M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday claimed Indonesia and Malaysia have reached a deal in establishing maritime boundaries after 18 years of deadlock. The bilateral agreement is achieved under Anwar Ibrahim's leadership as Prime Minister.
"I gladly welcome the completion of the territorial sea boundary negotiations in the Sulawesi Sea, in the southern Malacca Strait, after 18 years of negotiation process, 18 years. This can be resolved, thank God, thanks to Sri Anwar Ibrahim who worked quickly with the help of his Ministers," said the President after the meeting with Anwar on June 8.
The President continued to express hopes that negotiations on several other border conflicts, including on land, can also be reached soon such as the Sebatik Island, where border issues have been going on for years.
"[Let's resolve it] while the Prime Minister is Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim and in Indonesia the President is still Jokowi," he quipped.
Striking multiple deals
Apart from border issues, Jokowi said the bilateral meeting reached agreements in the areas of border trade agreements, halal certification, and investment promotion cooperation. He also mentioned Indonesia and Malaysia had reached an agreement on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers.
"I truly appreciate Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim's commitment to strengthening the protection of Indonesian migrant workers and also fair law enforcement for Indonesian workers. Anwar and I agreed to form a bilateral special mechanism to resolve the problems of Indonesian migrant workers," the President asserted.
Jokowi also pushed for a community learning center on the Peninsula to be swiftly realized and hopes that Indonesians in the immigration depot can be swiftly repatriated. He also called for the optimization of the one-channel system.
Jokowi said he was pleased with the collaboration between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam in fighting discrimination against palm oil and other commodities. The collaboration aims to prevent commodities produced by Malaysia and Indonesia from being discriminated against by other countries.
The meeting with Abraham was closed with lunch before Jokowi held a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia at the hotel where he stays.
President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana will then meet Malaysia's King Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah and his Empress at the Malaysia State Palace, according to a press statement issued by the Indonesian Presidential Palace.
Jokowi's entourage is scheduled to return home to Indonesia later in the afternoon by departing from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport aboard the Indonesia-1 presidential aircraft.