Pinching Indonesia’s Peci?

Here we go again with another “Malaysian” cultural icon that could be grist of the mill for connoisseurs of the ongoing how-much-of-Malaysia-originated-from-Indonesia debate.

Rocky, quoting the Star newspaper said:

“According to The Star, someone people in the DAP’s central executive committee want the party’s assemblymen in Johor NOT to wear the Songkok at the opening of the state’s legislative assembly on June 19. The Sultan of Johor is expected to be there.
If the news is true, it’s strange for the DAP to want to do that. It’s mischievous, even, especially given the Johor Sultan’s passion for the songkok .

Sure, the songkok is a Malay headgear. It is also a Malaysian headgear. No?”

The Star’s Chun Wai also thinks the Songkok is a Malay headgear.

Curiously, if you search for “songkok” in Wikipedia you are redirected to the “peci” entry as below:

clipped from


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

��(Redirected from Songkok)
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Sukarno wearing a peci

Sukarno wearing a peci

Men of the Malay Regiment wearing peci at bayonet practice

Men of the Malay Regiment wearing peci at bayonet practice

A peci is a cap of Indonesian Muslim origin, in the shape of a truncated cone, similar to fez but almost always made of black felt. In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei it is known as a songkok. Peci is the tradional Malay cap.

In Indonesia the peci has become its national headdress, with secular nationalist connotations, made popular by Sukarno. Peci is worn by male Indonesians in formal situation, wedding ceremonies, or religious holidays such as Indonesian’s Idul Fitri and Idul Adha.

Peci is also worn in Malaysia, notably by the military and police of Malaysia and Brunei on ceremonial occasions.

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So, is the songkok.peci Indonesian or Malaysian, or if you want to cut it finer, is it Indonesian muslim or Malay?

7 thoughts on “Pinching Indonesia’s Peci?

  1. i think it has become national and official cap for both indonesia and malaysia. it’s not only moslems who wear peci. you can see many officials in indonesia are wearing peci or songkok even though they are not moslems.


  2. It would be better for Indonesian and Malaysian not to argue about this (cap), useless. Why dont we (indonesian and malaysian) cooperating each other, e.g in culture.


  3. @Kerinchi Guy: Only pointing to an inconvenient truth about what is being held in malaysia as a icon of Malayness – hence the big deal among the DAP-wallahs about wearing or not wearing that headgear. heheheh


  4. People in Sulawesi call it songkok (which I think is Melayu word), people in Java call it peci.

    I think it’s more Melayu heritage, so it’s shared between Indonesia and Malaysia.


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