Govt to ask Malaysia about Tortor dance claims
Tifatul Sembiring: Communications and Information Minister. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
Indonesia has demanded an explanation from Malaysia over news reporting that the latter has decided to acknowledge the North Sumatra traditional dance Tortor and musical instrument gondang sambilan (nine drums) as its own national heritage, a minister said.
Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring told reporters on Monday that his office would send an official letter to the Malaysia Information, Communications and Culture Ministry to clarify the news.
“I will send a letter to the ministry in Malaysia to shed light on the reports,” Tifatul said as quoted by tempo.co.
He said that the letter would also include historical facts about the traditional dance and musical instrument.
Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Commission X overseeing sports and culture, Agus Hermanto from the Democratic Party urged the government to record all Indonesian cultures that had not been widely known to the public, Antara reported.
Malaysia’s Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Rais Yatim was earlier quoted by Bernama news agency as saying that the traditional dance and musical instrument would soon be “acknowledged as national heritage”.
The minister said on the sidelines of the Malaysia’s Mandailing community gathering in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday that the acknowledgement would be registered under Section 67 of the National Heritage Act 2005.
“But [the acknowledgement] is with conditions such as periodic performances [of the traditional dance and music] before the public,” he said.
While the Mandailing community is mainly found in North Sumatra, Indonesia, a group of Mandailing people also live in Malaysia. (asa)