Good relationship between journalists from Malaysia-Indonesia can help resolve conflicts – Iswami

JAKARTA, Feb 20: The strong bond established between journalists from Malaysia and Indonesia to form a strong foundation can serve as a bridge to connect the people of both countries and become a major component in resolving conflicts that may arise.

Malaysia’s ambassaddor to Indonesia, Datuk Syed Md Hasrin Tengku Hussin said journalists play an important role in bridging the social interaction, understanding and appreciation of culture and history of both countries.

“Alhamdulillah with the existence of Ikatan Setiakawan Wartawan Malaysia-Indonesia (ISWAMI), whenever there is an issue involving any one country, journalists from Malaysia and Indonesia can assist in explaining the issue at hand to help resolve the conflict,” he said in his speech during a ‘ISWAMI Malaysia with the Malaysian ambassaddor to Indonesia’ dinner at a leading hotel, here tonight.

He said Malaysia and Indonesia also shared similarities in their approach at the international stage in issues involving the Rohingya, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Palestine.

Sharing the same sentiment was ISWAMI Malaysia president and ASTRO Awani editor-in-chief Ashwad Ismail who said the role of ISWAMI in building the relationship between both countries was the right move forward as the media’s role today, especially with the advancement of technology, has become even more challenging.

“Most important is that we have to build an international relationship that is positive at a time when the situation on the international stage remains unstable. We hope to expose more Malaysian journalists to the media perspective in Indonesia because it is important in efforts to strengthen the relationship in the ASEAN region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bernama Editor-in-Chief Nur-ul Afida Kamaludin who headed the ISWAMI Malaysia delegation for the 2024 Indonesia National Press Day (HPN), representing the Ministry of Communications, said the presence of the Malaysian media delegation leaders in Jakarta today proves the strong existing bond between Malaysian and Indonesian media.

Nur-ul who is also the ISWAMI Malaysia’s administrative council member said though the ISWAMI Malaysian delegation comprised mainly young journalists, the bonding among journalists from both countries has become even stronger.

“Infact, both sides were unanimous in the message, that of to continue assisting both countries to foster a stronger understanding and relationship…ISWAMI also plays an important role in assisting the government to boost the existing cordial relationship between both countries,” she said.

Earlier, 16 journalists representing various media and news agencies from Malaysia arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia at 2.45 pm (Indonesian time) in conjunction with the 2024 National Press Day celebration scheduled tomorrow.

The delegation comprising editors-in-chief and managing editors who are also prominent figures in Ikatan Setiakawan Malaysia-Indonesia (ISWAMI) Malaysia are in the republic to honour the invitation for the 2024 HPN which will see the culmination of more than 6,000 journalists from all over Indonesia.

Apart from Nur-ul Afida; Ashwad Ismail; also in the delegation are ISWAMI Malaysia deputy president Datuk Ahmad Zaini Kamaruzzaman is also the NSTP Group Managing Editor and Berita Harian Group Editor, ISWAMI Malaysia vice president 1 and Communication Minister’s Press Secretary Nur Hanim  Mohd Muhili; Vice President 2, Kamaruddin Mape who is also Media Prima Television Networks group editor of news and current affairs and ISWAMI secretary-general Mohd Shukri Ishak who is also Head of Broadcasting (TV & Radio) of the National News Agency of Malaysia (Bernama).

ISWAMI Malaysia council members present in the delegation are Utusan TV chief-editor Datuk Zulkefli Hamzah; Sarawak Media Group director/CEO Suara Sarawak and New Sarawak Tribune Datuk Dr Jeniri Amir. 

On Feb 12, 15 journalists from various news agencies in Malaysia arrived in Indonesia to participate in the Program Jejak Serumpun Ikatan Setiakawan Malaysia-Indonesia (ISWAMI) Malaysia in Jakarta from February 12 to February 21, 2024.

The educational visit was planned to expose Malaysian journalists to various dimensions and perspectives behind the dynamics of the 2024 Indonesian Presidential Election (PILPRES) on February 14, 2024, and the Indonesian National Press Day (HPN) 2024, which takes place on February 20, 2024, in Jakarta.

ISWAMI is a Malaysian-Indonesian journalist forum established in 2003 as a bridge between Malaysian and Indonesian media relations, playing a role in building prosperity for both countries.