M’sians, Indonesians have right to champion own culture: Rais

PADANG: Malaysians and Indonesians should be seen as having the right to champion their own cultural heritage which have many similarities since time immemorial.

CONGRATULATIONS: Rais (left)  congratulates Marlis on his appointment as the  new West Sumatera governor while Marlis’ wife Wiwik Marlis Rahman looks on. — Bernama photo

CONGRATULATIONS: Rais (left) congratulates Marlis on his appointment as the new West Sumatera governor while Marlis’ wife Wiwik Marlis Rahman looks on. — Bernama photo

More...Information Communica-tion and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the people of both countries should not stake claims over such cultural heritage that had been inherited through generations.

He said this was because many of the Javanese and Minangkabau who originated from Indonesia had migrated to Malaysia since hundreds of years ago and had been practising their culture in their new place.

“Therefore, no group should stake claims when it comes to cultural migration; that the cultural forms belong to them only.

“It had been up to the migrating community (whether to continue practising their culture in their new place),” said Rais after attending the ceremony to mark the appointment of Marlis Rahman as the new governor of West Sumatra here yesterday.

Rais was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Masnah Rais.

Marlis replaces Gamawan Fauzi who has been appointed Home Affairs Minister in Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Cabinet.

Rais said what Malaysians and Indonesians should do in future was to jointly promote their culture which was actually their strength despite the possible exis-tence of groups suspicious of the development.

“Cultural exhange programmes will be good for both countries, and God willing, we will later include writers in the programmes.”

Rais hoped that claims over cultural heritage ownership would cease and the people of both countries should instead find ways to strengthen ties through exchanges in culture and the arts.

“If there are voices making such cultural heritage claims, I say to them that I speak the Malay language, which is also Bahasa Indonesia, and spoken by over 300 million people in the Malay Archipelago.

“No one can stake claims over the language. And language is culture,” he said.

On the unnecessity of staking culture claims, Rais cited the Chinese lion dance which was performed everywhere including in London and New York, but the people of China would not claim that it belonged to them only.

“There is also no cultural issue between the United Kingdom and United States. There is English culture in American culture.”

Rais also said that his ministry would promote more cultural programmes between Malaysia and Indonesia soon. — Bernama

CONGRATULATIONS: Rais (left)  congratulates Marlis on his appointment as the  new West Sumatera governor while Marlis’ wife Wiwik Marlis Rahman looks on. — Bernama photo

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