Mahathir in driver's seat on Jokowi's visit to Malaysia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (right) was personally driven by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during his visit to Malaysia.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (right) was personally driven by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during his visit to Malaysia.PHOTO: BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - Visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the personal touch on Friday (Aug 9) when he was personally driven by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in a red Proton Persona to a luncheon at Seri Perdana, the prime minister's official residence.

The two leaders left in the Malaysian-made saloon from the Prime Minister's office at the Perdana Putra Building, where they had had a four-eye meeting. They also performed Friday prayers.

Lunch was prepared by celebrity Chef Wan.

"This was the second time I had the honour of sitting in a car driven by Dr M," Mr Joko wrote on his Facebook page, recounting the first as during an earlier visit to Malaysia some four years ago, when Dr Mahathir had invited him for a test drive, also in a Proton.

"The speed was thrilling: it reached 180 km per hour. But today was calmer."

Mr Joko had earlier said that there were many topics that he needed to discuss with Tun Dr Mahathir during his visit such as the welfare of Indonesian workers in Malaysia, border cooperation, and discrimination against palm oil, of which the two countries are the biggest producers globally.

He also said the haze caused by forest fires in his country has been an embarrassment for him ahead of his visits to Malaysia and Singapore, as the problem has affected Indonesia's two neighbours.

He arrived on Thursday for a two-day visit to Malaysia. He was accompanied by his wife, Ms Iriana Joko Widodo, and an entourage.

According to a Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs press statement, both leaders briefly discussed bilateral and other issues of common interests, including an Asean car project, cooperation in the palm oil industry, community learning centres (CLC), maritime boundary delimitation and land boundary demarcation, Indonesian domestic workers and the Indonesian Flight Information Region (FIR).

Both leaders agreed for the issues to be further deliberated during the 13th Malaysia-Indonesia Annual Consultation, to be hosted by Indonesia.

They also touched on Timor-Leste’s application to join Asean. Dr Mahathir also extended an invitation to Mr Joko to attend the KL Summit from Dec 19 to 21 in Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Mahathir and Mr Joko later left for Singapore to attend the National Day Parade. The Indonesian President returned to Jakarta on Friday night.