I don't know what a German guy (or a guy with a German sounding name) is doing in Bangkok, but he seems to have assessed the situation spot on.
Here is his take in Jakarta Post:
Visit Malaysia in 2008?
After Malaysia just had it's "Visit Malaysia" year there is little reason why someone would want to visit this country in 2008. The stream of disturbing news and incidents just does not seem to come to an end.
Most severe is certainly the discrimination of its ethnic Indian citizens, which starts to show some similarities with the apartheid politics, as formerly known, from South Africa.
Denying people basic rights to demonstrate against their obvious discrimination and indefinitely detaining activists without any trial is simply beyond any standard of civilization.
It is not only racial, but also religious discrimination which seems to be pursued by the Malaysian Authorities.
Thanks to them, now God is to be used with a copyright: Allah (c) -- is only to be used by Muslims despite the fact that Christians referred to God as Allah even before Mohammed was born.
After all, there is only one God. This sort of narrow minded religious understanding would deserve merely a raised eyebrow if it would not sadly affect the lives of Christians in Malaysia.
And finally there have been too many incidents about forced last-minute-conversions from Christians to Muslims, resulting in a Muslim burial. With this attitude, it may seem logical that Sharia court rulings are happily applied to non-Muslims also.
In which direction is Malaysia heading? For now it is certainly the wrong one. Who would want to visit a country like this, where behind the shiny facade too much is rotten?
Therefore Malaysia should be boycotted as a tourism destination in 2008 -- hopefully there will be more inviting news in 2009.
I hope next year has better news too, Dietmar. It depends on next month, really.