Oct 2, 2007

Indonesian Lawmaker to sue Malaysia for the "Rasa Sayang" song

Soon someone is going to sue Malaysia for using "Negaraku", which is similar to a Hawaiian song.

JAKARTA, Oct 2 (Bernama) -- An Indonesian lawmaker has called for an immediate response from the government to Malaysia's use of the traditional Indonesian song "Rasa Sayange" in its "Truly Asia" tourism campaign.

House of Representatives member Hakam Naja of the National Mandate Party said if the government could prove the song belonged to Indonesia, it should sue the Malaysian government.

"The government needs to check on its origin, whether it is from Indonesia or not," the deputy chairman of House Commission X overseeing education and tourism was quoted in a front-page report of the popular "Jakarta Post" daily, today.

Rasa Sayange is believed to have originated in Maluku where it has been sung for generations by people to express their love for the environment.

Hakam said Malaysia has in the past claimed ownership of traditional Indonesian handicrafts such as batik and wayang puppets.

"Such claims are made because of lack of action by the Indonesian government to copyright or patent the nation's heritage. In order to avoid one-sided claims, the government should patent the song immediately," he said.

He also called for an immediate inventory of the country's culture to help protect Indonesia's heritage through patents or copyrights.

"So if someone wants to use cultural elements of Indonesia, there should be compensation for the government, otherwise, other countries will keep trying to undermine us," he said.

Chairman of the Golkar Party faction at the House, Priyo Budi Santoso, as quoted in the report, said the government needed to determine whether Malaysia was using the song without Indonesia's permission.

"If they want to use Indonesia's traditional music, Malaysia should first ask for our permission because that's our country's heritage," he said.

Chairman of Indonesia's Copyright Council, Enteng Tanamal, said suing Malaysia was unlikely to succeed because the song's author was unknown.

"How can we sue Malaysia if nobody knows who wrote the song?" he said, adding that: "Therefore, it's fine if Malaysia uses the song as their tourism theme song."

However, he said, the government could check with the Directorate-General for Patents or the Tourism and Culture Ministry to find the song's writer.

He said Malaysia was not the only party to claim the song.

Ambon in Maluku and Manado in North Sulawesi have been arguing over ownership of the song for generations.

More news from Malaysiakini

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Anonymous said...

What are they talking about? They should consult an IP lawyer before making statements like this. It really shows the intellectual quality of these people.

Anonymous said...

This song originated from India. its a Hindi song. Ask someone from India.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone Rasa Sayang is a portugese lyric, and is sang by Goa folks and Sri Lanka folks and even Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor Leste, South Africa... what is the fuss about, Indonesia should not claim the opsng belongs to them, then what about their culture is it Indianise with strong Hindu influence.

Anonymous said...

What? Rasa Sayange is actually from the moon. It's first heard when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. Then the crew of Apollo XI recomposed the song when they returned song and brought that song to everywhere when they traveled. Clear enuff???

Anonymous said...

Oh, i heard it was american!

Well, my friends, creating such an art it is not that easy and it really natural for somepeople that being raised with that song to claim it. Anyway, we already know who create the song anyway : Franky Hehanusa in 1940.

Anonymous said...

Everyone must be agreed that Plagiarism is criminal, someone must be responsible for this unacceptable act.