Jokowi returns to Jakarta after visiting Malaysia, Singapore

Jokowi returns to Jakarta after visiting Malaysia, Singapore

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad walked to the Putra Jaya Mosque for performing Friday prayer (ANTARA PHOTO/Agus Setiawan/pras).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), First Lady Iriana Jokowi and their entourage returned to Jakarta on Friday evening after visiting Malaysia and Singapore. Jokowi was in Singapore to attend the celebration of Singapore's National Day at the invitation of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, , according to the Presidential Secretariat's Press and Media Bureau.

Lee Hsien Loong also invited Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Brunei Darussalam's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to witness the national parade in the same evening.

The invitation for Jokowi was an honor keeping in mind the friendship between Indonesia and Singapore, the Presidential Secretariat's Press and Media Bureau said.

Earlier, Jokowi wrapped up his visit to Malaysia, and along with the First Lady and their entourage proceeded to Singapore on Friday afternoon.

During his visit to Malaysia and Singapore, Jokowi was accompanied by, among others, Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi and Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko.

In Malaysia, Jokowi and Mahathir discussed issues about their respective borders and the Indonesian migrant workers.

Another crucial issue discussed at the meeting was the discriminative European Union (EU) directive on Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil.

The president had earlier visited Bali Province on a working visit before leaving for Malaysia Thursday afternoon.

Indonesia and Malaysia are seeking to enhance bilateral ties.

The Malaysian Prime Minister had earlier paid a state visit to Indonesia in June 2018 or around a month after assuming the post of prime minister for the second time on May 20, 2018.

At that time, Mahathir was accompanied by his wife, Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, and officials from the prime minister's office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.

During the visit, Mahathir met with Jokowi at the Bogor Palace. Several issues highlighted by the two leaders were related to efforts to improve economic cooperation, especially in the sectors of trade and investment.

Statistics indicated that in 2017, the total bilateral trade was recorded at US$17.2 billion, thereby making Malaysia the seventh-largest trading partner globally and third-largest trading partner among ASEAN member countries, after Singapore and Thailand.

In the same year, Malaysia's total investment value in Indonesia had reached $1.2 billion.

In addition to economic cooperation, protection of Indonesian citizens was also highlighted by Indonesia since some 2.5 million Indonesian migrants work in Malaysia. (INE)