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Jakarta Post

Ministry to bring back Indonesian language requirement for foreign workers

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 3, 2018   /   01:32 pm
Ministry to bring back Indonesian language requirement for foreign workers An expatriate wearing batik in observance of National Batik Day runs alongside others to catch a train at Duku Atas Station. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The Manpower Ministry is now preparing a regulation to bring back the requirement for foreign workers to speak Indonesian, an official has said.

“We will issue a ministerial regulation [on deliberation of the requirement]. It is being discussed and drafted,” said Manpower Ministry legal bureau head Budiman in Jakarta on Wednesday as reported by

The requirement was previously removed from Manpower Ministerial Regulation No. 16/2015. Budiman said the requirement was previously removed because certain foreign workers, like technicians installing machinery in Indonesian factories, only traveled to the country for several days at a time.

“Such workers do not need to be able to speak Indonesian because they are in fact employed by owners of the machinery,” the official said, adding that if such workers were required to speak Indonesian, it could discourage investment.

Budiman said that under the regulation, which is being drafted, the requirement to speak the Indonesian language would only be applied to foreign workers staying in the country for longer periods of time.

“Under the prepared regulation, only those who stay for six months or longer are required to be able to speak the Indonesian language,” Budiman added.

Previously, Indonesian Workers Association (Aspek) president Mirah Sumirat criticized the government for removing such a requirement, saying it indiscriminately brought in a flood of foreign workers. (bbn)