Malaysia is an important cog in the security of the Indian Ocean. It is an interesting kaleidoscope. While it is keen on making Islam a basis of governance, it cannot since the Chinese control the economy and Indians are the working class. The northern part, bordering Thailand, is under the governance of the radical Muslim party. The Bhumiputra or the sons of the soil i.e. Malay are an easy going lot and while they adorn the symbols of Islam, but are basically a swinging lot. It is the government that insists on racial and religious inequalities. The elections will be interesting to watch. The last elections broke the monopoly of Mahatir's party.