Tue, 16 Mar 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The manpower ministry recently deported 18 foreigners who had been working in Indonesia illegally while intensifying its watch over the possible influx of foreign workers under the Asean-China Free Trade agreement, a spokesman said.

The 18 foreigners had been working in the entertainment, banking and manufacturing fields with most of them having misused their visas which were not work visa, I Made Arka, director general for manpower supervision and management, said here Monday.

"Most of them proved to have misused their visit visas by working in Indonesia while the rest violated some manpower norms, causing a loss to our own job seekers," he said.

Arka said many quarters in the country were now concerned that under the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) which came into force early this year foreign workers would flock to Indonesia, something that would possibly also lead to an increase in the misuse of visit visas.

Therefore, he said, the directorate general of manpower supervision and management in coordination with manpower and transmigration offices throughout the country to intensify the monitoring of the domestic labor market, especially in regions where foreigners were most likely to find employment. These regions included Batam, the Jakarta-Bogor-Depok-Tangerang-Bekasi region, Kalimantan, North Sumatra, East Java, South Sulawesi.

Sector-wise , the mining sector was considered the mostly likely to be employing foreigners, he said.

Arka said his office had also taken firm measures against two foreign-owned companies in North Sumatra that had violated Indonesian manpower norms. Their cases had been referred to a court of law and one of their directors had fled to neighboring Malaysia to escape justice.

"As directed by the Manpower and Transmigration Minister, we will keep pursuing them to make them account before the law. The workers of the two companies must receive what they are entitled to under the law," he said. (*)