Minister Announces Withdrawal of Migrant Workers from ‘Dangerous’ Middle East Countries
Minister for manpower and transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar said he considers Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries the most dangerous countries for Indonesian migrant workers (TKI) and promised to withdraw all workers from those regions.
“We will gradually withdraw our domestic workers in those countries because of the level of danger,” Muhaimin said in a public discussion held by news radio station Trijaya FM in Jakarta on Saturday.
Moreover, Muhaimin said that his ministry has tightened the requirements for sending domestic workers to Middle Eastern countries since January.
As a result, he claimed that starting this year Indonesia only sent 12,000 workers to the Middle East each month, far less than last year’s 30,000 to 50,000 per month.
The recent execution of Indonesian maid Ruyati binti Sapubi in Mecca last week has sparked anger in Indonesia, with the public accusing the government of not doing enough to protect migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday condemned Ruyati’s execution, saying that it “broke the norms and manners of international relations.” He said the government would form a task force to follow up on legal cases involving migrant workers.
“I have already decided to put a moratorium on sending migrant workers to Saudi Arabia until there is agreement on the framework to protect our workers,” President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Friday. “We must create more job opportunities.”