Susilo calls for restraint in anti-Malaysia demonstrations

Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reminded the people of Indonesia against resorting to extreme action in voicing their dissatisfaction through demonstrations to the extent of offending the neighbouring country, Malaysia.

He said that the demonstrations staged by small groups of Indonesian communities in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta last week had been rather excessive.

“Relations between the two countries should be placed in a strategic, fundamental and long-term framework. As a neighbouring country, there will certainly be some problems. In the democratic environment in Indonesia, this (demonstration) can happen.

“I have reminded (them) not to demonstrate beyond reasonable limit because it can offend a friendly country,” he said at the joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the conclusion of the Malaysia-Indonesia annual consultations, Thursday.

The demonstration by a group of Indonesians regarding the Malaysia-Indonesia border dispute at  Camar Bulan and Tanjung Datu bordering West Kalimatan and Sarawak in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta recently had damaged the embassy’s perimeter fence and its lighting.

The Indonesian President also hoped that with the consensus reached by Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur regarding several bilateral issues, there would no longer be any confusion in the perception towards Malaysia by Indonesian nationals.

“I hope with the settlement of the problems by both parties (Malaysia-Indonesia), there will no longer be any misperception, there will no longer be any issues raised by any party and instead, we move forward witt vigour,” he said.

The eighth annual consultation had achieved positive results particularly regarding Indonesia’s decision to revoke the moratorium on the sending of its domestic maids to Malaysia, beginning Dec 1.

It also decided on the option to resolve issues on the land and maritime border dispute between the two countries through a win-win situation that could be accepted by the people and governments of Malaysia and Indonesia.

– Bernama