JAKARTA: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will make a two-day official visit to Indonesia, beginning tomorrow, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

The prime minister and his wife, Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, are scheduled to arrive at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, Jakarta at 5pm (western Indonesia time).

Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Zainal Abidin Bakar said it would be Muhyiddin’s first visit to Indonesia, after being appointed as the 8th Prime Minister on March 1, 2020.

“There are several things that touch the interests of both countries that require the highest level, face to face and heart to heart discussions,” he told a press conference at the Malaysian Embassy here today.

On Friday, the prime minister will be given an official welcoming ceremony at the Istana Merdeka in Jakarta, and then the two leaders will hold a four-eye meeting before conducting a joint press conference.

“Among the issues expected to be discussed are related to the palm oil discrimination, haze, potential investment and trade joint ventures, implementation of the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), and cooperation in addressing Covid-19,” he said.

Zainal Abidin said the delegation would follow a strict health protocol including undergoing swab test before departure, on arrival, as well as quarantine upon returning to Malaysia on Friday evening.

“Recognising the importance of Malaysia-Indonesia bilateral ties and the Covid-19 pandemic challenges, the prime minister himself has requested that the visit be held briefly with small delegations.

“Indonesia also respects this request, initially the official welcoming ceremony was planned to be held at Istana Bogor but later changed to Istana Merdeka in Jakarta, because Indonesia understands the situation and the importance of logistics during the pandemic,” he said.

Indonesia is Malaysia’s ninth largest trading partner globally and the third largest among ASEAN countries.

“In 2020, the total bilateral trade recorded RM66.17 billion (US$15.7billion), while Malaysia’s total investment in Indonesia is the second largest in Indonesia at US$1,045.3 million,” he said.

Several world leaders had also visited Indonesia and met Jokowi during the Covid pandemic including Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in October 2020, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (October 2020) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Jan 13, 2021).

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein is also scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning, and will hold a meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. – BERNAMA