INDONESIA: A viral video on the internet has sparked controversy as it allegedly features a song titled “Hello Kuala Lumpur,” suspected of plagiarizing the Indonesian national song “Halo-Halo Bandung.”
The video in question is hosted on the YouTube channel “Lagu Kanak Tv,” originating from Malaysia, which has been active since 2016 and boasts a substantial following of 781,000 subscribers.
Hello Kuala Lumpur: A Familiar Tune?
The disputed song, “Hello Kuala Lumpur,” serves as the opening soundtrack in the video. Lasting for 1 minute and 37 seconds, the melody of “Hello Kuala Lumpur” is then followed by other children’s songs.
Furthermore, in the video’s description section, the YouTube channel claims that the song is a patriotic Malaysian composition.
As of Tuesday (12 Sep), the video has garnered over 277,000 views on YouTube. Interestingly, the comments section has been disabled, raising questions about the channel’s stance on the controversy.
Social Media Echoes Controversy
The video quickly spread across various social media platforms, igniting conversations among users.
Many expressed their opinions on the matter. User @okezonenews commented, “The grass is indeed greener on the other side, isn’t it?”
While @yunuy** added, “It turns out Malaysia hasn’t only copied ‘Halo-Halo Bandung.’ There are many instances, from ‘Lihat Kebunku‘ to ‘Naik Delman.’ Do they have no other creativity? It seems they just copy everything.”
Meanwhile, @pemainca***** wrote, “No longer surprised with Malaysia…”
Halo-Halo Bandung: A Symbol of Pride
“Halo-Halo Bandung” is a song deeply cherished by the people of Bandung and Indonesia at large. It is not only renowned for its beautiful melody but also for its profound meaning, which celebrates the beauty of Bandung and the unforgettable memories of days gone by. The song was composed by Ismail Marzuki, a famous Indonesian composer, in 1946.
A Simple Song with Deep Meaning
The seemingly simple song carries a profound message. Ismail Marzuki composed it as a tribute to his hometown, Bandung, West Java, often referred to as the “City of Flowers.”
Copyright Concerns and Cultural Protection
Commenting on the controversy, Chairman of the DPR RI Commission X, Syaiful Huda, raised concerns about potential copyright infringement.
He stated, “There are two points to consider. Firstly, this could potentially fall under copyright infringement. It could be an indication of potential copyright violations, and the government should take action to protect our nation’s work.”
“Secondly,” he continued, “this is about the government’s obligation to protect copyrights and culture, which are often claimed by Malaysia. Therefore, the government must prioritize the protection of our nation’s copyrights and culture.”
Huda also highlighted instances where Indonesian cultural heritage was suddenly submitted to UNESCO by Malaysia, emphasizing the need for strong government action.
“I believe this issue, which Malaysia often claims, should become a government priority. It concerns many aspects of Indonesia’s cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. Suddenly, these are being submitted to UNESCO by Malaysia,” he stated.
“I played the video, and it’s identical to ‘Halo-Halo Bandung.’ I think we should urge the government to file a complaint.”
Calls for Action from Indonesian Officials
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the DPR RI Commission X, Dede Yusuf, called upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemenlu) to issue a formal warning to Malaysia.
He stated, “The government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, must send a warning letter to Malaysia and request clarification regarding this song.”
Indonesian Embassy Responds
In response to the controversy, the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia, Hermono, stated that they are in the process of gathering evidence related to the alleged plagiarism.
It is noteworthy that the song in question has been circulating on YouTube since 2018.
Hermono mentioned, “We are currently collecting more comprehensive information. This song has been circulating on YouTube since 2020 as a children’s song.”
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