Page last updated at 04:50 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Indonesian leader visits Malaysia

By Jennifer Pak
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Indonesian protesters burn malaysian flag, Java, august 2009
Some Indonesians have protested against Malaysia

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrives in Malaysia on the first visit since being sworn in for a second term last month.

The visit comes at a time when relations between the two countries have been tense.

Malaysia and Indonesia's relationship has been characterised as a friendly sibling rivalry.

But tensions have risen recently over the treatment of Indonesian maids in Malaysia.

Indonesians have complained that Malaysia stole their cultural dances, songs and even food.

But the disputes between the two have taken on a more serious tone in the last six months.

The Indonesian government has temporarily banned its citizens from going to work as maids in Malaysia after a string of abuse cases being reported.

Malaysian officials say these are isolated incidents.

And that the Indonesian media has been blowing things out of proportion.

The government says the similarities between the two cultures are what draw so many Indonesians to work in Malaysia.

Some Malaysians say disputes between the two countries are just misunderstandings, and that the bond between Malaysia and Indonesia is strong enough that they can resolve these problems.

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