Malaysia’s tourism can not be blamed for using Indonesia’s “icons”


Indonesia can not blame Malaysia for using “its icons,” like batik and Rafflesia flower in its tourism campaign because the country feels to have a sense of belonging of the icons, a minister said on Tuesday.

“Some of them feel that they are part of Indonesian culture because we are from the same root. We also live side by side. They also inherit things that Indonesians have,” said the Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda here.

That’s why, he said, Indonesians can not claim that the icons belonged only to them.

“Malaysia has many ways in promoting their tourism. That’s its right to use the icons to attract tourists,” Wirajuda said.

Some Indonesians claim Rafflesia arnoldi, the biggest flower species in the world, as belongings of Indonesia because it only lives in Sumatra province. However, according to the Singapore Library Board, the flower also lives in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

In Peninsular Malaysia, Rafflesia buds are used by women to stop internal bleeding and shrink the womb after childbirth. Men use it as an energy drink or an aphrodisiac. Thai monks use the buds to make different concoctions for different purposes.

For batik clothes, despite influence from Indonesian batik, Malaysian batik is actually distinct from its rival. It does resemble the Indonesian batik as far as technique or raw material.But, Malaysian batik is recognized by its distinct pattern and vivid colors.