Let me start by saying that I am always fond of Malaysia and Malaysians. I lived with Malaysians during the first years of my grad school. I’ve been to Malaysia several times and enjoyed the environment. So, it is sad to me that we ran into each other not in a good situation. The latest being Malaysia’s claim that “Rasa Sayange” is not Indonesian song.
I usually write this column in Bahasa Indonesia, but I want our Malaysian friends to read it. Thus, I write it in English. It’s also a good opportunity for us – Indonesians – to embrace Singapore and Singaporeans as well. Well, the world actually.
My subjective observation about Indonesia(n), Malaysia(n), and Singapore(an) is this. We are culturally different. You can easily see the difference between Indonesian and Singaporean, but Malaysian? Yes, we are different!
Indonesians are creative people, cannot stand still, cannot follow simple rules like waiting in line, unpredictable, and the like. Thus, there’s corruption, bending the rules, what not. Well, you get the picture. We’re chaotic. We are extreem to the left. On the other hand, Singaporeans are extreem to the right. They are so tight, obedience, follow rules, and the like. Ordered, as oppose to chaotic. Basically, they are too sterile. Malaysians are somewhere in the middle.
If you put a bunch of Indonesians, Malaysians, and Singaporeans, you can tell who’s Indonesian. You’ll just have to find ones that are always laughing (for no apparent reasons), cannot sit silently, always move around, make a mess. Yep! Those are Indonesians. Ha ha ha. The thing is, we are too creative!
The three of us, we are great! We are good together. Picture this; a company composed of Indonesians, Malaysians, and Singaporeans. Singaporeans would run the business. Well, they know how to follow the rules. But, the (creative) content would be generated by Indonesians. This content would include music, story, dances, pictures, … arts. Indonesians know how to do it. There would be frictions between business people and creative content people. There is a need of an “interface”. That’s where Malaysians are needed. They are the buffer. This would be a great company. We just have to realize our strenghts and not jealous of each other. (Well, don’t tell the rest of the world. They don’t know this. Oops.) I want to be part of this company.
I am proud to be an Indonesian. The (Indonesian) characteristics that I have said earlier may be considered bad from a Western point of view, but it may not be bad from a “wierd” point of view. How can you say that corruption is good? Ha ha ha.
Now, going to the topic of “stealing” this and that (read: “Rasa Sayange” case). I have to say frankly that I am not amused. In fact, a little angry. After sitting down (actually sleeping over it), I am not angry anymore. Here’s why.
What’s being claimed by Malaysia is an intellectual property. A product of creativity. It’s not like Malaysian is trying to get an island from us (remember Amabalat case). That’s a bit different. We are talking about physical and natural resources that are not renewable. But, products of intellectual property are renewable. Meaning … we can make some more! Get it?
Don’t worry about the song. We can make some more. Well, assuming that Indonesians are still good creating good music. We do create great music, but the lyrics are just awfull. (Most songs today are love song, “I love ME”. Ha ha ha.) We, Indonesians, have to do something with our creativity. Don’t let it go down the drain. That’s our most important asset. We’ve got to do something, like making sure that art schools are supported and arts is part of our daily lives.
This is also important for Malaysia and Singapore. Remember, we want to create a corporation together! Get it? Together! Help us.
So, to our friends in Malaysia, please don’t hurt us by saying nonsense. (Pardon me for being harsh.) That would make us angry and unproductive. We are then focusing our energy towards this nonsense and not working on new things. We can work together. We are not enemies. We want to bring the world come to us, together. We can create more songs (even films) and you can use them. That is fine. Just don’t irritate us. But, I guess there’s always frictions in siblings.