Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Too much love will kill you

Sorry to do a Freddie [1] on this one, but really. What's up with this world? two countries are fighting over a song?

Background story:
Malaysia uses the song 'Rasa Sayange' for tourism campaign. Indonesians claim the song belong to them, and Malaysia claims the song has been heard for many many years throughout the archipelago, therefore it is not exclusively owned by Indonesia.

Since then everybody got all angry and worked-up with the dispute, it turned the title of the song into an irony. (Rasa Sayange : rasa = feeling, Sayang = affection, love)
Rasa sayange? We don't see much of it these days. Or is it maybe because of too much love?
Ah, Indonesia & Malaysia. Aren't we madly in love.

Things went even more bizzare when we read the latest news:
the people's rep of Maluku is thinking of taking the dispute to the International Court of Justice [2].
Eh? Over a song? And we want the International Court of Justice to do what, exactly? To officially hand it over to Malaysia just like they did with the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan in 2002? [3]

Now let's be realistic about this:
Indonesia has been sitting on this song for many many many maaaany years. What did we do with it? Nothing. We didn't even bother to find out who wrote it. We all know the song. We all know how to sing the song. We all teach our kids to sing the song. But we stop short in protecting it.
Who wrote it? Dunno.
Don't we have to pay royalty to someone? the composer? the composer's descendants, maybe? After all, it has been used in many tv shows, movies, recordings, etc
Dunno, Don't care.

And now Malaysia used it and we act like we were robbed.
Isn't that a tad too late?

We agree with Unspun:
"Is the issue one of rights or of marketing savvy?
If it is one of rights then Indonesia wins hands down.
If, however, the issue is one of marketing savvy, then Indonesia losses big time to Malaysia."

Spot on. Read more there. (We don't want to steal his thunder. It's an excellent piece. Fellow Indonesians, please read it with the spirit of introspection).

And don't call us unpatriotic because we write this -- or by agreeing with Unspun, who (we assume, but we think this is accurate) is a Malaysian.
Please. Spare your judgement, our fellow countrymen.

Being patriotic means we take good care of our national heritage. We treasure them, preserve them and protect them. That's patriotic.
Ignoring what we have and got all upset only after some other country claim ownerships over them is not being patriotic.
It's being careless. And stupid.
And if we cannot force our government to protect our national treasure, then it is not just the government who is stupid.
It's us. Because we elected them.
We only have ourselves to blame.

So, Indonesia, be smart next time: protect what you have.
And Malaysia, be smart: write your own song. Honestly. Is it really that difficult? Come on.
Not only it's sad, it is also an insult to Malaysian composers and song writers, who surely can write better song that will better serve Malaysia's tourism.

[1] Watch Freddie
[2] - DPRD Maluku akan Mengadu ke Mahkamah Internasional
[3]International Court of Justice - Press Release - Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indonesia/Malaysia)


Blogger a0z0ra said...

Hahah.. Malaysian & S'porean people don't have artistic ability, see... They need to steal/import these things from Indonesia.. Tsk-tsk

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mas i publish your great article to

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me, an outsider,this is what is called a "hype" = much ado about nothing.

But at least it has resulted in a cool entry.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my o my...why you hate malaysia so much dear. Yes, malaysian don't have that ability compared to indonesian. As a malaysia with half of indonesian blood (just like most malaysian do)think, 'tak bisakah kita saling tidak mengarah untuk berantap?'

8:15 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I couldn't agree more... it is our own fault as Indonesians for not protecting our own properties.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People never realize what they've got until they lost them.

Alas, there has been no lesson learnt from any past experiences.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Dini Haiti Zulfany said...

Indonesia Malaysia, just like what Naif says in their song entitle "AIR dan API"

"Mengapa kita, saling membenci, awalnya kita saling memberi, ......"

What a pathetic situation. Dunno who to blame. Both, I think.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know there is an old saying : "nasi uda menjadi bubur"... but as Indonesia we must understand that we have pride for nation, more or less.. If some culture or folk song have been stoled, is it right we just sit down and doing nothing? At least, we can expose opinion, give argument and find some evidence that it is ours.. Giving our last burst of Fire.. Take a deep breath and try to contemplate this, man! ~ClaimEr~.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FOLKSONG IS FOLKSONG.. if there is someone who want to steal this song, the problem is not in the song or the owner, but in the stolen..

Stole FOLKSONG ? so bad!

FOLKSONG is FOLKSONG... it will tell you who is the owner, eventhought its too late!

5:44 PM  
Blogger gardenzone said...

Indonesians are losing their identity, check out the past commercials from Malaysian tourism board on CNN, they used Batik and Wayang Kulit as Malaysian heritages....pity

4:55 AM  
Blogger Trish said...

What if the Minister of Tourism spent more time designing Indonesian tourism campaigns, and less time worrying about what Malaysia is doing? Much of the world is missing out on this beautiful country because Indonesia doesn't promote itself.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is awesome, whoever you are, you guys. Most of the ideas and points of view in your posts are enlightening. At least it is for me. Well maybe especially this "Rasa Sayange" case post. It just hits me. Guess I'm one of those 200-million-something people whose country is never thought out consciously, while in every second of my life, both of my feet are still on the grounds called Indonesia. Keep up the 'wake-up call duty', Guys!

10:13 AM  
Blogger Finally Woken said...

I've had similar experience not with the song rasa sayange but with beef rendang and oxtail soup. And it's based on real story. Hix. Complete story in

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

indonesia suka membajak, malaysia juga suka membajak, dan mereka tidak merasa bersalah meskipun yang dibajak protes keras... sepertinya ini salah satu budaya jelek ras melayu.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh well dear. You admited that rasa sayange song has been sung by our generation to next generation in indonesia. Maybe It was just a lulaby, or a song to accompany the kids when playing. All i know it has been recorded properly in 1982.

Why we dont know the componist?, because song is a part of culture, and culture is created by huge numbers of ppl who doing the same habbit. When "it" is in our blood, sometime we forget how important and how precious "that thing" is.
We need to feel pain to feel happiness, We need to be sick to get realised that health is precious. Indeed maybe its a lesson for Indonesian.

Have you ever wonder who was invented a spoon, when we use it daily?.

We wont be that angry if Malaysia only claim that song, but also angklung, batik, kebaya and many thing else. Worse malaysia has declared them self as "Trully Asia" as their tourism motto, have they ever asked an agreement from Asian Country?

I dont mean to start a new issues, but oh well Malaysia please be orriginal.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What counts after all is whether the song is good or not.

6:04 PM  
Blogger bayi said...

I am sure you have heard that an American is trying to register ownership and patent yoga. India is up in arms.

In the increasingly seamless world today, it's becoming easier to hunt down the mistakes of the others. In this case, non-patenting of what is considered owned simply because it is a given. It's an unspoken ownership. But we may now need to register what is rightfully ours.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Guys

Just to be fair Indonesians do the same thing when borrowing cultural icons. Check out indcoups posting of November 9. Can't you just feel the irony.
Have a nice day

9:42 PM  

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