Thursday, October 9, 2008


Migration issue gets special attention at Malaysia-Indonesia EPG meeting


The second meeting of the Malaysia-Indonesia Eminent Persons Group (EPG) yesterday paid special attention on the issue of migration between two countries. Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam who led the Malaysian delegation, said the EPG would prepare a working paper covering various aspects of the issue for submission to the leaders of both countries. “On the question of migration, both Governments are tackling the issue and ties between the two countries are good. Hence, there is no harm for the EPG to give suggestions. “And this is an important issue resulting in bad press and causing a lot of problems,” he told reporters after chairing the meeting here. He said two representatives from the Malaysia EPG and their Indonesian counterpart would study the issue and its impact on the Malaysia-Indonesia relations. The study would also involve several groups who had influence in the issue, he said. “We will ask several groups relevant to the migration issue like media representatives, non-governmental organisations, politicians and academicians to take part in the discussion,” Musa said. Besides that, he said, the EPG would also focus on the aspects of culture and history, youth, sports, economy and the media to enhance and determine the future of bilateral relations between the two countries. The EPG would also thaw up several cultural and history activities and organise seminars on culture, he said. He said the role of the media in the two countries would also be highlighted in the EPG working paper by giving special emphasis on young media practitioners. He said the EPG would hopefully be able to bring together young Malaysian and Indonesian journalists so that they could share views among them either in Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta. “If all reporters are informed, then things will go better. “I would like to see an informed free press; they can be critical as they want to be but as long as they are informed, I’m happier than those who are ignorant press that is free. “An ignorant press that is free is dangerous but an informed press that is free is constructive,” Musa said. The third meeting of the Malaysia Indonesia EPG will be held here on Nov 12 and 13 while the fourth in Jakarta on Dec 22 and 23.- Bernama