I thought the Malaysian and Indonesian media had long established a good relationship based on cooperation, impartial news exchange and mutual understanding. It was just a few weeks ago that Info, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim co-chaired a 'Malindo' media meeting in Acheh to take such a relationship to a new height.
However, the media practitioners in Indonesia still find 'bash-up-Malaysia' as a selling point in their business. To them, any issue that can arouse anti-Malaysia sentiment across their 17,000 islands would add credence to their principles of journalism-for-business.
It is sad to note that the Camar Bulan and Tanjung Datu issue in west Kalimantan is best a spin. They are happy enough to incite their 'easy-to-provoke' citizens to stage a rowdy demonstration at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, threatening its diplomats and staffs and condemning Kuala Lumpur for a crime that never took place.
No matter how much assurances were made by their government - that Malaysia did not grab even a square foot of its land in that territory - its hardliner politicians are still continuing with their undiplomatic assault against Malaysia.
To make matters worse, the Indonesian media seemed to reject explanation given by their ministers and its army chief Laksamana Agus Suhartono on Friday that there was no land grab by Malaysia on any Indonesian region. To their media players, defusing the issue would mean their readers will condemn them as liars.
Ironically, they chose to be liars in protecting their business interest rather than submitting to the spirit of cooperation with their Malaysian counterparts. The code of journalism is not that important anymore.
Agus himself put a blame on the local media for unscrupulous reporting about the issue, that they were the ones who blew it out of context and toying it around to the discontentment of the people.
Not surprisingly, some of the 3 million Indonesians in Malaysia are beginning to show some signs of protest when they grouped up to provoke the locals in Sarawak and parts of the Peninsular. So, the Indonesian media will not be bothered at all should such a provocation turns ugly. Or, perhaps they would like to see both nations enter war!
I have been reading reports by some of the Indonesian media. Most of them did not try to defuse they tension from heightening. Their motive and agenda can be put to question. Where is their honesty and their spirit of Nusantara?
Here are some of their reports:
Tempo Interactive - The House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission I will monitor the border areas in Camar Bulan and Tanjung Datu... Commission head Mahfudz Siddiq said... that the Malaysia border marker had shifted by 3.3km.
Jakarta Globe - Tubagus Hasanudin, a deputy chairman of Commission I from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), earlier claimed that border markers had been destroyed in Camar Bulan and Tanjung Datu subdistricts in West Kalimantan, and that 1,400 hectares of land could potentially be lost to Malaysia. Lawmakers also said they had received reports of Malaysian border patrol officers evicting Indonesians in the area and groups destroying boundary markers.
Republika - ... dari berbagai permasalahan yang terjadi di wilayah perbatasan yang ada di Kalbar, termasuk di Dusun Camar Bulan, Kabupaten Sambas, diharapkan pemerintah pusat bisa segera melakukan peninjauan kembali dan menolak hasil pengukuran bersama garis batas Negara Indonesia dengan Malaysia yang dibuat pada tahun 1975, serta memperbaharui peta-peta yang telah diukur bersama yang tidak sesuai dengan peta asli peninggalan pemerintah Inggris dan Belanda... Kami selaku pemerintah provinsi dan instansi terkait akan bekerja sama untuk tetap melakukan tindakan penguasaan efektif di OBP Tanjung Datu, Perairan Gosong Niger dan Camar Bulan sebagai wilayah NKRI yang selama ini menjadi polemik dengan Malaysia, agar kasus Simpadan dan Ligitan tidak terulang kembali...
Kompas -Seperti diberitakan, dugaan pencaplokan wilayah Indonesia pertama kali dilontarkan oleh Wakil Ketua Komisi I DPR TB Hasanuddin. Mantan sekretaris militer itu menyebut wilayah Camar Bulan berkurang hampir 1.500 hektar dan wilayah Tanjung Datu sepanjang 800 meter garis pantai. Di sana, kata Hasanuddin, Malaysia sudah membangun taman nasional serta budidaya penyu
Liputan6 - Persoalan ini juga menyita perhatian mantan Presiden Megawati Sukarnoputri. Istri Ketua MPR Taufik Kiemas ini menyatakan sudah menjadi kewajiban pemerintah menutup semua batas wilayah Negara Kesatuan RI baik darat, laut, dan udara...
Kompas - Wakil Ketua Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR) Priyo Budi Santoso mengaku mendapat informasi bahwa tim negosiator yang dikirim untuk membicarakan batas wilayah di Kalimantan Barat mengalah dalam perundingan. Akibatnya, wilayah Indonesia di perbatasan berkurang.
These are only a few. What's more saddening is the fact that former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who once was dubbed a 'darling' in Malaysia-Indonesia relations, is turning her back on us.
And back to their media, I do not see their sincerity as a friend, not even in honoring their professionalism...