File1277239412.jpg-(99 KB, 426x640, jsc2007e045198.jpg)
lol, feel free. Not all is accurate though- my interest in the region is merely observational, and I will admit to a personal bias against Malaysia, for reasons that should be obvious. Expect many furious denials/rebuttals if you use it.
By 2003 Malaysia was beginning its economic recovery, Mahathir was out of office, and the RMAF decided to ask for a new aircraft to replace the problematic MiGs. The favorite among the air force itself was for more Hornets, this time the F-18E/F, because this was the type Malaysian pilots had encountered most often in their exercises with the USN and RAAF and because Malaysia's geography and operational requirements necessitated a two engined aircraft. Unfortunately, the government, while no longer under Mahathir, was still very much a vestige of the old order and still riddled with cronyism and anti-Western feeling, especially after the Iraq War, in addition to being extremely unstable and short of cash for defence. So they went with the cheaper and more politically popular option, the Su-30MKM. This was also partially caused by fear mongering over the capabilities of the Flanker as it crept into Southeast Asian inventories, first in China and India, then Vietnam and Indonesia. Australia at this time was actively badgering the US for F-22s, having signed on already for the JSF programme, and Singapore was evaluating the Typhoon, Rafale and F-15, in addition to also being an observer in the JSF programme. Malaysians were shitting their pants at being lft behind in the regional arms race.
Also, the Russians once again bribed Malaysian politicos by appealing to their penchant for grandstanding and chest puffing. Basically, the deal was that in exchange for Malaysia buying the Su-30, they would send a Malaysian astronaut to the ISS (ended up being the guy on the left.)
How could you turn down such an offer? The Flanker it was.