|August 28, 2002 |
President Megawati Soekarnoputri on Tuesday stepped in to defuse the ongoing row with neighboring Malaysia, and urged an immediate resolution of the illegal migrants issue.
The President underlined on Tuesday that long-standing diplomatic ties with Malaysia should not be damaged by emotional reactions from either side regarding the problem.
"We should not display emotional reactions that could affect bilateral ties," Pramono Anung, the deputy secretary-general of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), which is chaired by Megawati, quoted the President as saying.
The core issue is about the deportation of Indonesian illegal workers from Malaysia and has nothing to do with political issues, Pramono told reporters after the party's weekly meeting led by Megawati on Tuesday.
It was the President's hope that the labor issue would not damage friendly bilateral ties between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, Pramono added.
Megawati made the appeal amid further strong comments from Malaysian foreign minister Syed Hamid Albar, who warned on Tuesday that public anger in Indonesia over Kuala Lumpur's treatment of the illegal workers could harm bilateral relations.