KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Indonesian President Joko Widodo drew loud cheers and applause as he stepped out of a black BMW at the Chow Kit market here today, accompanied by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
A large crowd of locals and Indonesians had squeezed into the popular wet market as early as 11am even as police and security personnel placed barricades along the streets.
Jokowi arrived at 12.35pm and was surrounded by well wishers and fans who all had their handphones ready to snap pictures and videos of the Indonesian leader popularly nicknamed Jokowi.
He greeted the crowd with a smile, asked them how they were doing and proceeded to walk through the market, stopping every now and then to check out the goods on sale as well as ask the traders about their business.
Indonesian President Jokowi visits one of the stalls at the Chow Kit market in Kuala Lumpur June 8, 2023. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
He was casual and engaging, even posing for pictures with some of the traders while those around them shouted and begged loudly to take one with him too.
“Pak Jokowi”, “apa khabar pak” were among the frequently repeated words heard in the din to get him to look their way, as more people pushed their way in after catching sight or hearing that he was in the market.
Several hundred Indonesians gathered at the opposite end of the market entrance and started singing the Indonesian national anthem Indonesia Raya as Jokowi and Anwar exited the market an hour later.
Indonesian President Jokowi and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were seen leaving the Chow Kit market in Kuala Lumpur June 8, 2023. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
After acknowledging their singing, Jokowi and Anwar went to a nearby cafe for about 20 minutes for a breather before leaving the area.
Jokowi is undertaking a two-day working visit to Malaysia starting today.
This visit is expected to strengthen the existing strong bilateral relations between Malaysia and Indonesia.