The Chinese, holding visa for tourists, worked for PLTU Tenayan Raya, sub-district of Tenayan Raya, in this Riau capital city.
"We just conducted routine inspection and we found 98 foreign workers having no working permit," head of the provincial manpower office Rasyidin Siregar said here on Tuesday.
Rasyidin Siregar said there were many Chinese working at the power plant, and almost all of them have no working permit.
"There are only five holding working permit, the rest had only visa for tourists," he said.
He said he had coordinated with the immigration office to take the necessary steps against the illegal workers.
The many Chinese workers in the country have become a public debate. The government policy of visa free travel or visa on arrival to visitors from around 170 countries including China has been blamed for the many illegal workers from China in the country.
There are growing calls for the cancellation of the policy, amid widespread rumors that more than 10 million Chinese have worked in Indonesia when the country is struggling to reduce unemployment.
The government, however, has dismissed the rumors as hoax, saying the policy is to draw more tourists to the country.
"That is a hoax. We have too many hoaxes now. I would like to challenge you to show me data about 10 million foreign workers here, even 1 million illegal workers," Law and Human Right Minister Yasona Laoly said.
The minister said based on data at the Labor Ministry there are 21,000 foreign workers from China holding the temporary stay license in Indonesia.
Earlier President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) shrugged off when asked to comment on the rumors, saying "where did they get the number."
The president said it is almost unlikely that Hong Kong Chinese would want to work in Indonesia where the pay is much smaller.
"It is just impossible that people from Hong Kong, America, Europe to look for job here when they could get a much higher pay in their countries," Jokowi said.
Chinese investors brought with them trained workers, but the workers will be replaced by Indonesian gradually, a government official has said.(*)