Sunday, 13 September 2009

That Malaysia-Indonesia spat - a bluffer's guide

As Malaysia and Indonesia get into yet another diplomatic spat over cultural identity, many analysts across the region are asking the question "F***ing Malaysians -what are they like, eh?"

So in the ever-helpful spirit regular readers have come to know and roll their eyes at, Last Django is pleased to present an in-depth analysis of the issue:

Malaysia and Indonesia are two countries sharing a common language, and are thus destined to engage in endless low-level nastiness as a matter of course.

Malaysians see Indonesians as a bunch of chippy peasants incapable of organising a piss-up in a brewery. Indonesians regard Malaysians as a bunch of stuck-up bastards with no culture of their own. Malaysians frequently employ semi-literate Indonesian peasant girls as housemaids and a small minority mistreat them cruelly. The two countries are also in dispute over the Amabalat sea area and its underlying oilfield. Malaysia has previously claimed the Reog folk dance and the popular song "Rasa Sayang" as Malaysian (both are Indonesian in origin). Every time there is a dispute, EVERY bone of contention gets dragged up and hurled violently at the other side.

This time round, the Discovery Channnel (Asia) - which has no connection with the Malaysian government - put together a cut-n-paste ad for a series called "Enigmatic Malaysia" which featured a Balinese pendet dancer.


When interviewed in a corner of SOAS bar, Indonesia expert Dr Terry McCassey said "You have to remember them Malaysians is thieving gits, bor. National Flag? British East India Company ensign with an extra bit sewn on. National Anthem? Indonesian popular song with the words changed. Language? Indonesian as spoken by someone going over a cattle grid in a sled. Top entertainer Mr P. Ramlee? Indonesian, from Sumatra. Largest city? Declared 'F*** this for a game of skittles, we're declaring independence!' in 1965 and hasn't looked back since. Manages to annoy all its neighbours and exports terrorists. Tastiest birds? Chinese - look at that Michelle Yeoh, eh? Eh? And now they're claiming the Balinese pendet dance as Malaysian."

In response, Malaysian cultural attache Mr Muhammad "Muhammad" Muhammad struck Dr McCassey forcibly on the head with a carved Iban rice-mortar. Dr McCassey was heard to murmur "That's Indonesian too, bangsat!" before passing out in pool of Filipino beer.


Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

So, a bit like Belgium then?

Yin said...

Oi. Some experts say we ripped off our national anthem from the Hawaiian song Mamula Moon (, not Terang Bulan, OK.

Bah. Indonesians. Always thinking they can make bigger fools of us than we can ourselves.

I think NOT.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Rich, heady, cultural stuff, Gyppo: before I read this I didn't know nothing about the Indonesia/Malasia question, but now I feel ready to take up arms. I once did an Indonesian martial art (can't remember what it was called) for about a week, but have to admit that it would never be a match for Michelle Yeoh.

inkspot said...

News to me too Gyppo, and the trouble is that you write so well and entertainingly that I can't tell how serious it is. How much dreariness is there? As much as in the sodden and depressing British-Irish saga? Anyway, let me take advantage of your comment box to offend new people:

Why are Malaysian jokes so stupid?

So the Indonesians can understand them.

Gyppo Byard said...

Daphne - I would say it's like Belgium in reverse - Belgium suffers from (or enjoys) being two mutually incompatible and incomprehensible peoples glued randomly together in a nation whose prime purpose is to provide somewhere for the rest of Europe to fight its battles over to avoid causing damage to real countries. Malaysia and Indonesia exist because Britain and The Netherlands had their own bits of he archipelago. After the British and Dutch packed up their pith helmets and toddled off home, there was really no logic for Malaysia and Indonesia being two countries rather than either one big one or about 50 little ones. The 'one nation' solution was the cause of the Borneo "confrontation" of 1965, in which Indonesia failed to persuade Malaysia at gunpoint to join it peacefully. You can see why the kind offer was viewed with scepticism. The 'many nation' solution scares the crap out of all the politicians, neighbouring countries, and just about everyone.

Yin - It's refreshing that nobody is claiming it as an original Malaysian work. And why should they? The UK anthem is German, the US anthem is English, and the German anthem Austrian. And if you want to blog about Malaysian foolishness, feel free. Or shall I recount the tale of the exploding Mongolian model?

Gadjo bor - was it pencak silat? And even being beaten up by Michelle Yeoh would be an experience to treasure...

Inky old chap - it's all true. Told in a misleadingly jocular manner, but true. And the aggro between the nations extends to rude words, egg-throwing and slogan-shouting, not genocide or terrorism (the Malaysian terrorists use Indonesia as a theatre of operations, not a target per se; although they are callous in the extreme to collateral damage among Indonesians).

And to provide a variation on your joke (from the standpoint of one who is Indonesian by marriage, long residence and thesis topic):

Why do Indonesians write stupid jokes?
So the Malaysians can f***ing-well nick them and subsequently claim them as Malaysian without any creativity or effort on their own part. :oD

Yin said...

I'd just like to point out my countrymen are moving on to higher friends in terrorist circles:

And inkspot: it's all true. Except Gyppo has greatly understated the stupidity of Malaysians. And is underestimating any pride we might have too.

Gyppo, sadly there is nothing I can say that Malaysia's blogger-with-best-profanities Patrick Teoh hasn't already said in authentic Malaysian.

So I bow to his blog:

And join him in saying, to all things Malaysian, but especially the politicians: your mother!!!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Gyppo, yes, I think maybe it was. I had to look like a monkey, or something.

Gyppo Byard said...

Yin - I enjoy Teoh's take on things. I had an e-mail from that Raja Petra Kamaruddin once, too. And I've met Malaysiakini editor Stephen Gan. Just call me "Mr well-connected with the largely ignored Malaysian underground alternative media scene".

Furthermore, my mention of San Miguel was oddly prescient - put it down to my native Rrom fortune-telling ability -

Gadjo - presumably it was a Malaysian martial arts class, and they wanted you to be the Indonesian, then.