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Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in Southeast Asia

Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in Southeast Asia

Riyadh:The revelation of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey is harming Saudi Arabia’s international relations, including with Muslim majority Southeast Asian countries Malaysia and Indonesia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad closed the Saudi-backed King Salman Centre for International Peace. Malaysia is also withdrawing troops from Saudi Arabia. In Indonesia, in addition to uneasiness about Khashoggi’s fate, people are
protesting against the Saudi execution of Indonesian domestic worker Tuti Tursilawati without warning Jakarta.

But, despite signs of change, the influence of Saudi money and ideology may be too big to dismantle in these countries.
Saudi reach Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia shares similar values and was constructed and merged with the ancient Melayu culture in 625. Initially spread through arts such as music and wayang (theatre), it emphasises not only moderation and compassion but also respect for local customs. Amid growing influence from Saudi scholars throughout the past two decades, however, there has been a change in how both countries interpret Islamic studies.