PUTRAJAYA: The home minister has played down Indonesia’s decision to temporarily freeze sending its citizens to work in Malaysia, saying it can recruit foreign workers from other countries including Bangladesh.
“We have many foreigners who are working here and we have 15 more source countries (to choose from),” said Hamzah Zainudin.
Earlier today, the republic cited a breach in a worker recruitment deal signed between Jakarta and Putrajaya for its decision to impose the freeze.
Indonesian ambassador Hermono said this was due to the Malaysian immigration department’s continued use of the Maid Online System (MOS) to facilitate the recruitment of Indonesian maids.
The envoy said this was a “total breach” of the MoU on the placement and protection of Indonesian maids which was signed on April 1.
Hermono said the MOS bypassed the One Channel System that was introduced in the MoU. The republic opposed the usage of MOS – which allowed Indonesian workers to enter the country using a tourist visa before applying for a work permit – due to the risk of forced labour.
He added that Malaysia was being “disrespectful” towards the republic’s president Joko Widodo by breaching the agreement.
Hamzah said his ministry was serious about making sure that migrant workers entered Malaysia legally.
He also said that the usage of the MOS to recruit domestic workers was not only for Indonesia but for 15 other source countries as well.
He added that the MOS was used to ensure that migrants who wanted to work and live in Malaysia had proper documents.
“It is important for everyone to understand that we want to make sure that the migrant workers have the necessary documentation if they want to work and live in this country,” said Hamzah.
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