JAKARTA: Indonesia's close friendship and shared roots with Malaysia is the main reason why Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim picked the country for his first official visit.
The Prime Minister said that another reason was that Indonesia had been a true friend to him when he was facing hardship.
"First of all, Indonesia is our close neighbour. We share the same roots and we are close friends.
"When I was cast out and sidelined, Indonesia accepted me as a true friend. I will not forget this," he told reporters after witnessing the exchange ceremony of several Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Letters of Interest (LOI) here on Sunday (Jan 8).
He said that is why he had given priority to strengthening bilateral ties with Indonesia.
Anwar will meet his Indonesian counterpart President Joko Widodo, or better known as Jokowi, on Monday (Jan 9), where the two leaders are expected to discuss areas of mutual interest and benefit including investment potential, manpower, border and security issues affecting both sides of the border.
Anwar will receive an official welcoming ceremony at the National Palace in Bogor.
The welcoming ceremony will be followed by renditions of the Negaraku and Indonesian national anthem Indonesia Raya, a 21-gun salute, an inspection of troops and the introduction of the two leaders' respective delegates.
Asked what he would be discussing with Jokowi during the meeting, he said that there were 12 main topics on the agenda but did not elaborate.
The Prime Minister will also be planting the Merawan Tree (Hopea odorata) in the vicinity of the palace.
In addition, Anwar is scheduled to deliver a public lecture on "Malaysia-Indonesia Strategic Relationship" on the same day.