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The World : Crackdown in Malaysia

October 29, 1987

Malaysian authorities announced that they have closed three newspapers, banned public rallies and arrested 63 people, including an opposition leader, in an effort to prevent possible violence between ethnic Chinese and ethnic Malays of the kind that killed hundreds in 1969. Gen. Haniff Omar, the police inspector general, told a news conference that among those arrested were six opposition members of Parliament, including Lim Kit Siang, leader of the main opposition Democratic Action Party. Racial tensions have risen recently because of a controversy over Chinese-language education and rumors of Malay-Chinese clashes. Of Malaysia's 16 million people, 55% are Malays and 37% are Chinese. Non-Malays say they are discriminated against in jobs and education.

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