Malaysia vs Indonesia SEA Games Football Final: The Rivalry


I know that Malaysia and Indonesia are at each others neck when it comes to certain issues.  I know both sides are in fact taking blows from each other, and I know that everyone is trying to be patriotic by defending their nation.

Today, Malaysia take on Indonesia at the SEA Games football final.  Not that the other events in the SEA Games are less important, but this is the gold medal everyone wants.  This is the crown that would secure and make valid everything.  If the Indonesians were to loose to the Malaysians in this finals, their 140 plus odd gold medals haul which have crowned them as champions of this SEA Games means nothing.  Despite the glory, Indonesian would still mourn.  I guess that pretty much sums up the importance of the golden medal from football this time around.  I bet most of this, we get. (Photo below by AdeDeh)

What I don’t get is how Indonesians (or at least those at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium) can actually show such hatred and disrespect over visitors from another country, particularly Malaysia.  I mean talk about being enemies on the field and being rivals, this just goes so much further.  They jeered, blew horns and booed the national anthem of Malaysia.  I read reports that some didn’t even bother to stand up.

To me, Indonesia has such beautiful people.  Their girls are one of the most beautiful in the region (if not the world), their culture and beaches are unrivaled, their songs enjoy huge following (including myself), and their government and people has over the years earned my respect for being one of the best examples of a liberal Muslim country (Hey, do you hear them condemning foreign artist when they have a tour there?).  It’s indeed sad to see all this beauty and huge respect gone simply because they disrespected a country, my country in such a way.

Honestly, I had a mixed reaction upon seeing such rude reaction by the Indonesians during the SEA Games football semi-finals.  I was sad that a community or nation of such high regard in my books have dwindled to being uncivilized.  I was angry because my home country was treated with such disgraced, and I was determined to have Indonesia loose to Malaysia in the finals.  Despite that, shall Malaysia falter, I’d accept that Indonesia is the better team to have won, and if Malaysia were to win, I definitely won’t be one of those saying ‘In your face!!’ to the Indonesians.

The SEA Games football final is a game. In a game, they’d be a winner or a looser.  The variable for the win comes in many factors.  One can play the best team, but still end up loosing losing.  That’s how random football can be.

I think, who ever wins isn’t that all important because I think that there is no point winning and creating a foe.  Similarly, if Indonesia wants the medal so badly, to the extend of they are willing to disrespect and insult another nation,  maybe it’s about time we Malaysians just gave them the medal.  After all, it’s just a medal.  Is a medal worth all the hostility, insult, and disrespect?

As a football fan, I’d want to see a good game, but on top of that.. I’d want to see both players and fans treat each other with respect.  Hey, we are suppose to make friends through sporting events such as the SEA Games, right?  If we make a foe, better just stop the games.


  1. Just ask ourselves why. What’s wrong. We don’t treat Indonesian citizens in our country that way do we? Such hatred can only occur after long periods of mistreatment by majority on them.

    You can check anytime how Airasia ground Staffs (Female Staffs, can you believe it!) treat Jakarta bound Passengers at the Airport before boarding. They even become rude to Malaysians or other Nationals who wish to travel to Indonesia. We call this patriotic?
    I can’t believe if anyone (Indonesians).
    Airasia ground Female Staffs are Bad people! They are educated and we have moral civic subjects in school.

    Time to change our attitude. Yes the Indonesians are very polite and humble people. It is us (the bad guys) that need to change from now on.

    So that is how it is in football. Other matters are included. But I am for Malaysia. Those young chaps are better off. As they mature and travel, They will portray better attitudes and treat other nationals much better than the way the Indonesians in the stadium do bcoz they will realise that we must never be impolite,rude or disrespectful to other nationals if we don’t want them to treat us that way.

    • You have good points, although I am unsure about the AirAsia ground staff as I never experience it before. Nonetheless, Malaysians should also stop feeling ‘greater’ than our fellow Indonesians. We are after all, similar in many way.

  2. no ricky, you wrong. there is no perfect thing in the world. there will always be some minority of people who doing bad thing to others, otherwise police will never be needed in this world. anyway, no matter what the conficts between malaysian and indonesia, let’s thing settle at government-to-government level. airasia staff treated indonesia that way is not representing majority of airasia ground staff what else to represent the whole malaysian.

    but…………… do you really think in a such big games in ASEAN –> where it is suppose to get close friendship among ASEAN countries is a corrent platform for those uncivilized indonesians to rise their disagreement to malaysia? sport is one way to attract tourists, but it not just malaysians will scare to visit indonesia, any tourists will be thinking the same as their hooligan attitude is watched live in many countries.


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