Approximately a year ago, I have commented upon the Indonesian nationalist group, Bendera, which then accused Malaysians of taking advantage of Indonesian language.

Besides that, Bendera also accused Malaysians of taking advantage of Indonesian maids who are stationed in Malaysia.

In last year’s episode, Bendera threatened to infiltrate Sabah and Sarawak and attack Malaysia with spears, blowpipes, cangkuls and hoes.

This year however, Bendera has seen it fit to again pick up a quarrel with Malaysia. This time around, Bendera has been brought about its protest after the August 13th detention of 3 Indonesian maritime officers by Malaysia after the officers held 7 Malaysian fishermen.

To show their displeasure, the nationalist group has seen it fit to throw human faeces into the compounds of the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta. The group has also made a mockery of our national flag, the Jalur Gemilang during last Monday’s demonstration.

It should be reminded that 3 things foreigners and foreign countries should refrain from doing against us. One of them is stepping upon our nation’s flag. Two is to refrain from ridiculing our national anthem. And three obviously is to accord due respect to our Embassy overseas.

Bendera should consider the good relationship which Indonesian workers currently enjoy with Malaysian employers. For this, permit me to relate to you a few instances which I personally have encountered.

A wan tan mee shop has an Indonesian helper at her establishment. She has reputedly been working for her Chinese employer for some 7 – 10 years. Her employer treats her like a family member.

Just recently, her employer made a decision to purchase her a new Honda motorcycle. For this their Indonesian maid has to pass her undang-undang or Highway Code test first.

The above demonstrates the close affiliation between her employer and herself. For your information, the Indonesian maid refers to her employer as “mummy”.

I have always accorded the highest respect for all things Indonesian. While pursuing my studies in Penang in the seventies, I took an ardent interest in Indonesian fiction and novels, majoring in fiction Indonesian and reading works of famous Indonesian authors as Mochtar Lubis, Pramoedya Anantoer Toes and reading well known works like Sendja Di Jakarta and Atheist.

The present spat between Bendera and our nation, in my opinion, should not have taken place at all. Good bilateral relations are worth more than the squabble which has resulted in a minor misunderstanding.

So far, our country has been very understanding with regards to Bendera’s actions. As our foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said recently, Malaysia’s patience has been tested. It would not tolerate the situation for much longer.

Although Bendera has its own political and domestic problems in Indonesia, Malaysia should not be drawn into it. Malaysia should not be drawn its internal squabble as a victim,

The Indonesian government however, has condemned Bendera’s actions towards its neighbor, Malaysia. It however, has assured Malaysians working and visiting Indonesia of their safety.

The Indonesian government has given its assurance, that it is its responsibility to protect all nationals, including Malaysians visiting and doing business in Indonesia.

However, despite the assurances given by the Jakarta authorities, security around the Malaysian embassy and the residence of the Malaysian Ambasssador Datuk Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin, has been beefed up. We hope that the present dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia will be settled soon.

It augurs well for the good relationship which has existed for so long between our two countries. In fact, Malaysia has always looked towards Indonesia as a big brother. Such close relationship should in fact continue to exist.

To end this short article, the Malaysian government has cautioned the Bendera nationalist group, that its patience with it has been running thin, following unruly protests of Indonesians against the country.

We sincerely hope that the Indonesian government will take immediate and concrete actions against Bendera to stop the unwarranted behavior of some unruly citizens.

In the latest announcement in conjunction with the national day celebration recently, International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, Datuk Mukhriz Mahatir said that recent anti-Malaysia demonstrations which were held in Jakarta, the Indonesian government is responsible for the safety of all investors in that country.

Likewise, the Malaysia authorities do not wish deplorable incidents to mar good relations which currently exist between the 2 countries.

Datuk Muhriz however, reinserted that the recent demonstrations, especially in Jakarta could have been organized by third parties out to jeopardize the good relations between Indonesia and Malaysia.

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