JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Malaysia regards its bilateral relations with Indonesia as family ties that can be likened to the Malay proverb "air yang dicincang tak akan putus" (meaning 'blood is thicker than water'), said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

He said that though Malaysia and Indonesia had experienced bitter-sweet moments in their relationship, their ties had strengthened.

"I am confident that the close and positive relations between the two neighbouring countries will not only strengthen but go beyond the diplomatic boundaries," he said in in a special message delivered via a video presentation at a Malaysia Day dinner at the Malaysian Embassy here Wednesday night to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Indonesia.

The event was attended by more than 1,000 people, among whom were Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Dr Salleh Said Keruak, Indonesian Education and Culture Minister Muhajir Effendy, Indonesian Communications and Informatics Minister Rudyantara, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) Editor-in-Chief Zakaria Abdul Wahab, foreign dignitaries and the business community.

Najib said Malaysia and Indonesia were not only neighbours, but also had many similarities and shared a culture and language that portrayed the richness of people of the same descent.

The prime minister called on all quarters to preserve and strengthen the close relations.

He said a relationship that had been nurtured for over 60 years should not be looked at only in terms of official ties, and that all quarters should strive to enhance this to a higher level for the future generations.

Earlier, Muhajir said that though there were ups and downs in Malaysian-Indonesian relations, the leaders always emphasised on living in harmony with neighbours.

The Malaysia Day slogan 'One Heart, One Soul' should be expanded to cover relations between Malaysia and Indonesia to forge such relations between the people of the two countries, he said.

The Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia, Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, said the embassy often organised goodwill programmes with Indonesia aimed at strengthening relations between the people of the two countries.

Guests were entertained to songs and dances performed by Malaysian and Indonesian artistes.


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