Malaysia isn't yet extremist. It still purports to be multi-cultural, but the indigenous Malay population have been steadily reducing the influence of all other sectors of society.
Being a newspaperman in Malaysia is regarded as either a sap's paycheck, or a very dangerous profession, depending on how you go about it.
You're more likely to get done in by the local car thief ring than the political / cultural / religious police. It's one of those places you pay attention to what the guidebooks politely tell you not to do. It's not really worth stirring up trouble, or talking politics.
But you can happily get cold beer just about anywhere. Pork is available everywhere non-muslim. But there is concomitant push by the muslims for a more 'proper' muslim society - I think it has more to do with trade opportunities than religion per se. They're rich on oil.
Edit: by the way, the food's gorgeous. Great way to get chatting to Malaysians is to talk about their favourite food.