Malaysia. According to
Countryaah, Malaysia was one of the countries that opposed the
US-led war against the Taliban in Afghanistan following the
terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11. At
the same time, Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad was
accused of exploiting the terrorist act as an argument for
discrediting the Islamic opposition and gaining
international understanding of his harsh methods against
Many opposition groups were arrested during the year in
accordance with the controversial National Security Act
(ISA). On April 11, seven members of the opposition party
National Justice Party (PKN Keadilan) were arrested
according to ISA shortly before a demonstration against the
imprisonment of former Finance Minister and Deputy Prime
Minister Anwar Ibrahim was to be held. Among the arrested
were the Vice Chairman of PKN, Tian Chua.
In August, twelve members of the opposition party
Pan-Malay Islamic Party (PAS) were arrested according to ISA
for alleged contact with an Afghan-trained, militant Islamic
The tours around the imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim continued.
In February, the Supreme Court rejected a defamation lawsuit
that Anwar directed against Mahathir. The lawsuit related to
statements made by Mahathir about Anwar's sex life in
connection with his dismissal from the government in 1998.
In April, the responsible police chief for the arrest of
Anwar in 1999 was sentenced to two months in prison for
abusing the arrested. In May, Anwar Ibrahim returned to
prison after spending five months in hospital for back
problems. Two weeks later, Mahathir announced that Anwar
will not seek treatment abroad. Anwar was sentenced in 1999
to six years in prison for corruption and nine years for
At least six people were killed and about 40 injured in
ethnic violence March 4-11 in a poor suburb of Kuala Lumpur.
The unrest began in connection with an accident that led to
a rift between an Indian funeral party and guests at a
Malaysian wedding party. Armed gangs crashed into the
streets. The police arrested 184 people. The clashes were
labeled as the worst ethnic violence in Malaysia in decades.
In June, Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin left his
political mission following allegations of corruption. Prime
Minister Mahathir temporarily took over the Finance
Ministry. Daim Zainuddin was closely allied with Mahathir
and received the honor for the country's economic growth in
On November 21, King M Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah passed
away at the age of 75. Salahuddin was one of nine
traditional sultans from the country's states who dared to
be king. He was crowned king in September 1999. New king
became Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, 58 years old. M's king has a
mainly ceremonial role.
In November, the former governor of the autonomous Muslim
area of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, Nur Misuari,
fled to Malaysia after a failed revolt. He was arrested in
was to be extradited to the Philippines in January 2002.
In late December, three members of the Muslim sect
al-Ma'unah were sentenced to death by hanging for attempting
to overthrow the government and introduce the Muslim law of
Sharia. Sixteen other members of the sect were sentenced to
life imprisonment for participating in the planning of the
armed uprising. Several sect members have previously been
convicted of serious crimes, including trying to overthrow
the king of the country.