access in return for its
agreement was unacceptable.
2006 Apr 26, Malaysia’s central
bank raised its main interest rate by a quarter point to 3.5%.
(WSJ, 4/27/06, p.A8)
2006 May 25, PM John Howard
increased Australia’s contingent to Timor-Leste to some 1,300
troops. 500 Malaysians and troops from New Zealand and Portugal were
(Econ, 6/3/06, p.15)
2006 May 31, Malaysia’s PM
Abdullah Badawi announced a national 5-year plan. An elderly woman
and three children were feared dead following a landslide in Kuala
Lumpur that destroyed 43 homes.
(AFP, 5/31/06)(Econ, 6/17/06, p.50)
2006 Jul 14, Malaysia's
government declassified documents on negotiations with Singapore
over an aborted bridge in a bid to counter criticism from defiant
ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad.
2006 Jul 24, A Malaysian
princess was stabbed to death by her son as she tried to stop him
from attacking her husband (74). The son (21) later died of an
apparent drug overdose. Tengku Puteri Kamariah, whose brother is
Sultan Ahmad Shah, ruler of the eastern state of Pahang, died at her
home in Pekan town, Pahang.
2006 Aug 3, In Malaysia the
Islamic world's largest organization of countries demanded on that
the UN implement an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon and investigate
what it called flagrant human rights violations by Israel.
2006 Aug 14, Malaysia said it
would issue a "big fat no" to any nation or group that asked it to
dismantle a system of positive discrimination for its majority
ethnic Malays as part of trade talks.
2006 Aug 25, Japanese officials
said Kazusaku Tezuka, the president of precision instrument maker
Mitutoyo Corp., was arrested along with four other Mitutoyo
executives and employees for the alleged export to Malaysia of
equipment that can be used in making nuclear weapons.
2006 Oct 11, Indonesia
apologized to Singapore and Malaysia for the choking haze over both
countries and agreed to convene a meeting of regional environment
ministers to tackle the problem. This was the worst smog since 1997
and 1998, when tens of thousands of people were hospitalized.
(AP, 10/11/06)(Econ, 10/14/06, p.47)
2006 Oct 19, In Malaysia
Altantuya Shaariibuu (28), a Mongolian model, was kidnapped outside
the house of Abdul Razak Baginda (46), who heads the Malaysian
Strategic Research Center think-tank. Shaariibuu was allegedly
extorting Baginda following an affair that had begun in 2004. She
was killed and her remains blown up with military-grade C-4
explosives and later found in an isolated area south of the capital
Kuala Lumpur. In Nov. Malaysian PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi vowed there
would be no cover-up over her murder. Abdul Razak allegedly abetted
two policemen, Azilah Hadri (30) and Sirul Azhar Umar (35), to
commit the murder. In 2008 a court acquitted Razak of charges of
abetting the murder of Shaariibuu. In 2009 a Malaysian court
sentenced two policemen to death on charges of murdering Shaariibuu.
An Appeals Court acquitted the men in 2013. On Jan 13, 2015, a
Federal Court unanimously ruled that the Appeals Court was wrong in
reversing the findings of the trial court.
(AFP, 11/9/06)(AFP, 11/16/06)(WSJ, 3/29/07,
p.A1)(WSJ, 11/1/08, p.A8)(AP, 4/9/09)(AP, 1/13/15)
2006 Nov 3, Sultan Mizan Zainal
Abidin (44), a sultan in northeastern Malaysia, was elected the
country's next constitutional monarch under a unique system where
traditional state rulers take turns on the throne for five years.
Mizan, whose state has significant offshore oil and gas resources,
will assume the throne on Dec. 13 as Malaysia's 13th Yang di-Pertuan
Agong, the Malay title of the monarch.
2006 Nov 14, The ninth Chief of
Defense Forces' conference opened in Malaysia. It brought together
officials from 23 nations including the United States, France,
Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
2006 Nov 28, Malaysia's PM
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said ties between Muslims and Christians are
under "extreme stress" and the growing divide between the faiths is
threatening international stability.
2006 Dec 12, Malaysia's twelfth
king, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin (63), stepped down from his post after
a five-year reign to make way for the next monarch in a send-off
steeped in color and tradition.
2006 Dec 13, Malaysia's unique
revolving monarchy was passed to Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin (44),
the youthful sultan of oil-rich Terengganu state. Mizan was a keen
rider who has represented his country at international equestrian
2006 Dec 18, Venezuela's ruling
party took the first step Monday toward creating a single
pro-government party, a move opponents criticized as a push to
consolidate more power in the hands of President Hugo Chavez after
his landslide re-election. Chavez met with Malaysia's PM Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi to discuss expanding trade and deepening ties.
2006 Dec 20, Officials said
flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains has forced more than 20,000
people to flee their homes in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.
2006 Dec 23, Officials in
Malaysia said 7 people had died and more than 90,000 displaced
during the last week as the country recorded heavy rainfall.
2006 Dec 24, Officials said at
least 94 people were killed and dozens left missing by floods in
Indonesia and Malaysia. Looting broke out in areas of Malaysia
abandoned because of rising waters.
2006 Malaysia’s Home Ministry
banned the book "March 8," written by Malaysian author K. Arumugam,
which recounts clashes between ethnic Malay Muslims and ethnic
Indians. The strife killed six people on the outskirts of Kuala
Lumpur in 2001. In 2010 The Kuala Lumpur High Court upheld the ban
saying its publication could upset ethnic sensitivities already
strained by recent attacks on places of worship.
2006 Malaysia’s northern state
of Terengganu counted 5 leatherback turtle nests, as compared to
some 6-10 thousand 50 years earlier and 800 in 1984. Local eating of
the turtle eggs and ocean fishing were said to account for the drop.
In 2007 experts considered cloning to raise the turtle count.
(Econ, 7/21/07, p.43)
2006 In Malaysia the murder
rate this year increased 22%.
(Econ, 3/24/07, p.47)
2007 Jan 24, A study released
about the trade in Malaysia found that catches of some grouper
species and the endangered Napoleon wrasse fell by as much as 99%
between 1995 to 2003, a period coinciding with soaring economic
growth in countries where the exotic fish are a delicacy.
2007 Feb 2, Malaysia said it is
ready to halt free trade talks with the United States after a US
lawmaker called for a suspension in protest over an energy deal with
Iran signed in January.
2007 Feb 21, Human Rights Watch
condemned Malaysia's plan to introduce tough laws that curb the
movements of migrant employees and allow employers "to lock up
2007 Feb 22, A court ordered
Malaysia's government to pay a 69-year-old British man $857,000 for
seizing his passport and preventing him from leaving the country in
2007 Feb 26, Malaysia's
securities watchdog said it has frozen two local bank accounts, shut
down two Web sites and questioned several people suspected to be
involved in a global Internet investment scam. In March 3 men were
indicted by the US for securities fraud. The indictment named
Jaisankar Marimuthu (32) of India, Thirugnanam Ramanathan (34), an
Indian residing in Malaysia, and Chockalingam Ramanathan (33) of
Chennai, India. The 1st two were arrested in Hong Kong, while the
3rd remained at large.
(AP, 2/26/07)(WSJ, 3/13/07, p.B5)
2007 Feb 27, A report said
Malaysian environmental and residents' groups are joining forces to
buy swathes of forest in a desperate bid to save them from
2007 Mar 15, The European
Commission and the UN Development Program said Malaysia should
empower its forest-dependent indigenous people to alleviate poverty
and safeguard their environment.
2007 Mar 22, Malaysia and
Thailand agreed to map out a series of socio-economic measures to
end rising sectarian tensions and violence in the kingdom's
2007 Mar 27, The US offered a
$5 million reward for information leading to the capture of a
US-trained Malaysian engineer accused of involvement in a series of
deadly bombings in the Philippines.
2007 Mar 31, A report said
Malaysia's top anti-corruption official, who is facing a police
investigation into graft allegations against him, will not have his
2007 Apr 7, Malaysian ministers
issued fresh attacks on bloggers, threatening to take away their
rights and accusing them of trying to overthrow the government,
according to reports.
2007 Apr 13, In Malaysia the
Negeri Sembilan state government closed down a museum exhibition on
ghosts, ghouls and supernatural beings after Islamic clerics claimed
it was detrimental to Muslims' faith.
2007 Apr 26, Sultan Mizan
Zainal Abidin, Malaysia's 13th king, formally ascended the throne,
pledging to reign wisely and safeguard the sanctity of Islam in a
ceremony marked by traditional Malay rites and imperial pageantry.
Malaysia's system allows each of its hereditary state rulers to take
turns reigning as the country's constitutional monarch for five
2007 May 1, It was reported
that Malaysian doctors have declared neckties a health hazard and
called on the heath ministry to stop insisting that physicians wear
2007 May 10, The armed forces
of Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to step up cooperation to boost
security along shared borders after successful patrols in the
2007 May 14, Malaysia’s PM
Badawi hosted Singapore’s Premier Lee Hsein Lloong for a 2-day talk
on economic cooperation.
(WSJ, 5/14/07, p.A8)
2007 May 30, Malaysia's top
civil court rejected a woman's appeal to be recognized as a
Christian, in a landmark case that tested the limits of religious
freedom in this moderate Islamic country. A three-judge Federal
Court panel ruled by a 2-1 majority that only the Islamic Shariah
Court has the power to allow her to remove the word "Islam" from the
religion category on her government identity card. Judge Richard
Malanjum, the only non-Muslim on the panel, sided with Lina Joy,
saying it was "unreasonable" to ask her to turn to the Shariah Court
because she could face criminal prosecution there.
2007 Jun 6, In Malaysia
Nyambang Entuhan (37) shot and killed five people during a wedding
reception on remote Borneo island. In 2010 he was sentenced to death
as well as to 22 years in prison for wounding nine others and
illegal firearm possession.
2007 Jun 12, A senior official
said security cameras are monitoring government workers in
northeastern Malaysia to keep them from slacking off or vanishing
for extended tea breaks.
2007 Jul 17, Najib Razak,
Malaysia’s deputy prime minister, said Malaysia is an Islamic state
and not a secular one, while carefully assuring members of minority
faiths that their rights will be protected. More than 60% of
Malaysia's 27 million people are Muslim Malays and Islam is the
official religion under the country's constitution. But while the
constitution defines the ethnic majority Malays as Muslims it also
guarantees freedom of religion.
2007 Aug 13, In Malaysia 20
people died after an express bus overturned on the main highway,
tearing off the vehicle's roof and flinging seats into the air in
what officials said was the country's worst traffic disaster. The
toll rose to 22 after 2 injured people died later.
(AP, 8/13/07)(AP, 8/20/07)
2007 Aug 13, Armed pirates
attacked a Malaysian barge in the Malacca Strait and kidnapped 2
Indonesian crew, in the first high sea abduction in the busy
waterway in more than 2 years.
2007 Sep 8, A late night riot
broke out in Malaysia’s northeastern state of Terengganu after a
group of opposition parties, including the main Islamist party, held
an illegal rally. Malaysian police fired live rounds to quell the
riot wounding two men.
2007 Oct 10, A Russian rocket
blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch pad, carrying 3
astronauts to the international space station. Sheikh Muszaphar
Shukor, an orthopedic surgeon and university lecturer from Kuala
Lumpur, left Earth alongside Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and
American astronaut Peggy Whitson. Shukor was selected from among
11,000 Malaysian candidates to fly aboard the ISS in a deal his
government arranged with Russia as part of a $1 billion purchase of
Russian fighter jets. Whitson will be the first woman to command the
(Reuters, 9/20/07)(AP, 10/10/07)(SFC, 10/11/07,
2007 Oct 23,
Lim Goh Tong (b.1918), Chinese businessman, died in Kuala Lumpur.
The casino king of Malaysia had made a fortune in gambling casinos
and a cruise fleet. His family fortune was estimated at $4.2
(AP, 10/23/07)(WSJ, 10/27/07, p.A6)
2007 Nov 6, Singapore presented
its case regarding sovereignty of three disputed islands in the
Pacific Ocean at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The
Hague, a claim disputed by Malaysia.
2007 Nov 10, Malaysian police
unleashed tear gas and water cannons on protesters as tens of
thousands, wearing canary-yellow shirts, defied a government ban and
rallied in Kuala Lumpur to call for clean and fair elections in the
biggest anti-government street protests in nearly a decade. Some 245
people were detained.
(AP, 11/10/07)(AP, 11/11/07)(Econ, 11/17/07,
2007 Nov 11, Proton, Malaysia’s
national car maker, said it planned to team up with companies in
Iran and Turkey to produce "Islamic cars" for the global market.
2007 Nov 25, In Malaysia some
10-20 thousand ethnic Indians clashed with police at a rally in
downtown Kuala Lumpur to demand economic equality.
(AP, 11/27/07)(AP, 12/16/07)
2007 Dec 5, A Tibetan woman
said that she pulled out of a beauty pageant in Malaysia after
organizers, reacting to pressure from Beijing, told her halfway
through the event that she could only participate if she added
"China" to her "Miss Tibet" title.
2007 Dec 13, Malaysia said it
has arrested five leaders of ethnic Indian rights group Hindraf
under controversial security laws that allow for detention without
2007 Dec 16, Malaysia’s Premier
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi intervened to head off rising anger among the
Southeast Asian country's ethnic Indian population after a rare
public rally on Nov 25 led to violent clashes with police.
2007 Dec 24, Malaysia's
government unveiled a major initiative to protect Hindu temples,
hoping to pacify ethnic Indians who complain that hundreds of their
places of worship have been demolished in this Muslim-majority
2007 Dec 26, Iran and Malaysia
signed a $16 billion agreement to develop two Iranian gas fields, in
a deal described as the largest energy contract in Iran.
2007 Malaysia’s Prince
Naquiyuddin Jaafar founded the EntoGenex biotech company. It took a
pre-existing protein called the Trypsin Modulating Oostatic Factor
(TMOF) and by 2012 developed it into what he called a fatal "diet
pill" for mosquitoes. The firm combined the TMOF with bacillus
thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) bacteria, which eats holes in the
guts of larvae but is non-toxic to people. He hoped it could
potentially become a weapon in the even larger fight against
malaria, which kills an estimated 650,000 people per year.
2007 The population of Malaysia
numbered about 27 million people.
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.42)
2008 Jan 5, Malaysia’s New
Straits Times said Malaysian police have arrested a beauty parlor
owner and a farmer suspected of distributing a sex video showing a
former Health Minister Chua Soi Lek committing adultery. Soi Lek
resigned Jan 2 after admitting he was the man in the video.
2008 Jan 23, In Malaysia tens
of thousands of ethnic Indian Malaysians gathered at the Batu Caves
temple outside Kuala Lumpur to celebrate Thaipusam, one of
Hinduism’s biggest festivals. In past years over a million have
turned out. The reduced turnout was due to a boycott called by the
Hindu rights Action Force (Hindraf), despite PM Badawi’s promise to
make Thaipusam a public holiday in the capital.
(Econ, 1/26/08, p.42)
2008 Jan 26, Malaysian police
detained 53 activists in a crackdown on a planned opposition-led
protest over inflation ahead of national elections expected within
2008 Feb 13, Malaysia’s
government dissolved Parliament, opening the way for elections.
(WSJ, 2/14/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 8, Malaysia's ruling
coalition was dealt a shock rebuke in elections that looked set to
deliver the key state of Penang to the opposition as well as a slice
of its majority in parliament. The National Front won only 140
seats, or 63 percent of the constituencies, losing its two-thirds
majority for the first time since 1969 and slumping from its 2004
landslide victory when it won 91 percent of the seats. An alliance
of three opposition parties also secured control of 5 of Malaysia’s
13 state administrations. The Democratic Action party won the Penang
legislative assembly, becoming the first opposition party to win in
Penang in over 40 years.
(AFP, 3/8/08)(AP, 3/9/08)(WSJ, 3/10/08,
p.A3)(Econ, 8/13/11, p.40)
2008 Mar 10, In Malaysia PM
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was sworn in for a new 5-year term despite
calls for his resignation. Malaysian stocks fell over 10% and
triggered for the first time a limit-down rule established after the
1997-1998 Asian financial crises.
(WSJ, 3/11/08, p.C7)
2008 Mar 11, Top leaders
Malaysia's opposition-ruled states will no longer follow a longtime
affirmative action program that benefits the majority Malays, in the
wake of an election upheaval that clipped the ruling coalition's
2008 Mar 31, Malaysia's Islamic
opposition party delivered a protest note to the Netherlands'
embassy over the release of an anti-Islam movie by a maverick Dutch
lawmaker, while hard-line Muslims in neighboring Indonesia demanded
the death of the filmmaker.
2008 Mar, Malaysian police
arrested 2 Mexican brothers at a secluded meth factory along with a
Singaporean and a Malaysian. Police seized more than 60 pounds
(nearly 30 kg) of methamphetamine worth $15 million.
2008 Mar, The population of
Malaysia numbered about 28 million people. About 3.9 million had
dial-up internet subscriptions and 1.2 million had broadband.
(Econ, 3/15/08, p.52)
2008 Apr 16, The Malaysian
government shut down the Tamil-language Makkal Osai, or People's
Voice, a newspaper catering to ethnic minority Indians. The next day
the daily's news editor slammed the move as punishment for its
critical coverage of social and political issues.
2008 Apr 21, Malaysia's leg of
the Olympic torch relay passed off largely without incident with a
heavy police presence netting just five protesters and thousands of
well-wishers braving torrential rain.
2008 May 8, A Malaysian Islamic
court allowed a Chinese convert to renounce Islam in a rare decision
for this conservative Muslim-led nation. Siti Fatimah, or Tan Ean
Huang (38), said she had never practiced Islamic teachings since she
converted in 1998 and only did so to enable her to marry Iranian
2008 May 23, The International
Court of Justice awarded Singapore sovereignty over a disputed
island at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Straits. The ICJ
ruled in favor of Singapore in the 28-year dispute with Malaysia
over a tiny but strategic uninhabited island the size of half a
football field. The court, however, gave Malaysia ownership of a
smaller uninhabited outcropping. Sovereignty over a third disputed
cluster of rocks was left to be determined later between the
countries when they sort out their territorial waters.
2008 Jun 3, A Cabinet minister
said Malaysia will remove price controls on gasoline and diesel,
allowing stations to sell fuel at world market prices in an attempt
to reduce the government's ballooning subsidy bill.
2008 Jun 5, Malaysia's
government faced street demonstrations and public outrage over its
decision to hike petrol prices 41 percent overnight, in a bid to
curb its massive subsidies bill.
2008 Jun 18, A party in
Malaysia's 14-party ruling coalition called for a vote of no
confidence against the prime minister, in a serious blow to the
2008 Jun 28, In Malaysia a male
volunteer, working for the political campaign of opposition leader
Anwar Ibrahim, lodged a police report accusing him of sexual
(Econ, 7/5/08, p.51)
2008 Jun 29, Malaysia's de
facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim took refuge at the Turkish
embassy due to fears he could be assassinated after fresh
accusations of sodomy.
2008 Jul 1, Malaysian
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim vowed to seize power from a
"corrupt" government at a rally of some 15,000 supporters as he
fights back against new sodomy accusations.
2008 Jul 8, At Developing Eight
summit of Islamic nations, meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the leaders of
Indonesia and Malaysia called for boosting world food production and
finding a permanent solution to skyrocketing oil prices, saying the
twin problems have become "grave threats" to the world economy.
2008 Jul 14, Malaysian police
locked down Parliament with roadblocks and massive security to
prevent opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and his supporters from
attending a key debate.
2008 Jul 15, Malaysian police
issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in
connection with a sodomy accusation by a male former aide.
2008 Jul 16, Malaysian police
arrested opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on suspicion that he
sodomized a male aide, pre-empting his voluntary appearance at the
police headquarters to answer the allegation. He was interrogated
for more than eight hours and made to sleep on a "cold cement" floor
in a holding cell before being released the next day.
(AP, 7/16/08)(AP, 7/17/08)
2008 Aug 19, Armed pirates
seized the MT Bunga Melati Dua, a Malaysian palm oil tanker with 39
crew, off the coast of Somalia, the fourth hijacking in a month.
2008 Aug 26, Malaysia's
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim won a "landslide" victory in a
by-election to return him to parliament, and said he was on track to
oust a weakened government. The Malays National Organization (UMNO)
and its allies had ruled since independence in 1957.
(AFP, 8/26/08)(Econ, 8/30/08, p.39)
2008 Aug 29, Pirates, believed
to be Somali, hijacked the Malaysian MT Bunga Melati 5 tanker and
its 41 crew members off Yemen's coast in the Gulf of Aden. It was
the second tanker owned by MISC Berhard to be hijacked in the gulf
in the last 10 days.
2008 Sep 5, Malaysia said it is
dispatching three navy vessels to the Gulf of Aden to protect its
merchant ships following a sharp surge in pirate attacks off the
coast of Somalia.
2008 Sep 10, Ahmad Ismail, a
member of Malaysia's ruling party, was suspended for three years for
"stoking racial tensions" with incendiary comments about ethnic
Chinese that shook the governing coalition.
2008 Sep 29, Somali Islamist
insurgents attacked government forces and African Union peacekeepers
overnight in Mogadishu. At least four people were killed in the
clashes. Somalia pirates released Malaysia’s palm oil tanker, MT
Bunga Melati 2, two days after its first vessel was released.
(AP, 9/30/08)(AFP, 9/29/08)
2008 Oct 8, Malaysia’s PM
Badawi said he will step down in March and hand over power to his
deputy in order to prevent a split in the UMNO party.
(WSJ, 10/9/08, p.A13)
2008 Oct 15, A Malaysian court
ordered Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman (86), the country's former
king (1994-1999), to settle a $1 million debt to a bank in a
landmark verdict that ended a centuries-old tradition shielding the
country's royal sultans from legal prosecution.
2008 Oct 16, An influential
council of Malaysia's state rulers warned people not to question the
supremacy of Islam or the special privileges enjoyed by the
country's ethnic Malay majority.
2008 Oct 16, Authorities in
Malaysia and Singapore said they will guarantee all foreign currency
and local currency bank deposits.
(WSJ, 10/17/08, p.A5)
2008 Nov 1, Malaysia defended
its recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, a move that
caused Serbia to expel the Southeast Asian nation's ambassador.
2008 Nov 10, Malaysia's Scomi
Engineering said its consortium with an Indian company has won a
1.85 billion ringgit ($523 million) state contract to build the
first monorail in India.
2008 Nov 22, Malaysia's top
Islamic body ruled against Muslims practicing yoga, saying it has
elements of other religions that could corrupt Muslims. On Nov 25
Malaysia's leader assured Muslims they can perform yoga if they do
not chant religious mantras, an apparent effort to assuage public
anger over an Islamic body's ban of the ancient Indian exercise.
(AP, 11/22/08)(AP, 11/26/08)
2008 Nov 22, In Guatemala the
head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia was among three
people killed in a boat accident on Lake Atitlan.
2008 Nov 24, Malaysia released
suspected terrorist Yazid Sufaat, an alleged biological weapons
expert who was also linked to the September 11 attacks in the United
2008 Dec 7, In southern
Malaysia a bus skidded off a highway, smashed into a tree and
plunged into a ditch, killing nine people and injuring 19 others.
2008 Dec 11, Malaysia's
government drew flak after admitting it spent 1.68 million dollars a
year on PM Badawi’s sprawling residence in the administrative
2008 Dec 11, Indonesia and
Malaysia agreed to heighten intelligence cooperation to anticipate
rising cross-border crime due to the impact of the global economic
2008 Dec 27, In Malaysia Tuanku
Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman (86), a royal state ruler, died. He
became Malaysia's king for five years (1994-1999) under the
country's unique monarchal system.
2008 Dec 28, Malaysia reported
that it is zooming in on forests with a satellite in order to fight
illegal logging, which its government says is harming the major
timber exporting country.
2008 Malaysia founded
Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a sovereign wealth fund aimed
at ensuring economic development for the state of Terengganu. In
2009 it was renamed 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
2008 Singapore sentenced Yong
Vui Kong (19) of Malaysia to hang for smuggling 47 grams (1.65
ounces) of heroin into Singapore. His third and final appeal was
rejected on April 4, 2012.
2009 Jan 1, Somali pirates
seized the Blue Star, an Egyptian cargo ship, and its 28
crewmembers. A Malaysian military helicopter saved an Indian tanker
from being hijacked in the new year's first attacks by pirates in
the dangerous Gulf of Aden. A crew of the French warship "PM L'Her"
dispatch boat intercepted two speedboats carrying 8 Somali pirates
as they were preparing to board a Panamanian cargo ship. The Blue
Star and its crew of 28 were freed on March 5 after a ransom was
dropped from a plane.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/2/09)(AP, 3/5/09)
2009 Jan 7, Wildlife activists
said the box turtle is disappearing across Malaysia because of
increased illegal hunting for its meat and use in traditional
2009 Jan 17, Malaysia's
opposition snatched a parliamentary seat from the beleaguered
coalition government, in a by-election seen as a test of the
nation's political mood.
2009 Feb 15, Authorities in
Malaysia arrested 26 unmarried Muslim couples in hotel rooms during
Operation Valentine, aimed at curbing illegal premarital sex in this
2009 Feb 19, About 12 pirates
armed with guns attacked the tug and barge in the Malacca Strait and
kidnapped two crew members as the vessel was en route to Singapore.
2009 Mar 1, Officials said the
Malaysian government will issue a new decree restoring a ban on
Christian publications using the word "Allah" to refer to God.
2009 Mar 10, Malaysia’s
government unveiled a 60 billion ringgit ($16.26 billion) economic
stimulus plan amounting to 9% of GDP.
(WSJ, 3/11/09, p.A16)
2009 Mar 17, In Malaysia a
battle for senior leadership posts in the ruling party was hit with
a bombshell as 15 members including several top figures were found
guilty in an anti-corruption probe.
2009 Mar 30, Malaysia's
national car maker Proton and Detroit Electric, a Dutch-based
company, signed a $555 million deal to make zero emission electric
cars that they said would be more powerful that any existing model.
2009 Apr 1, In Malaysia Mas
Selamat Kastari, an Islamic militant suspected of plotting a Sept.
11-style air attack, was arrested in Johor state, more than a year
after his dramatic escape from a high-security jail in Singapore. He
was arrested by Malaysian authorities with the cooperation of
Singaporean and Indonesian intelligence agencies.
2009 Apr 2, Malaysia's PM
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (69), in office for 5½ lackluster years,
resigned to make way for Deputy PM Najib Razak, who must now fix an
economy close to recession, heal the country's deep racial divisions
and revive a moribund ruling party.
2009 Apr 3, Malaysian PM Najib
Razak, in his first act after talking office, freed 13 people being
held under a law that allows indefinite detention and lifted a ban
on two opposition newspapers.
2009 Apr 12, Malaysian police
rushed to a robbery scene only to find the suspects were fellow
officers. 3 men of a special elite police unit were allegedly caught
robbing five men at a house. One of the officers was armed with a
2009 Apr 23, The editor of a
Malaysian anti-government news Web site, charged with sedition, went
into hiding, prompting a court to order his arrest. Raja Petra Raja
Kamarudin, who runs the popular Malaysia Today Web site, failed to
appear for a court hearing on a sedition charge stemming from an
article he wrote that allegedly implied the prime minister was
involved in the murder of a Mongolian woman.
2009 Apr 24, Malaysia's PM
Najib Razak vowed to investigate a scathing report by US lawmakers
saying thousands of Myanmar refugees were handed over to human
traffickers and ended up working in Thai brothels.
2009 May 6, Malaysian officials
said 2 political activists have been arrested ahead of a
parliamentary showdown between the government and the opposition
over control of northern Perak state.
2009 May 7, Animal welfare
activists said more than 300 stray dogs, dumped on isolated islands
in Malaysia’s Selangor state, turned to cannibalism after weeks of
2009 May 8, Malaysia said it
will free 13 people detained under internal security laws, including
three ethnic Indian activists, members of the banned ethnic Indian
rights group Hindraf, held without trial since organizing
anti-government protests in 2007.
2009 May 15, In Indonesia 6
Asia-Pacific countries, meeting at the World Oceans Conference,
agreed on a management plan to protect one of the world's largest
networks of coral reefs, promising to reduce pollution, eliminate
overfishing and improve the livelihoods of impoverished coastal
communities. The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries
and Food Security covered an area defined as the Coral Triangle,
which spans Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea,
the Solomon Islands and East Timor.
2009 May 18, Somalia's war-torn
government appealed for international help to set up a coast guard,
saying it would guarantee that sea piracy near its shores is wiped
out once it has such an agency. In Malaysia representatives of the
government, attending an international conference on piracy, ruled
out allowing foreign forces on Somali soil to destroy pirate bases.
2009 May 27, Malaysian police
rescued three men shackled to the wall of a filthy room for two
months by illegal moneylenders after failing to repay their debts.
2009 Jun 16, In Malaysia Teoh
BEng Hock, a young aide to a state councilor, fell from a window
where Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officials had been
questioning him. The MACC had been created earlier this year from
the ashes of another agency.
(Econ, 9/5/09, p.48)
2009 Jun 16, The US added six
African countries to a blacklist of countries trafficking in people,
and put US trading partner Malaysia back on the list. Chad, Eritrea,
Niger, Mauritania, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe were added to the list in
the annual report. Removed from the list were Qatar, Oman, Algeria,
2009 Jun, In Malaysia Hau Yuan
Tyng (44), a single mother of two, pleaded innocent to charges of
assaulting Siti Hajar Sadli, her Indonesian maid, in one case
allegedly using hot water; in another, a hammer; and in a third, a
pair of scissors. In 2010 a court sentenced Tyng to eight years in
prison for the abuse, but allowed her to remain free on bail pending
2009 Jul 8, Malaysian education
officials announced that they will abandon the use of English to
teach math and science, bowing to protesters who demanded more use
of the national Malay language.
(SFC, 7/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Jul 20, In Malaysia
Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (32), a Muslim woman, was sentenced to
six lashes and a fine of 5,000 ringgit ($1,400) for having a beer in
a nightclub in Dec 2007. She would become the first woman in
Malaysia to be given the punishment under Islamic law. Her caning
was delayed on Aug 24 because of the holy month of Ramadan. On Mar
30, 2010, the state's sultan spared her the caning and instead
ordered her to do 3 weeks of community service.
(AP, 7/21/09)(AP, 8/19/09)(AP, 8/24/09)(AP,
2009 Jul 22, Malaysia’s PM
Najib Razak said a decision to expand TIA (1MDB), a regional
development fund for oil-rich Terengganu state, into a federal
entity was made to enable its benefits to reach a broad spectrum of
Malaysians rather than to the residents of only one state. Tycoon
Low Taek Jho helped set up 1MDB.
3/5/15, p.34)(Econ, 7/23/16, p.61)
2009 Aug 1, Police broke up
Malaysia's biggest street protest in nearly two years, firing tear
gas and chemical-laced water at thousands of opposition supporters
demanding an end to a law that allows detention without trial.
2009 Sep 1, Malaysian police
arrested Alain Robert (47), a French climber nicknamed "Spiderman,"
after he scaled the iconic 88-story Petronas Twin Towers.
2009 Sep 9, A Malaysian
government report said indigenous tribal girls have been sexually
abused by loggers in remote jungles on Borneo island, in the first
official verification of rape accusations involving timber
2009 Sep 11, Malaysian
authorities seized a consignment of 10,000 copies of the Bible sent
from Jakarta to Kuching in Sarawak state, because the
Indonesian-language books contained the word "Allah," a translation
that has been banned in this Muslim-majority country. Another 5,100
Bibles, also imported from Indonesia, were reportedly seized in
March. Church officials said Allah is not exclusive to Islam but is
an Arabic word that predates Islam.
2009 Sep 28, In Malaysia news
reports said a judge has upheld a court verdict to cane a Muslim
woman for drinking beer, re-igniting a controversy over Islamic
justice in this moderate Muslim-majority country. The chief Shariah
judge of Pahang state ruled that a Shariah High Court's verdict
against Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (32) was correct and should stay.
2009 Nov 18, Islamic
authorities in Malaysia charged a popular Muslim scholar with
delivering an illegal lecture in what critics considered an attempt
by conservative clerics to silence a leading moderate preacher. Asri
Zainul Abidin (38) has cultivated strong support among young people
in the Muslim-majority country for criticizing what he called
overzealous efforts by Islamic officials to clamp down on immoral
2009 Dec 17, Malaysian marine
police rescued 62 pangolins. 2 days later Malaysian wildlife
authorities said they rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men
attempting to smuggle the protected species. They were expected to
be illegally exported to China, Japan and Hong Kong, where animal's
meat is considered a delicacy with medicinal qualities.
2009 Dec 31, A Malaysian court
ruled that a Catholic weekly, the Herald, had a constitutional right
to use the word Allah to refer to God, striking down a government
ban as illegal. On Jan 6, the High Court suspended its ruling
following an appeal by the government and with the consent of the
(AP, 12/31/09)(Econ, 1/16/10, p.44)
2010 Jan 1, Malaysia’s Islamic
morality police arrested 52 unmarried couples for sexual misconduct
following raids in hotel rooms on New Year’s Day. The detained
couples were expected to be charged with khalwat (close proximity),
and faced a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and a fine.
(SFC, 1/5/10, p.A4)
2010 Jan 6, A Malaysian court
charged an air force sergeant and a businessman with stealing two
fighter jet engines. The engines, each worth 50 million ringgit ($14
million), were stolen while they were undergoing repairs and were
allegedly shipped toward Argentina before being offloaded to another
vessel bound for Uruguay.
2010 Jan 8, In Malaysia 3
churches were attacked with firebombs, causing extensive damage to
one, as Muslims pledged to prevent Christians from using the word
"Allah," escalating religious tensions in the multiracial country.
On Aug 13 a Malaysian court sentenced two Muslim brothers to five
years in prison for torching a Christian church during the height of
(AP, 1/8/10)(AP, 8/13/10)
2010 Jan 9, In Malaysia a
fourth church was hit by firebombs, stoking concern among Christians
as a dispute rages over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims.
2010 Jan 10, In Malaysia
firebombs were thrown at 3 more churches and another was splashed
with black paint, the latest in a series of assaults on Christian
houses of worship following a court decision allowing non-Muslims to
use "Allah" to refer to God.
2010 Jan 15, Malaysian student
Mohamad Tasyrif Tajudin (25) was charged after allegedly posting
comments on Facebook about throwing a gasoline bomb amid a recent
spate of attacks on churches, most of which were hit by Molotov
Cocktails. He was charged under Malaysia’s Communications and
Multimedia Act for improper use of the Internet, which carries a
penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine if found guilty.
2010 Jan 20, Malaysian police
announced the arrest of eight Muslim men who allegedly attacked a
Christian church with a firebomb, the first suspects in a spate of
assaults on churches after a court ruled that non-Muslims could use
the word "Allah" to refer to God.
2010 Jan 21, In Malaysia
vandals tried to burn down two Muslim prayer rooms, following a
string of arson attacks on churches amid a dispute over the use of
the word "Allah" by Christians.
2010 Feb 9, Authorities in
Malaysia caned three Muslim women for having extramarital sex,
making them the first women in the country to receive such
punishment under Islamic law. Each woman reportedly received between
four and six strokes of a rattan cane.
2010 Apr 20, In Malaysia ruling
party lawmaker Bung Mokhtar Radin (50) and actress Zizie Ezette A.
Samad, his second wife, pleaded guilty to entering into a polygamous
marriage without official consent amid a debate over Islamic
morality among politicians.
2010 Apr 25, Malaysia's
government scored a narrow win in a tense by-election billed as a
referendum on PM Najib Razak's planned economic reforms and his
first year in office.
2010 Apr 26, In Malaysia a
policeman fired a shot that killed Aminulrasyid Amzah (14). On May
10 prosecutors charged officer Jenain Subi with fatally shooting the
teenager, an incident that triggered a national outcry over claims
of police brutality. Activists say Malaysia's police have fatally
shot more than 180 suspects, half of them Indonesians, since 2007.
2010 May 13, The UN General
Assembly approved all 14 candidates for the 14 seats on the
47-member Human Rights Council. Human rights groups criticized the
poor human rights records 7 of the candidates: Angola, Libya,
Malaysia, Mauritania, Qatar, Thailand and Uganda.
(SFC, 5/14/10, p.A2)
2010 May 31, A Malaysian
government official, Malacca Chief Minister Mohamad Ali Rustam,
defended an Indian company's plans to build an animal testing
medicine lab in his state, saying that God created monkeys and rats
for experiments to benefit humans.
2010 May, Malaysia's Islamic
Shariah courts appointed their first female judges. The news was not
made public until July.
2010 Jun 10, A Malaysian
businessmen, Badrul Zaman P.S. Mohamed (58), who was held without
trial for three years (1991-1994) under the harsh Internal Security
Act won 3.3 million ringgit ($1 million) in damages from the
government in a landmark court verdict.
2010 Jun 25, Malaysia banned
three works of political cartoons that criticize the government, but
one of the artists, Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque (aka Zunar), said he was
obligated to highlight issues other cartoonists would not.
2010 Jun 25, Malaysia's
government scrapped a plan to let non-Muslims bet on international
sports, bowing to public criticism that it would promote gambling.
PM Najib Razak announced authorities have revoked their approval for
Ascot Sports, a company linked to Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan,
to run betting on sports.
2010 Jul 13, In Malaysia a
police raid for stolen vehicles found 42 of them at a warehouse in
Malaysia along with and hundreds of birds and other protected
wildlife. Officers found some 700 birds and caged leopard cats,
albino pygmy monkeys and other animals. They included about 20
2010 Aug 2, Malaysia set itself
a historic precedent as 2 female sharia judges began working for the
(Econ, 8/7/10, p.39)
2010 Aug 12, In Malaysia gold
coins came into circulation and could be purchased at various
locations in Kelantan state. Their worth is currently about $180 per
dinar and $4 per dirham. The gold dinar and silver dirham coins
provide an alternative to Malaysia's currency, the ringgit, in
northeastern Kelantan state, which is governed by the Pan-Malaysian
Islamic Party, a conservative opposition group that promotes
religious policies in its rule.
2010 Aug 26, A Malaysian man
was arrested after his bag bursting with 95 live boa constrictors
broke open on a luggage conveyer belt at Kuala Lumpur International
Airport. Keng Liang "Anson" Wong (52), who had been previously
convicted of wildlife trafficking in the United States, later
pleaded guilty to wildlife smuggling.
2010 Sep 13, In Malaysia Tengku
Muhammad Faris Petra was proclaimed the new sultan of northern
Kelantan state following a decision by the Council of Succession,
which determines who ascends to the throne. Faris has been embroiled
in a public dispute with his brother, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry, since
their father, Tengku Ismail Petra, fell ill more than a year ago. 9
of Malaysia's 13 states are ruled by hereditary royal families, who
are widely respected among the Muslim Malay majority though their
responsibilities are largely ceremonial. The executive power lies
with elected state and national representatives.
2010 Sep 24, A Malaysian
political cartoonist said he has been arrested under the Sedition
Act and his offices raided by police over his new book,
"Cartoon-O-Phobia," just hours before its planned launch. Zulkifli
Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, used cartoons to highlight
contentious issues such as the sodomy trial of opposition leader
Anwar Ibrahim and police shootings.
2010 Sep 25, Malaysia’s PM
Najib Razak launched the country’s Economic Transformation Program,
formulated as part of Malaysia's National Transformation Program.
2010 Sep 28, In Malaysia Kylie
Tanti Marion (42), an Australian woman, fell to her death when her
parachute failed to open after she jumped off the Alor Setar Tower
to practice for the KL Tower International Jump on Oct. 7.
2010 Oct 6, In Malaysia a
newborn baby died after being snatched by a monkey from her family's
living room in Negri Sembilan state. Wildlife authorities fatally
shot the monkey, which had remained near the house and might have
been attracted by a female pet monkey the family kept in a cage.
2010 Oct 13, Malaysia
criticized the WHO for failing to tackle the spread of dengue in the
region, which saw 242,000 cases of the mosquito-borne disease in
2009 and 831 deaths so far this year.
2010 Nov 10, In Malaysia "Dalam
Botol" (In A Bottle), a Malay-language film, earned applause from
movie bloggers invited to its first public screening, three months
before its scheduled nationwide release. It is about a man who gets
a sex change operation because he thought it would satisfy his male
lover, but ends up regretting it. Censors now say depictions of
homosexuality are no longer barred, as long as being gay isn't
2010 Nov 21, A global tiger
summit meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, approved a wide-ranging
program with the goal of doubling the world's tiger population in
the wild by 2022 backed by governments of the 13 countries that
still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China,
India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam
and Russia. Experts said wild tigers could become extinct in 12
years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action
to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching.
2010 Dec 16, Malaysian
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and three of his allies were
suspended from parliament for six months in votes that triggered
pandemonium and an opposition walkout.
2010 Dec 20, In Malaysia a
double-decker bus carrying Thai tourists overturned on a highway,
killing 28 people on their way back from a hill resort.
2010 Dec 22, In Australia Kok
Loong Wong of Malaysia appeared in a Sydney court charged with
possessing 200 pounds (90 kg) of crystal meth in his home, the
seventh-largest "ice" haul in Australian history.
2010 Dec 26, In Malaysia 3
Singaporean tourists drowned and two others were missing after an
overloaded passenger boat capsized near Sibu island.
2010 Barry Wain authored
“Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times." The book
covered the 22 years that Mohamad spent as Malaysia’s prime minister
(Econ, 1/23/10, p.79)
2011 Jan 21, The Royal
Malaysian Navy commandos wounded three pirates in a gunbattle and
rescued the 23 crew members on the Malaysian-flagged chemical tanker
MT Bunga Laurel, shortly after the pirates stormed the vessel in the
Gulf of Aden with assault rifles and pistols. On Jan 31 Malaysian
police took custody of 7 captured Somali pirates.
(AP, 1/22/11)(AP, 1/31/11)
2011 Feb 1, New satellite
imagery showed Malaysia is destroying forests more than three times
faster than all of Asia combined, and its carbon-rich peat soils of
the Sarawak coast are being stripped even faster.
2011 Feb 11, Malaysian
prosecutors filed charges carrying the death penalty against seven
suspected Somali pirates accused of attacking a Malaysian-operated
ship in the Gulf of Aden, in the first such charges in Asia against
the African sea bandits.
2011 Feb 14, In Malaysia
Islamic morality police detained 40 unmarried Muslim couples in
hotel rooms during Operation Valentine, aimed at curbing illegal
premarital sex. The main Islamic body issued an edict in 2005
banning Muslims from celebrating what it said was a day synonymous
2011 Feb 27, Malaysian police
arrested dozens of ethnic Indians in a clampdown on a protest
against a high school literature book that was slammed for
denigrating the minority community.
2011 Mar 8, Former Malaysian PM
Mahathir Mohamad released his memoir, "A Doctor In The House,"
defending decisions he made during a 22-year rule that critics say
was marred by human rights abuses.
2011 Mar 10, In Malaysia the
main Christian grouping in the Muslim-majority country said it was
"fed up" with the government's refusal to allow the distribution of
tens of thousands of Bibles, saying this was an affront to religious
2011 Mar 15, Malaysia's
government agreed to release some 35,000 imported Bibles seized by
customs officials amid a dispute over their use of the word "Allah"
as a translation for God. A statement assured Muslims that the
announcement would not jeopardize their interests in an ongoing
court case on whether non-Muslims have the constitutional right to
2011 Mar 18, Malaysian police
said that they had found equipment they suspect could be used to
make nuclear weapons smuggled on board a ship headed to Iran. On
March 8 police confiscated two containers from the MV Bunga Raya
Satu traveling from China to Tehran.
2011 Mar 30, Malaysia's main
Christian grouping rejected a government attempt to settle a
protracted row over seized shipments of Malay-language Bibles,
calling instead for the right to freely practice its religion.
2011 Apr 2, Malaysia's
government said it would allow Malay-language Bibles to be printed
locally, in a major concession to the country's minority Christian
community to soothe anger over seized shipments of their holy books.
2011 Apr 4, In Malaysia
detainees set fire to an immigration center and about 100 of them
escaped as the blaze partially gutted the facility in central Negri
2011 Apr 19, A Malaysian
official said authorities have sent 66 Muslim schoolboys identified
by teachers as effeminate to a four-day camp where they will receive
counseling on masculine behavior to discourage them from being gay.
2011 Apr 20, Regulators said
Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to slash roaming charges for
voice calls and text messaging over the next two years in a landmark
2011 May 7, Australia’s PM
Julia Gillard said Malaysia has agreed to take hundreds of asylum
seekers who land in Australia illegally and called this "big blow"
to people smugglers.
2011 May 9, Malaysian police
said they have arrested Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad, a Singaporean
businessman, suspected of channeling funds to southern Philippine
2011 May 10, Malaysian local
papers highlighted how underworld groups were using Facebook and
other social media to recruit members, the majority of whom are
still at secondary school. The next day the government announced a
major crackdown on criminal gangs using social networking sites to
enlist teenage recruits as "street fighters."
2011 May 12, In Australia two
Malaysians were arrested and charged with importing heroin into
Australia with a street value of more than Aus$50 million (US$53
million), the country's biggest haul in a decade.
2011 May 16, The Israeli
military blocked a Malaysian anti-war group's ship from reaching the
Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The Malaysian group, the Perdana Global
Peace Foundation, said its ship was fired at when it tried to reach
Gaza. The military denied firing at the ship.
2011 May 21, In Malaysia a
landslide left 15 boys and one adult dead at an orphanage for ethnic
Malay Muslim boys in a village in central Selangor state. 9 people
(AP, 5/21/11)(AP, 5/22/11)
2011 Jun 3, A global maritime
watchdog warned ships traversing the South China Sea bordering
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore following the hijack of three
tugboats and a barge in recent weeks.
2011 Jun 4, Malaysian lawyers,
politicians and activists lambasted the police, accusing them of
abusing their power in chaining up and marking the bodies of 30
foreign women detained for alleged prostitution.
2011 Jun 4, In Malaysia the
"Obedient Wives Club" was launched. The new club said it can cure
social ills such as prostitution and divorce by teaching women to be
submissive and keep their men happy in the bedroom.
2011 Jun 16, Malaysia opened an
investigation into allegations that two immigration officers forced
a pair of Singaporean women to do squats naked. The officers were
2011 Jun 25, Malaysian police
detained about 60 opposition supporters amid efforts to prevent a
massive rally seeking electoral transparency.
2011 Jul 2, In Malaysia an
activist group said police have detained six members of an
opposition party, including a lawmaker, were arrested last weekend
together with 25 others on the way to a party rally in northern
Penang state. They were being held on accusations of "inciting
people to wage war against the king." The detentions and arrests
were said to be part of a government crackdown to prevent people
from attending a July 9 rally by the electoral reform group Bersih.
2011 Jul 7, In Malaysia a man
carrying a machete barged into a kindergarten and held children and
teachers hostage for six tense hours before police shot him in the
head. The unidentified man was in hospital after sustaining a single
bullet wound to the head.
2011 Jul 9, Malaysian police
fired tear gas and detained hundreds of activists as more than
20,000 demonstrators massed across Kuala Lumpur demanding electoral
reforms in the country's biggest political rally in years. Police
said that they detained 1,667 people in a clampdown called
"Operation Erase Bersih," referring to the Bersih coalition of civic
groups that organized the rally.
2011 Jul 18, The Vatican and
Malaysia established diplomatic relations in the wake of tensions
between Muslims and religious minorities in the Southeast Asian
2011 Jul 23, Nguyen Cao Ky
(b.1930), the flamboyant former air force general who ruled South
Vietnam with an iron fist for two years (1965-1967) during the
Vietnam War, died in Malaysia. In 2002 he authored "Buddha's Child:
My Fight to Save Vietnam."
2011 Aug 3, Conservationists
urged Malaysia to impose a national ban on the trade and consumption
of turtle eggs to ensure the survival of the marine creatures.
Turtles once arrived in their thousands to lay eggs on Malaysian
beaches but are now increasingly rare due to poaching and coastal
2011 Aug 31, Australia's High
Court dealt a heavy blow to the government by blocking its plans to
send asylum-seekers to Malaysia, ruling they could not go to a
nation lacking legal safeguards.
2011 Aug, In Malaysia the first
turbine from French giant Alstom began producing electricity at the
Bakun dam in the Malaysian portion of Borneo island. The reservoir
has swelled to the size of Singapore since impoundment began a year
ago. The project was first approved in 1986. A 2005 report,
anti-graft watchdog Transparency International termed the dam one of
the world's "Monuments of Corruption," citing years of delays,
ownership changes, and overall costs that more than doubled. Tribal
residents said warnings about the dam's ecological and human impact
are coming true.
2011 Sep 2, In Somalia
Malaysian cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor was killed in Mogadishu by
4 Burundi peacekeepers. The 4 were later discharged from the force
and faced trial in Burundi.
2011 Sep 9, Malaysia’s
Environment Minister Douglas Uggah Embas sent a letter to his
Indonesian counterpart about hundreds of suspected fires on Sumatra
2011 Sep 15, Malaysia’s PM
Najib Razak promised to repeal many of the country’s security laws
including the Internal Security Act (ISA).
(Econ, 9/24/11, p.52)
2011 Oct 23, In Malaysia
Italian rider Marco Simoncelli (24) died after crashing and being
hit by two other riders at the Sepang MotoGP motorcycle race. This
raised the number of recorded deaths in MotoGP to 47 since it was
founded in 1949.
2011 Nov 3, Malaysia’s deputy
national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said a decision to halt the
three-year-old "Seksualiti Merdeka" (Sexuality Freedom) festival set
for November 9-13 has come after Muslims called for it to be banned.
Organizers slammed the move as proof of the repression homosexuals
face in the socially conservative Muslim country.
2011 Nov 22, In Malaysia former
US president George W Bush and British ex-prime minister Tony Blair
were found guilty at a mock tribunal for committing "crimes against
peace" during the Iraq war. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal,
part of an initiative by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad,
a fierce critic of the Iraq war, found the former leaders guilty
after a four-day hearing.
2011 Nov 24, Malaysian PM Najib
Razak repealed another security law, setting the stage for hundreds
detained without trial to be freed or face criminal charges.
2011 Nov 26, Malaysia
reportedly said it will amend a new law banning street
demonstrations, amid further protests by critics who say the bill
clamps down on their right to peaceful assembly.
2011 Nov 29, Malaysia's
parliament enacted a ban on street protests. Demonstrators denounced
the law as a violation of constitutional protections of free speech
and a sign that PM Najib Razak was breaking his pledge to bolster
2011 Dec 13, In Malaysia Sultan
Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah was officially installed on the throne,
making him the first ruler to hold the ceremonial kingship twice
since it started rotating every five years among heads of the
country’s 9 states.
2011 Dec 16, Malaysian
shipbuilder Boustead Naval Shipyard says it has won a 9.0 billion
ringgit ($2.8 billion) deal from Kuala Lumpur for six naval patrol
vessels developed by French manufacturer DCNS.
2012 Jan 1, In Malaysia 17
people were arrested after police broke up a student gathering for
greater academic freedom, in what the opposition and activists said
was a campaign to stifle dissent.
2012 Jan 9, In Malaysia
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was acquitted of sodomy charges.
(SFC, 1/10/12, p.A4)
2012 Jan 20, Malaysian
prosecutors filed a notice of appeal against the acquittal of
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges, sending the
long-running divisive case back to court.
2012 Feb 12, Malaysia deported
Hamza Kashgari, a young Saudi journalist wanted in his home country
over a Twitter post about the Prophet Mohammed, defying pleas from
human rights group who said he faced execution. His tweet: "I have
loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there
is a lot I don't understand about you. "I will not pray for you."
2012 Feb 15, Malaysia police
arrested Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, a third Iranian suspect sought after
explosive blasts in Bangkok.
2012 Feb 15, Hajah Noraihan,
the Malaysian consul to Uganda, said that more than 600 Ugandan
girls are currently trapped in Malaysian prostitution rings.
Uganda's honorary consul in Kuala Lumpur said that at least three
Ugandans have been killed there in the last two years.
2012 Feb 21, Malaysia's Home
Ministry said in a statement that bookstores were no longer allowed
to sell "Where did I come from?" by British author Peter Mayle
pending a review.
2012 Feb 26, In Malaysia
thousands rallied in Kuantan against an Australian miner's rare
earths plant in the biggest protest yet over fears it will produce
radioactive waste harmful to them and the environment.
2012 Mar 1, In Malaysia Dominic
Jude Christopher Bird (32), a truck driver Perth, Western Australia,
was arrested in Kuala Lumpur in possession of 225 grams (7.9 ounces)
of methamphetamine. He faced a possible death sentence.
2012 Apr 5, Malaysian police
arrested 137 people, mostly from China and Taiwan, in a raid in the
city of Kajang on a crime ring that bet on English football,
arranged Internet gambling and carried out online scams.
2012 Apr 10, Malaysia's
government introduced legislation to stop arrests based on their
political beliefs and indefinite detainments without trial. The
Security Offenses Bill would replace the 52-year-old Internal
Security Act, which was enacted to give the government preventive
powers against national security threats.
2012 Apr 23, Philippine coast
guard and fisheries bureau operatives arrested 12 Vietnamese
fishermen for poaching endangered marine turtles, black corals and
reef fishes in southern Philippines waters. Other foreign fishing
boats spotted in the same area managed to flee toward Malaysia.
2012 Apr 27, Malaysian
authorities took action to prevent a mass political rally calling
for electoral reform from going ahead this weekend, sealing off a
square in the capital and serving a court order banning the protest.
2012 Apr 28, Malaysian police
unleashed tear gas and chemical-laced water at thousands of
demonstrators who staged one of the country’s largest street rallies
in years. The Bersih demanded fair rules for national elections
expected soon. News organizations estimated the number of
demonstrators at 80k-100,000.
(AP, 4/28/12)(Econ, 7/14/12, p.33)
2012 Apr 29, Malaysian police
freed all 471 people arrested a day earlier during a demonstration
for free and fair elections, including senior opposition lawmaker
2012 May 1, Malaysia said it
will introduce a minimum wage for the first time in a move to
bolster incomes amid rising living costs and speculation of a snap
general election. Private sector workers in peninsular Malaysia will
receive a minimum salary of 900 ringgit ($297) a month while workers
in the states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo island will get 800
2012 May 4, Malaysia’s PM Najib
Razak said a quashed election reform rally was being used to topple
the government ahead of polls expected in June.
2012 May 6, Malaysian clerics
issued a fatwa against demonstrations.
2012 May 19, In Malaysia a
Canadian Muslim gay activist launched her controversial new book on
liberal Islam despite a government minister's attempts to shut down
the event. Irshad Manji launched "Allah, Liberty and Love" at a
hastily arranged event in Kuala Lumpur after two other venues pulled
out of hosting her. Her previous internationally acclaimed book,
"The Trouble with Islam Today," was already banned in Malaysia.
2012 May 30, Indonesian maids
began returning to work in Malaysia three years after a ban was
enforced because of numerous abuse cases. Fewer arrived than had
2012 Jun 25, A Malaysian court
ruled that Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, an Iranian man accused of plotting
to attack Israeli targets in Bangkok on Feb 14, must be extradited
2012 Jun, MyTeksi, a ride
hailing service, was initially established in Malaysia and later
headquartered in Singapore. The company, which began life at the
Harvard Business School where founder Anthony met co-founder Hooi
Ling Tan, soon across Southeast Asia. In May 2014, the company
launched GrabCar in Malaysia and Singapore.
2012 Jul 5, Malaysia reported
that police have detained 100 people in nationwide raids on
international crime syndicates who bet millions of dollars on the
Euro 2012 championship. Police conducted almost 150 raids across the
country in May and June in collaboration with officials from China,
Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore among other nations.
2012 Jul 5, London's iconic but
derelict Battersea Power Station was acquired by a Malaysian
consortium for £400 million ($620 million, 501 million euros).
2012 Jul 9, A Malaysian
official said customs officers have made the country's biggest drug
bust so far this year, seizing nearly three million party drug pills
worth 58.28 million ringgit ($18.4 million). The Erimin 5 pills were
hidden in 20 boxes along with some goods including chewing tobacco.
5 people including a woman and her Bangladeshi husband have been
arrested and faced a possible death sentence on suspicion of drug
2012 Jul 14, In Malaysia
conjoined 15-month-old twins attached at the pelvis and sharing
three legs were successfully separated at a hospital in a complex
2012 Jul 17, In Malaysia an
Australian woman and a Nigerian man were arrested after one kg (2.2
pounds) of methamphetamine was discovered in a car they were driving
in Kuala Lumpur.
2012 Aug 5, In Malaysia a
three-year-old girl suffocated in a suspected exorcism ritual. A
court on Aug 17 charged seven family members, including the parents,
over her death.
2012 Aug 14, Malaysia's PM
Najib Razak said he would review a legal amendment that critics
claim threatens free expression online after they staged a one-day
"Internet blackout." NGOs, bloggers and opposition politicians
staged the protest earlier in the day by replacing their homepages
with black screens featuring messages attacking the new section of
the Evidence Act, which went into effect in April despite widespread
2012 Sep 15, The Merlin
entertainment group opened a Legoland theme park in Malaysia.
2012 Oct 15, The Philippine
government and Muslim rebels overcame decades of bitter hostility
and took their first tentative step toward ending one of Asia's
longest-running insurgencies with the signing of a preliminary peace
pact brokered by Malaysia.
2012 Dec 7, Canada’s PM Stephen
Harper approved China's biggest ever foreign takeover, a $15.1
billion bid by state-controlled CNOOC Ltd for energy company Nexen
Inc., but drew a line in the sand against future buys by state-owned
enterprises. He also approved a smaller deal for a Canadian gas
producer by Petronas, Malaysia’s state energy company.
(Reuters, 12/7/12)(Econ, 12/15/12, p.38)
2012 Abu Dhabi’s IPIC sovereign
wealth fund offered to guarantee loans that Malaysia’s state
investment firm 1MDB needed to acquire two power firms. In 2016 IPIC
said it never received collateral and other monies supposedly due to
it under the deal. 1MDB appears to have wired payments to an
unrelated shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Investigators at America’s Justice Dept. said former officials from
IPIC and 1MDB benefited and that more than $200 million of missing
money went to an account controlled by Riza Aziz, the stepson of
Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, and that $30 million went to
Najib himself. Both men denied wrongdoing.
(Econ, 4/29/17, p.30)
2013 Jan 29, Malaysian wildlife
officials said 10 endangered Borneo pygmy elephants have been found
dead at the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve under mysterious
circumstances. Officials said that they probably were poisoned over
the past 3 weeks. The remains of 3 more were found the next day
bringing the total to 13.
(AP, 1/29/13)(AP, 1/30/13)
2013 Feb 9, Members of a Muslim
royal clan from the southern Philippines landed in Malaysia’s
coastal village of Lahad Datu, Sabah state to claim the territory as
their own, citing ownership documents from the late 1800s.
2013 Feb 27, In the Philippines
Pres. Benigno Aquino III warned Jamalul Kiram III, the Sultan of
Sulu, that he would face the full force of the law unless he
withdrew his armed followers from Sabah, Malaysia.
(SSFC, 2/3/13, p.A4)
2013 Feb, Malaysian restaurant
manager Riduan Masmud (40) was charged with committing statutory
rape with a girl (13) in a parked car in Borneo. He later defended
his actions by saying he has married the girl.
2013 Mar 1, In eastern Malaysia
14 people were killed in a shootout as authorities tried to end a
three-week standoff with about 200 members of a Filipino clan
occupying a village in Sabah state.
2013 Mar 2, In Malaysia gunmen
ambushed and killed six policemen as fears mounted that armed
intruders from the southern Philippines had slipped into at least
three coastal districts on Borneo island. 6 gunmen were also killed
in the fighting.
(AP, 3/3/13)(Econ, 3/9/13, p.51)
2013 Mar 5, Malaysia unleashed
airstrikes and mortar attacks on nearly 200 Filipinos occupying a
Borneo coastal village but could not declare an immediate end to a
three-week siege that has turned into a security nightmare for both
Malaysia and the Philippines.
2013 Mar 6, Malaysian security
forces battled a group of Filipino intruders in the rugged terrain
of Borneo after they escaped a military assault with fighter jets
and mortar fire on their hideout. One Filipino was shot and believed
2013 Mar 7, Malaysian security
forces gunned down 31 Filipino intruders in Borneo, the highest
number of casualties in a single day since nearly 200 members of a
Philippine Muslim clan took over an entire village last month. At
least 60 people, including 8 Malaysian police officers, have been
killed in the conflict.
(AP, 3/7/13)(SFC, 3/8/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 9, Malaysia police
said they have detained 79 suspects linked to the Filipino intruders
(SSFC, 3/10/13, p.A6)
2013 Mar 19, Malaysia’s PM
Najib Razak reported economic growth of 5.6% for 2012. He also
announced that a scheme to give cash handouts to poorer households
will become an annual event.
(Econ, 3/23/13, p.45)
2013 Mar 20, Malaysian
prosecutors charged 8 Filipinos with terrorism-related offenses
following an armed siege in Borneo that killed 71 people.
(SFC, 3/21/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 25, Malaysia’s PM
Najib Razak announced the creation of the Eastern Sabah Safety Zone.
Authorities said they will resettle people out of the area of Borneo
where fighting in Sabah has left 74 people dead.
(SFC, 3/26/13, p.A4)(SSFC, 3/31/13, p.A4)
2013 Apr 3, Malaysia's PM Najib
Razak dissolved Parliament to call for general elections that will
pit a coalition that has ruled for nearly 57 years against a
resurgent opposition whose pledge to form a cleaner government has
resonated with millions of citizens.
2013 May 5, Malaysia held
national elections. PM Najib Razak's National Front coalition
(Barisan Nasional) faced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's
three-party alliance. At least 112 of the 222 parliamentary seats at
stake were needed to win federal power. The National Front coalition
won the parliamentary elections despite losing the popular vote.
(AP, 5/5/13)(AP, 5/6/13)(Econ, 5/11/13, p.14)
2013 May 6, Malaysia’s PM Najib
Razak appeared before the media to somberly acknowledge that his
coalition had won general elections for the 13th time in a row.
However the National Front polled only 5.24 million votes to the
opposition's 5.62 million votes.
2013 May 14, Malaysia-based
Genting Group, a major casino operator, accused Phil Ivey (37) of
amassing millions of dollars in winnings by cheating at baccarat.
Ivey, an American, is one of the world's top professional poker
players. The game in question took place on Aug 20-21, 2012, at
Crockfords, one of London's oldest and most respected casinos.
2013 May 23, Malaysian
authorities detained 3 anti-government figures, charged a student
activist with sedition and seized hundreds of opposition newspapers,
raising political tensions after recent national elections triggered
claims of fraud.
2013 May 28, In Malaysia an
overloaded ferry capsized after hitting rocks in a remote river in
Borneo island, leaving 21 people missing and feared trapped inside
2013 May 29, Malaysian
prosecutors filed sedition charges against another five opposition
politicians and activists who urged Malaysians to protest what they
insist was a fraud-tainted victory by the long-ruling coalition in
recent national elections.
2013 Jun 16, Smoke from fires
in Indonesia, an annual result of land clearing for palm oil
production, again began to smother Singapore and large parts of
(Econ, 6/29/13, p.39)
2013 Jun 20, In Singapore the
Pollutant Standards Index, surged to a record reading of 371. People
were urged to remain indoors as a smoky haze wrought by forest fires
in neighboring Indonesia worsened dramatically. Nearby Malaysia
closed 200 schools and banned open burning in some areas.
2013 Jun 30, Malaysia urged
Myanmar to take stronger action to prevent persecution of Muslims
and bring the perpetrators to justice, the latest sign that the
inter communal violence is straining ties in Southeast Asia.
2013 Aug 8, In Malaysia Mr. K.
Veerappan, a convicted drug dealer, was shot and killed whiled
stopped at a traffic light in the Georgetown section of Penang. He
was said to have been a member of “Gang 36."
(Econ, 8/17/13, p.37)
2013 Aug 21, In Malaysia a bus
travelling from the hilltop gambling resort of Genting Highlands to
the capital Kuala Lumpur plunged 200 feet into a ravine, killing 37
people. 16 people survived.
(Reuters, 8/21/13)(SFC, 8/22/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 14, Malaysia's PM
Najib Razak announced steps to further boost the economic
participation of the ethnic Malay majority, entrenching race-based
policies seen as shoring up Malay support ahead of a key ruling
2013 Oct 4, China and Malaysia
agreed elevate bilateral ties to a "comprehensive strategic
partnership", aiming to boost military cooperation and nearly triple
two-way trade to $160 billion by 2017.
2013 Oct 24, Hundreds of
Malaysian tribespeople blockaded the construction site of a new dam
which is set to force them from their homes in Sarawak on the island
2013 Oct 24, Malaysia’s HELP
University faced public criticism for awarding an honorary doctorate
degree in economics earlier this month to North Korean leader Kim
(SFC, 10/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 5, It was reported
that US Navy Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz had passed
confidential information on ship routes to Malaysian defense
contractor Leonard Francis, who in turn overcharged the Navy
millions in suplies and services.
(SFC, 11/5/13, p.A10)
2014 Jan 2, Islamic authorities
in Malaysia seized 321 Bibles from a Christian group because they
used the word Allah to refer to God.
2014 Feb 28, In Malaysia Abdul
Taib Mahmud, the chief minister of Sarawak, retired after ruling the
state for 33 years. Environmentalists said Sarawak under his rule
has lost 90% of its virgin rainforest, mostly due to conversions to
lucrative palm oil concessions.
(Econ, 2/15/14, p.35)
2014 Mar 7, A Malaysian court
sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on
sodomy charges, overturning a 2012 acquittal and throwing his
political career into jeopardy.
(AP, 3/7/14)(Econ, 3/15/14, p.40)
2014 Mar 7, Malaysia banned an
Ultraman comic book because it uses the word "Allah" to describe the
Japanese action hero. The Home Ministry said that the Malay-edition
of "Ultraman, The Ultra Power" contained elements that can undermine
public security and societal morals.
2014 Mar 8, Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH370 fell off radar screens less than an hour after it took
off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. Vietnamese air force planes
spotted two large oil slicks close to where the Boeing 777 went
missing early today. The aircraft carried 239 people. Foreign
ministry officials in Rome and Vienna confirmed that names of two
nationals listed on the manifest matched passports reported stolen
in Thailand. The flight was carrying 154 people from China and
Taiwan, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians and six Australians among
the 227 passengers.
(AP, 3/8/14)(Reuters, 3/8/14)
2014 Mar 13, Malaysian police
arrested 62 people who had illegally crossed the porous border
between Thailand and Malaysia.
2014 Mar 15, Malaysia’s PM
Najib Razak said the missing Malaysian Flight 370 was deliberately
diverted and continued flying for more than six hours after severing
contact with the ground on March 8.
2014 Mar 16, Malaysia's
government asked for help from nearly a dozen Asian countries that
the missing jetliner may have flown over, saying that finding the
plane would be very difficult without additional data on its final
2014 Mar 22, A satellite image
released by China offered the latest sign that wreckage from a
Malaysia Airlines plane lost on March 8 could be in a remote stretch
of the southern Indian Ocean.
2014 Mar 23, France provided
new satellite data showing possible debris from Malaysia Airlines
Flight 370, missing since March 8, as searchers continued combing a
remote part of the southern Indian Ocean.
2014 Mar 24, France-based
Airbus Defence & Space captured images showing 122 potential
objects, possible debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, in a
400-sq-km (155-sq-mile) area in the southern Indian Ocean.
2014 Mar 28, Australian
officials moved the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370,
that disappeared March 8, 1,100 km (680 miles) to the
northeast following a new analysis of radar data, and planes quickly
found multiple objects in the new zone.
2014 Mar 28, Sweden sentenced a
Malaysian couple to prison for beating their four children with
sticks and clothes hangers. The abuse occurred from 2010 until
December 2013, when Swedish police arrested the couple. The
children, aged 7-14, were taken back to their home country following
a massive social media campaign calling for their return.
2014 Apr 2, Suspected Filipino
Abu Sayyaf insurgents seized Gao Huayuan (29) a Chinese tourist, and
Marcy Dayawan (40), a hotel receptionist, from the Singamata Reef
Resort in eastern Malaysia and then fled in a speed boat. The
kidnappers soon demanded a ransom of 500 million pesos ($11.3
million). On May 30 Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak said both victims have
(AP, 4/3/14)(AFP, 4/5/14)(AP, 4/10/14)(AP,
2014 Apr 6, The Australian navy
ship Ocean Shield picked up two separate signals late last night and
early today in seas far off the west Australian coast. Confirmation
that the signals belong to Malaysia’s Flight 370's black boxes could
2014 Apr 7, Film censors in
Indonesia and Malaysia banned the biblical epic "Noah," saying that
the portrayal of the ark-building prophet by Russell Crowe was
against Islamic laws. Depictions of any prophet are shunned in Islam
to avoid worship of a person rather than God.
2014 Apr 9, Malaysia awarded a
manufacturing license to a $618 million venture that will assemble
fuel-efficient SUVs for China's Great Wall Motor Co. Privately owned
Go Automobile Manufacturing will invest 2 billion ringgit ($618
million) over the next four years to expand its manufacturing plant
in northern Kedah state.
2014 Apr 11, Australian PM Tony
Abbott said search and rescue officials are confident they know the
approximate position of the black box recorders from Malaysia
Airlines Flight MH370, missing since March 8.
2014 Apr 13, A Malaysian man
(54), who went on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, became the first
death in Asia from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
2014 Apr 14, Australian search
crews sent a robotic submarine deep into the Indian Ocean for the
first time to begin scouring the seabed for the missing Malaysian
Flight MH370 after no signals from its black boxes were detected for
six days. The submarine aborted its first mission after only six
hours, surfacing with no new clues when it exceeded its maximum
depth along the floor of the Indian Ocean.
(AP, 4/14/14)(AP, 4/15/14)
2014 Apr 17, An oil tanker
sailing from Singapore to Cambodia was boarded by 16 pirates about
26 nautical miles off Aur island on the east coast of the Malaysia
peninsula. The pirates damaged the ship's communication equipment,
transferred part of the fuel cargo into a smaller unknown tanker and
stole the ship and crews' belongings before fleeing.
2014 Apr 22, Armed pirates
raided an oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia and took three crew
members with them.
2014 Apr 26, President Barack
Obama began the first visit to Malaysia by an American president in
nearly half a century. Trade, defense and maritime security were
among the issues Obama and PM Najib were expected to discuss during
talks in the 2-day visit.
2014 Apr 27, President Barack
Obama pressed the Malaysian government to improve its human rights
record and appealed to Southeast Asia's teeming youth population to
stand up for the rights of minorities and the rule of law.
2014 Apr 28, Malaysian police
detained nine people during raids in and around the capital Kuala
Lumpur and the northern state of Kedah on suspicion of involvement
in terrorist acts or forming links with terrorists inside the
country and abroad. Two more were soon arrested in an operation to
break up Islamic terror groups posing as humanitarian organizations.
(Reuters, 4/28/14)(AFP, 5/2/14)
2014 May 6, In eastern Malaysia
a Chinese fish farm manager in Sabah state was kidnapped by gunmen
and believed taken to the southern Philippines, where suspected
insurgents are holding another Chinese and a Filipino also seized
2014 May 9, In New Zealand
Malaysian diplomat Mohammed Rizalman Bin Ismail followed a
21-year-old woman, later identified as Tania Billingsley (21) and
assaulted her. New Zealand charged the man with assault and attempt
to rape, but Malaysia claimed diplomatic immunity and he returned
home on May 22. On July 2 Malaysia's foreign ministry said that
Muhammad Rizalman would return to New Zealand "to assist in the
investigation for the charges".
(AP, 6/30/14)(AP, 7/1/14)(AFP, 7/2/14)(AP,
2014 May 27, In Malaysia Gareth
Huntley (34), a UK backpacker disappeared when he went on a trek to
a waterfall on Tioman Island. His body was found on June 4 close to
where he was living.
2014 Jun 18, An apparently
overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants heading home
for Ramadan sank overnight in rough seas off western Malaysia. 27
people were missing and 9 were confirmed dead. Nine people were
missing after a boat carrying 27 Indonesian workers overturned off
Malaysia's west coast in a 2nd similar accident. By the weekend the
confirmed death toll from two boat accidents rose to 16 with dozens
of others still missing.
(AFP, 6/18/14)(AP, 6/19/14)(AFP, 6/22/14)
2014 Jun 20, A US State
Department blacklist included Thailand and Malaysia for their
failure to meet minimum standards in fighting human trafficking.
2014 Jul 4, Malaysian police
said they have arrested four foreign nationals suspected of having
links to Sri Lanka's defeated separatist Tamil Tigers, the second
such detention aimed at the group's militants in the southeast Asian
2014 Jul 10, Malaysia's central
bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time in three
years to curb inflation and household debt as economic growth picked
2014 Jul 12, In Malaysia masked
gunmen stormed Mabul Water Bungalow Resort, Sabah state, shot a
policeman and kidnapped another then sped away in a boat toward the
southern Philippines, where Muslim militants have carried out
similar raids in the past.
2014 Jul 14, An overloaded
fishing boat carrying some 70 illegal Indonesian migrants capsized
off southern Malaysia, killing at least 2 people with 9 left
2014 Jul 17, Malaysia Airlines
flight MH17 with 298 people on board was shot down over eastern
Ukraine. Officials strongly suspected the Boeing 777 was downed by a
missile fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. More than
half of the dead passengers, 189 people, were Dutch. Twenty-nine
were Malaysian, 27 Australian, 12 Indonesian, 9 British, 4 German, 4
Belgian, 3 Filipino, one Canadian, one New Zealand and 4 as yet
unidentified. All 15 crew were Malaysian.
2014 Jul 17, Ukraine's SBU
security agency released recordings of what it claimed were phone
talks involving rebels and a Russian military intelligence officer
admitting that they had hit a passenger jet after mistaking it for a
2014 Jul 18, In eastern Ukraine
emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners
searched the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 shot down a
day earlier as it flew miles above the country's battlefield.
Ukraine's state aviation service closed the airspace over two
regions currently gripped by separatist fighting.
2014 Jul 20, Ukraine accused
separatist rebels of hiding evidence that a Russian missile was used
to shoot down a Malaysian airliner, while Britain said Moscow faced
"pariah" status and the threat of further economic sanctions.
Ukraine's Western-backed government said it had "compelling
evidence" the Russian SA-11 radar-guided missile battery was not
just brought in from Russia but manned by three Russians who had now
taken it back over the border.
2014 Jul 27, In Malaysia a car
crash involving a faulty air bag killed a pregnant woman. On Nov
14 Ford Motor Co. agreed to recall more 2004 and 2005 Ranger
small pickup trucks in response to the crash, because their air bags
are similar to the one that caused the woman's death.
2014 Aug 6, In Malaysia British
medical students, Neil Dalton (22) and Aidan Brunger (22), were
stabbed to death in Kuching after a quarrel in a pub with four local
men. Police arrested three of the suspects and were searching for
the fourth. On March 31, 2015, Zulkipli Abdullah (24) was found
guilty of the stabbing and sentenced to death.
(AP, 8/6/14)(AP, 3/31/15)
2014 Aug 8, Malaysia Airlines
will be taken over by the country's state investment fund and
de-listed, as part of plans announced today for a "complete
overhaul" to rescue the company from oblivion after two crippling
2014 Aug 19, A Malaysian top
counter-terrorism official said police have foiled plans for a wave
of bombings drawn up by radical Islamic militants inspired by Iraq's
extremist jihad group ISIL. 19 suspected militants, arrested from
April-June, were said to be formulating plans to bomb pubs, discos
and a Malaysian brewery of Danish beer producer Carlsberg.
2014 Aug 29, Malaysia Airlines
said it will cut 6,000 workers as part of a $1.9 billion overhaul to
revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet
2014 Sep 25, Malaysia's
national carmaker Proton launched its first small car, hoping to
bolster its fortunes after ceding ground to foreign and domestic
2014 Oct 9, In Malaysia a
grenade was tossed outside a night club at a popular tourist belt in
Kuala Lumpur, killing one man and wounding 12 others, including
foreigners. The pre-dawn explosion in the Bukit Bintang area was
believed to be due to a gang fight and was not a terrorist act.
2014 Oct 15, Malaysian police
said they have detained 14 Muslims, including two women and a
student, suspected of being linked to the militant Islamic State
group. The detentions put the number of people held for suspected
militant links to 36 since April.
2014 Nov 7, Three Malaysian
Muslim transgenders won a landmark court ruling against a religious
law banning them from cross-dressing in what activists called a
victory for human rights.
2014 Nov 13, Researchers said a
dinosaur tooth found in Malaysia is at least 140 million years old
and belongs to a new species within the "bird-hipped" Ornithischian
2014 Nov 21, Malaysia's
government said it will completely withdraw fuel subsidies from next
month following the plunge in global oil prices.
2014 Nov 27, Malaysia's leader
said that a colonial-era law curbing free speech will be retained
and strengthened, backpedaling on a pledge two years ago to abolish
the 1948 Sedition Act as part of political reforms.
2014 Dec 11, Malaysia police
said they have arrested 20 people in a widening investigation into
the murder of at least 18 Myanmar nationals in the state of Penang
since January. Police said twelve Myanmar migrants have confessed to
their role in nine of the murders.
2014 Dec 30, Officials said
Malaysia, parts of the Philippines, and southern Thailand have been
battered by heavy rain and flash floods in recent days. At least 21
people were killed in Malaysia, 53 in the Philippines and 15 in
(Reuters, 12/30/14)(AP, 12/30/14)(AP, 12/31/14)
2014 In Malaysia Mamapride
trousers went on sale in response to religious scholars concerned
about women being exposed to male doctors and interns. They were
developed by a team of 19 health care workers, five of them women,
from the Malaysian medical charity Papisma.
2015 Jan 26, Hackers defaced
the website of Malaysia Airlines and threatened to dump stolen
information online after posting a glimpse of customer data obtained
in the attack.
2015 Feb 10, Malaysian
opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began a 5-year prison sentence after
a court rejected his final appeal against a sodomy conviction.
2015 Feb 10, Malaysia arrested
cartoonist Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque, aka Zunar, for sedition over a
Twitter post that criticized the judiciary for upholding a five-year
jail term for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who accused the
courts of "bowing to the dictates of the political masters".
2015 Feb 22, A Syrian man was
shown beheaded in a video posted to Facebook. Malaysian authorities
later Mohd Faris Anuar (20) and Muhamad Wanndy Muhammad Jedi (25) of
Malaysia as the men involved in the beheading by the Islamic State.
2015 Mar 8, The first
comprehensive report into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines
Flight 370 revealed that the battery of the locator beacon for the
plane's data recorder had expired more than a year before the jet
vanished on March 8, 2014.
2015 Mar 16, Malaysian police
arrested the eldest daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar
Ibrahim for alleged sedition, a move slammed by critics as a
clampdown on dissent.
2015 Mar 30, In Malaysia three
editors of the Malaysia Insider news website were arrested on
suspicion of violating the country’s Sedition Act and Communications
and Multimedia Act. The next day two executives of the Malaysia
Insider were arrested.
(SFC, 4/1/15, p.A6)
2015 Apr 3, Malaysian
cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Alhaque, better known as Zunar, was
charged with nine counts of sedition over a series of tweets
criticizing the country's judiciary. The charges against Zunar,
known for lampooning the ruling coalition, came amid a widening
government crackdown on opposition politicians and the media slammed
by critics as a move to stifle freedom of expression.
2015 Apr 4, In Malaysia PM
Najib Razak's chief of staff and a former ambassador to the United
States, who was also a senior member of Najib's party, were among
six people killed in a helicopter crash near Kuala Lumpur.
2015 Apr 5, Malaysian police
detained 17 suspected militants. Authorities the next day said the
militants had planned to attack police stations and army camps to
acquire weapons and carry out terrorist attacks in Kuala Lumpur and
that two of the militants had just returned from Syria.
(SFC, 4/7/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 7, Malaysia revived
detention without trial when lawmakers approved the Prevention of
Terrorism Act bill, that the government said was needed to fight
Islamic militants. Critics assailed it as a giant step backward for
human rights in the country.
2015 Apr 26, Malaysian police
said that they have detained 12 men this weekend with suspected
links to the Islamic state group who are believed to be plotting
attacks on strategic government targets in the country.
2015 May 1, Malaysian police
arrested 30 protesters at a rally of more than 10,000 people in
Kuala Lumpur, demonstrating against a new tax. Protesters demanded
the government remove a goods and services tax (GST) which came into
effect on April 1 at a rate of 6 percent.
2015 May 8, A Pakistan military
helicopter carrying diplomats to inspect a tourism project crashed
killing 7 people, including the ambassadors of Norway and the
Philippines and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian
ambassadors. 17 people were on board the Mi-17 when it crashed into
a school in Gilgit and caught fire. The
Taliban later claimed responsibility.
(Reuters, 5/8/15)(AP, 5/10/15)
2015 May 11, Indonesian and
Malaysian authorities said nearly 2,000 boat people from Myanmar and
Bangladesh have been rescued or swum to shore, warning that yet more
desperate migrants could be in peril at sea.
2015 May 12, Malaysia said it
would turn away any more migrant boats packed with Rohingya and
Bangladeshis unless they were sinking.
2015 May 14, Malaysia turned
away two crammed migrant boats filled with Rohingya and Bangladeshis
abandoned at sea by traffickers. Thailand kept at bay a large vessel
with hundreds of hungry people.
2015 May 16, A boat crammed
with migrants was towed out to sea by the Thai navy and then held up
by Malaysian vessels, the latest round of "maritime ping-pong" by
Asian states determined not to let asylum seekers come ashore.
2015 May 17, Malaysia launched
high-level talks with its neighbors to try to solve the deepening
problem of refugees stranded in boats off Southeast Asia's shores,
but there appeared to be no quick solution to the crisis.
2015 May 20, Indonesia and
Malaysia said they would offer shelter to 7,000 "boat people" adrift
at sea in rickety boats but, anxious not to encourage a fresh
influx, made clear that their assistance was temporary and they
would take no more. Indonesian authorities said they have bombed and
sank 41 foreign fishing vessels as a warning against poaching in the
(Reuters, 5/20/15)(AP, 5/20/15)
2015 May 20, Philippine police
in Jolo, Sulu province, killed Mindas Manda, a suspected member of
the Abu Sayyaf group. He was allegedly involved in the kidnapping
last week of two Malaysians.
2015 May 24, Malaysia’s home
minister said mass graves and suspected human-trafficking detention
camps have been discovered by police in towns and villages bordering
Thailand. The mass graves were believed to contain the bodies of
hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
2015 May 25, Malaysia police
said they have found 139 graves, and signs of torture, in more than
two dozen squalid human trafficking camps suspected to have been
used by gangs smuggling migrants across the border with Thailand.
2015 May 26, Malaysia said 12
police officials have been detained on suspicion of involvement,
either directly or as facilitators, to people-smuggling camps.
2015 Jun 1, Malaysian media
reported that Muslim Rohingya women who were held at
human-trafficking camps in Thailand and Malaysia were subjected to
gang rapes by their captors, assaults that left at least two of them
2015 Jun 2, The Dutch Safety
Board made a draft report on last year's crash of Malaysia Airlines
Flight 17 available to representatives of Malaysia, Ukraine, the
United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia and the
Netherlands. It did not publicize details of the confidential draft.
2015 Jun 5, In Malaysia a
magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck near Mount Kinabalu. At least 16
people were killed with two missing.
(AP, 6/5/15)(AFP, 6/6/15)(Reuters, 6/7/15)
2015 Jun 11, The Malaysian
tanker MT Orkim Harmony, loaded with 7.5 million liters (2 million
gallons) of gasoline belonging to national oil company Petronas, was
believed hijacked as it headed to northern Kuantan near Singapore.
The crew consisted of 16 Malaysians, five Indonesians and a Myanmar
national. 8 pirates, believed to be Indonesians, abandoned the MT
Orkim Harmony late June 18 after being pursued by a Malaysian navy
ship. The Vietnamese coastguard picked up the alleged hijackers on
(AP, 6/15/15)(AP, 6/19/15)(Econ, 6/27/15, p.34)
2015 Jun 12, In Malaysia four
Westerners who posed naked on Mount Kinabalu on May 30 were
sentenced to three days in jail and fined $1,330 each for obscene
behavior in a public place.
2015 Jul 3, Malaysian PM Najib
Razak denied news reports that nearly $700 million were funneled
from an indebted state investment fund into his personal accounts.
2015 Jul 7, Malaysian
authorities said they have frozen six bank accounts as part of an
investigation into allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars
were transferred from a state investment fund to the personal
accounts of PM Najib Razak.
2015 Jul 20, Malaysia’s The
Edge, which has a daily and a weekly business newspaper, ran
extensive reports alleging Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho and
PetroSaudi International had cheated Malaysia of $1.83 billion in
cash through an aborted joint venture with 1MDB in 2009. On July 24
The Edge media group said the government will suspend its publishing
permits for three months as of July 27, over the reports alleging
(AP, 7/24/15)(SSFC, 7/26/15, p.A6)
2015 Jul 27, The US State
Department took Malaysia and Cuba off its “tier 3" list of countries
failing to combat modern-day slavery, leaving the US open to
criticism that politics is swaying the often-contentious rankings in
its annual human trafficking report. Burundi, Belize, Belarus,
Comoros and South Sudan were downgraded to Tier 3, where Thailand
remained for a second year.
(AP, 7/27/15)(Reuters, 7/27/15)
2015 Jul 28, Malaysian premier
Najib Razak sacked his deputy premier and attorney general in a
cabinet reshuffle widely seen as an attempt to strengthen his hold
on power as he battles corruption allegations.
2015 Jul 29, Plane debris was
found washed up on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean
and was believed to be part of a Boeing 777, potentially the biggest
breakthrough in the search for Flight MH370, missing since March 8,
2015 Aug 3, Malaysia's
anti-corruption agency said that $700 million in PM Najib Razak's
personal bank accounts came from donations, not from a debt-ridden
state investment fund. Critics urged the agency to reveal the
2015 Aug 6, Malaysia said paint
color and maintenance-record matches proved that a piece of wing
found on the shore of an Indian Ocean island was part of the
wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which vanished without
trace on March 8, 2014.
2015 Aug 12, A Malaysian
opposition party filed a civil lawsuit against PM Najib Razak for
alleged election offenses involving $700 million in his bank
2015 Aug 20, Malaysian police
said they had arrested and were investigating 10 Malaysians
suspected of links to Islamic State, among them six members of the
country's security forces.
2015 Aug 23, Malaysian police
said that they have found 24 more bodies of suspected human
trafficking victims this week in jungles bordering Thailand. 106
bodies had been found earlier.
2015 Aug 29, In Malaysia tens
of thousands wearing yellow T-shirts and blowing horns defiantly
held a major rally in the capital to demand the resignation of
embattled PM Najib Razak.
2015 Aug 30, In Malaysia big
crowds of protesters returned to the streets of Kuala Lumpur demand
the resignation of PM Najib Razak over a financial scandal.
2015 Sep 3, An overloaded
wooden boat believed to be carrying about 70 Indonesian illegal
immigrants sank off the coast of Malaysia, killing at least 14
people, among them 13 women. The number of survivors stood at 19.
2015 Sep 14, Malaysian PM Najib
Razak said the government will pump 20 billion ringgit ($4.6
billion) into an equity fund to support the stock market and ruled
out capital controls despite the ringgit's plunge.
2015 Sep 16, Malaysian police
fired water cannons at ethnic Malays who turned unruly at a
pro-government rally that many fear has the potential to provoke
racial trouble in this multiethnic nation with large Chinese and
Indian minorities. Some 40,000 ethnic Malays had gathered in a park
in support of the United Malays National Organization (UNMO) Riot
police prevented a mob of protesters from marching down a Petaling
Street, where ethnic Chinese stallholders served bargain-hunting
(AP, 9/16/15)(Econ, 9/26/15, p.38)
2015 Oct 4, Malaysian
authorities ordered most of the country's schools shut for two days
because of possible health risks posed by the thick haze from
Indonesian forest fires.
2015 Oct 5, Twelve Pacific rim
countries sealed the deal on creating the world's largest free trade
area (TPP), delivering President Barack Obama a major policy
triumph. The Trans-Pacific Partnership included Australia, Brunei,
Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru,
Singapore, the US and Vietnam.
2015 Oct 9, Malaysia's central
bank said a debt-laden state investment fund violated foreign
exchange rules and must repatriate $1.83 billion it used abroad.
2015 Oct 13, The Dutch Safety
Board concluded that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over
eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile in its final report on
the crash on July 17, 2014, that killed all 298 people on board,
most of them Dutch.
2015 Oct 15, US authorities
reported that Malaysia authorities have arrested Ardit Ferizi, a
Kosovo citizen, for providing sensitive information on more than a
thousand US service members to the Islamic State group.
2015 Oct 28, Hamid Ismail,
suspected of involvement in the Sep 28 attempted assassination of
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, was arrested in Kuala Lumpur with
four other Maldives residents.
2015 Nov 17, The Philippine
military verified reports that a Malaysian kidnap victim, was
beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines after a
large ransom demand was not paid. The militants killed Bernard Then
Ted Fen, who was abducted last May, in the jungles off Indanan town
in Sulu province.
2015 Nov 20, Malaysia deployed
extraordinary security measures around Kuala Lumpur as leaders from
18 countries arrived for the East Asian and ASEAN weekend summits.
2015 Nov 22, In Malaysia ASEAN
nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) established a formal
community that attempts to create freer movement of trade and
capital in an area of 625 million people with a combined economic
output of $2.6 trillion.
2015 Dec 3, Malaysia's
Parliament approved a security law that gives 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.
2015 Dec 5, Malaysia's police
said that they have arrested five people, including a European
employed as a teacher, on suspicion of links with militant groups
like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. The arrests were made between
Nov. 17 and Dec 1.
2015 Singapore’s population
stood at about 5.5 million. Every day some 50,000 Malaysians
commuted to work across a causeway from Johor Bahru, the capital of
Malaysia’s Johor state.
(Econ, 7/18/15, SR p.5)
2016 Jan 26, Malaysia's
attorney general said that nearly $700 million channeled into PM
Najib Razak's private accounts was a personal donation from Saudi
Arabia's royal family, and cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.
2016 Jan 26, Malaysian police
said 13 bodies, believed to be Indonesian illegal immigrants, were
found washed ashore after their boat capsized in bad sea conditions.
Five more bodies were found the next day raising the death toll to
(AP, 1/26/16)(AFP, 1/27/16)
2016 Jan 29, Switzerland's
chief prosecutor said a criminal investigation into state fund
1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had revealed that about $4
billion appeared to have been misappropriated from Malaysian state
2016 Feb 29, Former Malaysian
leader Mahathir Mohamad quit the ruling Malay party, saying it has
been hijacked by embattled PM Najib Razak to protect his own
2016 Mar 1, Malaysian national
car company Proton said it has begun shipping left-hand drive sedans
to Chile as it seeks to tap new markets and revitalize exports.
2016 Mar 3, Mozambique aviation
authorities displayed the recovered a one-meter fragment from a
Boeing 777 believed to be from flight MH370 which vanished on March
8, 2014. Blaine Gibson, a lawyer from Seattle, recently discovered
the fragment on a sandbank near the tourist island of Benguerra.
2016 Mar 4, Former Malaysian
leader Mahathir Mohamad joined with political foes in issuing a
declaration signed by 58 public figures urging PM Najib Razak to
resign over corruption allegations.
2016 Mar 24, Malaysian police
said they have arrested 15 people, including a police officer,
suspected of links to Islamic State and of planning an attack in the
2016 Mar 24, Australian and
Malaysian officials said that two pieces of debris recently
discovered along the coast of Mozambique are "highly likely" to have
come from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
2016 Apr 1, Eight suspected
Filipino Muslim gunmen on board a speed boat took four Malaysians
from the MV Massive 6 late today but left behind five other crewmen
from Myanmar and Indonesia as the tugboat sailed to Tawau island in
Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah.
2016 Apr 15, Malaysia deported
20 Taiwanese criminal suspects to Taiwan despite Beijing's request
that they be sent to China, amid an ongoing battle over jurisdiction
involving the self-ruled island. A Malaysia official said another 32
Taiwanese wire fraud suspects sought by China also will be sent to
2016 Apr 14, Saudi Arabia for
the first time publicly confirmed Malaysia's claim that $681 million
in PM Najib Razak's bank accounts was a donation from the Saudi
royal family, countering accusations that the money was siphoned
from heavily indebted state investment fund 1MDB.
2016 Apr 18, A
government-backed investment fund in the United Arab Emirates said
that heavily indebted Malaysian investment fund 1MDB and the
southeast Asian country's finance ministry have defaulted on more
than $1.1 billion they owe.
2016 Apr 19, Indonesia said it
has called for joint maritime patrols with the Philippines and
Malaysia, after a spate of kidnappings in waters near the southern
Philippines by suspected militants.
2016 May 1, Taiwanese officials
protested Malaysia's deportation of 32 of the self-ruled island's
nationals to China this weekend to face wire fraud charges, the
latest in a series of disputes that has raised new friction between
China and Taiwan.
2016 May 4, Malaysia's finance
ministry said it would dissolve the board of advisers at 1Malaysia
Development Berhad (1MDB) and take over its remaining assets, in an
apparent move to scale down a state fund whose scandals have rocked
2016 May 5, Indonesia, Malaysia
and the Philippines agreed to conduct coordinated maritime patrols
after a spate of ship hijackings by Islamist militants in the
2016 May 5, In Malaysia a
Eurocopter AS350 ferrying Plantation Industries and Commodities
Deputy Minister Noriah Kasnon and her husband Asmuni Abdullah from
Sarawak's interior to its capital Kuching went missing. All 6 people
aboard were killed.
2016 May 7, Scandal-ridden
Malaysian PM Najib Razak secured a major victory for his ruling
coalition in elections in Sarawak state on Borneo island, boosting
his rule despite corruption allegations.
2016 May 9, An Australian law
firm filed a compensation claim against Russia and President
Vladimir Putin in the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of
families of victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, shot down
over Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The application names the Russian
Federation and Putin as respondents and seeks $10 million in
compensation per passenger.
2016 May 24, Switzerland's
market supervisor indicated that BSI SA helped transfer money to the
Alpine country connected to the Malaysian fund called 1MDB. The
Swiss attorney general's office opened criminal proceedings against
the bank, whose chief executive resigned.
2016 May 31, Malaysia's
government said it has fired 15 immigration officers who helped
international syndicates sabotage online passport checks for years,
allowing some travelers to move freely in and out of the country.
The sabotage likely started in 2010 and was led by foreign agents.
2016 Jun 18, In Malaysia PM
Najib Razak’s United Malays National Organization retained the
Sungai Besar seat in central Selangor state and Kuala Kangsar in
northern Perak state in parliamentary by-elections.
2016 Jun 20, Indonesia,
Malaysia and the Philippines agreed to designate a transit corridor
for commercial vessels crossing a maritime zone hit by a spate of
hijackings by Islamist militants in the southern Philippines.
2016 Jun 21, In Malaysia Bill
Kayong (43), an indigenous land rights defende, was murdered in the
city of Miri, Sarawak state. On Juy 15 two men were charged with the
murder and abetting in the murder of Kayong.
2016 Jun 28, In Malaysia a
grenade blast at a bar outside Kuala Lumpur injured eight people.
Police later said this the first attack in the country by the
Islamic State militant group, and that 15 people have been detained.
On Aug 13 police said they have arrested nine militants, including
two suspected of carrying out the grenade attack.
(AP, 7/4/16)(Reuters, 8/13/16)
2016 Jun 29, In Malaysia
influential opposition politician Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of
northern Penang state, was arrested on allegations of corruption. He
has strongly criticized financial scandals involving PM Najib Razak.
2016 Jul 9, Gunmen kidnapped
three Indonesian members of a tugboat crew off Malaysia's eastern
state of Sabah. Four other crew members were left behind by the
kidnappers who came in a speedboat.
2016 Jul 13, Malaysia's central
bank cut interest rates for the first time in seven years to bolster
a slowing economy amid fears of greater volatility in global growth.
2016 Jul 17, Malaysia Airlines
struck a deal to settle damages claims for most victims of its MH17
flight that was shot down over eastern Ukraine two years ago.
2016 Jul 20, The US government
moved to seize more than $1 billion in assets purchased with money
that it believes was stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund
overseen by PM Najib Razak. US investigators alleged that more than
$3.5 billion had been misappropriated from 1MDB and that hundreds of
millions had been paid to PM Najib Razak.
(SFC, 7/21/16, p.A2)(Econ, 11/19/16, p.33)
2016 Jul 28, Australian
officials confirmed that data recovered from a home flight simulator
owned by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the captain of Malaysia Airlines
Flight 370, showed that someone had used the device to plot a course
to the southern Indian Ocean, where the missing jet is believed to
2016 Aug 1, A Malaysian
security law that gives embattled pm Najib Razak sweeping emergency
powers came into force, with Amnesty International warning the
National Security Council Act could be used to trample on human
2016 Aug 6, In Malaysia Ahmad
Syukri Yusuf (22), charged last year with raping a 14-year-old girl,
faced a retrial after he avoided prison in July by marrying her. The
case has sparked anger from rights groups and calls for a ban on
child marriage and justice for victims of sexual violence.
(AP, 8/3/16)(AFP, 8/6/16)
2016 Aug 26, Singapore's air
quality deteriorated to unhealthy levels as winds blew smoke from
fires on Sumatra, where millions of people are already affected by
haze, across the city-state and into southern Malaysia. Six
Indonesian provinces have declared states of emergency.
2016 Aug 27, In Malaysia nearly
a thousand protesters marched in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur
calling for the arrest of an unnamed high-ranking government
official who US investigators say received $700 million skimmed from
the sovereign state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The
unnamed official is PM Najib Razak, who has repeatedly denied any
2016 Sep 1, Malaysia reported
its first suspected case of Zika, a 58-year-old woman believed to
have contracted it in neighbouring Singapore where more than 100
cases have been confirmed.
2016 Sep 8, In Malaysia former
prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (91) became the founding
chairman of the new “Bersatu" (United) political party. Mohamad and
Muhyiddin Yassin, a former UMNO deputy prime minister, founded
(Econ, 9/17/16, p.39)(Econ, 1/7/17, p.31)
2016 Sep 12, A Vietnamese court
approved a Malaysian request for the extradition of eight
Indonesians suspected of hijacking a Malaysian oil tanker more than
a year ago, and rejected a similar request from Indonesia. The eight
were arrested in June last year when they arrived on Tho Chu island
off Vietnam's southern coast and admitted that they had hijacked the
oil tanker MT Orkim Harmony.
2016 Nov 1, China and Malaysia
said their navies will cooperate more in the politically sensitive
South China Sea in an agreement signed today during a visit by
Malaysia's PM Najib Razak, who is seeking stronger ties with Beijing
as he tries to offset a financial scandal at home.
2016 Nov 5, In Malaysia several
hundred pro-government demonstrators dressed in red shirts protested
outside the office of the popular news portal, Malaysiakini, calling
for it to be shut down after reports that it received funds from an
organization linked to business tycoon George Soros.
2016 Nov 5, Two Indonesians
were kidnapped from fishing vessels in waters off Malaysia's Sabah
state in two separate incidents.
2016 Nov 11, Singapore
convicted a banker who had handled some of Malaysia’s 1MDB money of
forgery and failing to report suspicious transactions. He was
sentenced to 18 weeks in jail.
(Econ, 11/19/16, p.33)
2016 Nov 14, Malaysian
opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli was sentenced to 18 months in jail
for releasing one page of a classified document on the 1MDB
controversial state investment fund.
(SFC, 11/15/16, p.A2)
2016 Nov 18, Malaysian police
raided the office of electoral reform group Bersih and detained two
officials on the eve of a street rally by the group seeking PM Najib
Razak's resignation over a financial scandal. Police arrested Maria
Chin Abdullah, the leader of a coalition of human-rights groups,
that organized the event.
(AP, 11/18/16)(Econ, 11/26/16, p.12)
2016 Nov 19, In Malaysia more
than 10,000 yellow-shirt protesters rallied in Kuala Lumpur seeking
PM Najib Razak's resignation over a financial scandal, undeterred by
a police ban and the arrest of 20 people, mostly activists.
2016 Nov 19, Another two
Indonesian fishermen were abducted by armed men off Malaysia’s
eastern Sabah state on Borneo island, the second such case this
month and the latest in a spate of sea attacks.
2016 Nov 26, Malaysian
political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque (54), or Zunar as he is
popularly known, was arrested under the country's Sedition Act for
cartoons that allegedly insulted PM Najib Razak.
2016 Dec 13, Malaysia and
Singapore signed an agreement to build a high-speed railway that
would cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the city-state to
just 90 minutes by 2026.
2016 Dec 23, The UN Security
Council passed a landmark resolution condemning Israeli settlements
in east Jerusalem and the West Bank after the United States
refrained from using its veto. A resolution needs nine votes in
favor and no vetoes by the US, France, Russia, Britain or China to
be adopted. New Zealand, along with Senegal, Venezuela and Malaysia,
co-sponsored the UN Security Council resolution.
(Reuters, 12/23/16)(AFP, 12/24/16)(AP, 6/13/17)
2017 Jan 17, Malaysian,
Australian and Chinese authorities ended today the deep-sea search
for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 without any trace being
found of the plane that vanished in 2014 with 239 people on board.
2017 Jan 23, The bodies of 10
people believed to be Indonesian migrants were found washed ashore
in Malaysia not far from a capsized boat. 2 Indonesians were
2017 Jan 29, Twenty-two people,
mostly Chinese tourists, wore life vests and formed a human chain at
sea to drift more than 10 hours before they could be rescued off
Malaysia's coast after their boat sank in turbulent waters. Three
bodies were recovered, and six other people from the boat were
2017 Feb 3, Malaysia’s PM Najib
Razak dispatched a ship with thousands of tons of food and emergency
supplies for Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, but it was unclear where
the bulk of the aid would be delivered.
2017 Feb 13, In Malaysia Kim
Jong Nam (46), the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,
was assassinated at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, telling medical
workers before he died en route to a hospital that he had been
attacked with a chemical spray. South Korean media said North
Korean female agents killed him using poisoned needles. Jong-Nam had
reportedly travelled using a fake passport under the name of Kim
(AP, 2/14/17)(AFP, 2/14/17)
2017 Feb 13, In Malaysia Kim
Jong Nam (46), the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,
was assassinated at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, telling medical
workers before he died en route to a hospital that he had been
attacked with a chemical spray, later identified as the VX nerve
agent. South Korean media said North Korean female agents
killed him using poisoned needles. Jong-Nam had reportedly travelled
using a fake passport under the name of Kim Chol.
(AP, 2/14/17)(AFP, 2/14/17)(Econ, 3/4/17, p.29)
2017 Feb 15, North Korean
officials spent hours trying to talk Malaysia out of conducting an
autopsy on Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother, who was murdered at
Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb 13.
2017 Feb 16, Malaysian
authorities announced two more arrests in the Feb 13 death of Kim
Jong Nam, the North Korean leader's half-brother. Siti Aisyah (25)
of Indonesia and her boyfriend were arrested as suspects in Nam’s
2017 Feb 17, Malaysian police
arrested a North Korean man, identified as Ri Jong Chol (b.1970), in
connection with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged
half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Malaysia performed
a second autopsy on Nam after the first proved inconclusive and a
diplomatic spat over his body escalated.
(Reuters, 2/18/17)(SFC, 2/18/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 17, Indonesia's
national police chief said Siti Aisyah, the Indonesian woman
arrested for suspected involvement in the killing of the North
Korean leader's half-brother in Malaysia, was duped into thinking
she was part of a comedy show prank.
2017 Feb 17, North Korea said
it would "categorically reject" the post mortem conducted by
Malaysia on one of its citizens who died in Kuala Lumpur this week,
and demanded that the body of Kim Jong Nam be released immediately.
2017 Feb 18, Tens of thousands
of Malaysians rallied in Kuala Lumpur to support the adoption of a
strict Islamic penal code, a proposal religious minorities fear
could infringe their rights.
2017 Feb 19, Malaysian police
said four North Korean suspects in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the
estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, fled
Malaysia on the day he was attacked at Kuala Lumpur airport and
apparently killed by a fast-acting poison.
2017 Feb 24, Malaysian police
said sometime in the hours after poisoning Kim Jong Nam, the
half-brother of North Korea's leader, one of his two attackers began
to vomit. It was apparently an early indication of the immensely
powerful toxin that was used in the killing: the chemical warfare
2017 Feb 26, Saudi King Salman
arrived in Malaysia to kick off a multi-nation tour aimed at
boosting economic ties with Asia.
2017 Feb 27, Malaysian PM Najib
Razak said that oil major Saudi Aramco will invest $7 billion in a
mammoth oil processing hub in Malaysia, making it the single largest
investor in the Southeast Asian country.
2017 Feb 27, South Korean
police said four of the eight North Koreans, identified as suspects
in the Feb 13 assassination of Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia, were agents
from North Korea’s Ministry of State Security.
(SFC, 2/28/17, p.A3)
2017 Feb 28, In Malaysia oil
giant Saudi Aramco signed a $7 billion deal to take a 50 percent
stake in a mega Malaysian oil refinery project, in a pact expected
to help Saudi Arabia increase trade in Southeast Asia.
2017 Mar 1, A Malaysian court
charged two young women, accused of smearing VX nerve agent on the
estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, with murder.
2017 Mar 3, Malaysian officials
said they have deported Ri Jong Chol, a North Korean man, who was
released from custody after police found insufficient evidence to
charge him in the Feb 13 murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of
North Korea's leader.
2017 Mar 4, Malaysia expelled
North Korea's ambassador for refusing to apologize for his strong
accusations over Malaysia's handling of the investigation into the
killing of the North Korean leader's half-brother.
2017 Mar 6, North Korea said it
has ordered Malaysia's ambassador out of the country in a
tit-for-tat after Malaysia expelled North Korea's envoy over the
death of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport.
2017 Mar 7, North Korea closed
its borders to Malaysians who want to leave the country, spurring
Malaysia to issue a retaliatory order and drawing hundreds of
ordinary people into an increasingly bitter diplomatic battle over
the killing of an exiled member of North Korea's ruling family. 11
Malaysian citizens were prevented from flying home.
(AP, 3/7/17)(Econ, 3/11/17, p.40)
2017 Mar 9, North Korea
guaranteed the safety of Malaysians banned from leaving the country,
as two Malaysian UN employees left the isolated state in a possible
sign that diplomatic tensions had begun to settle. Nine other
Malaysians were believed to still be stuck there after the two
countries' diplomatic relations broke down over the Feb 13 killing
in Malaysia of the estranged sibling of North Korea's leader.
(Reuters, 3/9/17)(AP, 3/9/17)
2017 Mar 14, Malaysia said that
the body of Kim Jong Nam, the brother of North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un killed last month, has been embalmed and that about 50 North
Koreans whose work permits have expired will be deported.
(SFC, 3/15/17, p.A3)
2017 Mar 23, In the southern
Philippines two Malaysian sailors held captive for eight months were
rescued near Pata Island. They were among five tugboat crewmen
kidnapped last July off Malaysia’s Sabah state.
(SFC, 3/24/17, p.A2)
2017 Mar 30, Malaysia said it
has agreed to release the body of Kim Jong Nam to North Korea in
exchange for the return of nine Malaysians held in the North's
2017 Apr 18, Malaysia said 296
North Koreans had surrendered to authorities over the last week, as
it enforces new visa requirements following a dispute over the
murder of the half-brother of North Korea's leader.
2017 Apr 24, Abu Dhabi and
Malaysian officials said they reached a deal to resolve a legal
dispute over the indebted and troubled Malaysian investment fund
1MDB, with the Abu Dhabi set to receive $1.2 billion over this year.
(AP, 4/24/17)(Econ, 4/29/17, p.30)
2017 May 8, In Malaysia the
wife of a Turkish businessman detained in Malaysia last week for
alleged terrorism offences made a tearful appeal to the government
to release him. Ihsan Aslan was arrested together with another
Turkish national, Turgay Karaman, last week under a security law
which allows detention without trial for 28 days. Two days later
Turkish academic Ismet Ozcelik was also detained. Rights groups
feared Malaysia may be responding to pressure from Turkey.
2017 May 12, Malaysia said it
had deported three Turkish men to Ankara over suspected links to a
group blamed by Turkey for a failed coup last year. Authorities had
detained school principal Turgay Karaman (43), businessman Ihsan
Aslan (39) and academic Ismet Ozcelik (58) last week, saying they
posed a threat to national security.
2017 Jun 3, Malaysia's health
ministry defended its decision to host a contest on how to "prevent"
homosexuality and transgenderism. It said the contest, titled the
National Creative Video Competition on Adolescent Sexual and
Reproductive Health, was to gather views and enhance knowledge among
teens on healthy lifestyle practices.
2017 Jun 15, Malaysian customs
officials seized nearly 400 kg (880 pounds) of pangolin scales worth
5 million ringgit ($1.2 million) from Ghana.
2017 Jun 22, In Manila security
officials from the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to
closely cooperate to halt the flow of militants, weapons, funds and
extremist propaganda across their borders.
2017 Jul 4, Hong Kong customs
officials seized more than $9 million worth of ivory in a shipment
from Malaysia that had been labeled as frozen fish. Three people at
a trading company in Hong Kong were arrested in connection with the
2017 Jul 14, Malaysian
authorities arrested a Vietnamese man and seized a stash of elephant
ivory worth almost $70,000.
2017 Jul 27, In Vietnam
Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman spoke at a joint briefing
with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh at a joint commission
meeting on economic and technological cooperation. Minh said the two
countries have agreed to expand cooperation on defense and security
to include counterterrorism, fighting pirates and transnational
2017 Aug 1, In Malaysia
activists and authors reacted with outrage after authorities banned
"Breaking The Silence: Voices Of Moderation -- Islam In A
Constitutional Democracy", a book aimed at promoting moderate Islam,
as concerns mounted about growing conservatism.
2017 Aug 1, The emirate’s
sovereign wealth fund said Malaysia's scandal-hit state investment
fund 1MDB has missed a payment to Abu Dhabi of over $600 million
that it was supposed to make by the end of July to settle debts.
2017 Aug 7, Malaysia's deputy
minister in charge of religious affairs said he is investigating an
international atheist organization after a picture of the group's
local chapter went viral, sparking claims that Muslim apostates were
involved. The Kuala Lumpur chapter of Atheist Republic, a
Canada-based organization, posted a picture of the group's members
attending a gathering last week, sparking uproar among some Muslims
and leading to threats of death and violence against the group on
2017 Aug 9, China and Malaysia
broke ground on a $13 billion rail project linking peninsular
Malaysia's east and west, the largest such project in the country
and a major part of Beijing's Belt and Road infrastructure push.
2017 Aug 30, Malaysian police
arrested Hajar Abdul Mubin (aka Abu Asrie), a suspected leader and
seven members of the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf Islamist group
in Kuala Lumpur.
2017 Aug 30, Malaysian maritime
authorities publicly set fire to a foreign fishing boat for the
first time in a move to deter illegal fishing.