Malaysia called on to reduce migrant worker placement costs – The Indonesian government, via the Manpower Ministry, has sent a letter to the Malaysian government asking it to reduce migrant worker placement costs, which have significantly increased following new policies applied in the country.
“There were new migrant worker policies issued by the Malaysian government for five countries, including Indonesia. In fact, those policies have the potential to impose heavier financial burdens on our migrant workers so the ministry sent a letter calling on them [the Malaysian government] to give attention to this matter,” the ministry’s Indonesian Migrant Worker Management and Placement director, R. Soes Hindharno, said after a coordination meeting in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), on Monday.
"In principle, we want the additional costs that result from the new policies to be covered by their employers in Malaysia.”
Hindharno admitted that the Indonesian government has not been aware of the new policies since the very beginning. In fact, Malaysia implemented the policies, which were related to immigration, health and labor tax systems, two years ago.
“We sent the letter asking the Malaysian government to review the policies three weeks ago,” said Hindharno.
Because of the policies, he said, the cost to arrange visas has increased to Rp 1.15 million (US$88) per person from Rp 50,000.
A member of the NTB chapter of the Indonesian Labor Exporters Association (Apjati), Muazzim Akbar, said the increases in migrant worker placement costs had led many NTB residents to take illegal routes to go to Malaysia.
“They now must pay Rp 7.5 million per person, far higher than the previous cost of between Rp 4 million to Rp 5 million, because of the regulations,” he said. (

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