The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Friday broke his silence on widespread rumors surrounding the alleged influx of millions of Chinese workers into Indonesia who are allegedly placing pressure on domestic blue-collar workers.
Speaking during the launch of the government-sanctioned National Job Internship Program in Karawang, West Java, the President shrugged off the rumors, saying that the circulated numbers were false and exaggerated.
“Many said that [the number of] Chinese [workers] entering Indonesia was 10 million, [or] 20 million. When did they count the figures?” he said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
“Our official count is 21,000 [Chinese workers]. It is a tiny figure. Don’t add too many zeroes.”
(Read also: Don't misinterpret the influx of Chinese workers: VP)
Vice President Jusuf Kalla has previously asked the public not to misinterpret the influx of Chinese workers in Indonesia, since they are brought in by investors.
He said the Chinese workers would not compete with local blue-collar workers, since big projects would certainly involve local workers as well.
Kalla also said local workers would receive better wages.
"So, the Chinese workers are allowed [to enter] to create more projects and open up more employment [opportunities in Indonesia]. Don't think in reverse," he said in September. (hwa)
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