Malaysia, Indonesia Agree To Resolve Long-standing Issues

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 6 – The Malaysian and Indonesian governments have agreed to expedite some several key thrusts that have been initiated earlier, especially on long-unresolved issues.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said they include resolving maritime border issues, labour, education, and trade and investment , among other matters.

Najib said although a technical taskforce to look into the maritime issues have held meetings for some 26 times, the matter had yet to show any significant results.

He said both government had agreed to approach the issue by using two ‘tracks’ by appointing envoys that would hold negotiations at an exploratory level to find a formula that could be accepted by both governments.

“If it shows a positive basis for the formula to resolve the issue of maritime borders, we can begin formal negotiations,” he said after holding a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at Perdana Putra, here, this morning.

Najib said both governments had also agreed to chase away fisherman who encroached beyond their borders based on the law.

Najib said another issue discussed involved the employment of maids as currently approximately 4,000 was employed through legal channels, while over 105,000 went through unofficial channels.

The Prime Minister said schools would be formed for children of Indonesian workers as in Sabah there are 50 such schools, while Sarawak has agreed to follow suit.

On economies of both countries, Najib said both governments would continue to work to expand trade although it was unlikely that the USD 30 billion target for trade could not be achieved this year.

“This is based on our estimate that in 2014 total trade had reached over USD18.25, so that target is not likely achieved but we will still boost trade relations,” he said, adding that investments from Malaysia in Indonesia was at USD 3.97 bil from 2008 to Sept 2014, while Indonesian investments to Malaysia reached USD1.89 biliion during the same period.

“I have told ‘Bapak’ Jokowi that Malaysia welcomes investors from Indonesia and he has shown positive steps to receive investors from Malaysia and has agreed to provide priority to them in his country,”