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NEWS UPDATES 25 August 2009

Indonesia protests Malaysia’s use of Bali dance in tourism ad

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Indonesia has sent a letter to the Malaysian government to protest against the use of Balinese traditional "Pendet" dance by that country for promoting its tourism industry, reported state news agency Antara.

"We have sent a protest to the Malaysian ministry of culture and tourism over the case," Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik said.

He said he had launched a protest against the depiction of the dance in the Malaysian tourism advertisement broadcast in the Discovery Channel program under the title "Enigmatic Malaysia."

He said the letter was submitted directly on Monday to the Malaysian ministry of culture and tourism in Kuala Lumpur. "We want immediate clarification over the problem," he said.

The Indonesian minister met with his Malaysian counterpart on November 10, 2007 in which the two had drafted an agreement for notification to each other and permission in case cultural products within a grey area would be used in commercial advertisements in the countries concerned.

The agreement also states that the governments of both countries would maintain the agreement by monitoring against possible violations by their respective people.

"Now they do it again by showing the ‘Pendet’ dance in their commercial television advertisement," the Indonesian minister said.

The minister urged the Malaysian government to immediately withdraw the provocative advertisement. "We also asked them to immediately answer our protest," he said.


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