The government of Malaysia and Indonesia is set to cultivate better relations through culture and arts. According to Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, an exchange programme has been proposed among journalists, students and art practitioners between the 2 countries to better cultivate the ties of the people and to share more knowledge in the arts.
The minister said that the programme will start in October and there would be 3 sessions each year where government and non-governmental organisations from both the countries will be kept abreast of the progress and updates of these events. The programmes will come under the purview of the Yirmi (Yayasan Ikatan Rakyat Malaysia) and Iswami (Ikatan Setiakawan Malaysia Indonesia).
To start the programme, it would first involve the journalists and writers and then the other groups would follow. Rais said that the practitioners from Jakarta or Yogyakarta would first be travelling to Kuala Lumpur where they will have first hand experience of the kampong lifestyle and then their counterparts from Malaysia will travel to Jakarta to learn about the culture and history of the Bugis community where they will also be able to go through a similar experience.
He said that it would be ideal if the Javanese, Minangs and other ethnic groups of Indonesia is able to come and stay with the Malaysian communities who speak the same language and some similar historical elements. This will ensure that the people-to-people ties would be stronger and enhanced, thereby strengthening the relationship between the 2 governments.