Relations At Peak Level, Cooperation At Kalimantan Border

Relations At Peak Level, Cooperation AtKalimantan Border

22 February 2007

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Jakarta, Indonesia — Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Thursday reiteratedthat the extremely good bilateral relations between Malaysia and Indonesia whichhe described as “true friends whether in good or bad times” had pavedthe way for wider cooperation for mutual benefits.

The Malaysian prime minister said the latest field of cooperation which wasagreed upon between him and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono attheir bilateral meeting Thursday was the development along the common border inKalimantan, stretching more than 1900 kilometres.

“He had proposed that we forge cooperation in developing the common borderin Kalimantan,” Abdullah said at a press conference with Malaysianjournalists at the end of his two-day working visit here.

He said that at their brief meeting, they also agreed to find ways of resolvingthe problem of peat fire which had caused forest fires in Indonesia.

(Peat and forest fires in Sumatera and Kalimantan had been causing haze problemswhich had also affected Malaysia for quite some time.)

At the meeting before he was conferred Indonesia’s highest award, BintangRepublik Indonesia Adi Pradana, by Susilo, Abdullah said they had also discussedbriefly the existing cooperation between the two countries and had agreed tointensify such cooperation.

The prime minister said the extremely good relations were seen from all aspectswhether politically or economically and one of the indications was the fact thatMalaysian investment in Indonesia was now most significant and, in fact,Malaysia was the biggest investor in 2006.

He said the current emphasis included investments in banking, oil palmplantations, commerce, education and construction.

“We also need to cooperate more closely in the field of tourism. We promotetourism not merely to attract people to come to Malaysia alone but also to thecountries nearby including Indonesia. Hopefully, Indonesia can also do likewise,”he said.

Abdullah said it was also good to forge cooperation in biofuel which was beingexplored currently.

Replying to another question on the issuance of visa for the whole duration ofstudy for Malaysian students here, who are mostly pursuing medical courses,Abdullah said agreement had been reached and it was now being discussed infurther detail.

“It’s still being discussed which touched on several aspects, insya-Allahit will be implemented,” he said.

He said several matters concerning the labour force had also been discussed whenhe received a courtesy call from the Indonesian Minister of Human ResourcesErman Suparno.

Abdullah left for Kuala Lumpur later Thursday afternoon.

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