Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has said that Malaysia and Indonesia hoped to renew a migrant worker agreement and finalize some areas of maritime delimitation by the end of this year.
Saifuddin said that both countries were now looking for the right date for an annual consultation between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad — during which the two agreements were expected to be concluded.
“We are aiming for the annual consultation to be held before year-end and those two [matters] could be among the outcomes of the meeting,” Saifuddin told reporters after delivering a seminar on Malaysia’s foreign policy at Paramadina University in Jakarta on Saturday.
Malaysia and Indonesia have yet to discuss the renewal of a 2011 bilateral agreement on the placement and protection of domestic workers that expired in May 2016.
Frequent cases of Indonesian workers being abused in Malaysia have caused diplomatic tensions between the two neighbors. The death of 21-year-old Adelina Lisao was one of the worst cases to occur last year, briefly sparking debate in Indonesia about imposing a moratorium on sending domestic workers to Malaysia.
On the issue of maritime delimitation, Indonesia and Malaysia previously announced that they had agreed on a “technical and legal basis” for delimitation proposals in the Sulawesi Sea and the southernmost part of the Strait of Malacca after 13 years of negotiations.