2009 Pendet controversy

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In 2009, an advertisement promoting Enigmatic Malaysia featured Balinese Pendet dancers which it incorrectly showed to be a Malaysian dance, which caused anger in Indonesia.

The advertisement was shown by a private company in Singapore for a Discovery Channel programme on Malaysia.[1] This prompted protest in Indonesia.[2][3] Demands were made from the local governments, cultural historians as well as the tourism ministry in Indonesia for Malaysia to clarify the situation.[4] The Malaysian government offered their apologies for the mistake done by the company, which was rejected by the Indonesian tourism minister, since the apology was given informally by phone, the Indonesian tourism minister demanded a written apology to make it more accountable.[5]

The Malaysian government says it was not responsible for the advertisement,[6] and later said that Discovery TV sent an apology letter to the two countries, which said that the network was responsible for the advertisement.[7]

Many Indonesian editorials and news stories continue to report that the offending clip is a Malaysian government advertisement despite Discovery’s Singapore official apology.

Indonesian ultra-nationalists held anti-Malaysia demonstrations. The group Gemars[8] began a registration for war against Malaysia and has stockpiled food, medicine and weapons including samurai swords and ninja throwing stars.[9] A group of armed men set up road-blocks to check for Malaysians on a Jakarta street before police contained their activity. The group later dispersed itself without finding any Malaysians.[10] Malaysian students of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta had rotten eggs thrown at them by local undergraduates.[11]

The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Malaysia, was contacted by Foreign Minister of Malaysia to express Malaysia’s position on the issue that has resulted in the deterioration of the bilateral relations of both countries. The Ambassador of Indonesia has contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia as well as the Chief of the Indonesian National Police, who have assured that necessary measures will be taken to ensure the security of Malaysian citizens in Indonesia.[12]

National Security Council secretary, Datuk Mohamed Tajudeen Abdul Wahab have instructed all Malaysian borders, which were manned by the military, had been tightened and enforcement agencies have been told to gear up for any possibility of members of the group penetrating Malaysian shores. This is in response to Indonesia’s Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat (Bendera) threat to wage war by sending 1,500 troops — armed with sharpened bamboo — to Malaysia by air, land and sea on 08/10/2009. The group is the same one which had set up roadblocks in Menteng, Central Jakarta last month, in search of Malaysians.,[13][14]

List of Indonesian universities where students conducted the burning of Malaysian flags[edit]


  1. ^ Google's cache-Discovery TV apologises for Pendet dance
  2. ^ Discovery TV apologises for Pendet dance
  3. ^ Niken Prathivi and Irawaty Wardany (2009-09-03). "Protests over presence of Pendet dance in Malaysia’s tourism ad continue". Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 29 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  4. ^ I Wayan Juniartha (2009-08-28). "Pendet, the dance that rocks the cradle". Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  5. ^ Dessy Sagita (2009-08-27). "Indonesian Minister Rejects Malaysian Pendet Apology". The Jakarta Globe. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  6. ^ INDONESIA URGED TO RESOLVE MISUNDERSTANDING OVER PENDET DANCE; Darshini Kandasamy (2009-08-25). "‘Pendet’ not a Tourism Malaysia ad". Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  7. ^ "Tourism Ministry Malaysia Received Apologise Letter From Discovery TV Network". Bernama. 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  8. ^ Relawan Gasak Malaysia Mulai Latihan Militer
  9. ^ Nationalist Groups Collect Registrations For 'War' Against Malaysia; http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Calls+for+%E2%80%98war%E2%80%99+in+Indonesia-Malaysia+dance+spat&id=MzE1MDk= Calls for ‘war’ in Indonesia-Malaysia dance spat]
  10. ^ Armed Indonesian Nationalists Block Road In Hunt for Malaysians; [http://thejakartaglobe.com/home/armed-indonesian-nationalists-block-road-in-hunt-for-malaysians/328838 Google catch = Armed Indonesian Nationalists Block Road In Hunt for Malaysians
  11. ^ Attacks on Malaysians in Jakarta the work of small group.
  13. ^ New Straits Times - Security on alert for 'invasion'
  14. ^ Police: Don’t worry about Bendera’s ‘ganyang’ threat
  15. ^ Mahasiswa di Kalteng Bakar Bendera Malaysia, Polkam / Rabu, 2 September 2009 12:58 WIB
  16. ^ Mahasiswa Bogor Bakar Bendera Malaysia
  17. ^ Buntut "Pendet", Mahasiswa Banten Bakar Bendera Malaysia.
  21. ^ Mahasiswa Universitas Muhammadiyah Ponorogo Protes Malaysia
  22. ^ Ganyang Malaysia Diwarnai Bakar Bendera Dan Kesurupan
  23. ^ Wednesday, 9 March 2005 - detikcom - Gambar Bendera Malaysia Dibakar di Depan Kedubes
  24. ^ Wednesday, 9 March 2005 - detikcom - Gambar Bendera Malaysia Dibakar di Depan Kedubes
  25. ^ Radar Banyuwangi, Kamis, 3 September 2009, Mahasiswa Bakar Bendera Malaysia
  26. ^ Monday, 26 November 2007 - detikcom - Berang Reog Ponorogo Dijiplak, Mahasiswa Bakar Bendera Malaysia
  27. ^ Monday, 26 November 2007 - detikcom - Berang Reog Ponorogo Dijiplak, Mahasiswa Bakar Bendera Malaysia
  28. ^ Mahasiswa Untag Samarinda Bakar Bendera Malaysia