PUTRAJAYA, The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry will be taking immediate follow-up action following the agreement between the leaders of Malaysia and Indonesia to release each other's fishermen detained in the two countries.

Its Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the decision was reached between Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their 12th Annual Leaders' Consultation in Kuching yesterday, much to the relief of the detained fishermen's families.

The Prime Minister said the move was taken because most of the fishermen who were detained were poor and the situation had affect their families' livelihood.

Through the consultation, both parties agreed that the affected fishermen would be released quickly to enable them to resume their lives in their respective countries.

"So the wishes of the two leaders should be realised, he told the media after speaking at a dinner in conjunction with the 30th World Organisation for Animal Health Conference for Asia, East and Oceania here last night.

"The ministry would be identifying the fishermen involved and will cooperate with the related agencies on the issue as it involves the security and laws of the two countries.

We estimate about 16 Malaysians are being held in Indonesia while about 100 Indonesian fishermen are being held in the country, he said.

Meanwhile, in KUALA NERUS, Terengganu state, two out of the five local fishermen who were held by the Indonesian authorities in Pulau Terempa for encroaching into the country's national waters in April, arrived home safely in Kampung Seberang Takir, here late yesterday evening.

The return of Mohd Firdaus Mohamad, 27, and Mohd Zaidi Mohammad, 23, were received by family members and friends after they were held in the island's prison for about seven months.


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