PRIME Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s two-day official visit to Indonesia starting tomorrow is hoped to lead to concrete cooperation in various fields that will bring benefits to the people of both countries, say analysts.
This is Anwar’s first official overseas visit since he was appointed Prime Minister on November 24, and Indonesia is looking forward to the policy reforms that will be introduced, especially regarding Indonesian workers in Malaysia, land and maritime demarcation as well as trade and economic cooperation.
“We will wait to see if Anwar Ibrahim is really the figure that the Indonesian people think as someone who can bring about change.
“I personally hope that there will be a more harmonious change in Indonesia-Malaysia relations,” said political communication analyst Hendri Satrio.
The inaugural official visit of the prime minister will touch on Indonesia’s new capital in Kalimantan as well as Asean and international issues.
Other matters that need to be discussed are the situation in the South China Sea, China’s influence in Southeast Asia and international geopolitical tensions, he said
These views were also addressed by the Indonesian National Research and Innovation Agency (Brin) in its recent report, ‘Anwar Ibrahim and the Future of Indonesia-Malaysia Relations’.
Sandy Nur Ikfal Raharjo, an analyst at Brin said the two countries need to work together to create cross-border value chains for their respective leading industries.
For example, he said, Indonesia could support the development of the halal food industry in Malaysia, while Malaysia supports Indonesia in the Muslim fashion industry.
The governments of both countries also need to address the issue of education concerning the children of Indonesian workers in Malaysia including the problem of hiring workers without valid permits and support efforts to add learning centres for these children.
Touching on the border issue, he said that bilateral negotiations need to be intensified so that an agreement can be reached immediately, thereby speeding up development plans within the respective border regions.
“All three issues need to be translated into policy and cooperation between the countries, and needs to be consistently maintained by both countries.
“Thus, the national interests of each country can be fulfilled with closer relations under the administration of Anwar Ibrahim and Indonesian President Joko Widodo,” he said. – Bernama, January 7, 2023.