No restriction on Indonesia domestic worker flow into Brunei

National 2 minutes, 45 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE flow of Indonesian domestic workers into Brunei Darussalam for jobs will remain constant as it will not be affected by Jakarta's decision to impose a moratorium on sending migrant workers to Saudi Arabia.

The moratorium will take effect on August 1.

The Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) and Head of Chancery of the Indonesia Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, Nurul Qomar, in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday has confirmed the matter.

"Based on the meetings held between migrant worker placement agencies of Indonesia and Brunei last April, as far as I'm concerned, (the matter on sending migrant workers to Brunei) will not be affected (by the moratorium on sending workers to Saudi Arabia)," said Nurul, on the sidelines of the half-day blood donation drive held by the Indonesia Embassy at the Stadium Hassanal Bolkiah in the Royal Brunei Police Force headquarters, Gadong.

She went on to say that the handling matters pertaining to manpower between the two nations is equally balanced.

"The migrant worker's issue has been handled according to the policy. If any violation takes place either by a migrant worker or an employer, any of these parties will equally face the stipulated policy," she explained.

Migrant worker placement agencies of both countries have conducted meetings previously to improve coordination in providing assistance to the expatriates and held talks on the issues of manpower.

According to media reports, the Indonesian government has decided to issue a moratorium on sending workers to Saudi Arabia, after an Indonesian maid was beheaded by the Saudi authorities recently.

The maid, Ruyati Satubi, 54, was beheaded in the western province of Mekah for murdering her employer by stabbing her repeatedly in the head and neck with a kitchen knife in January 2010.

Nurul said that the relations between Indonesia and the local apparatus here are well-established.

"For example, we always have the access to visit (our citizens) at the (immigration) jail," she said, referring to the Indonesian citizens who face charges for violation of immigration laws such as overstaying or possesing no legal documentations and reports.

She stressed the need of mutual benefit between the two nations on the cooperation in the manpower sector.

"We do hope that both countries will soon sign a memorandum of understanding on the placement of Indonesian workers in Brunei Darussalam and the draft arrangement on consular notification and assistance between Brunei and Indonesia," she said.

During President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's state visit to Brunei last February, a discussion on the draft arrangements on Consular Notification and Assistance between Brunei and Indonesia was among the many issues that were brought to the table. Both governments hoped that the relevant ministries would expedite the finalisation of the draft, as a basis for cooperation to protect their respective citizens.

During the previous meetings of both countries' leaders, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam had reiterated Indonesia's contribution to the development of Brunei by sending expatriates in various sectors to the Sultanate. President Yudhoyono welcomed His Majesty's government openness to Indonesian workers.

The Indonesian Embassy recorded that the number of Indonesian expatriates in Brunei has increased to more than 51,000 people by the end of April this year from some 40,000 in December 2009.

The Brunei Times