A Nation in Anger


Ngandong Beach, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta – July 2017

This article is fully an opinionated article. Yes….my opinion. Feel free to read or comment (read: moderated comment, of course).

On August 2017, my country, The Republic of Indonesia, is celebrating its 72 years of Independence. August has always been a wonderful month for the country. Suddenly every citizen becomes more nationalist than ever before. The Red & White National Flag is high up reaching the sky everywhere throughout the country. People talk about their love, admiration and passion for the country. It’s the month to be proud.

But this year, something happened. Malaysia hosted the 27th SEA GAMES this August 2017. And then…..they printed the Red & White National Flag of Indonesia upside down on the official book of SEA GAMES. WTF!!! Like…seriously??

I don’t need to share the image here. Feel free to browse or Google yourself. Use the hashtags #shameonyouMalaysia on social media to find posts relating to the matter. I found this repugnant, really. Totally unacceptable, Malaysia!!

I went to Malaysia couple of times. I like the country. I have lots of friends who are Malaysian nationals. I got no personal problem with it. But then….this takes the cake!!

As a PR, i usually check and recheck every content i make at least 3 times myself. Then 3x on my supervisor or management. In total, before the piece got out, will be at least checked 6 times. So…having a wrong content published for an international event as such, is totally unacceptable. It ruined the good relationship both countries had, it ruined the professionalism of the SEA GAMES organisers. Like seriously? In this era of fast information, it is easy as counting 1 to 10 to get such correct information. Google….pick up the phone, check and recheck!!

What makes it worst, is that the second time, a Malaysian based newspaper is doing the same thing. Have the Indonesia national flag printed upside down. What is really wrong with these people???

Come on!! National Flag is a nation symbol. It is sacred in a way. And when it is treated like this….it triggers a nation’s anger. Said the government of Malaysia have issued a proper apology to the government of Indonesia. But will that be enough? It is not only the government of Indonesia that feels hurt. It is the whole nation. Our nationalism suddenly rise up. I, myself, feels like i can be ready if i have to go to war to defend my country’s honor on this matter. This is the country where my first blood flow, where i take my first breath…..this is country that i will love till i die.

I have always been proud with my country, Indonesia, despite its shortfall. This is the country of Liem Siew King, the legendary All England Badminton Champion. This is the country of 17,000 islands archipelago, the biggest in the world. This is the country where you find one of the World’s Seven Wonder and the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, Borobudur Temple. This is the country of Mount Tambora, that shaked the world when it erupts in 1815. This is the country of Lake Toba, a lake made of a supervolcanic eruption said to be ever happen in the world. This is the country of Rendang, the no. 1 world’s most famous dishes according to CNN. This is the country of beautiful nature, hospitable people and rich culture. I’m proud to be Indonesian.

Yes…we do not really speak English like you, since we basically proud of our language, Bahasa Indonesia, and didn’t really realized to importance of speaking English until like up to 30 years of our Independence when English becomes such an important subject on our school curriculum. But still….we are much more rich in terms of language. We have different language for different part of the country, not to mention local dialects.

Yes…..we are still, sometimes, easily provoked with race, religion subjects. But that is only the uneducated people of our country, which still a lot of them. The educated ones are now more forward-thinking, positive and open minded. They accept changes, technology, the advancement of humanity.

Yes…some of us still secretly wants to leave the country and migrate, change nationality, when the government is messing with our life with its policy. But still…some of us didn’t even have the guts for leaving or trying to leave, cause secretly we love this country and every single thing that is in it.

Indonesia is a great country, a great nation. And when you are messing with its citizens, we will strike back. Do not undermine us, do not underestimate us. Do not insult our nation!

Do apologize…internationally, openly and publicly.

Who am I? I’m proud Indonesian.