Malaysia and Indonesia unite in cause against spying

Malaysia and Indonesia unite in cause against spying

JAKARTA - In a clear signal to show displeasure following allegations of spying by foreign countries in Indonesia and Malaysia - Jakarta, backed strongly by Kuala Lumpur - will propose at the ASEAN summit in April for the grouping to reject espionage activities.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to get other ASEAN members to stand united and reject spying.

Susilo, who made the announcement after his annual consultation with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Istana Merdeka, said mutual trust and respect were important in international relations.

"I am happy Datuk Seri Najib will support my initiative to be tabled at the summit in Myanmar, so that there will be an agreement among ASEAN members that we reject spying activities by foreign countries towards ASEAN and even spying among ASEAN members," Susilo added.

Najib said Malaysia would strongly support Susilo's initiative.

"I agree with the President that spying must be given attention at the ASEAN summit," Najib said.

The media had reported that documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden had named the President and nine of his inner circle as targets of the surveillance.

The Snowden report had also alleged that the Australian High Commission in Malaysia was used as part of a US-led global spying network. Both Australian and American envoys were called in by Wisma Putra over the matter.

The Singapore High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur was also called after reports emerged that Singapore was a key "third party" in providing intelligence on Malaysia.

The annual consultation between Susilo and Najib is the fourth one, and Najib noted that many outstanding issues were managed well and resolved.

The consultation may be the last one between them as Susilo is finishing his final five-year term as President next year.

Najib praised Susilo for his leadership, saying Malaysia truly thanked and appreciated the role played by him.

"I have to say my relations with Bapak Presiden goes beyond formal ties. We will always be friends now and forever," he said to loud applause by both delegations, comprising 19 Indonesian ministers and eight from Malaysia.

The leaders also witnessed the signing of two MoUs on youth and sports, and also on student pass or visa, in which students from both countries could renew their visas every two years instead of one.

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