The defense encompasses (2008) 109,000 men enlisted and is organized into an army reduced to 80,000 men with 12 brigades. an airborne brigade. The Navy consists of 14,000 men with 11 frigates/corvettes, 14 patrol boats and 12 armed helicopters. The Air Force has 12,000 men with about 68 fighter aircraft. The defense is relatively modern equipped.
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Semi-military, well-equipped police units amount to about 24,000 men with combat vehicles, ships and aircraft. There is an armed volunteer organization of 17,500 men. Since 1971, Malaysia has cooperated in defense policy with the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Singapore as well as with Australia, which has a company and some sea surveillance aircraft stationed in the country.
Defense costs decreased in 1985-2006 from 5.6% to 2.1% of GDP. Malaysia participates in UN peacekeeping efforts, including a battalion in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and with observers in nine countries. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that MYS stands for Malaysia.
Social organizations in the country are playing an ever increasing role. This is especially true of consumer, environmental and human rights organizations. Environmental organizations are accusing various companies of ravaging large forest areas and causing extensive forest fires to create new areas of cultivation. These organizations are increasingly advancing alternative development models based on meeting basic needs and living in harmony with nature.
In 1991, plans to build a hydroelectric power plant across the River Pergau in the northern part of Kelantan – the country’s poorest state – were adopted. The project – funded by the UK with $ 350 million – at the same time pledged Malaysia to buy British weapons worth $ 1,500 million. The environmental damage caused by the hydroelectric plant would lead to protests. A similar project, in 95, faced a similar resistance. Thousands of farmers were to leave the woodlands that would be submerged.
In June 94, Tuanku Ja’afar ibni al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman was elected king of Malaysia. The following year, Prime Minister Mohamad, at the head of his coalition, the National Front, got 84% of the vote in the parliamentary elections, thus 162 out of its 192 seats.
Economic growth continued until 1997, when an unprecedented stock market crisis in the region broke through. The devaluation of the country’s currency coincided with a drastic deterioration of the social situation. At the beginning of 98, 1 million were affected by unemployment. The government took the opportunity to tighten its immigration policy. During the first 3 months of the year, 19,000 foreign workers without a work permit were sent out of the country. At the same time, the government unveiled a plan to ban 200,000 people – about 10% of foreign workers in the country.
After months of quarrels over how to solve the country’s economic crisis, Prime Minister Mahathir fired his economist Anwar Ibrahim in early September, accusing him of “sexual perversity”. After the firing, Anwar staged mass demonstrations against the government, which on September 20 led to his arrest. The political opposition identified itself with Anwar, who was perceived as liberal and open to overseas investment, and therefore supported him. When arrested, the leader of the opposition was handed over to his wife Azizah Ismail. The country’s economy declined 7% in 1998, and the new Minister of Economy sought to curb this development by introducing controls on foreign exchange and investment.
In April 1999, Anwar was sentenced to 6 years in prison for “sexual perversity” and sodomy. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Kuala Lumpur to show him their support.
The November 1999 parliamentary elections gave an absolute majority and more than 2/3 of parliamentary seats to the government coalition, allowing Mahathir to continue in the post for 2005. The Alternative Front led by Azizah Ismail got less than 20% of the vote and complained that the government had restricted the election campaign to just 9 days. In any case, the Prime Minister’s Party, the National Organization of Ancient Malay, lost ground and had to relinquish seats to its Islamic ally.
In January 2000, the case against Anwar was resumed, and the government at the same time took the opportunity to arrest 4 opposition politicians as well as Anwar’s lawyer. This triggered a wave of protests both inside and outside Malaysia. The charges against the opposition consisted partly of alleged plans for detachment and partly of alleged calls for racial violence. In March, the government reduced the circulation on Harakah newspaper, which is usually published twice a week. At the same time, the government decided that the newspaper should only be published twice a month. The newspaper had grown strongly as a result of its complete coverage of the Anwar case. As a result of accusations against the government, in April it declared that it would set up a National Human Rights Commission to which the public could address its complaints.