After adding batik, the keris, and wayang to its cultural heritage list, UNECSO has now declared the famous Glodok shopping district in West Jakarta as a world heritage site (before it is also claimed by Malaysia).
The reasons given for the site’s inclusion in the UNECSO list are as follows:
1) Through the sale of affordable film and music titles – mostly American – Glodok has done a fantastic job in fostering cross cultural relations between the US and Indonesia.
2) By bringing American culture to the Indonesian populace at large, it is also hoped that the popular misconceptions that Indonesians have of Uncle Sam can be corrected, thereby minimizing the terrorist threat.
3) The provision of educational adult DVD titles (by Vivid Video etc) – also at very competitive prices – is hoped to increase HIV awareness and encourage people to take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (AIDS in particular).
4) The stupendous growth of Glodok in recent years (sales up 789% in the last three years) has boosted the city’s gross domestic product by 15%, and, perhaps more importantly, created many new jobs, thus helping to alleviate poverty in the nearby area.
5) With the full support of its “backers”, the area generates huge “taxable” revenues (off balance sheet naturally).
So hands off Malaysia –
And stop taking what doesn’t belong to you!
NB: For an alternative viewpoint, the International Intellectual Property Alliance also have something to say (download, right click).