Malaysia Claimed Tari Pendet — A Big Misunderstanding?

tari-pendetdlmWe already know that the news that has been out there is that Malaysia is claiming Tari Pendet to be one of Malaysian heritage. However, we are not provided with much detail of who specifically is claiming one of Indonesian heritage as one of theirs or their specific comment that stated that they are claiming Tari Pendet to be one of theirs.

So, my curiosity led me to a search of how it actually happened. After searching in some popular online news that I think is credible, it turns out that it is just a big misundertanding. The thing is that the suspect that is stating that Tari Pendet belongs to Malaysia was never presented. All there was just a minute of tourism commercial from some institute that shows a clip of Tari Pendet in a part of that commercial.

It turned out that Indonesians suspected that Malaysia is being hostile by robbing what is not theirs. The truth is that the Malaysian government was never involved in this and being mature as they can be, they will clarify this situation as soon as possible. Okay, momentary setback here. So all the time we’ve been claiming that Malaysians is a Tari Pendet thief, is a doing of a private comercial institute who show their commercial with a clip of Tari Pendet on it?

Rather ridiculous isn’t it? There were no statement implying that tari pendet is being claimed by Malaysia. All there was is just a clip who then prejudicially interpreted as Malaysia stealing Indonesia heritage. I thought every country has the right to practice other country’s heritage and that is what Malaysia is doing. I think we have to rethink what the media is feeding us because honestly, Indonesian mass media has the tendency to stir up mass panic in order to get their ratings high.

News Source:


46 responses to “Malaysia Claimed Tari Pendet — A Big Misunderstanding?

  1. Aha, sebetulnya masalah media massa ini sudah ingin saya ingatkan ketika menulis komen di postingan sebelumnya. Namun karena takut akan mengangkat masalah baru jadinya saya hapus lg.

    Ingat berita yang katanya noordintop mati ditembak? Pada hari itu semua media massa memberitakan hal yang sama, bahkan saling berlomba-lomba sampai ada breaking news segala. Padahal belum ada kepastian tentang siapa yang mati tersebut. Euforia tentang matinya buronan paling kawakan tsb keburu merajalela di masyarakat.

    Yang terjadi apa? Sehari sesudahnya media justru menginformasikan bahwa identitas org yg mati tersebut malah dipertanyakan. Lagi, media massa berusaha untuk mempertahankan viewernya dg mengadakan siaran lsg dr tkp atau sekedar mengulang-ulang berita yang sama.

    Sadis ya. Media seharusnya tidak menyesatkan spt ini. Krn kelakuan media lokal ini pun media luar negeri yg ingin tau informasi ttg noordintop ikut dibingungkan.

    Media berperan besar dalam membentuk opini masyarakat. Seharusnya kita juga dpt memilah informasi yang diberikan, tidak menelannya bulat-bulat.

    • I really don’t understand the media. They are like tabloids feeding only on sensational news. They seem to be very creative in getting the hot angle not matter how dull the news is.

      The fact of the matter most people in Malaysia actually originated from Jawa, Sumatra, Sulawesi or any other islands around the nusantara. Perhaps even some group in Malaysia can claimed that tarian pendet is their heritage anyway as it was their ancestors who brought it in.. i am sure they have also their right to it.

      The media has to be responsible in this matter and should be an independent story or news teller for the benefit of people in the Nusantara. Lets promote peace and harmony for all !!

  2. This proves that we should not believe any news from a mass media without actually searching and understanding the actual facts by ourselves.

    This also teaches all of us to search for the truth first before making any assumptions or comments.

    Thanks a lot to Mr. Souza for showing this fact.

  3. memang kadang kadang media kita keterlalulan, hanya mengejar rating,
    tapi yang saya heran, kok permasalahannya bergeser ke sana, masalah yang sebenarnya adalah kenapa malaysia memakai tari pendet untuk mempromosikan pariwisata mereka walaupun itu di keluarkan oleh pihak swasta.
    akhirnya yang terjadi malah debat kusir, masalah media, masalah mall, masalah generasi muda yang tidak perhatian dgn budayanya sendiri, akhirnya bung souza berkesimpulan atau memilih lebih baik tari pendet di kelola sama malaysia dari pada mati karena tidak di kelola oleh bangsa sendiri, itu menunjukan bahwa anda sendiri termasuk pada generasi yang anda maksud.

  4. Good points – but by including the dance in the iklan they will give the impression to foreigner tourists that tari pendet comes from Malaysia.

    In short, the iklan is misleading. Was it intentional or not? Difficult to say.

  5. Hallo, smua.

    saya msh nubie nih. pendpt aye sih si malingsial itu emang keterlaluan. mreke tak ade puas2nye nyaplok punye kite. fikir ape mreke itu? ambalat, pendet, lama2 sate madure diambil jg. mreke cakap mreke bantu kite promosi indonesie. cakap kosonglah!

  6. Indonesia’s just going down from here.

    Instead of doing anything useful (like making our own commercial) or developing the damn country, our fellow Indonesians are sitting on their laptops, bitching about Malaysia on various threads. They’re sitting in the cafes, bitching about “Malingsia”.

    It’s sad, coz while our people are busy bitching, Malaysians are getting on with their lives, doing what they can to benefit THEIR country.

    Why can’t we do the same?

  7. But still Malaysia as a country and its people need to be more sensible too to avoid this kind of matter to arise.
    The ad is made by Discovery Channel in the promotion of the series Enigmatic Malaysia.
    Some Malaysia who were involved in that production should have been aware of the issue beforehand, and prevented it to happen.

    I wonder if there were no clamorous protest by Indonesians (especially on the net), would they ever annul it?

  8. And Indonesia should be calmer and sort things out diplomatically instead of ranting and provide a mockery to all the citizens of Malaysia.

    I also wonder if Indonesia took no response to this, would international people realize that Tari Pendet came from Malaysia instead of Indonesia?

  9. Is there any patent claiming that tari pendet is from Indonesia?

    Just because of one mistake in an ad, Indonesia against Malaysia?

    Need to remind that that the most Malaysian ancestors are from Indonesia.

    • No. Tari Pendet is a intangible product where there is no individual can claim that it is his right. The only thing that Indonesia can do is only register its culture, but to make a patent out of it is out of the question.

      • Sorry, I was like.. being cynical actually. Just reacting to some earlier comments which I think ridiculous.
        Am just a Minang+ Jambi Malaysian who fall in love with those beautiful culture after visiting Indonesia.

        By the way, I believe that the media has an important role by not writing misleading statements which can cause frictions between Malaysia and Indonesia.

    • actually, the song Terang Bulan is taken from Mamula Moon – a Hawaiian song.

      the issue is not about who steal from where..

      because back then, there wasn’t any structural music in the malay archipelago. we were all very much influenced by Portuguese, British, etc.

      Malaysian’s National Anthem is taken from Mamula Moon. Not Terang Bulan. Because if we were to track back who steal from who.. it would be the Indonesians who steal the song and claim it theirs.

  10. Hi guys,

    I am from Malaysia = ‘Maling Asia/ Maling Sial’. I don’t mind to be called with what ever name. It just a word and will bring no harm to me. Please read:

    1. Are Malaysia and Indonesia going to declare war upon each other?

    From the early post(s), already being declared that it just some miss leading breaking news from the media. And this is what we called ‘Information Warfare’. Take a look how the west (you all know who) use it to bring down Iraq. Before they crash down Iraq, they use the mass media by keep saying that Iraq have ‘mass destruction weapon’. Until now, there are no single evidence to support what they said. They use media to send false information so the world will be with them.

    So guys, be carefull with ‘them’. They are the real enemy. Malaysia is not enemy to Indonesia and Indonesia is not the enemy to Malaysia. Theyre are some group of nation that don’t wanna to make our region, Malaysia-Indonesia-others, maintaining peace. They will use all means, especially in ‘Information’ to create chaos in these region.
    Trust me, more issues will be brought up later.
    Actually, we easily to jump to be angry just due to some uncertain information. So they just keep create small issue to become big. BE CAREFULL guys.

    I agree that Malaysia had done some mistake, and please do not deny that Indonesia also cannot run from making mistake. This is the natural behaviour of human being, tend to make mistake. Nobody is perfect. So what is the point for us to fight here just due for some small issue. The fight will never stop. Everybody will have their own opinion and points to prove something. Then we will see more post and post with more accusation that only will bring chaos. What for?

    So my advice, be rational. And if there is some information that provocative by media and the information does not bring any harm to us, better to ignore it. Believe me, after 30 days, things will be back as normal. Do concentrate on high important thing in our life, such as ‘making money’ or eat and go to enjoy our life.

    Thank you.

  11. I think as a citizen of the world, we should NOT judge others negatively. One thing that I think make sense is how close the culture of Indonesia and Malaysia. The closeness in Melayu culture, but just because you have Indonesian blood and a Malaysian nationality, that doesn’t mean that you can claim Indonesia culture as yours. An American friend has Japanese parents, she does celebrate Japanese culture at her home, and whenever there is an event, the city where we live always promote the culture of people who live here. People from Honduras would present their heritage, and do other people within the community.
    Why Malaysia can not do the same?

    I once flew using Malaysian airline from US to Indonesia. All the people we met in the plane felt like family, cause we look the same and we speak almost the same language. My kids love playing with other kids and they are proud to say that oh I’m Malay, and the other say I’m Indonesian… cool…our countries are side by side!

    However, when we transited in Kuala Lumpur on the way to Jakarta, we noticed some disturbing view. We saw TKW from Indonesia sitting on the floor waiting to aboard the plane. I asked them why they were sitting on the floor, and they said that they do not know if they can sit on the lounge chairs! I asked all 30 of them, they said the same and that with culture that they are working at, they are suppressed to the mentality that they are pembantus and that their derajat is lower that those who are not pembantus, so they can’t sit on the chair.
    I immediately told all of them to sit on the lounge chair! I told them that today and during their ‘pulang kampung’ vacation, they should have fun. They should treat the work as pembantu, driver, cook or whatever as just work. They have the right to live and sit on the chair like everybody else.

    One more thing, Doc Holiday stated that “they” that we should be aware of, who are “they”? Americans? Please don’t judge the whole bag of apples just because there are bad apples in the bag. Not all americans are stupid and greedy like Bush and Cheney.


    • Hi Donna.

      Well, I am sorry if my words does offend you. And yes, I had been living with Americans for a period and they are good guys. You are definitely right.

      Actually I don’t know who is ‘them’ or ‘they’ for sure. But I been thought that there is some ideas or movements that try to make sure their ideas hold strong and maintain. Any threat to them will be subject as enemy. Just take a look of the history how the evolution of the world. From the fall of Abbas Empire, Napoleon, French Revolution, Otoman Empire, Communism, Karl Mark, Stalin, World War I and II, Cold War and to be specific for Malaysia and Indonesia – the Confrontation. So, always have ‘they’ try to create chaos in a region and neighbouring countries. We can never be sure who?

      Well, just an hypothesis, may be Freemason and Illuminati, I not sure. Or may be I am wrong. What ever, my point is don’t let just because of this ‘tarian pendet’ issue poisoning our mind to hate each other. We should work together to maintain or boost up peace among us. For better is the best.


  12. Saudara,

    I am a Malaysian. Sorry to include my comment. Let me clear the air pertaining to tari pendet’s unnecessary hu ha. As it has been clarified, the advertisement was made solely by Discovery Networks, a company that produces/buys programmes that suits its objectives. Then it thinks that Enigmatic Malaysia was a good documentary programme, therefore it bought it from KRU Production. For your information, once sold, KRU has no control over the programme and how Discovery Networks wants to promote it. Different scenario if Discovery wants to alter it.

    As far as KRU had clarified, they only sold six documentary siries without advertisement. The advertisment was made solely by the Discovery Networks to promote the documentary programme. Discovery Networks is the owner of the Discovery Channel, a pay TV channel that only broadcasted over the pay-TV stations, or subscribed by TV stations. The Network is profit making company. Of course being a profit oriented, it needs to advertise its programmes. Therefore they produced the advertisement, with intention to promote its Enigmatic Malaysia, and not to promote Malaysia’s tourism industry. Let me again repeat, they promote their TV programme, not promote a country’s tourism industry. I am not too sure how many of the commentators here have seen the programme adverts in Discovery Channel. I do not think that Malaysia is that ignorant to claim pendet as its own knowing verily that there is ni such thing in Malaysia. Pendet is very much Balinese. In fact no proof in the advert that Malaysia claimed pendet as its own.

    As the Embassy of Malaysia, through its media statement stated that the issue came about due to misunderstanding and misreporting by the Indonesian local media. In fact, earlier local media reported that Minister Jero Wacik sent strong protest note, but later on his officer clarified the letter as just “asking clarification” Protest and asking clarifications are TWO DIFFERENT things altogether, if you know what I mean.

    In this regard, I hope that all of us, both Malaysians and indonesians to stop all these cyber war and start looking for similarities between the two nations. There are a lot of potentials to be garnered than just fight.

    • Yeah, I’m sick of those immature ranting and mockery to one another. Can’t we just get over it already? It’s sad that all the anger of Indonesia is caused by one misleading news.

      • souza,
        put it this way, if we claim that kuala lumpur is a part of indonesia, how would you feel?
        if you saw one of your belongings in your neighbour or someone else’s house without your permission, would you like it? you would be happy about that?
        answer your self!
        this is not misleading news, black is black and white is white, terrorism is not misleading news, it is the fact!

      • This is out of topic. This post doesn’t say what we should do if Malaysia claimed culture from Indonesia. It question whether Malaysia really intended to claim Indonesian culture from Indonesian people.

      • Sure I would be angry if my belongings were claim by other people without my permission. However, I don’t see any evidence that Malaysia is claiming our heritage. All I see that Malaysia also play Tari Pendet in their country and we, Indonesians, still have the right to play ours.

  13. First things first.. there was no claim what soever about Tari Pendet. Who claim? Tell me?
    Nobody! So stop using the word KLAIM.

    Secondly, the add was made by Discovery Channel and they are in Singapore. Not in Malaysia.! PLease lah… not in Malaysia..and not by Malaysian.

    I think most of furious indonesian really got their facts wrong!.
    Or they refuse to think!

  14. It’s not about the klaim, but about the agreement made between Malaysia Government and Indonesia Government. The agreement consisting about GREY AREA around both country’s culture and the need of act of information from either country which wishing to use the culture as Tourism promotion. The note that Indonesian Government sending about is NOT about Malaysian being a thief claiming Pendet but more like asking for confirmation, wether the agreement has been violated or not.

    I hope it’s clear enough.

  15. For the love of god, please. Although I am come from minority group, we don’t give a damn about your culture. In fact, I don’t give a damn. Call me blind about culture, but what does those culture helps your country. We see so many of Indonesians in our Malaysia. Do we act like freaking douchebag and jackasses like you guys? No, we don’t. How many criminals were shotted that were Indonesians? Do we crying it out loud like you guys? Do we put like demonstration like you guys? WE DON’T!! WE JUST DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR CULTURE AND YOUR CULTURE CAN’T NEVER FEEDS YOUR ECONOMY. PLUS, WE MALAYSIAN FEED YOUR PEOPLE. F U guys, seriously F U.

    • Now, now. Culture is important too since some people like the artsy got their money from performing this. You feed us? I’m sorry but you’re not that superior to us. Even Malaysian also worked for us. And to say that we’re jackasses? I’m sorry but by reading your comment, you sounded more like a douchebag.

  16. Hi, im a malaysian..ajur,ur out of context.please dun say that.dont be narrow-minded.i have relatives in kalimantan and im half indo myself.but this tarian pendet issue has really blown out of proportion.y cant people understand that Malaysia did not claim the tarian pendet.I did saw the advertisement and when i saw it,i thought,”eh,why is there a balinese dance in the advert?ooo,i think it might be a mix up.ok..”

    so u c,even we malaysians know its a balinese dance..and i even read from the newspapers that it was a mistake done by a private company in Singapore,not malaysia and Discovery Channel has apologised for it..

    Thx Souza for ur blog..ive been reading a lot about ‘ganyang malaysia’ and these narrow-minded people just worries me..make love ppl,not war.peace..

  17. hello warga indonesia kan yang buat iklan tarian pendet tu orang singapura tak tau lagi ker paling penting kornag kena tau malaysia tak berminat pun dengan tarian pendet tu banyak lagi tarian yang ok di malaysia tu pun kecoh sampai bakar bendera malaysia.lain kali selidik betul2 dulu betul ker malaysia yang buat iklan tu sekarang siapa malu korng jugak pikirn cetek sangt.lain kali jagn percaya sangat dengan wartawan korang yang memang suka buat2 cerita

  18. wahai warga indonesia kamu harus sedar di Malaysia juga ada orang balinese.So salahkah jika orang balinese Malaysia mempromosikan kebudayaan mereka .Amat memalukan ada warga indonesia tidak tau sejarah.For your information malaysia is a multi culture country. Chinese with dragon dance,indian with sitas. Negara China dan India tidak complain apa-apa pun.

  19. Hi Souza, Thank you so much for your post. I’m creating a blog for people like you and me. Indonesians who love their country but would still call malaysians ‘friend’. I belive there are more people like you and me. We can have disagreements, but still remain good friends. I hope to promote understanding between the two poeple.

    All this ihateindons and malingsia is making me sick.

    Drop by my blog if you can.


  20. Apa-apa perselisihan faham di antara Malaysia dan Indonesia tidak ada apa2 kesan pada diri saya. Sebagai orang Melayu Malaysia, saya tahu bahawa nenek moyang saya berasal dari tanah Jawa. Hingga sekarang adat dan budaya orang Malaysia tidak jauh bezanya dengan adat dan budaya orang indonesia. Makanan yang kami di Malaysia makan pun lebih kurang sama dengan makanan di Indonesia. Seperti juga masyarakat Cina di Malaysia, budayanya sama dengan nenek moyangnya di Tanah Besar Cina. Oleh keran itu Indonesia’ is always close to my heart’

    Saya telah berkali-kali melawat Indonesia dan sangat sukakan negara indonesia yang unik dan penduduknya yg ramah tamah. Saya mendapat layanan yg begitu baik di Indonesia dan juga dengan ikhlas memberi layanan yg baik juga kepada orang indonesia di Malaysia. Pembantu rumah yg berasal dari Jakarta telah bersama saya selama 6 tahun dan saya anggap dia seperti anak sendiri. Tiap-tiap tahun saya sendiri akan menghantar pembantu rumah sampai ke depan pintu rumahnya di Jakarta! Mungkin ada kes-kes pembantu rumah di dera di Malaysia tetapi ramai juga majikan-majikan Malaysia yg memberi layanan istimewa kepada pembantu rumah Indonesia.

    Bagi saya, isu perselisihan yg heboh diperkatakan itu, tidak ada apa2 kesannya pada diri saya dan kebanyakan rakyat Malaysia juga tidak emosional mengenai perkara ini. Hakikatnya kita saling memerlukan. Perselisihan faham itu harus di atasi. Rata-rata rakyat Malysia tidak emosional dan mengannggap isu ini sebagai satu salah faham yang akan senyap juga nanti.

    Saya tidak sabar untuk ke Indonesia lagi..dan harap isu ini akan reda…

  21. Malaysian here, and I’ve only just heard about this from a recent kopitiam chat. It’s really funny, we make jokes about this issue, because we dont really care about the friggin rendang or dance moves. It’s like the Chinese getting butt hurt over the Disney Company for putting fireworks behind the Disney castle.

    Lets just stop being stupid. Fighting and burning flags over a friggin dance move is way too stupid.

  22. Dear Souza Nurafrianto,

    thanks 4 posting. i met a lot of friends from Malaysia,Indonesia, Philipines, Australia and even from East Leste..we all are like sister n brother… funny thing when when i was wt them, i tend follow their dialect/loghat/tones… which sometimes confusing people around from where i came from..we talk almost about anything.. our cultures, food,politic, diplomatic issue…but we never insult each others or our nations…back to the issue..i never heard tarian pendet before until one of my friend told me bout it..i felt disappointed and shame of some narrow minded people who tries to provoke malaysia n indonesia…yes it true the media sometimes scary…how i wish they would use the power for human good..BTW, dance is art…part of human life…i believe something that good must be shared or otherwise what the use to keep it….My point is whoever we are or where we came from, we all are human and cannot run from making mistakes and nevertheless someday we will die… and one question to be ask…is it worthy to fight over the issues??

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