Malaysian protester arrested by police.-
Agence France Press reported July 14, 2011:
"US airs concerns on Malaysia crackdown"
"WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday voiced concern about Malaysia's weekend crackdown on an opposition-backed rally and said it would keep an eye on developments.
Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons to end Saturday's rally to demand electoral changes and arrested more than 1,600 people. One demonstrator was killed.
"We do have some concerns," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. "We... continue to stand for the right for people to freely express their democratic aspirations and express their views freely."
"I would stress that those must be peaceful demonstrations," Toner said. "We continue to monitor the situation closely."... FULL ARTICLE
Malaysia is in the unenviable situation of having a finely balanced ethnic mix that is similar in some respects to Fiji in the 1970s. That is the number of comparative newcomers (as early as the 15th century but mainly in the last 200 years) is similar to the number of more indigenous people. Malaysia is attempting to avoid the types of upheavals (social and in government structure) suffered in Fiji.
However some Malaysian laws regarding race and other democratic issues (such as a right to protest) are unacceptable to the US (with its worldwide mission of western style freedom of speech).
The geographic division of Malaysia between West (Peninsula) Malaysia and East (part of the island of Borneo) Malaysia separated by the South China Sea complicates Malaysian governance and strategic defence. Malaysia's purchase of two French Scorpene submarines is partly to this separation by geographical separation as well as protection of the future undersea (Ambalat) oil fields Malaysia claims.