Counter-Terrorism: Why Malaysia Is So Quiet


October 15, 2014: On October 9th there was an Islamic terrorist bombing in the capital of Malaysia. The target was an entertainment complex, the sort of place that Islamic conservatives consider blasphemous. Because the bomb went off before dawn (when no devout Moslem would be up and about) there were few casualties (fourteen wounded). A second bomb was found and disabled.

Such an attack is rare in Malaysia, which is a Moslem majority (61 percent) country that has managed to suppress Islamic terrorism quite handily. This is in large part because since the late 1940s Malaysia has had to contend with a communist rebellion, which was largely sustained by the Chinese 24 percent of the population. This rebellion ended in 1989 when communism collapsed in Eastern Europe and Russia. With that traumatic event the Malaysian communists finally agreed to a peace deal and the rebellion ended.

But the special police and intelligence units that kept the communist rebels under control for so many decades soon found themselves monitoring Islamic radical activity. Moreover after nearly five decades of communist terrorism Malaysians in general were intolerant of rebellion and terrorism of any sort. The Islamic terrorists that evolved in Malaysia found themselves living in a very hostile (to Islamic terrorism) environment and tended to move elsewhere to practice what they preached. The few who insisted on carrying out Islamic terrorist acts in Malaysia were soon caught and punished. Most Islamic radicals learned from that.

Moreover, the lack of Islamic terrorist attacks in Malaysia makes the local police tolerant of other Islamic terrorist activities (fund raising, recruiting, obtaining black market weapons. Ids and other useful stuff). The perpetrators of this recent attack will probably soon be dead or in prison, possibly turned in anonymously by other Islamic terrorists would did not like that the unofficial sanctuary deal was violated.






Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close