Indonesian Consul General in Kuching Jahar Gultom said in 2016, 2,203 Indonesians were sent back across the border to Indonesia including 2,203 deported by the Malaysian authorities and 173 expatriated by the Consulate General.
Jahar said the consulate general recorded 57 cases of working accidents involving Indonesian migrant workers and 357 other Indonesian workers fled their working places mainly plantations in Sarawak in 2016.
He said he believed there are more cases of working accidents and workers abandoning their jobs than reported to the Consulate General office.
He said it was estimated currently there are around 1.4 million Indonesian workers including illegal workers in Sarawak, and around 250,000 of them working in Sarawak illegally.
He said the Consulate General has provided temporary accommodation for the illegal workers before their cases are settled by the Sarawak authorities.
"In 2016, the Consulate General accommodated at least 160 illegal Indonesian workers," he said, adding 209 Indonesian workers including 45 women were reported dead to the Consulate General.
According to official Malaysian record, there were 792,571 Indonesians who had foreign workers permits in Malaysia last year.
Based on the number of active permits, there are 1,978,948 foreign workers in Malaysia, and Indonesians made up the largest.
Indonesia has large number of workers abroad the largest in Malaysia, followed by Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. Most of them are plantation workers and housemaids.