Thinking of hiring Indonesian maids? Time to look elsewhere

The chief minister (third from left) presents a memento to Yonny (fourth from left) in the presence of members of the Indonesian delegation at the DUN complex here.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 8: The Indonesian government has totally banned its maids from working overseas following the execution of Indonesian maid Tuti Tursilawati in Saudi Arabia last Monday.

Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching, Yonny Tri Prayitno, said the execution had strained relations between the two Muslim countries.


Tuti was executed in Mecca after she was sentenced to death seven years ago for killing her employer in an act she claimed was self-defence from sexual abuse.

Yonny said his government would now only allow its skilled workers to be hired overseas, including in Sarawak, and through proper channels.

“I would like to urge employers in Sarawak to get skilled workers from Indonesia and through the proper channel and not through ‘calok’ (an Indonesian word for illegal brokers),” Yonny told the media after leading a delegation to pay a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex here yesterday.

He reckoned there were roughly 140,000 legal Indonesian workers currently employed in Sarawak in various sectors, such as in plantation, manufacturing and construction.

“Recruiting workers through the proper channel will minimise abuses of workers. So, we would like to appeal to the relevant authorities here to collaborate with us to tackle the issue of illegal workers.

“This is because if you take in illegal workers and if they are caught by the authorities, you (employers) will lose out because you will have fewer workers working for you. So, my advice to them (employers) is to recruit workers from my country through the proper channel,” he emphasized.

On the proposed direct trade between Kuching and Pontianak via land transport through Tebedu instead of plying by sea from Kuching to the port in Pontianak, Yonny said the issue was now being discussed between his country’s central government and Putrajaya.

“We leave that issue to our central governments as it is now at the G-to-G (Government-to-Government) level. But we hope for the best as we belong to the same ‘rumpun’ (race),” he said.

Yonny revealed that Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan had also raised the same issue when he visited Jakarta recently. — DayakDaily