The Malaysian Students Department here has advised Malaysian students in Indonesia to take care following reportedly rising anger among a small group of people over slanderous reports by the media of late.
The department has sent an SMS message to advise all Malaysian students to avoid using Jalan Diponegoro here.
The anger among the small group of people seems to have reached a serious stage following recent media reports and visuals of more than 360 people having registered as volunteers to “crush” Malaysia.
Tuesday, a group calling itself “Benteng Demokrasi Rakyat” (BENDERA) threatened to use sharpened bamboo on Malaysians using Jalan Diponegoro here.
It was reported that 50 members of BENDERA armed with these “spears” forced people using the road to show proof of their identity with the intention of detaining anyone who was Malaysian.
This act of taking the law into their own hands was reported in the local online media, including detikcom.
In one incident previously, rotten eggs were hurled at a house rented by Malaysian students of Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta by a group of demonstrators comprising local undergraduates who were angry at Malaysia for having allegedly “stolen” the Pendet dance which originated from Indonesia’s Bali island.
Following that issue, which was fanned by the local media and linked to past issues, several groups of Indonesians demonstrated in front of the Malaysian embassy here.
Malaysia stated that it had not “stolen” the dance for a video clip tourism promotion, which was actually produced by a private company based in Singapore, but the explanation seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
The okezone website reported that BENDERA had conducted checks on more than 100 people using Jalan Diponegoro.
Detikcom reported that no Malaysian had used that road and that the checks, which were to have been conducted for one hour, ended just after 30 minutes.