Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Call for increased oversight on migrant workers

More than 100 workers found captive in raid over the weekend

Call for increased oversight on migrant workers
Muhaimin Iskandar (courtesy House of Representatives)
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

December 6, 2012

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

The government has reacted to the release of 95 Indonesian domestic workers after a raid in Malaysia over the weekend, by saying the placement of migrant workers must be evaluated in order to protect them from abuse.  

“We call on the National Police to be more aggressive in arresting those sending illegal Indonesian migrant workers as it leads to human trafficking,” Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar said yesterday. 

The Indonesians, all women, were found along with three Malaysians, three Cambodians and one Filipino. Malaysian police arrested 12 people in the raid. 

The captive women were domestic workers during the day but allegedly confined at night and did not receive payment.   

Malaysian police are still searching for the owner of the agency.

Indonesia lifted a 2009 ban on migrant workers to Malaysia last year. According to Iskandar, the government has introduced a legal procedure for working overseas. 

“Don’t believe in anyone telling you that illegal placement is cheap. Whatever the reason is, that is a deception,” he said.

In order to lessen the number of illegal Indonesian migrant workers, he added, the government has tried to lower the placement expenses.

An Indonesian migrant worker pays between 10-15 million rupiah (between US$1,052 and US$1,578) for a valid placement, he said.

Almost 100 Indonesians were authorized to work in Malaysia last year, but 20,000 workers, lured by high wages and the promise of work, left to illegally work there during the same period.

Iskandar said Indonesian and Malaysian governments will hold a meeting later this month to discuss problems faced by Indonesian migrant workers.

Want more stories like this?
Sign up to receive UCAN Daily or Weekly newsletters (You can select one or more)
Want more stories like this?
Sign up to UCAN Daily or Weekly newsletters
You can select one or more
First Cut
Morning Daily
(Morning Daily)
Full Bulletin
Afternoon Daily
(Afternoon Daily)