Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has opposed Malaysia`s direct hiring scheme for migrant workers in the informal sector and banned recruiting agents from sending workers to the neighboring country under the scheme.

Secretary General of the Manpower Ministry, Hery Sudarmanto, stated here on Wednesday that the scheme did not match the regulation in Indonesia. Therefore, the government has warned private recruiting agents (PPTKIS) to avoid sending migrant workers under such scheme.

"Regarding the issue, the Indonesian government has issued the policy to ban PPTKIS from sending Indonesian migrant workers to Malaysia under the direct hiring scheme," Sudarmanto noted.

The scheme would allow employers to hire migrant workers directly from PPTKIS, without the role of a partner agency, as stipulated by the regulation, he added.

Sudarmanto remarked that Malaysia has never spoken to Indonesia on the implementation of the scheme; therefore, the government has urged its neighbor to discuss the issue and renew the agreement on migrant workers` recruitment, which had expired on May 31, 2016.

"We want some explanation on the direct hiring scheme, and we have urged Malaysia to discuss a new bilateral agreement that will become a legal umbrella for placement and protection of Indonesian workers in Malaysia," he asserted.

Meanwhile, First Secretary of the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) Hermono revealed that the new scheme neither had a clear mechanism on workers` protection and placement nor had run in accordance with the law no 18/2017 on Indonesian migrant workers` protection.

"For Malaysia, the direct hiring program is aimed at cutting migrant workers` placement cost and dismissing the role of a partner agency. But we do not know yet whether the scheme would not violate the regulation in Indonesia," Hermono explained.

The scheme, he noted, might be harmful to workers and employers as well.

The ministry`s Director General of workers Placement and Development, Maruli Apul Hasoloan, pointed out that the scheme contradicts the government regulation no 5/2013 on partner agent, which requires PPTKIS to send migrant workers through a partner agent in the destination country.

The government has instructed the Labor Attach? in Kuala Lumpur to ignore the demand for direct hiring program, he elaborated.

The Foreign Ministry`s Director for Protection of Indonesians and Entities Abroad, Lalu Muhamad Iqbal, noted that any policy related to both countries` interest should be discussed.

He has also told Malaysia that any policy it has made regarding Indonesian migrant workers` placement and protection should be consulted at the bilateral forum.

"Regulation on Indonesian migrant workers must involve both sender and destination countries, in order to ensure that it would be the best policy for both sides. Any policy on the placement of Indonesian workers in Malaysia must be done according to the law no 18/2017," Iqbal revealed.

During January to December 2017, Indonesia`s immigration office had postponed 5,960 passport applications, which were allegedly used for illegal workers` placement, and delayed the sending of 1,016 migrant workers.

Reported by Arie Novarina

Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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