Muhyiddin to make first official overseas trip to Indonesia on Thursday (Feb 4)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) will be making his first official trip abroad with a visit to Indonesia on Thursday (Feb 4).

The visit will be Muhyiddin’s first official visit to Indonesia since assuming office in March last year, and is in response to a special invitation made by Indonesian president Joko Widodo.

“There are several matters involving the interests of both countries which require further discussion and mutual understanding, including important issues such as economic cooperation, regional and bilateral security, as well as joint efforts in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Thus, leaders of both countries have agreed to have a face-to-face meeting, ” Wisma Putra said in a statement Wednesday (Feb 3).

Owing to the current Covid-19 situation, Wisma Putra noted that Muhyiddin had instructed that his visit to be less than 24 hours.

“In order to fulfil the logistical requirements of the Prime Minister’s official visit, president Joko Widodo had personally instructed for the official venue of the visit to be held at Istana Merdeka in Jakarta instead of Istana Bogor in Bogor, West Java, ” Wisma Putra said.

Muhyiddin is scheduled to meet president Joko on Friday (Feb 5) morning and perform Friday prayers at Baiturrahim Mosque in the Istana Merdeka after the meeting.

He will be feted to a luncheon by the president before heading home to Malaysia the same day and placed under mandatory quarantine.

Both leaders will hold discussions to address common challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, including cooperation in several key areas.

Among them are efforts to combat international discrimination against Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil and transboundary haze.

Also on the table will be the potential involvement of Malaysian businesses to ensure the successful implementation of Indonesia’s plan to relocate its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, added Wisma Putra.

On the Covid-19 pandemic, Wisma Putra said it would look at ways to intensify negotiations on the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) for official and business travel between both countries.

“It is important to highlight that this negotiation will deliberate on SOPs that can be agreed upon by both countries, ” the statement said.

However, Wisma Putra noted that the RGL scheme would not be implemented immediately, as it would be subjected to the Covid-19 status in both countries and also approval of the relevant health authorities of both countries.

Muhyiddin will also look at acquiring best practices in the use of Covid-19 vaccines from Indonesia as the country has begun its vaccination rollout programme.

“This knowledge-sharing initiative will benefit Malaysia, especially as we begin our own vaccination programme in the near future, ” the statement said.

Wisma Putra assured that Muhyiddin’s visit will be subjected to strict Covid-19 preventative SOPs as agreed by health authorities of both countries.

To minimise the risks of Covid-19, Wisma Putra said that Muhyiddin would be accompanied by a small delegation comprising Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and a small group of senior government officials.

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