The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo underlined on Wednesday that Presidential Regulation No 20/2018 on foreign workers, which he signed last month, was part of an administrative reform to simplify the procedure of issuing permits to foreign workers.
“We know that the regulation on foreign workers has become an issue; we want to reform the administrative procedure [related to them],” the President said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The new regulation has become a hot topic among lawmakers from opposition parties, who questioned the regulation and claimed it could trigger an influx of foreign workers into the country.
“The government must protect local workers from a possible wave of foreign workers,” said House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Fadli Zon, a Gerindra Party politician.
According to the Manpower Ministry, Indonesia currently accommodates around 126,000 foreign workers, he added.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung assured that the regulation was merely an effort to simplify existing procedures involving visas and work permits.
He accused the politicians of politicizing the matter ahead of the legislative elections in June and presidential elections in 2019.
“This issue concerning foreign workers is being blown out of proportion. But I stress here that [the new regulations] is only part of our efforts to improve the administrative procedure of arranging working permits for foreigners,” Pramono said as reported by kontan.co.id, adding that the regulation was not aimed at facilitating the arrival of more foreign workers. (bbn)