Just as described in Phase 1, “external sponsors conduct psychological preparation to unify population against established government,” it can be gathered that this first step has already been attempted. Bersih coalition leader Ambiga Sreenevasan has long admitted that her organization receives financial assistance from “external sponsors,” namely, the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI).
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) also annually provides $100,000 (RM 317,260) to political news website Malaysiakini, widely considered to be the nation’s most pro-opposition news outlet. Premesh Chandran, Malaysiakini CEO, is a grantee of the Open Society Foundations and launched the news organization with a $100,000 grant from the Soros-funded Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA). NED also provides $90,000 (RM 285,516) to SUARAM.  Knowingly, or unknowingly, these organizations have received financial support from the US Embassy due to the controversial political discourse they espouse. Of course, the expression of dissent should never be denied, and although the Najib Razak administration has begun to move away from Mahathir’s administrative model by relaxing controls on expression, many still feel more can be done.
If the United States is pursuing the kind of policy described in the Unconventional Warfare manual, one can understand how foreign-funded rights advocacy groups may be perceived as threatening to Malaysian authorities, regardless of the politics and values they preach. Ostensibly, Malaysian authorities are concerned about the violence and insurrectionary behavior that have accompanied foreign-funded political movements in other countries once momentum built around them. Malaysia would not likely fall victim to an insurgency campaign anywhere near the scale seen in Syria. However, it would be unwise to dismiss the possibility of seeing the kind of violence that took shape in Thailand during the political unrest of 2010 if foreign elements continue to pursue “irregular warfare.” The possibility of political instability coming to fruition during the general election period may factor into explaining why the current government has not yet declared them.