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Jakarta Post

Not all Chinese workers at Meikarta project illegal, Bekasi official says

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 12, 2020   /   12:58 pm
Not all Chinese workers at Meikarta project illegal, Bekasi official says Work in progress: An aerial photo shows the construction of apartments at Meikarta in Cikarang, Bekasi regency, West Java, on Tuesday. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak A. )

The Bekasi administration is looking into allegations of Chinese citizens working illegally at Lippo Group’s Meikarta township project in the West Java regency, after a politician’s comment raised concerns over the issue.

Bekasi Workforce Agency head Suhup said his side had conducted health checks on 83 out of 267 documented Chinese workers amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. The checks were carried out when the agency “got word that the workers not only worked as supervisors but also as blue-collar workers,” he went on to say.

“Not all foreign workers on the Meikarta project are undocumented,” Suhuf told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. “However, we are looking into the allegations.”

Read also: Meikarta plans to sell 25% more apartments this year

Meikarta spokesman Danang Kemayan Jati denied the Bekasi administration’s finding, saying in a statement that the company only employed 86 Chinese citizens “who worked as either supervisors or key specialists.”

Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician and Bekasi Legislative Council (DPRD) member Budiyanto raised the issue when he told journalists on Tuesday that thousands of Chinese citizens were working illegally on the Meikarta project.

He told kompas.com that the estimate was based on information from locals and a “trusted source”, who claimed around 200 Chinese citizens were working on Meikarta’s 15 under-construction towers.

The law forbids companies in Indonesia from employing foreigners as blue-collar workers.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is slated to sign into law a landmark omnibus bill on job creation this year.