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Indonesia govt should not be deluded by Malaysian statement

21st June 2012 | 3.007 Views
Indonesia govt should not be deluded by Malaysian statement
Photo document of Batak Tobasahuta-Deli Serdang community in front of Malaysian Consulate General in Medan, North Sumatra, Wednesday (June 20). (ANTARA/Irsan Mulyadi)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government and people should not be deluded by the Malaysian consul general`s statement on the controversy regarding Malaysia`s ownership claim over two North Sumatran traditional art forms, according to an observer.

"The government and people should not be fooled by Malaysian Consul General Norlin Binti Othman, who said the controversy about Malaysia`s claim over the Tor-Tor dance and Paluan Gondang Sembilan music has arisen as a result of misunderstanding," international law observer of the University of Indonesia Hikmahanto Juwana said here on Thursday.

Earlier, Norlin noted that the term "diperakui" (recognised) or "memperakui" (to recognise) in Malaysia was meant to connote adoption, endorsement or approval; it did not imply ownership over the art forms.

However, Hikmahanto said: "It is not clear what article or section of the Malaysian National Heritage Law the Malaysian consul general was referring to when she said `diperakui` or `memperakui`.

In the Malaysian National Heritage Law, he explained, there were no such terms as "diperakui" or "memperakui", adding that what existed was the term "to declare" a cultural heritage as a national heritage.

Hikmahanto said the consul general invented the statement to deceive the people of Indonesia, because she did not refer to the other articles of the law, particularly articles 69 and 70, which could hurt the people of Indonesia.

He added that Article 69 was titled Ownership, while Article 70 had "The Change of Ownership of National Heritage" as its title.

"Therefore, based on articles 69 and 70 of the National Heritage Act of Malaysia, it is not right that the two art forms from Batak be registered by the government of Malaysia," Hikmahanto stated.

Earlier, Rais Yatim, Malaysia`s minister of communication and culture, was quoted by Malaysian state news agency Bernama on Thursday as saying that Tor-Tor dance and Gordang Sambilan music would be added to the country`s National Heritage Law.