Malaysia has pledged to repatriate Indonesian graft suspects in its territory after attorney generals from both nations signed a deal on legal cooperation.
Malaysian Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said that his country would never protect Indonesia’s corruptors hiding in its midst.
“We’ll never protect them,” he told reporters after the signing.
Patail said that if Indonesia requested help, the Malaysian authorities would locate the graft suspects and hand them over.
There has been speculation fugitive graft suspect Neneng Sri Wahyuni, the wife of corruption defendant Muhammad Nazaruddin, is in Malaysia.
Comr. Gen. Sutarman, the National Police chief of detectives, said authorities suspect she is staying in a country “like Indonesia.” Neneng stayed with Nazaruddin in Colombia but is believed to have left the country a day before he was arrested. There has been speculation she went to Kuala Lumpur, where the couple’s children have been living with a relative.
Malaysian and Indonesian authorities, however, have never publicly responded on the speculation although the Indonesian media continues to report it.
Attorney General Basrief Arief said the memorandum of understanding specified cooperation in tackling migrant worker problems, illegal fishing, illegal logging, illicit drug dealing and terrorism.
“After signing this MoU, we will discuss the implementation of the cooperation in the near future,” Basrief said.
Patail said that under the MoU, Malaysia will inform Indonesia if there are problems with its migrant workers, including giving information whenever they face capital punishment, as well as providing them with legal assistance.
Djoko Suyanto, the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, and Amir Syamsuddin, the justice and human rights minister, attended the signing ceremony.
Basrief said that Malaysia and Indonesia shared similar problems in tackling transnational crimes.
“This MoU enables us to pool our resources to combat crimes we face together, including terrorism, drugs trafficking and illegal fishing,” he said.
Indonesia and Malaysia are intensifying talks following growing suspicion between the people of the two nations.
Besides agreement between the two attorneys general, both countries signed a deal in Bali early this year committing the often testy neighbors to help prevent disputes related to their maritime borders and illegal fishing.
The latest border dispute between the two countries arose from claims by Indonesian legislators in October that Malaysia was to take over 1,400 hectares of Indonesia’s terrestrial and maritime territory in Camar Bulan and Tanjung Datu in West Kalimantan, because border markers in the area had been destroyed by erosion.
The government, military and national mapping agency subsequently played down the claims, pointing out that there was no evidence whatsoever to back them.
Cases of fishing boats from one country getting stopped by maritime patrols from the other because of encroachment have also raised tensions in the past.