A Dangerous Dance: Two Arrested for Violent Anti-Malaysia Protests
Two men were arrested over violent protests outside Malaysia’s diplomatic premises, Jakarta Police said on Wednesday, in the latest dispute about cultural theft between the nations.
Around 50 protesters hurled stones and wood at Malaysia’s cultural center last week, while others threw eggs at their embassy and burned the Malaysian flag to oppose Kuala Lumpur’s claims over two musical items.
“We arrested two men on Tuesday for the violent protests,” Jakarta Police spokesman Rikwanto told AFP.
Malaysia claimed as part of its heritage the spirit-invoking Tor-Tor dance and the Gordang Sambilan drum ensemble, both of which are traditionally performed in Indonesia’s northern Sumatra.
A presidential spokesman said that Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa held talks with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, who on Monday condemned the violence.
The predominantly Muslim neighbors share a common culture and historically many Indonesians have migrated to Malaysia, but disputes between the nations are not new.
A 2007 disagreement over the use of a folk song that originated in Indonesia’s Maluku islands in a Malaysian tourism advert caused a fallout while stories of alleged mistreatment of Indonesian workers by their Malaysian bosses have caused public anger for years.