Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ended his two-day visit to Malaysia on high note Thursday, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak describing the visit as meaningful and positive.
He said the visit paved the way for more opportunities for economic interactions and help create more friends from both sides.
“Both leaders agreed that both governments should continue to work on strengthening the relations so that they remain at their level best at all times,” the prime minister said.
Najib said that both leaders were aware that minor issues should not take precedence over the greater good accomplished by both governments.
Susilo said he would like to see the friendship between the peoples of both countries, who have similar cultural roots, be nurtured to the best of each other’s abilities.
“If there are problems, let’s solve it quickly,” he said.
Susilo is aware that hiccups in relations are bound to crop up from time to time between the two neighbouring countries as there are many Indonesians in Malaysia and Malaysians in Indonesia.
“Indonesia has no problem with Somalia or Africa,” he said, referring to the distance between Indonesia and the two regions which provides little opportunities for people-to-people interaction.
“It is the duty of governments to manage problems properly and not let them affect relations,” he said.
On economic ties, Susilo said both countries should look for new opportunities in line with the emergence of Asia as the new global economic power.
He said that there were still a lot of things needed to be done in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT).
Najib, meanwhile, hoped that there would be more investments in each other’s countries especially in areas like food security.
Malaysia, he said, could also channelled its excess energy to Indonesia.
Both countries could also launch a joint action to counter anti-palm oil campaign in the West as well as to cooperate in tourism promotion and the halal industry, Najib said.
To strengthen ties between the peoples of both countries, Najib said, “We should create more friends of Malaysia in Indonesia and friends of Indonesia in Malaysia.”
The Eminent Persons Group of both countries should also be institutionalised so that they could be more proactive in their approach and not act only when problems cropped up, he added.