Defence ministers of Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia 12 Oct launched Trilateral Air Patrol in Subang to counter Islamic State (ISIS) and piracy in Sulu Sea; follows marine patrols launched in April. Police reported 7 Oct arrest of four foreigners and four Malaysians, allegedly involved in terror activities linked to Abu Sayyaf, ISIS and Jemaah Islamiah; 17 Oct reported arrest of nineteen-year-old in north-eastern Kelantan state, accused along with two others of plotting attack in capital. Media 13 Oct reported 45 foreigners with alleged ISIS ties arrested to date in 2017. Deputy home minister 17 Oct reported that ISIS is eyeing Malaysia to strengthen its position in South East Asia.
Demographic and social change, easing of authoritarian controls, a growing civil society and economic uncertainty are shaking the communal foundations of Malaysian politics and making the outcome of its coming election unusually unpredictable.
Originally published in Tempo