JAKARTA, June 8 — The use of the terms ‘true friend’ and ‘brother’ by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Indonesian President Joko Widodo or Jokowi during a joint press conference in Putrajaya on Thursday came under the spotlight of the Indonesian media.

In his address at the Prime Minister’s official house in Seri Perdana, Jokowi used the terms “sahabat sejati,” which is Indonesian for “good friend,” and “kakak,” which means “brother” in that language.

News portal DetikNews followed the session on YouTube BERNAMA TV which reported the news with the title, ‘Jokowi Sapa Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim My “Brother” and “Good Friend”‘.

The meeting between the two leaders is the third following Anwar’s official visit to Indonesia in January and the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara last month.

The second DetikNews news was titled, ‘Anwar Ibrahim Considers Jokowi’s Visit to Malaysia Special: RI is a True Friend’ and Liputan6 writes ‘Jokowi Calls Malaysian PM as Brother and Good Friend.’

The closeness of the two leaders was noted by CNBC Indonesia in an article titled ‘Akrab! Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim Called Jokowi a True Friend’, while Kompas wrote ‘When Jokowi-Anwar Ibrahim Call Each Other “Friends”‘.

Antara news agency reported that ‘Jokowi hopes that the Indonesia-Malaysia border negotiations will be completed in his era’ and noted Anwar’s statement about border negotiations being conducted based on the principle of ‘two families and friends’.

Before the press conference, the two leaders Anwar and Jokowi witnessed the exchange of several agreements signed by representatives of the ministry and related agencies.

Anwar then started the session with a speech: “Friend, a true friend of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Pak Jokowi.” At the beginning of his speech, Jokowi said: “My brother, my good friend, His Excellency Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. It is an honour for me and the delegation to visit Malaysia to reciprocate Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Indonesia last January.”

At the Bogor Palace in conjunction with an official visit to Indonesia, Anwar, 75, said ‘even though I am a little older than Pak Jokowi but I really appreciate his experience’, which referred to a brief discussion with Jokowi, 61.

Both leaders lauded each other’s leadership during the news conference this morning, with Anwar describing Jokowi as an extraordinary person who constantly stands up for the people. 

“President Jokowi’s event today is extraordinary, he wants to go to Chow Kit. That is the figure of this Indonesian President, apart from going to the Istana Negara, his choice is still to go to the people’s field in Kuala Lumpur,” said Anwar.

Jokowi, who welcomed the settlement of border negotiations in the Sulawesi Sea and the Malacca Straits in the southern part which had been delayed for 18 years, said: “Thank you to Anwar Ibrahim who worked quickly with his ministers.”

The media extensively covered the outcomes of the bilateral talks, including plans to construct a community learning centre in Peninsular Malaysia and the protection of the Indonesian workforce.


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