JAKARTA - Indonesia will ask Malaysia to extend rehiring program that took place from February 15 to June 30, 2017, as part of the efforts to deal with illegal migrant workers.
"Indonesia will ask Malaysia to extend the rehiring program and to stop a crackdown (on illegal migrant workers). The move is necessary in view of the large number of illegal migrant workers in Malaysia, including those from Indonesia. If the program is extended, coupled with easy and cheap voluntary repatriation program, then many (illegal migrant workers) will join it," Indonesian Manpower Minister M Hanif Dhakiri said at the Manpower Ministry, Thursday.
The rehiring program ended with a massive crackdown on illegal migrant workers employed in Malaysia.
Dhakiri remarked the rehiring program, which was started with the registration of illegal migrant workers to secure E-Kad (Enforcement Card) from February 15 to June 30, 2017, was too short. As a result, the participation of illegal migrant workers in the program was not optimum.
The Manpower Ministry send a team of officers to Kuala Lumpur to discuss Indonesias request for the extension of the rehiring program at an informal meeting.
The informal meeting will be a starting point before the two countries hold an official meeting to discuss a wide range of issues, including a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the placement and protection of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia.
The minister revealed he would attend the meeting to settle problems faced by an estimated 1.3 million Indonesian illegal migrant workers in Malaysia.
On Thursday, the Manpower Ministry, along with 22 provincial and district manpower offices, held a meeting in Jakarta to discuss efforts to handle problematic Indonesian workers in Malaysia.
Separately, Chairman of MPR, Zulkifli Hasan asked the Ministry of Manpower firmly against the realtor of sending migrant workers abroad.
"It's all a realtor broker. Pity the people, there ask for money, here ask for money, so they be a victim," said Zulkifli in Parliament Building, Senayan, Jakarta, Friday (7/7).
According to him, illegal workers in Malaysia and other countries are victims of human trafficking.
"This is the human period, it is a humanity issue, it must be firmly not allowed to play like this," said Chairman of National Mandate Party (PAN).
Then, he added, government's function of providing labor skills training should be optimized.