Malaysian oil exploration in the South China Sea soon sparked five nations to rush to area in April, including Malaysia, Vietnam, China, the U.S., and Australia. However, the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Strike Group left after just a few days, leading some to believe their response was insufficient. Their concern was that this move emboldened China to continue increased patrols and maintain a higher presence in the area. There were also those questioning why the U.S. failed to communicate and coordinate a better response with their allies in the area, including Malaysia. For years Malaysia has remained quiet regarding China’s presence following a comment made by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad who believed the South China Sea should be free from large warships.