JAKARTA, Nov 10 — Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to implement a travel corridor between the two countries through the Travel Corridor Arrangement or Vaccinated Travel Lane arrangement, as both countries are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the relevant ministers will refine the initiative so that the border between the two countries – involving the Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur-Bali-Kuala Lumpur routes – could be opened.
“A joint statement will be made to announce the opening of the border between Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said in a joint press conference with President Joko Widodo at Istana Bogor in conjunction with his inaugural three-day official visit which began on Tuesday.
On Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia, he assured that the welfare and protection of Indonesians working in Malaysia will continue to be preserved.
Ismail Sabri said the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) amended last year guarantees comfortable accommodation for employees, not only for Malaysians but also for foreigners, including from Indonesia.
The Prime Minister also gave his assurance that the MoU on Recruitment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Malaysia between the Ministry of Human Resources of Malaysia and the Ministry of Manpower of Indonesia will be finalised as soon as possible.
He said Indonesian workers can take advantage of the Malaysian government’s extension of the Recalibration programme until the end of this year by either returning home voluntarily or working legally.
Cooperation between Malaysia and Indonesia in the field of culture will also be enhanced through the joint listing on UNESCO of several other collectively inherited cultural heritage items, the prime minister said.
A joint listing in the future could prevent the relationship from being undermined as Malaysia and Indonesia share many similarities in various matters including customs, traditions and cultural heritage.
In 2020, the two countries have made a joint listing to UNESCO for ‘Pantun’ by multi-national nomination.
In relation to the delimitation of the maritime border between the two countries, Ismail Sabri gave his assurance that Malaysia remains committed to reaching a solution to finalise the issue.
“There are four related issues; two issues have been resolved and can be signed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri and Jokowi agreed that the Myanmar issue need to be addressed well as the impact of the problems in the country has had an effect on Malaysia in terms of the arrival of Rohingya refugees to Malaysia which now number more than 200,000.
At the end of the press conference, Ismail Sabri invited Jokowi to pay an official visit to Malaysia. Jokowi has paid two official visits to Malaysia since taking office as president.
Earlier, Ismail Sabri and Jokowi witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MoU) between Malaysia and Indonesia for cooperation in the field of education and customs.
The signing of the two MoUs is a demonstration of of the level of good relations that have long been established between Malaysia and Indonesia.
During the visit, Ismail Sabri was accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, and charge d’affaires of the Malaysian Embassy in Indonesia Adlan Mohd Shaffieq.