Jakarta, IO – Foreign Ministry (Kemlu) spokesperson Lalu Muhamad Iqbal said that the Indonesian government does not want to make a fuss over the controversy of patriotic song “Halo-Halo Bandung” being edited into “Hello Kuala Lumpur”.
“It’s the private individual doing this, not the government, there’s no need for the Indonesian government to be too reactive,” said Lalu, per CNNIndonesia, Friday (15/9).
A Malaysian YouTube account called ‘Lagu Kanak TV’ sparked strong reactions from Indonesian netizens because the tune and lyrics used in the song “Hello Kuala Lumpur” is uncannily similar to Indonesian patriotic song “Halo-Halo Bandung” by Ismail Marzuki. The video was uploaded in May 2020.
There were only small differences in the lyrics, such as the word “beta” being changed into “saya”, “periangan” into “keriangan” and the phrase “sekarang telah menjadi lautan api” into “sekarang sudah semakin maju, aku suka sekali”.
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) in Kuala Lumpur has traced the owner of the Lagu Kanak TV account. It was later found that the account was managed from India.
Accusations of cultural plagiarism have upset Indonesia-Malaysia bilateral ties. A similar incident happened when Malaysia used “Rasa Sayange” to promote the country’s tourism and as the opening song during SEA Games 2017 in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim recently acknowledged that “Rasa Sayange” belongs to Indonesia.
“Actually, PM Anwar Ibrahim has said that there are people who don’t understand that Rasa Sayange is an Indonesian song because they don’t understand history,” Iqbal said.
“So that is the position of the Malaysian government which really appreciates what we have.” (un)