The Jakarta Post
Indonesia is intensifying its efforts to protect migrant workers in Malaysia, as indicated by a visit to Penang and Johor by Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi this week.
Retno's visit from March 15 to 18 was the first by an Indonesian foreign minister to Penang and Johor since 1969.
The minister held talks with Indonesian migrant workers and several companies in some key areas, including oil palm plantations and technology-intense industries, such as the Plexus Riverside.
“I have asked the management to end the problems that occur in Malaysia and I will also convey that to the Malaysian government. Meanwhile, I have communicated with the relevant ministers to look for solutions to the upstream problems,” Retno said in a statement on Saturday.
Retno also visited shelters for troubled citizens managed by the Indonesian consulate general offices in Penang and Johor Bahru and she launched public service innovations to assist with the welfare of migrant workers aboard, such as online passport application assistance.
She also launched the Indonesian Community Center, initiated by Johor Bahru’s consulate general, which provides clinic facilities and skill training to migrant workers.
In Penang, Retno met with Governor Tun Dato Seri Utama Haji Abdul Rahman, who conveyed appreciation for Indonesian migrant workers' contributions to development in Malaysia.
According to data from the Foreign Ministry, there are approximately 360,000 Indonesian workers registered in KJRI Johor Bahru and about 80,000 in the KJRI Penang area, the majority of which work in oil palm plantations, construction and manufacturing industries. (ipa)