Taken from the Borneo Post (Sunday, Oct. 22).
KUCHING: Acting consul general of the Consulate General of Indonesia here, Rubaya Talib, is appealing to Malaysians not to call Indonesians "Indons" but Indonesians.
"Please, call us 'Indonesians' and not 'Indons'", he said, adding that 'Indons' did not have any meaning at all.
"It seems very common for Malaysians, including those in Sarawak, to call Indonesians 'Indons' whereas even among Indonesians the word is not familiar at all, more so among us back in our country," Rubaya said.
"Those working here may have to bear with it but, generally, they are not happy with the use of 'Indons' to describe them," he told reporters at the breaking of fast dinner with the local media on Friday.
He said, in fact, many Indonesians, especially intellectuals back home, were also complaining and not happy with the word 'Indon' or 'Indons' because it was not right, therefore, a degradation to Indonesian dignity.
He also wished Malaysians would understand that not all Indonesians were bad people simply because a few were found to have committed crimes.
So what do you think? Do you see anything wrong with the term 'Indons'? The term has been around for such a long time that it's quite natural for us Malaysians to refer to our Indonesian brethren as Indons.
I see the usage of the term "Indons" more as a convenient 'shortcut' to the term "Indonesians" than as a deliberate way to degrade Indonesian dignity. But if it upsets the Indonesian people, then I feel that we should stop using the term.