ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
RI-Malaysia migrant worker talks stall
An unidentified source said that Malaysia wanted to “hide” behind the rules and retain the right to hold the passports, adding the issue had forced both sides to agree to disagree for now.
Both governments had agreed that Malaysian employers would bear 70 percent of the total cost of employing and placing Indonesian maids in Malaysia, while the workers would cover the remainder, said the source.
Malaysian Ambassador Dato’ Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin said the negotiations had been progressing and that there was no deadlock.
Indonesia and Malaysia previously signed a letter of intent (LoI) on Indonesian workers on May 18 after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak met with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during Yudhoyono’s two-day visit to Kuala Lumpur.
Under the LoI, Malaysian employers must allow more than 2 million Indonesian employees to hold their passports and allow the employees one day off a week.
Two outstanding issues remain under negotiation: Setting a minimum wage and a cost structure for recruiting and placing of migrant workers.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said he did not know the details of the negotiations, but “it would be hard for us to accept something different from the spirit of the LoI”.
“It is logically unacceptable to make a new decision that is less than what has been agreed to by the ministers,” he said.
Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Ministry representative Roostiawati said there was “no deadlock”.
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