Seems a little redundant to go for a light and medium fighter at once. There is just way too much overlap, if there were looking at a light and heavy combo, then that would make sense.Well, the RMAF seemed to be looking at Typhoons or Rafales, so the J-10C would be closer to that weight class (the JF-17 is already competing with the LCA Tejas and FA-50 for a light fighter RMAF requirement).
I suspect the main reason the RMAF was doing that was because the Rafales and Typhoons cost as much, if not more than heavy fighters, so they cannot afford enough of them for their requirements and need a cheap, light fighter to help fill out the numbers.
While the J10C looks very competitive compared to the Eurocanards, a key drawback, at least as far as the Malaysians are concerned, would be its single engine.
Geography means RMAF planes would spend a lot of time over water, so many of the same preferences as naval fighters comes into play, chief of which is having two engines so the plane can still come back on one of the other fails.
While of course pilots can eject, doing so over water carries significant more inherent risk than over land, and in many conditions, ejecting over water can effectively equal a death sentence as SAR is unlikely to get to the pilot in time before the elements claim him/her. But that is more in the cold stormy northern Atlantic, so maybe it’s not such a huge concern for Malaysia.
Also, if the RMAF does choose the JF17 for its light fighter element, it would be a much bigger risk for them to source their high end fighter from China also.
To me, a JF17 and Flanker or F15/F18 combo would seem more likely.