Tuesday, August 25, 2009

‘Pendet’ not a Tourism Malaysia ad

Promotional clip was put together by Discovery Channel

THE so-called Tourism Malaysia advertisement that ruffled the feathers of Indonesians over depiction of its Balinese pendet dancers was not even a Tourism Malaysia advertisement after all.


MISUNDERSTOOD: You Tube posting of Indonesian news Metro Hari Ini, which aired part of the controversial promotional clip, featuring images of two Balinese dancers performing the pendet

The controversial commercial in question was actually a promotional clip put together by Discovery Channel to highlight a series of documentaries, produced by KRU Studios, called Enigmatic Malaysia aimed at highlighting Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage.

In a statement sent to Malay Mail, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific stated the image of Balinese dancers were used in a clip, aired on Discovery Channel, to promote the documentary series Enigmatic Malaysia and the image of the dancers, performing the pendet, were sourced from an independent third party.

It added, “Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific regrets that the image of a Balinese dancer, sourced from an independent third party, was used in the promotion of the series Enigmatic Malaysia”.

It said the dancers were not featured in any way in the actual programme and the clip had since been removed from all feeds.

The statement further read, “Discovery has the deepest respect for the traditions, cultures, and practises of all races and nations, and it is not our intention to cause any misunderstanding or distress to any party”.

Indonesian artists, its media and citizens had condemned the advert, which one Indonesian TV news segment Metro Hari Ini, posted on YouTube, claiming it was part of Malaysia Truly Asia 2009 advertisement.

They stated the traditional pendet dance is of Balinese Hindu origin and had no place in a Malaysian Tourism commercial. One of the Enigmatic Malaysia series entitled The Melakan Portugese — Preserving Their Heritage had last year been awarded the Sarasvati Award 5th Special Jury Prize at the sixth Bali International
Film Festival 2008 on Oct 11.

At press time Malay Mail was unable to get a response from KRU Studios with regards to the allegations.

Yesterday Malay Mail reported the furore of the Indonesians over the commercial in which the Jakarta Post reported a rally was staged on Aug 22 by dozens of Balinese artists, as well as the Regional Representatives Council members representing Bali and ISI scholars, at Denpasar Cultural Park.

In the Jakarta Post report, it stated the Antara news agency had quoted rally coordinator Prof Wayan Dibia of Denpasar Indonesian Institute of Art (ISI) that the two dancers featured in the clip were alumni of ISI.

In the Metro Hari Ini news segment posted on YouTube, it stated the depiction of the two dancers in the clip was tantamount to Malaysia staking claim over the cultural dance and stated this was not the first time Malaysia had sought to claim part of its neighbouring county’s heritage as its own.

Aside from Malaysia’s claim on batik in 2007, controversy reigned when the Rasa Sayang folk song was used in a Malaysian Tourism commercial, a song that the Indonesians claim hails from Maluku of the Indonesian archipelago.

Indonesia seeks clarification on pendet dance

JAKARTA: The Indonesian government will check if the use of the popular Balinese pendet dance in Malaysia’s tourism ads was the latter’s attempt to claim it as their own, reported the Jakarta Post.

Its Culture and Tourism Minister, Jero Wacik, reportedly said there were no reasons for Malaysia to exploit the pendet dance without permission from the Indonesian government.

“I will directly talk with the culture minister of Malaysia on the use of pendet dance and to find out who made the advertisements,” Jero said in an interview aired on a private televison channel on Sunday.

“The entire world knows the Pendet dance belongs to Bali. So it is a must for Malaysia to get the permits first from Indonesia before using it. I will also find out whose project it was and if it was funded privately or by the Malaysian government.”

He said Malaysia’s tourism ads for “Visit Malaysia Year” with the pendet dance were aired on the Discovery

Member of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) Ida Ayu Agung Mas and Balinese artists staged a protest against the Malaysian government at the Denpasar Art Centre on Saturday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah also said on Sunday that his office would clarify the case with the Malaysian government.

“It is very unlikely Malaysia wants to claim it since the dance has been very popular in Bali.”

Faizasyah called on Indonesians to avoid being emotional in response to the issue, since it was not clear whether the ads were made by the government or private firms.

Source : MalayMail

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