For about forty years, Indonesia and Malaysia diverged considerably in terms of their post-colonial regime types. Malaysia had been a democratic post-colonial state while Indonesia, for most of its post-colonial history, was authoritarian. While it cannot be said that Malaysia was a liberal democracy by Western or Indian standards, it certainly differed considerably from many Third World and socialist states that ranged from the authoritarian to the totalitarian. Indonesia, on the other hand, dispensed with democracy after a brief experiment in the 1950s and was characterized by a highly authoritarian regime without serious political contestation during election periods during the rules of Sukarno and Suharto. With the fall of Suharto in 1998, however, a convergence in regime types between Indonesia and Malaysia began to take place. In terms of many criteria of democracy, Indonesia can be said to have rapidly democratized. It is also true that Malaysia has begun to become more open after the rise of Abdullah Badawi as Prime Minister. One area that is interesting to watch, as far as democratization is concerned, is civil society. The last few years has witnessed the emergence and growth of an increasingly vibrant civil society in both countries. Consider two recent examples.