(U//FOUO) Marine Corps Intelligence Activity Malaysia Cultural Field Guide

Malays are predominantly Muslim, and as a result, the country is strongly influenced by Islam. Most Malaysian Muslims are moderate in their views. They do not want Malaysia to become an Islamic state, and regard Islam primarily as a religion, not a lifestyle. Some of Malaysia’s smaller religious and ethnic groups are concerned about what they perceive as the increasingly Islamic nature of Malaysian society.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Malaysian Media Guide 2009

Malaysia’s mainstream media are state controlled through indirect ownership of media conglomerates and closely adhere to the government line. Some mainstream outlets, especially Chinese newspapers, raise contentious issues such as the treatment of the country’s predominant Malay and minority Chinese and Indian communities. Newspapers are the preferred choice for political news, but TV and radio have nearly twice the audience, with about 90-percent reach, compared to 50 percent for newspapers. Internet use is increasing, and alternative news portals and blogs provide an important venue for dissent and criticism despite government defamation suits against bloggers and the use of the Internal Security Act.