Thursday, October 04, 2007

What I like/admire/love about the Indonesians ...

Satu Rumpun. The Rasa Sayange row between Malaysians and Indonesians shows how much we have drifted apart as neighbours. There may be 2, 3 or 4 million Indonesians working in our country and our homes, but as people we are two strangers ever ready to wring one another's necks at the slightest of provocation.
Unspun, the Malaysian blogger who lives and works in Jakarta for the last decade, wants to bridge the gap. He's asking Indonesian and Malaysian readers to state the one thing they love about one another.
It's all very easy to criticize but can we praise also? Just to kick things off Unspun, as a Malaysian who enjoys and prefers living in Indonesia, will wear two hats and tell you what I admire of each country. There are many things, naturally, but here's just one from each hat:
As a Malaysian I admire the self confidence of Indonesians. They are happy and contented to live in their own skins. They are all different orang (as in Sunda, Java, Maluku, Manado, Bali, Tionghua, India, Arab ...) but they all view and respect each other equally as Indonesians.
If I were to use my decade of living here to think as an Indonesia, I'd admire Malaysia's ability to build great infrastructure like its great highways and modern buildings that are clean, functional and not breaking down after six months.

Click here for the rest of Unspun's posting and add to his comment box.

What I like/love about Indonesia/Indonesians?
Samsons. Broery. Widyawati. Ratno Timoer. D'Lloyds.

What about you? Surely there's something you love about Indonesia. Spill it out.

p.s. I still think Rasa Sayange is a Singaporean song. It has the breezy, racy quality as other classics from the island such as Geylang si paku Geylang and Tanjung Katong (Airnye Biru). Indonesia's traditional songs tend to be sombre-souding and slow-tempo (Bengawan Solo, Terang Bulan).


  1. Rocky, you got me humming the Bangawan Solo song! My mum favourite. Cant really remember the whole lyric.

    Such a beautiful song!

  2. Anonymous3:58 pm

    "p.s. I still think Rasa Sayange is a Singaporean song. Indonesia's traditional songs tend to be sombre-souding and slow-tempo (Bengawan Solo, Terang Bulan)."

    That's because Bengawan Solo and Terang Bulan have strong Keroncong qualities. While Rasa Sayange has a more Molucca / Eastern Indonesia Flavour.

  3. hahahaahaha..

    actually, Indon's song memang best la... bukan nak puji lebeh2 depa tu..

    tengok Dewa 19, lagu dia kelssss beb.. memang layan la..

    Peter Pan, lagu dia layan beb...

  4. Indonesia nie kalau cherita remaja dia memang best la..

    mula2 tu kan cherita Ada apa dengan chinta.. aku siap beli kaset dia pastu convert pi Mp3.. pastu aku beli VCD dia... layan beb..

    memang sedap la...

  5. insideout,

    google it (go to wiki). you can even listen to it. yep, beautiful song.

  6. insideout : yeah google it.

    that's a classic. find out what it means,and you'll know why, musically, Indonesians are well.... just so good.

  7. Anonymous4:42 pm

    Gudang Garam!

  8. Anonymous4:57 pm

    Rocky, hampir tidak ada dalam satu hari saya tidak mendengar lagu Slank. Saya hanya dengar Slank, tidak Padi, tidak Dewa, tidak Samson dll. Album terbarunya 'Slow but Sure' lain dari sebelum ini tapi tetap cool.
    Bila anda mendengar Slank, ghairah anda pada band lain beransur pudar. Slank dan anak muda (anak manja mak-abah tidak masuk) sinonim.

  9. Anonymous5:45 pm

    Is this the same brotherly-love Indonesia that just some 10 years ago indulged in a bit of ethnic-cleansing when their economy went a bit south?

    We have such short memory when it comes to squeezing facts to whatever point we are trying to make, man.

  10. Anonymous5:48 pm

    Dear rocky,

    We are making the classic mistakes every malaysian diplomat made if we still thinking that Malaysian and Indonesian are serumpun.

    For your information, Indonesian is ruled by Javanese and Javanese is very much different from the Malays.

    If the Javanese realize that malays can be arrange or "diatur", they will busy in arranging us in every G to G negotiations.

    Why singaporean is much more success in handling G to G issues with Indonesian is that they never considered Indonesian as serumpun but totally different states with different culture enven though in the same region.

    What we should do next in our G to G nego in every issues is that what remains business with the Indonesian javanese government, then just stick to the business beliefs. They are never serumpun with us not even close!


  11. hey, this is one of many things i like about indonesia- singkong & keju by ari wibowo.

    and their delicacies; bakso, sambal tempe, nasi padang, sim card etc...


  12. Anonymous7:07 pm

    There is actually no need for this touchy-feely exercise.

    All we have to do is recognise one another as sovereign equals, to be treated with dignity and respect.

    Once we see others as we see ourselves, we can focus on efforts that bring mutual benefit, rather than waste time on petty issues.

    That's how friends treat each other.

  13. Anonymous8:18 pm

    What I like about our two beloved country is the Mat Rempit. They are about the same and getting more every year and also they can be used for political means.

  14. Anonymous8:18 pm

    might is always rigHT. they learn from BN.

  15. Sdr Rocky's Bru,

    Could it be because in recent times we spend too much time pacifying Singapore than strengthening relations with our larger neighbours like Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines?

    I was in Indonesia -- Jakarta, Medan and Aceh -- a number of times in these last few months.

    On the people-to-people basis I think the relations remain cordial.

    Like you, I love Indonesian songs -- old and new. They make more sense and enak didengar.

    Over there they love Siti Norhaliza and P Ramlee.

    Thank you.

  16. I love Indonesian ox-tail soup, nasi padang. And of course, Bali.

  17. Anonymous10:33 pm

    Let's admit it. Malaysians are No 1 plagiarists, you know what i am talking about. Malaysians are also bullies, just ask the Indon maids. We are ugly, just admit it. For once admit we Malaysians are serial copy cats. We are never original, and we have never been original. And to jingoistic nationalists like Khairy Jamaluddin and Mr Bodoh aka Nazri, stay out of the issue. So, it's time for ugly Malaysians to say sorry to Indonesia. in this instance, love means we have to say sorry. So just say sorry for once, ugly Malaysians. Cant we say we are sorry for stealing other people' song? Just say sorry. Anyway, I apologise to the people of Indonesia on behalf of Malaysia = We are truly sorry.

  18. Anonymous12:33 am


    Ayra, my two-year-old cucu, loves lagu "Pencinta Wanita."

    My all-time favourite is "Semalam di Malaya" by Effendy. It's bapak's signature song.

  19. Rano Karno, Lydia Kandau...
    Ebiet G Ade...

  20. Yep, agree with Aisehman. No need for all that touchy feely stuff. Mie Rebus may originate from Indonesia but will always be Mee Rebus and Malaysian to me. And "friendship" is to be able to give and take.

  21. Anonymous5:33 am

    John Labu,

    I like
    Ebiet G Ade,
    Kris Dayanti,
    Broery Marantika
    Peter Pan

    I dont like
    Dangdut Songs
    Shiela on 7
    Agnes Monica

    In Malaysia, I like
    Datuk Siti Norhaliza

    I dont like
    Datuk K. ( Sorry )

    Thank you. !

  22. Anonymous5:49 am

    Kak Ton,

    Semalam Di Malaya?

    My favorite too along with Madah Pujangga.

    But Zam said in front of large audience that included Dr Mahathir and Pak Lah that semalam di Malaya was a subversive song.


  23. I admire the writings of Pramodeya A Toer.Amazing pace.I often go to Indonesia and try to mix business with aid especially in Aceh.However, my biggest worry is that many people in there cannot get away from the "aid mentality".My friends there say Malaysians are so seems that we have a totally different pace of working. I truly hope that Indonesia will succeed because it has a depth of culture and resources that is world class.I truly believe that the best manifestations of Malay culture can be found in Indonesia - irregardless of religion.

  24. Anonymous8:16 am

    sawadee ka... still loves everything in haadyai, koh samui, bangkok, chiangmai... heck all these are in thailand

  25. Anonymous8:54 am

    Never been to Indonesia but I loves their singers such as TITIK PUSPA,Kitikos Endan, Boery Marintika ,and Anita Sarawak ( She was married to him at one time, he he) (LOL)and Kris diaynti and the songs , Biarkan Dia pergi , Rini, Kuda ku Lari and Bengawan Solo and the foods ,Mee soto, Tempe,Rendang perut, Mee Java and Mee Bandung.Clothing, Kain Batik Java and Baju Batik......!

  26. Anonymous9:01 am

    Indonesian Men are more romantic and open when in love. they love like they picket - with fire in their eyes, to death and beyond. it's absolutely liberating!

    Malaysian Malay Men...kureng sikit in terms of romanticnya and openness in love...banyak control hensem and banyak sangat rules.

    :D well, you asked.

  27. Anonymous9:07 am

    Things Indonesian I like:
    Tetty Kadi, Broery, Emilia Kontessa, Dewa 19, Peter Pan, Balinese dances, Gamelan Jawa, Gamelan Gong Kebyar, Degung Sabilulungan...

    Culture and history-wise, our civilisation is an offshoot of theirs. Most of our royals decended from their royals.
    We ARE brethrens.

  28. Anonymous10:00 am

    Ernie Djohan, Lily Suryani, Bob Tutupoly. Love them all.

  29. Anonymous10:08 am

    Habis tu apa lagu melayu asli (folk song) selain rasa sayang? For once I agree with rocky that rasa sayang sounds very much singaporean.

    Let say, erm joget? (very much melaka kan?)


  30. Anonymous10:52 am

    sampoerna (now owned by americans), nasi padang, sup bontot, golf courses, mangga dua, bandung, jogja, gamelan music, and the beautiful indonesian women (especially the mixed blooded ones) sighhhhh. The majestic volcanoes, the corals of manado, the archtecture of Bali, the jazz, the spas and many more.


  31. Yes, got it! Thanks Rocky & nuraina! I am such a keruncung fan! I also love how the indonesian women wear their sanggul and those beautiful kebaya.

  32. Anonymous12:20 pm


    Sorry to hijack this space for what I think an important coming event (just to inform bloggers who don't read mainstream newspapers):

    (quote): "All BN elected representatives and senators will have a "brainstorming" session on Oct 21 (Sunday) to discuss ways and how to solve the people's problems.

    "The 711 BN representatives will attend a one-day forum organised by the newly forum Wakil Rakyat malaysia (Fowram)"

    Mohd Ali Rustam (UMNO VP cum Fowram Chairman) said the PM will open the forum and attributed the PM as the "brainchild" based on the concept of the European Parliamentary Forum. And the DPM is the adviser. Besides raising poeple's grouses and views, the forum would be an avenue to learn how to face new challenges and access if past election pledges had been fulfilled.

    Well, the people's citizen and the people's parliament blogs may take an interest in this latest development vis-a-vis publicity stunt and mass spinning.


  33. Dari Effendi ke Irwan Shah, semua lagu-lagu Indon memang 'enak didengar', terutama "Di Wajahmu Kulihat Bulan" oleh Ismail Marzuki.
    Tapi dalam sejarah perhubungan abang-adik antara Indonesia dan Malaysia, abang sering lebih dominan, dari Sukarno hinggalah Susilo, dari soal bahasa, sastera, budaya hingga ke sekatan kepada import barangan budaya dari Malaysia.
    Orang Melayu pula memang terkenal dengan sifat mengalah dan bertolak ansur.

  34. ah, farid hajar and 'ini rindu' comes to mind. supposedly the first indon rap song. and of course, i love that lovely shanty, once dj of mtv indonesia.

    anyway here's sharing the lyrics of ini rindu... am listening to it as i type this..


    Sebelum aku tahu akan artinya cinta
    Terlena ku dibawa nya ke sana
    Setelah dia pergi baru aku mengerti
    Kutelah jatuh cinta kepadanya

    Reff :

    Ooooo…aku rindu
    katakan pada nya aku rindu
    Ooo burung nyanyikan lah
    katakan pada nya aku rindu

    Rap :

    Apabila cinta singgah di hati
    Bola mata sesat ku tak memandang
    Melihat api seperti air
    Dan melihat air laksana api
    Meskipun banyaknya nasehat asmara
    Namun tiada ada satupun pengobat rindu
    Telingapun tuli mata jadi buta
    Begitunya panasnya demam asmara
    Mulutpun bisu lidah pun keluh
    Karena cinta

    Biarlah cinta berjuta-juta menggoda jiwa
    Biarlah hati berkeping-keping asal kau ada di sisiku

  35. Anonymous3:17 pm

    Love all their teak furniture, what artistry! Their songs are also the choice songs by Bintang RTM/Bakat TV finalists (and eventual winners) such as Sudirman's Seruling Bambu, Norlaila Ayoub's Minah Gadis Dusun and Ramlah Ram's "kumis tipis hiasan... wajah tampan menawan...
    semua yang ada padamu... membuat hatiku tak menentu..."

  36. Kris Dayanti and most of Anuar Zain's song written by indonesian.people says i'm not patriotic BUT i am patriotic to all thing sacred on mother earth except the bungling FOOLS in malaysia guvernment

  37. Anonymous3:32 pm

    They've got great badminton players.

  38. Bro' Rocky...

    This is a comment I posted on Unspun's blog, verbatim -

    I am Malaysian Oilfield Professional (euphemism for glorified roughneck) living Balikpapan, KALTIM.

    Being pigeon-holed from birth as ethnically ‘Malay’, in reality I am a 3rd generation Minang, maternal side and 5th or 6th generation Bugis from my paternal side. Which is ironic, right across the Straits where I work lies Makassar, a place where I’ve never been and a city where my forefathers once decided to abandon in their pinisi. But then I read in some anthropology text that Bugis are a cross between Arab and Chinese anyway…

    What I like? Hmmm . . . too numerous to mention -lah . Food, of course (Ayam Penyek, Nasi Padang) ,culture, music, spirit and will of the people, staying resolute in the face of adversity and all that. Religious tolerance. The way women call me in their unique lilting seductive voice… ‘Mas, mas’. .. I liked it so much that I can imagine myself still working in Indonesa until I retire…

    The other thing, I don’t know how to say it but I just feel like I “belong” here. Being here, living and working among its people feels natural to me. On ther hand, I sometimes feel like a foreigner or outsider when I’m in K.L. Don’t know why.

    Nuraina is right. In terms of music, eveything the Malays in Malaysia do musically is borrowed from Indonesia. We are not even close.. well, exccept for occasional inroads made by Sheila M, Siti N, Raihan, Slam & Search.

    Unspun is also correct. The real malays are actually a minority when you look at the archipelago at large. Only UMNO is interested in perpetuating Malay-this Malay-that. The rest don’t really care…

    Frankly, I don’t see myself as a Malay. Just a Malaysian with Indonesian roots, that's all. That’s why I can’t understand Malay chauvinism one bit… People like Tg. Adnan, frankly makes me ashamed to call myself a Malay… And that about sums it all, there’s good and bad people everywhere - no matter what race or "suku” you're from…

  39. Anonymous4:01 pm

    kenapa semuanya berkisar dengan lagu. pernah tak kita terfikir bahawa tidak lama dahulu (100 tahun lebih sahaja) malaysia dan indonesia merupakan satu rumpun bangsa yang rakyatnya bebas berhijrah. sebelum perjanjian inggeris dan belanda yang memecahkan jajahan pentadbiran kerajaan melayu. disebabkan pentadbiran moden sekarang kita kena ikut sempadan negara masing-masing. kita terbahagi oleh kerana penjajahan inggeris dan belanda. mereka telah berjaya memecahkan rumpun bangsa kita dengan begitu licik sekali. sejarah adalah sebahagian daripada kehidupan kita untuk dijadikan tauladan.

  40. Anonymous11:21 pm

    I love borobudur, broery marantika songs, sup buntut (oxtail soup), jus sirsak (durian belanda juice), and my faithful and trustworthy indonesian maid...(hey, im a woman, so no wrong ideas, k?)

  41. me simple - dangdut, and the women of Banyuwangi.

  42. Anonymous11:50 pm

    I agree with kugaris. Toer's books (malay and english versions) are some of the best that I have read. i think indonesians are very creative. Look at their songs, video clips...malaysian's pale in comparison...

  43. Tempeh, I cant live without tempeh and its originally Indon, Mustika Ratu hair tonic and Marshanda the child actress from 'bidadari'.

  44. Anonymous12:26 pm

    Salam, Bro.
    Banyak yang saya suka dan kagum tentang Indonesia, terutama tetraloginya almarhum Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Begitu juga esei-esei Goenawan Mohamad (boleh lihat/baca di laman Catatan Pinggir)dan sajak-sajak Taufiq Ismail serta WS Rendra. Perhatikan sajak WS Rendra ini yang boleh juga kita gunakan untuk menyinggung suasana kacau-balau di negara kita.


    Aku tulis pamplet ini
    karena lembaga pendapat umum
    ditutupi jaring labah-labah
    Orang-orang bicara dalam kasak-kusuk,
    dan ungkapan diri ditekan
    menjadi peng - iya - an
    Apa yang terpegang hari ini
    bisa luput besok pagi
    Ketidakpastian merajalela.
    Di luar kekuasaan kehidupan menjadi teka-teki
    menjadi marabahaya
    menjadi isi kebun binatang
    Apabila kritik hanya boleh lewat saluran rasmi,
    maka hidup akan menjadi sayur tanpa garam
    Lembaga pendapat umum tidak mengandung pertanyaan.
    Tidak mengandung perdebatan
    Dan akhirnya menjadi monopoli kekuasaan
    Aku tulis pamplet ini
    karena pamplet bukan tabu bagi penyair
    Aku inginkan merpati pos.
    Aku ingin memainkan bendera-bendera semaphore di tanganku
    Aku ingin membuat isyarat asap kaum Indian.
    Aku tidak melihat alasan
    kenapa harus diam tertekan dan termangu.
    Aku ingin secara wajar kita bertukar kabar.
    Duduk berdebat menyatakan setuju dan tidak setuju.
    Kenapa ketakutan menjadi tabir pikiran?
    Kekhawatiran telah mencemarkan kehidupan.
    Ketegangan telah mengganti pergaulan pikiran yang merdeka.
    Matahari menyinari air mata yang berderai menjadi api.
    Rembulan memberi mimpi pada dendam.
    Gelombang angin menyingkapkan keluh kesah
    yang teronggok bagai sampah
    Kegamangan. Kecurigaan.

    Aku tulis pamplet ini
    karena kawan dan lawan adalah saudara
    Di dalam alam masih ada cahaya.
    Matahari yang tenggelam diganti rembulan.
    Lalu besok pagi pasti terbit kembali.
    Dan di dalam air lumpur kehidupan,
    aku melihat bagai terkaca :
    ternyata kita, toh, manusia !

  45. - Bali
    - Distro
    - D'jarums

  46. I love the Indonesia journalist who, right after the Boxing Day Tsunami, at a Press conference when Japan announced it wanted to give US$500 million to Aceh, asked this question:

    "Given our history of corruption, are you sure you want to give us that much money?"

    That, my friends, are the testicles of journalism hardly seen in this country.

    I love Indonesian TV shows, actors and actresses.

    I love Jamrud.

    Above all, I love the Indonesian people for building Malaysia to what it is today.

    Without Indonesian workers doing jobs Malaysians don't want to, we would not have our tall buildings and our LRT systems.

    And I do love the fact that despite all the oppression our people has shoved up their asses, the Indonesians have yet to declare war on us.

    If it was me, I would have been a suicide bomber a long time ago.

  47. Anonymous11:09 am

    Why must I love/admire about the Indonesians ...

    Baik I dok admire/love my own country ... kalau u orang rasa dah suka sangat negara orang ... gi lah tinggal sana. I'm sure ramai orang seberang yang nak tinggal kat sini .. barter trade le .. setakat lagu aje yang dok admire buek apa??

  48. Rasa Sayange is a Malaysian song when sung in Malaysia. Likewise Singaporean when in Singapore and Indonesian when in Indonesia.

    In other words, it is a Nusantara song. As far as I can remember, the song existed before Merdeka in Malaya, Singapore and Indonesia.

    Geographically Nusantara means the Malay Archipelago which includes Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia.

  49. Anonymous8:58 am

    elloo anonymous....

    Indon also have alter-ego to Thailand's Hadyai, Koh Samui,Chiangmai & Bangkok la..

    Try Medan, Denpasar, Bali & Jakarta.. sama saja! if u know what i mean..

    Thailand, Philipines & Indonesia all the same.. i love those countries..forget their sosiopolitics & economy..

    the only thing i don't like much is their songs, neither do ours (typical cintan-cintun.. what a dork!) ..prefer Mozart lyrics..hahaha.. :P

  50. Anonymous2:39 pm

    sampoerna hijau 14

  51. Despite pro and contra comments, would it be a ridiculous, if you guys thought you guys have a right to grab a shirt from the man that poorer than you? 'coz you guys knews and think,"Tak mangapalah, he already that poor, grab one thing from him can not make him much poorer".

    No offense to any parties here, as I, myself and family from 1998 till I am married and have a lovely babygirl, always love and enjoyed and keep visit Malaysia tourist destinations as Penang, KL and Malacca. I even do promotion to my family and friends to say that Malaysia is clean and the people are great to the way they provide a seat to a pregnant woman in public transport, and I am sad with Indonesia Tourism Board that can not do the campaign that as good as Malaysia.

    The point is this "Rasa Sayange" song is totally for COMMERCIAL purpose and provided by Tourism Malaysia. How come Malaysia use another nation's folksong to promote their own country? This would be different if the song has just sang by people of Malaysia and not into a huge publish medium.

  52. Anonymous1:02 pm

    Hi Terry,

    Malaysian government have to keep their minds of "Serumpun". If not, they will potentially lost to claim some wonderful culture and uniquely ethnic product like batik, sarong etc, songs. cause what? they know that they can not reproducing any high quality ethnically product from their people...(even their national anthem was from the old song in Indonesia called "Terang Bulan"