The recent sinking of a ferry carrying undocumented Indonesian migrant workers and their families in Batam, Riau Islands, has shown how prevalent illegal labor dispatch practices are in the country.
Many Indonesian citizens, including those in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), are willing to use risky illegal routes to get a job in Malaysia because they are cheaper and have simpler and faster procedures.
“It’s a fact and the government must be sensitive to the matter. If not, we should not be surprised to see similar accidents continuing to happen in the future,” chairman of the NTB office of the Indonesian Labor Supplying Companies Association (APJATI), Muhammaddun, said in a recent interview in Mataram.
He further said departure costs that must be covered by an Indonesian migrant worker who wanted to go to Malaysia legally had continued to increase significantly during the last three years following new policies applied in Malaysia.
The new regulations relate to visa arrangements, health examinations and immigration fingerprint screening for Indonesian migrant workers who want to work in Malaysia.
With the three new regulations, Muhammaddun said, each Indonesian migrant worker had to pay an additional 420 ringgit or around Rp 1.5 million (US$114.26). Visa fees have also increased to 220 ringgit from 15 ringgit.
“It takes up to three months to process all of the documents. That’s why many people tend to use illegal routes, such as applying for tourist visas but later using them to work,” said Muhammaddun
Anonymous. www.jakartapost.com. “Low costs, simpler procedures among reasons why Indonesian migrants choose illegal routes”. November 06 2016. November 07 2016 <http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/11/06/low-costs-simpler-procedures-among-reasons-why-indonesian-migrants-choose-illegal-routes.html>