Khairy: Don’t test our patience

(The Star) – Indonesians should not continue to test the patience of Malaysians, said Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

“Indonesians should understand that Malaysians are also sensitive, and get angry at hearing our country labelled negatively, and seeing our national flag burnt.

“We realise we need to understand and learn about the sensitivities of Indonesians. I hope Indo­nesians will not continue testing the patience of Malaysians because it will incite similar aggressive nationalism from us,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Angry Indonesians have been protesting daily over the use of the Balinese pendet dance in the Enigmatic Malaysia promotion by Discovery Channel.

Despite an apology by the channel to the Indonesian Government that Malaysia was clearly not at fault, some sectors in the republic refused to accept the explanation.

“I urge youth leaders of political parties and non-governmental organisations such as Himpunan Pengusaha Muda Indonesia to resolve this controversy for the benefit of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Asean region in general,” said Khairy.

He hoped rational voices from both countries would ensure that the controversy was not prolonged or led to untoward incidents.

He said recent incidents included the Jalur Gemilang being burnt at Yogyakarta university, Indo­nesian hackers attacking Malaysian websites during the 52nd Merdeka celebration and labelling Malaysia a thief, and aggressive demonstrations outside the Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia.

Khairy warned that although the extreme anti-Malaysian acts did not reflect the sentiments of the majority of Indonesians, it could lead to a souring of ties between both countries.

He added that Indonesians should also not simply accuse Malay­sians of stealing their culture, especially as both nations had a shared heri­tage through the centuries.

“I am not questioning the origin of the pendet dance, but it is impossible that we can claim certain cultural aspects as being 100% Indonesian or 100% Malaysian when the shared culture occurred even before the existence of the concept of nation, race and national boundaries as a result of foreign colonisation.

“Those who accuse Malaysia of stealing their culture should study the history and heritage of this region,” he said.