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Malaysia will help Indonesia solve illegal migrant workers issue

Antara News - 28 January 2015 - Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said his country will help Indonesia overcome its migrant workers (TKIs) problem, particularly the issue of illegal workers.

Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said his country will help Indonesia overcome its migrant workers (TKIs) problem, particularly the issue of illegal workers.

"Our priority is to prevent illegal TKIs from entering Malaysia," the Ambassador said here on Wednesday.

According to him, the problem of migrant workers is a classic dispute between the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia and it involves two factors, namely security and humanity issues.

"The security factor surfaces when a worker commits a crime in Malaysia and the humanity issue depends on how TKIs enter the country," Hashim noted.

The issues can become worse if the number of illegal immigrants increases, he added.

In October 2011, the Malaysian government initiated the 6P program to resolve the issue of illegal foreign workers and immigrants in the country.

6P is the acronym for Pendaftaran (registration), Pemutihan (legalization), Pengusiran (deportation), Pemantauan (monitoring), Penguatkuasaan (rehabilitation), and Pengampunan (amnesty).

The legalization program is to help immigrant workers who seek jobs illegally, and 1.2 million of them are Indonesians.

Hashim hopes that the legalization process stops illegal TKIs from entering Malaysia.

"If the issue of illegal migrants ends, it will strengthen the relations between Indonesia and Malaysia," he noted.

The Ambassador acknowledged the contributions made by Indonesian workers to his countrys economic growth and the importance of cooperation to increase workers protection.

"TKIs are contributing to Malaysias oil, plantation, and manufacturing industries," the Ambassador observed.

Moreover, Hashim added, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 will change the dynamics of the flow of labor in the region.

He remarked that migrant workers problem needs to be fixed in order to support the AECs goals.

Malaysia is the fifth-largest foreign investor in Indonesia, with its investments reaching US$711 million in 2014, and the trend is expected to increase in the years to come.

On January 27, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met her Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman in Kinabalu to discuss the steps to intensify the cooperation between the two countries.

The Indonesian foreign ministry said the meeting was held to strengthen the Indonesian and Malaysian governments commitment to increase the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Regarding Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia, Retno noted that their protection is one of the priorities of the Joko Widodo government.

She also expressed her gratitude to the Malaysian government for introducing the 6P program.

More than 210 thousand out of some 600 thousand Indonesian migrant workers without documents were processed through the program between 2011 and 2014.

The Indonesian government is expected to hold further dialogs with the Malaysian government on ways to handle other problems faced by migrant workers without documents.

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Source: http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/97567/malaysia-will-help-indonesia-solve-illegal-migrant-workers-issue

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