People Should Not Be Trapped Into Polemic

October 06, 2007 20:21 PM

By Mohd Nasir Yusoff
JAKARTA, Oct 6 (Bernama) — An analyst on Indonesia-Malaysia Relations, Dr Yusherman said today that Malaysia need not be shocked or feel slighted by the allegation that it had “stolen” the song `Rasa Sayange’ from Indonesia for its theme song for the Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

Describing the allegation as an attempt by some quarters in Indonesia to serve their self-interest, the Indonesian expert said the person or persons who made the allegation were looking for cheap publicity and others who supported it were ignorant of the Indonesia-Malaysia history.

Speaking to Bernama, he said the issue was insignificant, and added that those who started it should instead focus on bringing development to Indonesia.

“He said Malaysia would not be affected by the `unfounded allegation’ and on the other hand, Indonesia would be seen by the rest of the world as being envious of Malaysia’s target of 20 million tourist arrivals this year.

Dr Yusherman said Indonesia could have used the song to its benefit in the same way, but had failed to do so.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia, Datuk Zainal Abidin Mohamed Zain said the people of Indonesia and Malaysia should not be trapped into holding polemics on insignificant issues but should instead learn about their closely-linked societies.

He stressed that issues such as Malaysia stealing the `Rasa Sayange’ song from Indonesia, batik and the `angklung’ musical instruments should be avoided.

“Such issues could affect Malaysia-Indonesia relations and revealed our ignorance on the history of our origin,” he told Bernama today.

He believed that those who raised the polemic were unaware that similar developments occurred in all parts of Indonesia and Malaysia due to their common racial origin.

“Let us think wisely and in a more positive context for our own benefit,” he said, adding that he was proud of the Malaysian batik shirt he was wearing and also had high regard for Indonesian batik.

He said he loved the `Rasa Sayange’ song but never claimed that the song was Malaysian because it originated from the Malay Archipelago.

He urged the media, especially in Indonesia to write fair and positive reports on issues concerning both countries.

— BERNAMA

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