The dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims first erupted in 2008 when the home ministry banned the Herald, the Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia's weekly newspaper from using it in its Malay-language section.
Recently, tensions have risen significantly in Northeast Asia as a rivalry between the United States and Japan on one side and China and Russia on the other takes shape.
The latest move by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to micro-manage traditional and new media after the May 22 power seizure could seriously tarnish or even paralyze the NCPO's public diplomacy within Thailand and abroad.
Earlier this month, King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated his throne after reigning for four decades. His abdication was, among others, a measure to save the Spanish crown from its plummeting popularity among the Spanish populace.
In June 1992, before assuming the Philippine presidency he had just been elected to, Fidel Ramos expressed reservations about a higher military profile for the Japanese Self-Defence Forces in Asia.
In the lead up to the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China a local friend of mine quite seriously asked how he could pass custody of his child to me in the hope his son would be able to get an Australian passport, such was the suspicion that most Hong Kongers had about the impending change of the territory's ownership.
Are you a Catholic, Protestant, Sikh, Taoist or Buddhist living in or visiting Malaysia? Watch it. You are not to use the word “Allah” referring to God, that country's highest court said in a 4-3 decision this week. Only Muslims may do that under the law.
The property buying frenzy in Malaysia has cooled down, but elements of a bubble brewing are very much intact.
Having worked on BBC television and radio documentaries for the past two months on what Sherpas think after the last Everest avalanche, one thing became quite clear: Come autumn season, they will be back on the mountain whether their demands are met or not.
For reasons that should be obvious, the Western media is currently focused sharply on the near civil war in Iraq and on the continuing intra-state turmoil in Syria.