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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone watching Indonesia?
Published: 2009/09/05

Somehow, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seems to be doing a fine job in prompting Indonesians to get their acts together. The results are showing.

From a choking dictatorship that it once was, Susilo has led Indonesia on a robust pursuit for democracy, and many analysts think he is making rapid progress. Naturally, the positive sentiment has transformed into bullish numbers.

The country's macroeconomic management has been widely praised, and despite weakened global economy and sharp falls in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in major economies, Indonesia has been growing steadily.

Not only is GDP growth anticipated to exceed 4 per cent for the year, the rupiah has also strengthened and inflation has been kept under control.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently raised its forecast on Indonesia's economic growth.

The economic performance in the first quarter of 2009, when real GDP grew by 4.4 per cent year-on-year, was surprisingly strong, owing mainly to the resilience of private consumption, the EIU said.

The EIU now expects real GDP to expand by 2.4 per cent this year, compared with a contraction of 1.4 per cent in its previous forecast.

It expects growth to accelerate to 3.2 per cent in 2010, up from 0.5 per cent previously.

Like many other countries, Indonesia also launched an economic stimulus package to weather the current turbulence, and analysts say its gambit has shown results.

Many attributed the much improved private consumption, which accounts for about 60 per cent of Indonesia's GDP, to the government's US$6.9 billion (RM24.3 billion) stimulus package which, by and large, put more money in the hands of civil servants.

While doing so, it has kept a tight leash on prices and thus enable the injection of funds to translate into real increase in disposable income.

And they say good news travels fast. Foreign investors, aided by bullish reports by analysts covering the country, have brought back Indonesia into their radars.

Which means there is every likelihood of Indonesia becoming a competitive destination for foreign investment once again.

And which was why several captains of businesses I met this week said they were a bit concerned that we, in Malaysia, seems preoccupied with other extraneous issues, even when others around us are getting back on their feet.

The captains of business were concerned that lest we take note of successes of the likes of Susilo, we are running the great risk of having to play catch-up soon.

Source: http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/btn12/Article/
 

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Indonesia's capital : JAKARTA

The skyline


Panorama at night (2004 pic)


Jakarta's latest pics ...after bombings:) (credits to JAG2)








 

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Discussion Starter #5
QL to open Indonesia surimi plant
Published: 2009/09/09

QL Resources Bhd, involved in marine processing manufacturing and integrated livestock farming, is planning to establish its first overseas surimi or fish paste processing plant in Surabaya, Indonesia.

The RM25 million plant will process 5,000 metric tonnes of fish paste per year for export, under its first phase of production.

OSK Research said QL Resources is currently fulfilling the required procedures for the land to proceed with the construction of the new plant, which would be funded by internally generated funds.

" With a population of about 206 million, Indonesia is seven times the size of Malaysia, which speaks volumes of the potential demand for surimi," the research firm said.

Indonesia''s rich fish resources would ensure adequate supply during the low fishing season in Malaysia, OSK said, adding that the plant would be able to support QL Resources'' earnings during the monsoon season.


It also said QL Resources would be able to capitalise on the facilities available at Surabaya port, the main trading port in East Indonesia, to export its end products to Japan.

The division expects to contribute continued earnings to overall group profits. - BERNAMA
 

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I've lived in 3 different countries in ASEAN (ID, MY, BN) during past 10 years... and occasionally also visited 3 other ASEAN members (TH, PH, SG).

IMO Malaysian cities are still rated the best among other ASEAN cities (ofcourse SG is excluded) :eek:kay: ...in terms of public facility, development, infrastructures, cleanliness and safety factor
 

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^^ very nice comment. I had see ur comment before in some of our forum.:banana:

Anyway, do you have photos of Banjarmasin, Pontianak and Denpasar........ Really like to know about all those cities:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Indonesian Government Will Ensure Safety Of Malaysians - PM
September 09, 2009 21:51 PM

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 9 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Indonesian government will ensure that the safety of Malaysians in the republic is guaranteed following unfriendly actions by "vigilante groups" on Malaysians there.

He said this was conveyed to him by Indonesia's Ambassador to Malaysia Tan Sri Da'i Bachtiar during a meeting they had on Wednesday.

"I have conveyed to Pak Try Sutrisno (Tan Sri Try Sutrisno) Malaysia's worry about the safety of Malaysian citizens in Indonesia and he has promised to bring it up with the Indonesian government.

"The Indonesian ambassador in our meeting earlier Wednesday told me they were taking action to ensure no harm comes to Malaysians," he told reporters after breaking fast with members of his Cabinet at his official residence here.

Sutrisno leads the Indonesian side in the Indonesia-Malaysia Eminent Persons Group, a body which hold dialogues on issues of mutual concern to the two countries. The Malaysian side is led by Tun Musa Hitam.

Najib was asked to comment on the actions of the vigilante groups, members of which were conducting "sweeping" operations to identify and harras Malaysians.

On Tuesday, a group of Indonesians calling themselves "Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat" (BENDERA) reportedly threatened to use bamboo spikes on Malaysians along a Jakarta street and had demanded passers-by to show proof of their nationality.

There had also been demonstrations outside the Malaysian Embassy and in the latest one, protestors pelted rotten eggs at the embassy building last week after Malaysia was accused of "stealing" the Balinese pendet dance in a promotion of Malaysia aired by the Discovery Channel.

Rotten eggs were also hurled at a house rented by Malaysian students of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta by a group of local undergraduates over the Pendet dance.

Discovery Channel has apologised for the error made by a Singapore-based company.

-- BERNAMA
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Indonesia Urged To Resolve Misunderstanding Over Pendet Dance
September 09, 2009 22:59 PM

JAKARTA, Sept 9 (Bernama) - Several intellectuals have urged Indonesian leaders to correct the perception of its people on the cultural heritage of the country and Malaysia by giving the true picture of the situation.

Universitas Indonesia's Law Faculty Dean Prof Dr Hikmahanto Juwana said Indonesia must resolve the misunderstanding and stop the flare-ups over the Balinese Pendet dance.

He said Malaysia was not responsible for the depiction of the dance in a tourism advertisement as its heritage while a promotion on the republic's Jemur island did not mean that Malaysia was going to claim the island.

"A lot of misunderstandings surfaced due to wrong perceptions, including officers giving incorrect assumptions that had misled the people into believing that Malaysia was indeed making the claim," he was quoted by Antara as saying Wednesday.

The botched promotion was put up by a private company in Singapore for a Discovery Channel programme on Malaysia. Discovery Channel has since apologised for the mistake.

Hikmahanto said besides correcting the perception, the Indonesian government should urge certain quarters not to take hasty action and even if the government (Malaysia) was at fault, they should not pit the people of the two countries against each other.

He said Indonesia should also resolve sensitive issues with Malaysia through dialogues and "show the people of the dialogues taking place and that both countries are working to overcome any differences".

The dialogues should be confined to issues at hand and not be influenced by other issues, he said, adding that, for example, maid abuse cases should not cloud Malaysia's investments in Indonesia.

Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (STSI) anthropologist Maulid Hariri Gani reminded all quarters not to blow issues out of proportion.

Revealing that he had relatives in Malaysia, he said as the racial origin of Indonesians and the Malays in Malaysia was the same, definitely both races shared the heritage and neither should not be denied from practicing it.

Citing that Malaysians were not influenced by the issues, he urged Indonesians to be matured and not let themselves to be influenced by certain quarters who had their own agenda.

"Maybe the issue is left unresolved to deviate the attention of the people from other bigger national cases," he added.

Riau governor Ismeth Abdullah said Indonesians should not be emotional over the Pendet dance issue and warned them not to harm Malaysians in the region as it would affect relations with Malaysia.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry's Asean director-general Djauhari Oratmangun said Malaysians, who originated from Indonesia, had brought along the cultures with them and practiced it.

He said for example, the Reog Ponorogo dance, that had sparked protests in Indonesia before, was practiced by Malaysian of Javanese Ponorogo descent, for over three generations.

Djauhari also urged Indonesian media to be objective and not stoke the anger of the people.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Tan Sri Da'i Bachtiar said he was ashamed of the outbursts by certain quarters in Indonesia over the dance issue and commended Malaysia and its people on the way they handled it.

He said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's spokesman Andi Mallaranggeng had issued a warning against the Bendera Youth group, which had called for a war against Malaysia, not to act at their own whims and fancies and not to harm Malaysians.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Foreign ministry deplores sweeps against Malaysians in Jakarta
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 20:38 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia`s foreign ministry deplores the sweeps against Malaysian citizens conducted by some people on Jalan Diponegoro, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.

"The foreign ministry condemns the action which did not only disrupt public order but also could damage Indonesia`s image in the eye of the international community," the ministry`s spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, said here on Wednesday.

He said the Indonesian people should respond to the issue of Malaysian claims over Indonesian cultural property "with a cool head and not emotionally."

"It is better to settle all issues peacefully through diplomatic channels or talks," he said.

Faizasyah hoped the incident would not recur.

Several Malaysia media had reported the sweep was done by some people wielding sharpened bamboo stalks.

They also reported that some demonstrators in Yogyakarta had pelted rotten eggs at houses accommodating Malaysian students, following Indonesian media reports that Malaysia had claimed the "Pendet" dance.

Harian Malaysia meanwhile had carried an interview with Indonesian citizens in Riau, North Sumatra, Dumai and Sulawesi who said that the anti-Malaysian demonstrations in Indonesia were done by a small group of people and therefore need not be responded to seriously as they did not represent the whole people.

Malaysian Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim had appealed to the Malaysian government and people not to stage demonstrations in front of the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

"Although Malaysian flags were burned, our embassy in Jakarta was pelted with rotten eggs and stones we will not retaliate by similar acts on the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur," he said in the company of Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Da`i Bachtiar.

He said Malaysia would not answer the sweep in Jakarta with similar action because it still wished to maintain its relationships with Indonesia.

Prof Dr Hikmahanto Juwana of the University of Indonesia said there had been a misunderstanding regarding the use of Indonesian cultural property by Malaysia and the government had to give clarifications about it.

"The government must neutralize the situation and prevent the Indonesian public from hating Malaysia by giving clear explanations about it," he said to ANTARA News.

He said the depiction of the "Pendet" dance in a Malaysian tourism advertisement did not mean that Malaysia had claimed the property, neither was this the case when Malaysia mentioned Jemur island in another of its tourism promotion advertisements.

"So a lot of the responses have emerged out of wrong perceptions including among officials that have made the people conclude that Malaysia has indeed claimed the properties," he said.

Therefore, Hikmahanto said, it was time for the government to communicate with the public and straighten out the wrong perceptions.

The government had to call on the people not to resort to unilateral actions because the problem would be settled government to government. "In the case of conflicts, the people must not be involved. We cannot blame Malaysian citizens here for their government`s stance," he said.

He said the Indonesian government also had to communicate with the Malaysian government regarding sensitive issues. "Show the Indonesian public there is dialogue between the two governments to settle the differences of view," he said.

In the dialogue Indonesia must also ask Malaysia to localize the problems so that they would not affect other areas.

Citing an example, he said the government must prevent the case of violence on migrant worker Siti Hajar, for example, from affecting Malaysian investment in the country.

Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Commission on foreign affairs, security and information, Yusron Ihza Mahendra, called for the settlement of problems in Indonesia-Malaysia relations in a civilized manner.

"As a people`s representative, I call on those conducting sweeps to exercise restraint. Do not act out of line," he said.

He appealed to security authorities to take quick action against actions that could lead to anarchy.

"The government with its apparatus must immediately respond to any developments in the community and conduct diplomatic talks with Malaysia," he said.

Source: http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1252503537/foreign-ministry-deplores-sweeps-against-malaysians-in-jakarta
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Susilo akan jumpa PM di KL – Rais
Oleh ANGELINA SINYANG 10 September 2009

KUALA LUMPUR 9 Sept. – Presiden Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono akan menemui Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak di Kuala Lumpur untuk membincangkan usaha mengharmonikan hubungan kedua-dua negara ekoran kontroversi tarian Pendet Bali.

Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim berkata, pertemuan yang dijadualkan dalam masa terdekat itu akan dimanfaatkan kedua-dua pemimpin terbabit untuk menyelesaikan isu tersebut.

“Insya-Allah jika tuhan mengizinkan, Presiden Indonesia akan melawat Kuala Lumpur dalam tempoh terdekat ini.

“Ia memberi peluang kepada Presiden Indonesia dan Perdana Menteri membincangkan usaha menyelesaikan isu tersebut demi menjamin masa depan rakyat kedua-dua negara,” katanya.

Beliau bercakap pada sidang akhbar selepas mengadakan pertemuan dengan tiga wakil daripada Kumpulan Tokoh Terkemuka (EPG) Indonesia diketuai Pengerusinya, Tan Sri Try Sutrisno di pejabatnya di Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad di sini hari ini.

Hasil pertemuan itu, kata Rais, Kerajaan Malaysia dan Indonesia bersetuju mewujudkan beberapa program harmoni sebagai usaha merapatkan hubungan kedua-dua negara.

Beliau berkata, satu daripada program itu adalah mencantumkan media Indonesia dan Malaysia supaya dapat berbincang dan mencari jalan bagaimana mencapai hubungan harmoni.

Seterusnya, kata beliau, kedua-dua pihak juga bersetuju mengadakan program pertukaran budaya dan sejarah.

“Kita akan membincangkan lebih lanjut perkara ini dengan Menteri Kebudayaan Indonesia. Saya juga sudah menulis surat kepada Menteri Pelancongan negara itu untuk menyatakan kesediaan kita menyelesaikan masalah-masalah yang berlaku demi masa depan bersama,” katanya.

Menurut Rais, pihaknya sudah menghantar Pengerusi Eksekutif Media Prima Bhd., Datuk Johan Jaaffar ke Jakarta kira-kira dua minggu lalu untuk mencari pengisian yang sesuai bagi program tersebut.

Semalam kira-kira 50 anggota kumpulan rakyat Indonesia yang menamakan diri sebagai “Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat” (Bendera) bersenjatakan buluh runcing memaksa orang ramai yang melalui Jalan Diponegoro di Jakarta menunjukkan tanda pengenalan dalam kempen mengusir rakyat Malaysia.

Selain itu beberapa demonstrasi dilakukan di luar kedutaan Malaysia di Jakarta, dengan yang terbaru penunjuk perasaan melontar telur busuk ke arah bangunan kedutaan minggu lepas selepas Malaysia dituduh ’mencuri’ tarian Pendet Bali semasa mempromosi Malaysia dalam rancangan yang disiarkan saluran Discovery Channel.

Discovery Channel sebelum ini sudah memohon maaf terhadap kesilapan yang dibuat oleh syarikat berpangkalan di Singapura itu.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Indonesia akan lindungi warga Malaysia di republik itu
10 September 2009

KUALA LUMPUR 9 Sept. - Kerajaan Indonesia telah memberi jaminan bahawa keselamatan rakyat Malaysia di republik itu dilindungi.

Menteri Luar, Datuk Anifah Aman dalam kenyataannya di sini berkata, jaminan itu disampaikan oleh Duta Besar Indonesia di Malaysia, Tan Sri Da'i Bachtiar yang dipanggil ke Wisma Putra hari ini.

Menurutnya, Kerajaan Indonesia telah diminta mengambil tindakan sewajarnya bagi melindungi kebajikan dan keselamatan rakyat Malaysia di republik itu serta pada masa yang sama membendung tindakan agresif kumpulan ekstremis.

"Duta Besar Indonesia telah dipanggil hari ini untuk kita sampaikan pendirian Malaysia dalam isu konflik ini selepas mendapati ia menjejaskan hubungan antara kedua-dua negara.

"Da'i telah menghubungi Menteri Luar Indonesia dan Ketua Polis Indonesia yang kemudian memberi jaminan akan melindungi keselamatan rakyat Malaysia di Indonesia," katanya.

Setakat ini, menurut beliau, tidak ada rakyat Malaysia dilaporkan cedera atau terbunuh di Indonesia.

Kedutaan Malaysia di Indonesia akan terus memantau keadaan di Jakarta dan mengeluarkan laporan yang berkaitan mengenainya.

Pada masa yang sama, Kementerian Luar dan Kedutaan Malaysia di Jakarta turut membuka bilik operasi untuk menerima sebarang laporan berkaitan situasi rakyat Malaysia di Indonesia.

Bilik operasi Wisma Putra di Putrajaya boleh dihubungi melalui talian 03-88892746 atau 03-88874750 manakala bilik operasi di Jakarta di talian +6221-5224947 atau +6221-5224971.

Sementara itu, Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein turut memberi jaminan bahawa keselamatan rakyat Indonesia di negara ini terjamin meskipun berlaku provokasi di republik itu.

"Walau apa jua keadaan dan provokasi yang sedang berlaku di Indonesia, saya selaku Menteri Dalam Negeri memberi jaminan bahawa keselamatan rakyat Indonesia yang berada di sini terjamin," ujarnya melalui khidmat pesanan ringkas (SMS) kepada Utusan Malaysia.

Semalam, sekumpulan penunjuk perasaan bersenjatakan buluh runcing menahan kenderaan-kenderaan yang melalui Jalan Diponegoro di Jakarta dalam gerakan yang dipanggil 'Sapu Malaysia' bagi mencari dan mengusir rakyat Malaysia.

Kumpulan berkenaan yang mengikat bendera Indonesia di kepala bertindak menahan semua kenderaan dan meminta pemandu dan penumpang menyerahkan kad pengenalan masing- masing.
 

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^^ very nice comment. I had see ur comment before in some of our forum.:banana:

Anyway, do you have photos of Banjarmasin, Pontianak and Denpasar........ Really like to know about all those cities:)
^^Those 3 cities you mentioned above actually are not considered the most popular nor most developed cities in Indonesia, there are still a lot more Indonesia's cities better than those 3.

Anyway here some pics taken from Indonesian forum:

BANJARMASIN (pop 750,000)


PONTIANAK (pop 440,000)

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Malaysia ready to douse Indonesian forest fires
2009/09/11

SIBU, Fri: Malaysia is ready to send air tanker to help Indonesia douse its fires in a joint effort to reduce the occurrence of transboundary haze.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said here today he had written to his Indonesian counterpart on the availability and readiness of the aircraft to fly there.

He said here today that this was in response to the Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore Ministerial Standing Committee Meeting on transboundary haze problem in Singapore last month where it was agreed that co-ordinated efforts would be made by all in fighting it.

"Indonesia had indicated at the meeting that it might need our help.

"If this happens, we will contribute in ensuring a haze free Hari Raya celebration for the people especially in Sarawak," he said.

"At the same time, we pray that there will be more rains in Kalimantan," he said.

He said that based on a satelite report, 700 hotspots had been detected in Kalimantan as of yesterday compared with less than 50 in the state itself.

Uggah also commended the people as well as the state and government ministeries for their co-operation in reducing open burning which had helped to reduce the local haze problem.

"We really appreciate such efforts and co-operation," he said. -- BERNAMA
 

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Safety Of Indonesian Workers, Students Assured - Hishammuddin
September 11, 2009 23:42 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- The Home Ministry has assured the safety of 1.8 million Indonesian workers and students in the country following flare-ups over a misunderstanding on a Balinese dance in the republic.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the ministry would curtail any retaliation against the protests.

"Despite the provocations, pressure, humiliation and threats, we will ensure their (Indonesian workers and students) safety," he told reporters after attending the Umno Supreme Council meeting at the PWTC here Friday.

Members of a group calling itself Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat (Bendera), who armed themselves with sharpened bamboo sticks, mounted a roadblock in Jalan Diponegoro, Jakarta on Tuesday to look for Malaysians to shoo them off the country.

The flare-ups emanated over the Pendet dance of Bali put up by a production house in Singapore for a Discovery Channel programme on Malaysia. Discovery Channel has since apologised for the mistake.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged the Indonesian government to resolve the issue to ensure that bilateral ties between the republic and Malaysia would not be affected.

"I am saddened over the incident. It involved a small group of people with violence tendency. They want to go to war over a trivial issue. We don't do that here," he said after presenting Aidilfitri aid and the Perkim President Seri Cemerlang Award here today.

In Muar, Inspector-General of Police said Indonesian police chief Gen Bambang Hendarso Danuri told him that six individuals, who were involved in the "Sweeping Malaysians" incident had been arrested.

"He (Bambang) called me up and told me about the arrest," Musa told reporters after launching a road safety campaign in conjunction with the 20th Ops Sikap organised by the police and Telekom Malaysia at Dataran Tanjung Emas here today.

Musa said it was a small issue blown out of proportion by the Indonesian media and called on Malaysians not to be drawn into the controversy.
 

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any pic of indonesia 2nd closest city to the peninsular? dumai and maybe even pekanbaru
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Susilo on first annual consultation visit to KL
Sunday September 13, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudho- yono will visit Kuala Lumpur next month for his first annual consultation with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

This year’s consultation will be hosted by Malaysia and is Susilo’s first visit since Najib became Prime Minister.

Indonesian Minister Counsellor for Information, Social and Culture to Malaysia Widyarka Ryananta said the agenda of the annual consultation would include issues on food security, energy security and counter-terrorism.

Asked if the two leaders would discuss the rising tension between the two countries following allegations that Malaysia had stolen Indonesian culture and heritage, Widyarka said it might be among the issues discussed.

“The president’s visit has nothing to do with the current issue. The visit was arranged even before the issue came up,” he said yesterday.

Widyarka said Indonesian groups have been demonstrating in front of the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta almost daily in recent weeks, including pelting it with rotten eggs, after Malaysia was accused of stealing the Balinese pendet dance in a promotion of Malaysia aired by Discovery Channel.

Discovery has since clarified the misunderstanding and would be producing a 30-minute programme on the dance in a bid to alleviate tensions between the two countries.

Newspapers had also reported that a group of Indonesians had threatened to use sharpened bamboos on Malaysians at Jalan Diponegoro in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Widyarka added that the date of the meeting had been set for Oct 9, pending confirmation.
 

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Malaysians and Indonesians form new association to ease tensions
Sunday September 13, 2009
By ROZAID A. RAHMAN

PETALING JAYA: Programmes to improve cooperation and understanding between Malaysian and Indonesian students, including study trips, are among the measures a newly-formed association will un**dertake to help ease tensions between the two nations.

Representatives from the Malaysia-Indonesia Students National Asso*ciation and the Indonesian Undergraduates Executive Organisation met in Jakarta on Friday, and agreed to form the Indonesian-Malaysian Students Association (IMSA).

The association will be under the purview of the Malaysian Students Department (MSD) in Jakarta, which arranged for the meeting.

“The executive organisation itself has given an assurance that it will inform all its branches where there are Malaysian students, to ensure their security,” MSD Jakarta director Dr Junaidy Abu Bakar told MStar Online.

The IMSA will also conduct programmes to improve cooperation and understanding between the undergraduates from both countries, said Dr Junaidy.

“In the near future, a study trip will be arranged so that Indonesian undergraduates can get to better understand the cultures and lifestyles of Malaysians,” he added.

Dr Junaidy said the executive body had also agreed to send its representatives to programmes organised by Malaysian students in Indonesia.

The national association, with a membership of more than 5,900, is the largest organisation representing Malaysian students in Indonesia.

Tension between both countries was sparked off by a 30-second advertisement clip produced for Discovery Channel to promote the series Enigmatic Malaysia.
 

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Malaysian Media Asks Indonesian Journalists To Help In Cooling Tensions
September 14, 2009 21:17 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia media leaders on Monday urged their journalist colleagues in Indonesia to together abate tensions following the controversy over the 'pendet' dance that had led to some Indonesians threatening the safety of Malaysians there.

While respecting the freedom of the media in that republic, a group of senior Malaysian editors asked for wisdom of their friends in Indonesia in coverage and to view the ties between the two countries in a broader perspective.

"Let us not lose focus and attention with petty issues that as such approach does not benefit the people of both countries," said Datuk Ahmad Talib, pro-tem chairman of The Malaysia-Indonesia Journalists Alliance (ISWMI)'s Malaysian branch at a news conference at Seri Pentas, TV3 here.

Present were Bernama TV editorial advisor, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang; Bernama editor-in-chief, Datuk Yong Soo Heong; Malaysia Press Institute (MPI) chief executive officer, Datuk Chamil Wariya; Star Publications group chief editor, Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai; Kumpulan Karangkraf chief editor, Abdul Jalil Ali; the deputy director of the public relations section in the Prime Minister's Department, Abdull Hadi Mohd Yusoff; and media practioner Sabaruddin Ahmad Sabri.

Ahmad, who is also the executive director of news and editorial operations of Media Prima, said the Malaysian media were closely watching the Indonesian media coverage regarding the 'pendet' dance controversy, especially that Malaysia stole that country's culture to the point that some Indonesians acted to look for Malaysians in that country.

He said ISWMI felt the development cannot be allowed to go on as it would adversely affect the good relations between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta including in business ties and ties between the peoples of the two countries.

ISWMI is an initiative by Malaysian jounalists to better Malaysia-Indonesia ties following various issues that have cropped from time to time that affected ties like the overlapping claims on Pulau Sipadan and Ligitan, Malaysia's claim over Ambalat, the issue of Indonesian workers in Malaysia, allegations over abuse of Indonesian immigrants and the latest over the 'pendet' dance issue.

Ahmad said an Indonesian ISWMI branch would be set up soon before a journalist exchange programme is implemented to bring about close ties through visits and dialogue.

Chamil said MPI last year invited a group of young Indonesian journalists to take part in training under the "International Fellowship Journalism" programme to cement close ties.

According to him, the programme provided long term benefits towards correcting whatever negative perceptions there were about the country among journalists.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia-Indonesia Strategic Centre (MISC) that was established here today urged the Malaysian and Indonesian governments to set up special team to probe deeply the actual cause of the 'sweeping Malaysia' matter.

"There may be quarters that are jealous of the friendship between both the countries...so a special team needs to be set up as we cannot be faced with the same issue every month. Urgent steps need to be taken so this issue is not repeated and the friendly ties of the two countries can be strengthened back," Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor told reporters at the launch.

Mohamad Ezam, who is the chairman of the Yayasan Generasi Baru Nusantara and also a member of MISC Amanah that was jointly set up by the Malaysia Indonesia Friendship Board (Prima), Indonesia Strategic Centre (ISC) and Centre of Indonesia Reform (CIR).

Deputy secretary-general of Prima, Chairul Anhar, said Indonesians also did not support and disliked the 'Sweeping Malaysia' slogan and regarded it as the work of a small number of people from the millions of Indonesians and it would not be able to shake the friendship of the two nations.

"There are no laws in Indonesia that can allow Indonesians to chase out foreigners in Indonesia as they wish and we want to tell Malaysians we are relations and thinks can be worked out as a family," he said.

Mohamad Ezam said the main focus of MISC which will officially operate after Hari Raya at its headquarters in Jakarta was to shift the younger generation's paradigm from nationalistic thinking only to an attitude of regionalism for the future of the two countries.

Meanwhile, Pas vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said the "sweeping Malaysia" incident was caused by some old issues between Malaysia and Indonesia like Indonesian labour force and maids.

Salahuddin today met the Indonesian deputy ambassador to Malaysia, Tatang Razak, at the Indonesian embassy and was assured that the Indonesian government would act against those who acted outside the law in that country.
 
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