Melisa Kok-Straits Times Indonesia
Singapore. All Indonesian maids must apply for an identification card issued by the Indonesian authorities, or risk being stopped from leaving their home country.
This applies to every Indonesian working overseas, including those already here, said a spokesman for the Indonesian Embassy.
It is understood that many Indonesian maids in Singapore do not have the card.
The requirement for the document, known as the Overseas Workers’ ID Card (KTKLN), was introduced back in 2004.
It stores personal information about the worker and names, addresses and contact details of her employer and family, making it easier for the Indonesian government to keep track of overseas workers.
But the requirement was not strictly enforced until recently.
The embassy spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday that the Indonesian government has stepped up immigration checks at the airports in recent months.
For instance, a maid on home leave may have problems returning to Singapore to work if she does not carry the document. She would have to apply for the card before being allowed to leave the country.
Indonesian National Labor Export and Protection Agency officials were in town this weekend to educate Indonesian workers about the card.
Accompanied by embassy officials, they gave a briefing to more than 1,000 Indonesians at the Indonesian School Singapore in Siglap yesterday.
The Indonesian Embassy has also reminded maid agencies and informed employers here about the stricter regulations.
Explaining why many maids here do not have the card, the embassy spokesman said: ‘It could be because they were already overseas before 2004 or they didn’t go through the proper channels.’
Maids currently working here without the KTKLN can apply online and collect their cards at the embassy.
Those returning home with the intention of coming back here to work can also apply for the card at any of 23 designated labor offices across Indonesia.
Reprinted courtesy of Straits Times Indonesia. To subscribe to Straits Times Indonesia and/or the Jakarta Globe call 021 2553 5055