Our political paths are very similar: Anwar Ibrahim and Prabowo

Jakarta. Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim hosted President-elect Prabowo Subianto at his office in Putrajaya on Thursday for a casual conversation about his political career and more.

Mr. Anwar revealed his discussions with Mr. Prabowo, who will take office in October this year, on his personal social media accounts. Apart from the future direction of Indonesia-Malaysia relations, both politicians spoke about their journeys and how they reached their current positions.

“We take this opportunity to exchange experiences and opinions about our company. [political] Careers and the future direction of Malaysia-Indonesia relations. Our paths in politics are very similar. We had a casual conversation about Prabowo’s time studying at Victoria Institute in Kuala Lumpur, as well as the series of obstacles he was exposed to before taking office,” Anwar said on his Instagram. Posted on gram.

“I congratulate the soon-to-be-sworn-in 8th President of Indonesia. May Malaysia and Indonesia maintain close and friendly relations for our common interests in the future,” Anwar said.

Both politicians had to face a difficult road to rise to power. Mr. Anwar is a longtime opposition leader who was previously sentenced to prison for sodomy and corruption in the late 1990s. In 2011, Anwar told a court that the sodomy charge was a malicious lie designed to destroy him politically. He was then jailed for a second time in 2015 for sodomy. Anwar will become prime minister in 2022. Prabowo had to lose twice to outgoing Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in elections in 2014 and 2019. Prabowo, who chose Jokowi’s son Gibran Rakabumin Raka as his running mate, finally won this year’s election.

According to a separate press release, Prabowo told Anwar that strengthening defense cooperation remains a “key priority” going forward. Prabowo is currently the defense minister and will succeed Jokowi in October this year. Indonesia also plans to strengthen ties with “friendly countries” including Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.

In 2022, Malaysia and Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defense cooperation. The memorandum of understanding includes regular dialogue on security issues of common interest, military partnerships, and personnel exchanges.

Last September, Anwar flew to Jakarta to attend the 43rd ASEAN Summit. At the time, Indonesia was the chairman of the Southeast Asia bloc. Next year, Malaysia will take over the baton from Laos as the 2024 ASEAN chair.

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