Folk song sparks row between Indonesia, Malaysia - Tourism Indonesia


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Folk song sparks row between Indonesia, Malaysia

A folk song used in Malaysia's "Truly Asia" tourism campaign has struck a discordant note among many Indonesians who believe the tune belongs to their country, threatening to turn into a diplomatic spat between the countries.

State news agency Antara quoted Indonesian Tourism Minister Jero Wacik as saying he and several experts were trying to gather proof that the song belonged to Indonesia, and would protest if there was evidence.

"Our task is now to prove that the song is our work," Wacik was quoted as saying. "If there's evidence, I will be the first to protest."

Malaysian Tourism Minister Adnan Mansor has dismissed the claims that the song, Rasa Sayang (Feeling of Love), belonged solely to Indonesia, the New Straits Times reported.

"It (Rasa Sayang) is a folk song from the Nusantara (Malay archipelago) and we are part of the Nusantara," he was quoted as saying.

"As far as I know, we have been singing the song for ages."

Related: Rasa Sayang 'ours too... we have right to sing it'


  1. What would Irish people say, if an Irish song was claimed to be Sottish, and used to promote Scotland?

  2. "Rasa Sayange" is created by Paulus Pea, a musician from Mollucca (Maluku) Indonesia, so definitely, that's not a Malaysian song... just like batik, angklung or sipadan-ligitan and ambalat!

  3. Thank God! It is Indonesian. Malaysia has no real culture

  4. Here is what a Malaysian say: "The latest ‘issue’ which has been brought up by our ever so grateful neighbour, concerns a song which they claim is rightly theirs but has been used by the Malaysian Tourism board without permission. The song ‘Rasa Sayang’ or ‘Rasa Sayange’, as the Indonesians call it supposedly originates from Maluku and thus belongs to them. They have not only threatened to sue Malaysia for copyright infringement but have also “demanded that the matter be brought before the international Court of Justice for arbitration”. And all this over a song about sayang (love)."

  5. Malaysia does everything to make people interested to their culture, they see Indonesian didn't care about it's culture, and they think it'll be no problem to claim it. Actually they did the wrong way. I'm not too surprised about what a plagiat Malaysian is, because before that case, Malaysian Car (Proton)have already copied the style and models of Swedian Car (Koenisseg). why do we just standing here and do nothing? it's Indonesian!!

  6. In yet another cultural hijacking incident, Malaysia stole the traditional Javanese Reog Ponorogo, as if it was their own. This was reported in the newspaper Sindo. It is outrageous!

  7. May be we must create a song "Truly Asshole" .Hopefully it would be claimed again.

  8. The row has only highlighted the lack of understanding on both sides, about the very tangible cultural link between Malaysia and Indonesia. Indeed, before the British and the Dutch divided the Nusantara booty among themselves, we are one and the same people.

    This is why Malaysians are confounded by the uproar over Rasa Sayange (or Rasa Sayang Eh, as we Malaysians sing it). You can't compare this to say, the Scots claiming authorship of an Irish jig. It is akin to the People's Republic of China telling Indonesians of Chinese decent in Glodok not to perform the barongsai.

    Malaysians, and especially the Malays, who in Malaysia also comprise people of Javanese, Minang, Batak, Bawean, Bugis, Mandailing, and yes, even Ambonese decent, cannot help but have the same culture as Indonesians. Denying this would be like denying their own identity.

    Malaysian tourists come to Indonesia in droves, despite the unwelcoming vibe Indonesians give out. So far, they mainly come to shop but if Indonesia would only stop all this bickering and persuade Malaysians that Indonesia is actually The Seat of their culture, then perhaps more would be willing to spend their money to places other than just Jakarta, Bandung and Bali.

    I really think the whole rigmarole has been badly managed by both sides, and an opportunity that could have been beneficial to both countries, is now lost. But who knows, maybe not entirely.

  9. New tourism slogan:

  10. maybe both sides should start sending in suicide bombers. Isn't that the muslim way to settle a score?

  11. INDONESIA IS THE LAST COUNTRY I'D VISIT IN MY ENTIRE LIFE !!! kamu tu bising bangat deh! lagu pun mau berebut! if Batik and whatever shit of yours tu bagus sgt why x promote dari dulu lagi bodoh ?!! MALAYSIA and SINGAPORE RULES !!!

    1. Even I am Malaysian, indeed lots of things the government steal and claim from others.

      You are truly gampang.

  12. Please read 'Indon' and 'Malingsia'
    in this connection

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