KUALA LUMPUR: President Joko Widodo on Thursday (Jun 8) said that he appreciated the commitment of Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to strengthening the protection of Indonesian migrants working in the country.
“Pak Anwar and I have agreed on a specific bilateral mechanism to solve the problems faced by the Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia,” he said during a joint press conference with Mr Anwar at the Seri Perdana Complex in Putrajaya after a closed-door meeting between the two.
Mr Widodo added that the mechanism also intended to address issues such as rights to education for Indonesian migrant children.
In a joint statement issued after the press conference, both Mr Widodo and Mr Anwar acknowledged the commitment of both parties to improve the protection of basic rights, welfare, and the livelihood of all Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia.
According to a report by the Star, there are 399,827 Indonesian foreign workers in Malaysia in the manufacturing, construction, services, agriculture, domestic workers, mining, and quarrying sectors as of January this year.
Mr Widodo arrived in Malaysia for a two-day working trip on Wednesday. He was in Singapore before that where he spoke at Ecosperity Week, an annual conference on sustainable development.
According to the joint statement, both Mr Widodo and Mr Anwar encouraged one another to continue to iron out any impediments in facilitating the employment of domestic workers in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Human Resource Minister V. SIvakumar had previously said that both countries would review the cost of hiring domestic Indonesian workers at a more reasonable rate.
“Both sides also agreed to review the Memorandum of Understanding on Recruitment of Indonesian Workers Between the Government of Malaysia and Government of the Republic of Indonesia 2004, including by providing a mechanism to address all issues pertaining to all migrant workers in a comprehensive manner,” read the statement.