Travel corridor in the works

JAKARTA: Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to implement a travel corridor between the two countries through the Travel Corridor Arrangement or Vaccinated Travel Lane arrangement, as both countries are recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the relevant ministers would refine the initiative so that the border between the two countries – involving the Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur-Bali-Kuala Lumpur routes – could be opened.

“A joint statement will be made to announce the opening of the border between Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said in a joint press conference with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Istana Bogor in conjunction with his inaugural three-day official visit that began on Tuesday, Bernama reported.

On Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia, Ismail Sabri gave assurance that their welfare and protection would continue to be preserved.

The Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) amended last year, he said, guaranteed comfortable accommodation for employees, not only for Malaysians but also for foreigners, including those from Indonesia.

He also gave assurance that the memorandum of understanding on Recruitment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Malaysia between the Human Resources Ministry of Malaysia and the Ministry of Manpower of Indonesia would be finalised as soon as possible.

Indonesian workers, he said, could take advantage of the Malaysian government’s extension of the recalibration programme until the end of the year by either returning home voluntarily or working legally.

He added that cooperation between both the countries in the field of culture would also be enhanced through the joint listing on Unesco of several other collectively inherited cultural heritage items.

A joint listing in the future could prevent the relationship from being undermined as Malaysia and Indonesia shared many similarities in various matters including customs, traditions and cultural heritage.

In 2020, Malaysia and Indonesia made a joint listing to Unesco for the pantun by multinational nomination.

In relation to the delimitation of the maritime border between both the countries, Ismail Sabri gave assurance that Malaysia remained committed to reaching a solution to finalise the issue.

“There are four related issues; two issues have been resolved and can be signed,” he added.

Ismail Sabri and Jokowi agreed that the Myanmar issue needed to be addressed well as the impact of the problems in the country has had an effect on Malaysia in terms of the arrival of Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, which now numbered more than 200,000.

At the end of the press conference, Ismail Sabri invited Jokowi to make an official visit to Malaysia.

Jokowi made two official visits to Malaysia since taking office as president.

Ismail Sabri was accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and charge d’affaires of the Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia Adlan Mohd Shaffieq during the visit.

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