Terrorist’s Death Calms Indonesia-Malaysia Relations

Terrorist’s Death Calms Indonesia-Malaysia Relations

KUALA LUMPUR -- If timing matters in the art of diplomacy, then those responsible for the death of Noordin Mohammad Top did the foreign services of Indonesia and Malaysia a big favor.

The killing of Southeast Asia's most wanted terrorist came as neighborly relations were sliding rapidly into a political abyss amid declarations of a "cultural war." Opportunists on the fringe were even calling for the real thing as the foreign ministers from both countries tried to mend a few broken fences torn apart over the historic origins of a traditional dance.

"As for Noordin M Top, while Indonesians were happy to see the end of him, the fact that he was a Malaysian was another complaint they had about their neighbors," said Keith Loveard, a Jakarta-based security analyst with Concord Consulting. According to Loveard, the general attitude in Indonesia was that not only did Malaysians steal Indonesian culture, they exported terrorism too. "It's a pretty childish argument, but it was the way many people felt."

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.