Do not worry about foreign workers` "invasion": Manpower minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Manpower Minister M Hanif Dhakiri has asked people not to worry about the "invasion" of foreign workers (TKA) coming to Indonesia as the government has drawn up rules to filter out the TKA.

"Do not worry, because there are many mandatory requirements as per the Manpower Ministerial Regulation, which can be used as an instrument for domestic workers protection," Dhakiri said on Friday.

Eliminating the requirement to speak Bahasa for foreign workers had worried some parties. They thought it would make it easy for foreign workers to work here and reduce employment opportunities for domestic workers in the country.

Earlier, the Manpower Minister had another directive about the Procedures for Use of Foreign Workers, which requires that a TKA must be able to speak Bahasa. But, Dhakiri had revised the regulation and eliminated the requirement through another Ministerial Regulation.

Dhakiri stressed that the use of foreign workers in Indonesia was not as easy as feared. The TKA must meet other requirements, such as being able to fill high-level positions available for foreign workers, he added.

If there are foreign workers who occupy jobs at the lower level, Dhakiri said it was a violation of rules and their visa permit.

In addition, the terms of use for foreign workers must be accompanied by the use of local labor in the context of transfer of technology and science, which was also assessed as positive for employment in the country.

It also regulated that the company recruiting one foreign worker also had to recruit 10 local workers.

The government also requires more stringent rules, including it being a must for foreign workers to have a certificate of competence or work experience of at least five years, and that there are also certain positions which will be closed to foreign workers.

According to the Manpower Ministrys data, the number of foreign workers employed in Indonesia in 2014 had decreased slightly, compared with 2013, which amounted to 68,957 people, and in 2012, where their number was pegged at 72,427. (*)