The Migrant Worker Placement and Protection Agency (BP2TKI) has officially sent 53 legal migrant workers from Nunukan, East Kalimantan, to employment placements at oil palm plantation companies in Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia.
It was the first time the BP2TKI had officially sent migrant workers to work abroad. The move was officially conducted by the head of Nunukan BP2TKI Center, Muhammad Safri, on Wednesday.
The migrant workers had to go through tight immigration procedures before departing. They will be employed at oil palm plantations in Sabah.
Safri said the tight supervision during departure was due to the BP2TKI, police and immigration not wanting to see increasing numbers of illegal migrant workers from Indonesia.
“The tight document inspection is aimed at overseeing and minimizing the departure of illegal migrant workers to East Malaysia,” Safri said.
Data at the Nunukan BP2TKI showed that the region had been used as a departure point for both legal and illegal migrant workers. Those who enter Malaysia illegally usually go through Sebatik Island, located across from Nunukan Island.
Safri said that each month between 800 and 1,000 illegal Indonesian migrant workers sought work in Tawau.
The departure of the 53 official migrant workers was arranged by PT Citra Bina Tenaga Mandiri (PJTKI), a private migrant workers placement company, based in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.
Prior to departure, the migrant workers must go through examination and validation of employment documents from the port police, assisted by Nunukan BP2TKI officers, and the screening of passports, overseas employment cards (KTKLN) and working visas from the designated company.
All 53 migrant workers were given KTKLN issued by the Kupang BP2TKI.
After the examination process, they embarked on the KM Prancis Express ferry serving the Nunukan-Tawau route.
According to the plan, the migrant workers will be employed at the Genting Sdn. Bhd. oil palm plantation company located in Sandakan and Tawau in East Malaysia.
On the sidelines of the departure, Nunukan Port Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Sumarwanta said the tight inspection of documents was to prevent the illegal departure of Indonesian migrant workers to Malaysia, which would have a detrimental impact on them.
The illegal placement of migrant workers by middlemen deprives the former of standard wages and labor regulations.
“These strict physical and document inspections are aimed at protecting migrant workers and preventing issues arising with migrant workers in Malaysia,” said Sumarwanta.
He added that the Nunukan Police, through the Port Police, had assigned officers to inspect every migrant worker before leaving the country, especially those heading to Malaysia.
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