Jokowi visit shows importance of Jakarta-KL ties, says envoy

Jokowi visit shows importance of Jakarta-KL ties, says envoy
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo

KUALA LUMPUR - When Indonesian President Joko Widodo (pic) arrives on Thursday, Malaysia will become his first official destination overseas since the leader - fondly known as Jokowi - took over the republic's leadership last October.

Indonesian Ambassador Herman Prayitno said the newly-elected president's first state visit mirrored a long-standing tradition.

"Jokowi will continue (former Indonesian president) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's policies, in which our friendship and ties with Malaysia will be maintained.

"This first bilateral visit (to Malaysia) also reflects the close political, economic, cultural and emotional ties between the two nations.

"This is tradition - a courtesy visit. The new president will discuss what will be carried out in the next five years - his political, economic and cultural policies, which are suitable to Malaysia," he said.

Jokowi will be accompanied by First Lady Iriana as well as Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and other key leaders.

The issue of the Malaysia-Indonesian border as well as migrant workers will be among the main topics to be discussed between Jokowi and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the three-day visit.

On the issue of maritime border, Herman assured Malaysia that his country had no intention of exten­ding it, as feared by many nations.

"We (Indonesia) consider ourselves a maritime nation but this does not mean we will invade or take away other people's territories. We only want Indonesians to know that our biggest resource is the sea," he said.

Herman also said in the future, Indonesia only wanted to send professionals such as in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

"We may want to reduce the number of housemaids as it is difficult for us to monitor," he said.

Asked if there would be a change of policies with the new leadership in the republic, Herman said: "No, because all our presidents observe the same basic policies in our country."

On the development of the ASEAN car, which was mooted by Najib, the ambassador said Indonesia was looking at it positively and did not have any problem on cooperating in the matter.

"President Jokowi will visit Proton. Who knows? If we cooperate, we may produce an ASEAN car out of Proton," he said.

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