JAKARTA, Oct 9 — The Indonesian government has given its assurance that it will make it easier for Malaysians intending to pursue studies to obtain temporary student visas, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
According to her, the assurance was given by Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla himself during her meeting with him in conjunction with her one-day working visit to the republic today.
“The issuing of temporary student visas has some problems, among them not having a uniform system with agents offering differing prizes (to the students) and the Indonesian vice-president took note of this and promised to make the process easier,” she told a press conference here tonight.
Dr Wan Azizah said currently there were more than 4,000 Malaysian students in Indonesia with most of them taking up medicine.
On her meeting with President Joko Widodo, Dr Wan Azizah said the president raised the issue of education for children of unregistered Indonesian workers.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the Indonesian government asked that these children be given an opportunity to access education at least up to the primary school level.
“We will look into this including from the curriculum aspects so that they get early education and return to Indonesia for secondary level education,” she said.
Dr Wan Azizah said her meeting with the two leaders also touched on humanitarian aid for victims of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Central Sulawesi.
She said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to announce funding for a rehabilitation programme in the education field for the victims.
According to her, so far the Malaysian government had contributed RM1 million to Indonesia while the Sulawesi Earthquake/Tsunami Fund (TBGBTS) launched on Oct 4 had collected RM75,000.
“Malaysia hopes the contribution can help the people affected by the twin disaster. We are also offering our Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, but still waiting if the team’s assistance is needed by Indonesia,” she said.
Dr Wan Azizah added that she and Jokowi also exchanged views on tackling extremism via exchange of information by both countries’ authorities. — Bernama