No issue for S’wak, says Premier on Indonesia’s temporary freeze on sending workers to M’sia
Posted on : 16 Jul 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari speaks to reporters. – Photo by Galileo Petingi

GEDONG (July 16): Sarawak has no issue with Indonesia’s decision of imposing the temporary freeze on sending its citizens to work in Malaysia, says Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to him, the decision would only involve Indonesian maids, and would not affect other fields.

“Since this was the (Indonesian) national policy, I think this will affect us.

“But the Indonesian Consul-General has made it understood that Sarawak will have no problem on this,” he told reporters when met after officiating at the state-level National Anti-Drug Commemoration event here today.

Indonesia, on Wednesday, announced that it had temporarily stopped sending its citizens to work in Malaysia, including thousands recruited for the plantation sector, citing a breach in a worker recruitment deal signed between the two countries.

The freeze was the latest blow for Malaysia — the world’s second-largest palm oil producer and a key link in the global supply chain — which is facing a shortage of some 1.2 million workers that could derail its economic recovery.

Indonesia’s Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono told Reuters that the freeze was imposed after Malaysia’s immigration authorities had continued using an online recruitment system for domestic workers that was linked to allegations of trafficking and forced labour.

Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan confirmed receiving a letter from Indonesian authorities informing him about the freeze.

He told Reuters that he would discuss the matter with the Ministry of Home Affairs, which oversees the Immigration Department.

On another matter, Abang Johari said a laboratory would be built in Simunjan to conduct studies on paddy production in the state.

He said the study on this would be done within three months’ time, adding that the investing cost for paddy production would involve a large sum as it would require proper drainage.

“In Sarawak, we have the ‘Biris’ rice that is only available at Lubok Punggor, and Bario rice, both of which are premium rice as they are not the same as other rice,” he added.