Call To Sue Malaysia Over “Rasa Sayang” Unrealistic, Says Rais

Call To Sue Malaysia Over “Rasa Sayang” Unrealistic, Says Rais

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 (Bernama) — The call by Indonesian lawmakers for action against Malaysia for using the “Rasa Sayang” folk song in its “Truly Asia” tourism campaign which Indonesia has claimed to be its traditional song, has been described as unrealistic.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the issue should not have arisen as the song like other folk songs such as “Jauh Di Mata”, “Burung Pungguk” and “Terang Bulan” were songs of the Malay archipelago inherited by the people from their ancestors.

“I think Indonesia or other parties will not be able to prove who was the composer of the song (the Indonesian version being Rasa Sayange),” he told reporters at the breaking of fast organised by his ministry at the Federal Territory Mosque here tonight.

He was commenting on Indonesia’s House of Representatives member Hakam Naja from the National Mandate Party calling on his government to sue Malaysia over the use of the “Rasa Sayang” song in its tourism campaign.

Chairman of the Golkar Party faction at the House, Priyo Budi Santoso, was also reported to have said that the government needed to determine whether Malaysia was using the song without Indonesia’s permission.

“Rasa Sayange” is believed to have originated from Maluku, Indonesia, where it has been sung for generations by people of the island.

Hakam had also accused Malaysia of having claimed ownership of traditional Indonesian handicrafts like batik and wayang kulit puppets.

“Malaysia can also say that some songs sung and recorded in Indonesia originate from this country for which it has not received any royalty payment,” argued Rais.

On the wayang kulit, often performed as a traditional form of entertainment in Malaysia, Rais said it had nothing to do with Indonesia as it originated from Hinduism.

“Indonesia has no right to claim ownership over the wayang kulit as it was brought by the Hindu ruler Sri Vijaya in the seventh century and the performing art spread to Langkasuka (Kedah), Palembang, Batavia and Temasik.

“Based on these arguments, I don’t think the Indonesian government will be keen to sue us.

“But if Indonesia wants to pursue the matter, it will face a dead end and will also affect Malaysia-Indonesia relations,” he added.

At the function, Rais also handed over Hari Raya contributions to orphans and champions of the arts facing health problems.

— BERNAMA

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