Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to Asean Rahmat Pramono and I. Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, the Asean-Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Leader for Indonesia, said sovereignty border issues with neighbouring countries are a top concern for Indonesia.
Published on: Thursday, February 05, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: Ambassador/Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to Asean Rahmat Pramono and I. Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, the Asean-Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Leader for Indonesia, said sovereignty border issues with neighbouring countries are a top concern for Indonesia.
This is besides the success of a robust Asean for peace and stability benefiting the peoples.
“It is Indonesia’s foreign policy to prioritise sovereignty issues to resolve border disputes in our relationship with other countries.
“It’s a fact of life that we inherit border disputes from our colonial masters, and we are realistic that such problems are not going to be solved overnight.
“Our President’s visit to Malaysia (this week) may see discussion on such matters.
There is a need for better protection for Indonesian workers’ human rights in Malaysia.
“International laws allow the seizure and decommissioning of fishing vessels operating illegally inside Indonesia boundaries,” Rahmat said, in defence of the new policy under new President Joko Widido, whereby the fish catch is seized and the vessel sunk.
“Indonesia will continue to hold discussion with Malaysia on such border issues and any dispute should not be at the expense of peace and stability, trade and investment within the goals of the Asean Community,” he said.
Kalimantan Utara Governor, Dr H. Iriyanto Habrie had said recently that Sabah was a transit point for most drugs were channelled into Kalimantan through Sabah.
On Malaysia’s investments in Kalimantan and Indonesia as a whole, much could still be done with better cooperation and with the abundance of opportunities.
“Yes, we are not happy with the status quo. Trade volume is not as big as we expect considering the various opportunities from Asean intra-trade relations. The BIMP-EAGA has the potential to achieve more than it had been for decades for the benefit of the peoples.”
“We are confident that under the chairmanship of Malaysia, Asean would be more successful in achieving more goals and usher in a new era. This Foreign Ministers Retreat in Kota Kinabalu was well run and fruitful.”
Akhmad DH Irfan Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia said the Indonesian government appreciates all organisations like the Red Cross and recognises persons who help Indonesia and her people. This includes NGOs like Humana in educating children.
“However, if there are crimes or irregularity, then the laws should apply, in this case Malaysia’s laws. We help to provide teachers, pay their salaries when needed.
We assist in providing aid in kind like books, school uniforms where needed, but not funds direct to such NGOs,” he said, on the alleged scandal.
On the number of Indonesians in Sabah, he said there was lack of precise data and it was about 450,000 based on immigration statistics.
“Some 250,000 are plantation workers, construction workers, others and maids. We have details on those who came to our consulate for passport services.”
He said it was not possible to be precise as not all Indonesian workers reported their presence to his consulate or upon leaving the state even they are supposed to do so. He called on employers to let their Indonesia workers every opportunity to report their presence in Sabah to the Indonesian consulate here.
“This will help us answer some queries from families in Indonesia seeking out their family members working in Sabah.”
To a query as to whether more workers were leaving Sabah to return to work in Indonesia rather than coming to work in Sabah, he said it is better directed to the Immigration Department. He called for better treatment and protection for Indonesian workers in Sabah.
Ultimately, Asean should benefit its peoples and improve their standards of living.