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Malaysia Tag

The Southeast Asian country of Malaysia is moving towards a total imposition of Islamic Sharia. Malaysia's government has pledged its support for an Islamic penal code that seeks to impose Sharia-prescribed punishments such as amputations, public stoning and flogging on its multi-religious population. The new legislation referred to as “Hudud Law” also seeks to segregate women from public life in Kelantan province, a predominantly Muslim northern state. The proposed constitutional amendment will allow other Malaysian provinces to align their legal system to stricter Islamic law as well. With a population of around 30 million, only 61 percent of the people identify as Muslim. Apart from Christianity that makes up to 10 percent of the population, Malaysia is home to many ethnic Chinese and Indians who mainly follow Buddhism and Hinduism respectively.

This bitter battle takes place in the South Pacific, with Malaysia in one corner, and Indonesia set and ready across the ring. According to the Jakarta Globe, the Indonesian government threatened a Malaysian cleaning company with legal action over an ad. The ad, which appears to promote a Roomba-like vacuum machine, pitches the vacuum by enticing would-be customers to "Fire Their Indonesian Maid." The Jakarata Globe reports:
Armanatha Nasir, spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on Thursday that the ministry had requested the company make a public apology, or face possible legal action. “We’ve sent a letter telling the company to make an apology in three different Malaysian newspapers of at least half a page,” Armanatha said. “If they don’t do it in the next seven days, we’ll definitely take the next legal step.”
Then the embassies got involved. The Straits Times explains:
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