President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked the Malaysian government to deal more carefully with "sensitive" cultural issues between their two countries as the presence of a Balinese Pendet dance in a Malaysian tourism ad has again outraged the Indonesian public.
Yudhoyono said Tuesday issues such as the claiming of Indonesian cultural products as belonging to Malaysia had occurred several times before, and that the Malaysian government should no longer ignore them.
He said Indonesia and Malaysia’s partnership on labour issues had progressed, therefore both countries should manage to develop a good partnership in the cultural sector.
"I hope the Malaysian government can pay more attention to issues related to culture and the intellectual property rights of Indonesians. Do not let the relationship between the two countries be disrupted because of this matter.
"Indonesia has not overreacted, as this [incident] has now happened several times," Yudhoyono told a press conference, after meeting with the Cabinet for almost an hour to discuss issues in the Indonesian-Malaysian relationship.