There is growing concern amongst foreign governments and in diplomatic circles in Malaysia and Singapore that the continued provocation of Malays in Malaysia by opposition groups and religious minorities promoting a hatred of Islam and anything Malay will soon spill over in a backlash.

An unnamed British diplomat has suggested that the atmosphere in Malaysia today is more heated and polarized than it was prior to 13 May 1969. The “sweep you back into the kampungs” rhetoric has been replaced by the incessant and highly inflammatory social media promotion of anything  negative about Islam to a Malay majority highly sensitive about negative references about their religion Islam.

This hate propaganda includes contributions by so called “Malay Muslim Liberals” (the urban and urbane elite) whose contribution to the propaganda campaign is often conveniently and poorly disguised as a part of the international campaign on gender equality and government reform in the developing world.

There have been reports of sporadic violence reported recently in provincial districts outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, with the ransacking and ‘trashing’ of opposition Democratic Action party (DAP) offices and threats by now radicalized Malay Muslim groups to take the law into their own hands.

The government of the Barisan Nasional (BN) a Malay majority government under English educated current Prime Minister Najib Razak is seen by many Malays as having been too soft on the opposition for far too long. The government of Najib Razak  is also viewed by many Malays and non Malaysia as being complacent and indolent in the face of a well orchestrated and financed hostile anti Malay, anti Muslim campaign funded from abroad.


Large numbers of Malays especially the youth from rural areas and urban die hards of the Malay dominated UMNO (United Malays National Organization) have been seen gathering in and around the capital defiantly dressed in their national costume complete with ringed songkoks and traditional ceremonial daggers, the “Keris”.  This was a sight not seen in Malaysia since the bloody communal riots of 13 May 1969 often referred to as May 13 by those who remember that bloody night.

Many  more Malay youth have been seen driving in SUV’s motor cycle groups and in trucks wearing white bands around their songkoks (traditional Malay headdress) in a menacing show of defiance in apparent readiness to tackle in their own way, what they see is over a decade of humiliation and antagonistic rhetoric directed at them freely since the resignation of the former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammed in 2002.

Malaysia observers and diplomats all point to an internal power struggle within UMNO as being a catalyst for the current eruption by radicalized Malays. “It won’t get any better till it gets worse and the feeling of frustration, humiliation and anger has been spent” according to a Singaporean diplomat who did not wish to be named.

When pressed further about contingencies and arrangements for foreigners to flee into Singapore in the event the situation in Malaysia gets worse as it appears to be getting, he replied “contingencies have been in place to relocate and accommodate Europeans, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American personnel working in Malaysia for some time now. In other instances non-essential personnel from embassies will be evacuated but that’s not new or novel”.

“Not so” according to a long time foreign press correspondent who works as an academic at a Singaporean university. “The heightened level of security and intelligence gathering on the situation in Malaysia by foreign diplomats and governments is far greater now than it was before GE 13”.


At least 7 of Bersih’s more prominent activists are known to have made requests to seek assistance and refuge at foreign embassies in the event the situation in Malaysia deteriorates.

The Prime Minister’s faction within UMNO appears intact for the present although members of the Youth Wing and known to be leading an internal rebellion calling for sterner and more decisive action against anti-Islamic anti Malay groups within the opposition.

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