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17.11.2009 International

Indonesia drafts plans to handle troubled migrant workers in Malaysia

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The Indonesian government is drafting action plans following the plan of Indonesia and Malaysia governments to establish a joint task force in handling troubled Indonesian workers working in Malaysia.

Indonesian minister said in an official statement sent to the media on Sunday that "We can and must settle the remaining problems as soon as possible.

While the legal process is proceeding in Malaysia, we will reset regulations regarding the migrant workers placement so as to guarantee that we would depart only the qualified workers," Indonesian Manpower Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said in the statement.

Indonesia's initiative to draft the action plan is following the agreement of Indonesian minister and his Malaysian counterpart to establish a joint task force that was set up during Indonesian minister's recent visit to Malaysia.

The plan to reset the requirement for Indonesian workers wishing to work in Malaysia is one of action plans the minister would take, the statement said.

According to the minister, the joint task force establishment is aimed ultimately at providing protection to Indonesian workers who were abused by their Malaysian employers.

In the meantime, trials against Malaysian violent employers and Indonesian workers committed in wrongdoings are underway in Indonesia's neighboring country.

Regarding the plan to establish such a task force, Muhaimin has ordered regional governments, police, immigration and Indonesian placement agencies to close down the departure points of Illegal Indonesian workers to enter Malaysia.

The manpower ministry has identified that there are, at least, 51 places used by Indonesian illegal workers to enter Malaysia.

The minister said that closures on those points are essential prior to the revocation of Indonesia's moratorium to send workers to Malaysia since June this year.

The moratorium is expected to be lifted if the result of the upcoming talks between Indonesia and Malaysian agencies satisfies Indonesia, the statement said as reported by the

The discussion is scheduled to take place from November 20 to 21 in Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

There are 2.2 million Indonesian workers working in Malaysian at the moment, according to the data disclosed by the ministry. Some of them are working there without valid documents issued by Indonesian government.

Earlier reports said that many Indonesian workers have fallen victim to the violent acts of their Malaysian employers. Some of them suffered from permanent injuries, some even returned to their hometown in coffins due to the violence they received from their violent employers.

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