Indonesia has sent a letter to the Malaysian government to protest against the use of Balinese traditional "Pendet" dance by that country for promoting its tourism industry.
"We have sent a protest to the Malaysian ministry of culture and tourism over the case," Indonesian minister of culture and tourism Jero Wacik said here on Monday.
He said he had launched a protest against the depiction of the dance in the Malaysian tourism advertisement broadcast in the Discovery Channel program under the title "Enigmatic Malaysia."
He said the letter was submitted directly on Monday to the Malaysian ministry of culture and tourism in Kuala Lumpur. "We want immediate clarification over the problem," he said.
Jero Wacik said he had also summoned the Malaysian ambassador in Indonesia, represented by vice ambassador Amran Mohammad Zin as the ambassador had finsihed his terms.
He said he had conveyed a strong reprimand and also asked for clarification on the matter.
The Indonesian minister of tourism and culture met with his Malaysian counterpart on November 10, 2007 in which the two had drafted an agreement for notification to each other and permission in case cultural products within a grey area would be used in commercial advertisements in the countries concerned.
The agreement also states that the governments of both countries would maintain the agreement by monitoring against possible violations by their respective people.
"Now they do it again by showing the `Pendet` dance in their commercial television advertisement," the Indonesian minister said.
He said it was appropriate that the Indonesian people were angry about it because the Pendet dance was a traditional dance of the Balinese people.
He said the Indonesian people could not just accept claims over its cultural property by other countries. "The action is against the agreement," he said.
Minister Jero Wacik said the Pendet dance was a specifically Indonesian cultural product and therefore was not included in the grey area.
The minister urged the Malaysian government to immediately withdraw the provocative advertisement. "We also asked them to immediately answer our protest," he said.
Earlier: Pendet dancers in Malaysia tourism ads are Balines...