Medan University academician says such provocation is aimed at dividing the people of both countries.
MEDAN: Indonesians have been urged to not be easily influenced by acts of provocation initiated by certain quarters to instil hatred towards Malaysians.
Medan University social sciences lecturer Dr Flores Tanjung said such provocation was aimed at dividing the people of the two countries and would only prove detrimental to Indonesians.
“I have four years’ experience in Malaysia and have conducted research on the people of Kampar there. My research shows that Kampar descendants in the country still practise the customs and culture of the Kampar community.”
“This proves that we are of the same lineage,” she said in a Malaysia-Indonesia Goodwill Forum, organised by the consulate-general of Malaysia in Medan here yesterday.
She said Indonesians should understand that the culture of the Malays, Javanese and other ethnic groups in Malaysia were almost similar to the culture of the same ethnic groups in Indonesia, and this has given rise to the issue of “stealing Indonesian culture”.
Flores said the people of Indonesia should be proud that their culture has spread far and wide throughout Malaysia as both countries share common ancestors.
She said Malaysia-Indonesia ties had existed for hundreds of years as history has proven that the Malay sultanate was an empire that had stretched from Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra, including Riau Archipelago and Siak.
“The people of Malaysia and Indonesia should know these facts to avoid any misunderstanding over socio-cultural issues which had often been the subject of dispute,” she said.
Meanwhile, Indonesia Bernama Bureau Chief Azeman Ariffin, who also delivered a talk at the forum, said the media should play its role to convey a positive message and educate the people in creating a spirit of brotherhood between the people of both countries.
“They should continue to highlight positive articles to boost the existing close relationship and avoid bad publicity that may not benefit both parties,” he said.