Issues of race, religion, territory and national pride are understandably sensitive because many people define themselves by their country, culture, race etc.
Hence the current “I hate Malaysia” refrain heard over the Internet, especially in the social networks, are something I could understand.
Why do the Indonesian man-in-the-street hate Malaysia? After all, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore used to constitute Nusantara, didn’t it? Colonisation and of course the pace of the respective countries’ economic growth set us apart.
Trust people to have a myopic vision, suspicious nature and herd mentality.
Let’s set the record straight now, shall we? Indonesians call us Malingsia – thieving Malaysians. Because we apparently stole their heritage, ill treated their maids working here, and stole their islands.
We stole their heritage? Let’s remember something, this country’s Malay population largely identifies itself by state or race/tribe affiliations. There, take that (arguably) richest Jawa in Malaysia Khir Toyo. Most other fellas I know, invoke their ancestry liberally. Minang, Acheh, (no one wants to claim he’s a Batak though…hmm) Baweyan, Bugis, Bali, Mendahiling, Jawa, Dayak, Sunda…etc.
Well, that is not surprising considering our history. Malaysia is a veritable melting pot anyway; lots of folks turn up on our shores in search of fortunes, for centuries.
Naturally, those who settled here brought their own traditions and influences and as their roots in Malaysia grew deeper, they developed their own artistic styles, mostly derivatives of the old influences.
Hence, to say that Batik is exclusively Indonesian is somewhat incorrect don’t you think? Neither is Batik totally Malaysian, is it? I mean what about the Batik Siam that the southern Thais produce? Solution? Call it Batik Jawa, Batik Kelantan, Batik Sumatera, whatever…to tell them apart. Easy isn’t it? I mean, they are kind of distinct from each other, aren’t they?
As to the maids, I agree that the ill-treatment of maids (Indonesians or any nationality for that matter) is an abhorrent thing. It is a crime and should be prosecuted as such. Of course our justice system being what it is, prosecution is sporadic and the resulting perception is that Malaysian employers as a whole are sadists. Like all generalisations, it’s crap, if you’ll excuse my French.
Manohara? That has been written about to glory, and even I have blogged it. If the dude really hurt her, well, he should pay.
Tari Pendet? For more than three decades I’ve been living in Malaysia, and this is the first I’ve heard of it. I don’t think Malaysians actually passed it off as a Malaysian heritage. Some clueless guy who did a documentary for Discovery Channel, made that boo boo. You know, that’s not so difficult for Westerner to do. After all, some can’t tell the difference between Iran and Iraq, yet others who think all Chinamen look alike. So, to Bali folks, Tari Pendet is yours and you can keep it.Why blame us Malaysians for something we didn’t do?
Ambalat? That’s a disputed territory and let the international mediators and the respective governments sort it out. I read at a defence forum that the supposed boundary lines are blurred and the respective navy blokes were unclear they were getting into Indonesian waters. I don’t know what to believe, I don’t have the full facts.
But maybe after Sipadan and Ligitan, the anger is understandable. People go to war over land, after all. Just look at Palestine-Israel conflict.
Noordin Md Top. Well, if you guys catch him, shoot him will ya? We don’t condone terrorism. He cost people a lot of lives already.
I also think that Malaysian leaders and diplomats could do with some PR gestures. We are neighbours. Doesn’t cost much to be nice and clear the air. We are neighbours, aren’t we?
To the Indonesians, stop being so thin-skinned. That hate campaign on Facebook is a bit much. Do we really want to re-visit Ganyang Malaysia, especially now that the Indonesian economy is surging? Keep a cool head.
Kita kan serumpun…heheh!