Friday, March 5, 2021

Muhyiddin to make 2-day official visit to Indonesia

This will be his first visit to Indonesia since taking over as prime minister in March last year.

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will make a two-day official visit to Indonesia beginning tomorrow, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The prime minister and his wife Noorainee Abdul Rahman are scheduled to arrive at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta at 5pm (western Indonesia time).

Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia Zainal Abidin Bakar said it would be Muhyiddin’s first visit to Indonesia since being appointed as the eighth prime minister on March 1, 2020.

“There are several things that touch the interests of both countries that require the highest level, face to face and heart to heart discussions,” he told a press conference at the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta today.

On Friday, the prime minister will be given an official welcoming ceremony at Istana Merdeka in Jakarta, following which the two leaders will hold a meeting before conducting a joint press conference.

“Issues expected to be discussed include those related to palm oil discrimination, haze, potential investment and trade joint ventures, implementation of the reciprocal green lane, and cooperation in addressing Covid-19,” Zainal said.

He said the delegation would follow strict health protocol including undergoing swab tests before departure and on arrival, as well as quarantining upon returning to Malaysia on Friday evening.

“Recognising the importance of Malaysia-Indonesia bilateral ties and the Covid-19 pandemic challenges, the prime minister himself has requested that the visit be held briefly with small delegations.

“Indonesia also respects this request,” he said. “The official welcoming ceremony was planned to be held at Istana Bogor but was later changed to Istana Merdeka in Jakarta because Indonesia understands the situation and the importance of logistics during the pandemic,” he said.

Indonesia is Malaysia’s ninth largest trading partner globally and the third largest among Asean countries.

“In 2020, total bilateral trade recorded RM66.17 billion (US$15.7billion), while Malaysia’s total investment in Indonesia is the second largest in Indonesia at US$1,045.3 million,” Zainal said.

Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is also scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning, and will hold a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

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