Circumstances of deaths of 5 RI workers unclear
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The widows of two illegal migrant workers from Batam, Riau Islands, who were shot dead in Malaysia, have urged the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia to clarify the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their husbands.
It is claimed that the five Indonesians, identified as Jhony, Osnan, Hamid, Diden and Mahno, who were shot by the Malaysian police in Perak, Malaysia, on Friday, Sept. 7 were involved in a number of robberies in the country.
They were allegedly members of a “black-clad” gang that specialized in the burglary of luxurious homes in Penang.
The head of the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI), Jumhur Hidayat, said that the five men were in the country as illegal workers.
“They were there on social-visit visas. Four were from Batam, while the other was from Madura [East Java]. Based on information from the Indonesian Embassy in Malaysia, they were involved in a shootout with local police. We will check that information,” Jumhur said in Jakarta on Thursday.
“They allegedly had criminal records in Malaysia. Some of them were convicts. We will verify this information as well. Preliminary evidence shows that they possessed pistols and stolen laptops,” he said.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that from information from the Malaysian authorities, only one of the individuals killed had been confirmed as an Indonesian, while the identities of the others remained unclear.
The case was revealed by the Indonesian media after the wives of Jhony and Osnan approached a local daily newspaper in Batam on Wednesday to spell out their concerns over what happened to
Devi, 27, Jhony’s wife and Santi Kusumastuti, 30, Osnan’s wife, claimed that they had yet to receive official reports from the Indonesian government over their husbands’ fate.
Devi said that she had tried to contact the Indonesian embassy in Malaysia, but no one gave her any information on the shooting.
“We got information from some websites on the Internet that displayed images of our husbands’ dead bodies. Their chests were cut. It looked like their organs had been removed,” Devi said.
“We also watched news on TV3 [a Malaysian TV station] following information from a friend in Malaysia,” she added.
Santi went to the Batam Immigration Office to ask for information, but her efforts were to no avail.
“Then we decided to tell our stories to journalists in the hope that the issue would attract public and government attention.
Both Devi and Santi said that their husbands, who had worked at a palm oil plantation in Malaysia since 2006, returned to Malaysia via the Batam Center international ferry terminal on Sept. 2.
They admitted that their husbands did not obtain legal working permits as they always traveled as tourists.
The widows demanded that the authorities in both countries arrange to send their husbands’ bodies back home.
“We heard that the bodies are currently at Ipoh hospital in Penang. We urge the Indonesian government to pay attention to this case. We want our husbands’ bodies brought home immediately,” said Devi.
Margareth S. Aritonang and Bagus BT Saragih contributed reporting from Jakarta.