DPRD Defies Chinese Symbols to Protect Bangka Belitung Culture

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Pangkalpinang - Deputy Speaker of the Bangka Belitung Legislative Council (DPRD), Amri Cahyadi, called for the dismantlement of Chinese ornaments in the area’s tourist sites due to the fear of slowly diminishing Bangka Belitung’s native culture. 

    “Don’t let this condition make us neglectful. Modern colonialism does not only affect physical areas, but also cultural colonialism,” said Amri to Tempo on Sunday, January 12. 

    Furthermore, the United Development Party (PPP) politician asserts his call only refers to Chinese symbols placed in Bangka Belitung’s tourism sites and does not aim at those installed in private spaces or worship houses. 

    “There’s no problem if [the symbols] are installed at worship houses and private homes. But this problem lies in the fact that [Chinese ornaments] are also installed at tourism sites and public areas such as gates and statues,” he said.

    Amri maintained that regulation needs to be produced to oversee the application of foreign cultural symbols on national assets or tourist sites. He says this needs to be turned into a regulation aimed at foreign investors to prevent local cultures from being slowly diminished by foreign influences. 

    “Once again this is not the issue of ethnicity, religion, and race (SARA). [Symbols] are still allowed in private areas that coincide with society’s faith and neighborhood,” he said. 

    The Bangka Belitung DPRD deputy openly invited members of society who do not agree with him to have a civilized discussion at the DPRD headquarters. “This is not an issue of race that is the substance, but more about culture,” said Amri who said he has plenty of Chinese friends. 

    SERVIO MARANDA (CONTRIBUTOR)