“Indonesia” is the big, older brother who didn’t quite make it, living in a cheap rented house on the outskirts of Jakarta, and twice divorced.
His little brother “Malaysia”, in contrast, is nuevo-rich, stylish and confident – some would say cocky - and owns a luxurious apartment in uptown KL.
No wonder there’s no love lost between the two countries.
Sukarno didn’t like Malaysia much either and famously tried to “crush them” (Ganyang Malaysia) under his konfrontasi polices back in the 60’s. Read about that here.
Some 50 years later and the two countries are set to meet in the final of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, a two-leg affair that will either end in glory or soul crushing disappointment depending on who wins.
But which is the better country? Well, here’s my analysis. In the spirit of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch of course!
Freedom of Speech. Well there’s no contest here: Indonesia has a dynamic publishing and broadcasting industry while Malaysia persecutes bloggers and decides what things Malaysians read about and don’t read about (Indonesia *****, Malaysia no stars)
Democracy. Malaysia’s political system is designed to keep the government in, while Indonesia shows them how it should be done (Indonesia ****, Malaysia no stars).
Religious freedom. Still remember Lina Joy? Enough said. Again Indonesia is ahead of the game even if a minority of extremists do continue to pose a real threat (Indonesia ***, Malaysia **)
Chicks. Again a no brainer. Indonesian chicks are much hotter. Even the Malaysians will admit this – and some of ‘em are even coming over to Indonesia to find a hot Indonesian girlfriend just like the lovely Bunga Citra Lestari. (Indonesia *****, Malaysia **)
Indonesian girls like Bunga Citra Lestari are much in demand in Malaysia
The English (Norman Tebbit) cricket test. Malaysians can play cricket and Indonesians can’t. Malaysia wins this one easily (Indonesia no stars, Malaysia ***)
So all in all, a clear victory for Indonesia then. Malaysia is trailing way behind on nearly every measure. Even if they can play cricket!