JAKARTA: Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed in principle to use drones and other technologies to monitor their borders, said Malaysia's Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Tuesday (Dec 10).
With the Malaysia-Indonesia border agreement due to be renewed in 2020, a memorandum of understanding on border crossing and trade will be finalised and signed next year, Muhyiddin told reporters in Jakarta.
The minister made his comments after meeting with Indonesia's Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly as part of a two-day working visit to the country.
Malaysia and Indonesia will continue to work closely to resolve issues like smuggling, drug trafficking, human trafficking and other cross-border crimes, said Muhyiddin.
“The border (land) between Malaysia and Indonesia (such as in Sabah and Sarawak, and in Kalimantan) is more than 1,000km, and of course it is difficult to monitor, and needs the use of technology,” he said.
Muhyiddin added that the two governments were also looking at exchanging prisoners - a topic that was brought up by Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a recent meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
A prisoner exchange programme will see prisoners of both countries being sent back to their own countries to serve their sentences.
But while Indonesia is willing to implement the programme, certain legal matters had to be resolved, said the Malaysian minister.
“(Indonesia) does not have any law yet to implement the programme, and ministry officials will work out the proposal,” said Muhyiddin.
There are about 300 Malaysians currently in Indonesian prisons, while more than 5,000 Indonesians are serving time in Malaysia.
The issue of illegal workers was also brought up during Muhyiddin's visit when he met with Indonesia’s Manpower Minister Ida Fauziya.
“Malaysia and Indonesia are united in this, the issue of illegal immigrants must be resolved together and seriously,” he said.