JAKARTA (Bernama): Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has called for Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta ties to be further enhanced to a strategic level.
He is confident that stronger bilateral relations would enable the two countries to optimise their existing cooperation, especially in economy, trade and investment.
“Following our discussion today, I am of the view that it is time for cooperation and relations between Malaysia and Indonesia to be further upgraded to a strategic level, ” he said.
He said this at a joint news conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) after they had held a four-eye meeting at Istana Merdeka here Friday (Feb 5).
Muhyiddin said the strengthening of cooperation reflects the determination of the two leaders to work together for the mutual prosperity of the two close neighbours.
“In this connection, we have given the mandate to both our foreign ministers to identify strategic fields which can be given priority,” he added.
He expressed satisfaction with the fact that bilateral ties had strengthened at all levels.
Efforts would also be intensified to revitalise trade and investment between the two countries during the Covid-19 pandemic period, Muhyiddin said.
“Preliminary discussions have started at the working level. I hope both sides can step up talks to work out the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the implementation of the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) scheme.
On the anti-palm oil campaign especially in Europe, Australia and Oceania, Muhyiddin said Indonesia and Malaysia as the two biggest producers of the commodity would continue to cooperate in tackling this issue of discrimination.
“This is to ensure that we can protect the palm oil industry, especially the millions of smallholders whose livelihoods are fully dependent on this industry in Malaysia and Indonesia,” he added.
On the Myanmar issue, Muhyiddin said Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta viewed with serious concern the current political situation in Myanmar as it was a setback for the country’s democratic process.
“It is feared that the political upheaval in Myanmar can affect peace and stability in this region.
“In this regard, I fully agree with the suggestion that both foreign ministers be given the mandate to work out an understanding for a special Asean meeting to be held to discuss this matter more thoroughly,” the Prime Minister said.
Earlier, Muhyiddin was accorded an official welcome at the Merdeka Palace where he was greeted by Widodo.
Muhyiddin then inspected a guard-of-honour mounted by the Indonesian Presidential Security Force.
The Prime Minister flew into Jakarta on Thursday to begin the official visit, which signifies the strong relations between the two countries over the past 62 years.
This visit is Muhyiddin's first to a South-East Asian country after he was appointed Prime Minister on March 1,2020. - Bernama