Indonesia urges Singapore to review direct recruitment system for Indonesian workers: Report

In this file photograph taken on January 27, 2014, an Indonesian maid learns to fix a bed in Jakarta during a class for a group of maids undergoing training at a private recruitment agency deploying maids to foreign countries. -- PHOTO: AFP 
In this file photograph taken on January 27, 2014, an Indonesian maid learns to fix a bed in Jakarta during a class for a group of maids undergoing training at a private recruitment agency deploying maids to foreign countries. -- PHOTO: AFP 

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post/Asia News Network) - Indonesian Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri has urged Singapore to review its direct-hiring recruitment system, saying it poses an obstacle for the Indonesian government's effort to protect its citizens working in the city-state.

The request was conveyed by Hanif when he met his Singaporean counterpart Lim Swee Say in Singapore on Wednesday.

"To support us in protecting and listing workers working in Singapore, we would like to ask Singapore to review its direct-hiring system because the system creates problems for the Indonesian government and the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore," Mr Hanif was quoted as saying by a report on the Kompas.com news website on Thursday.

According the minister, Indonesian workers employed abroad are obliged by Indonesian law to register themselves with private recruitment agencies (PPTKIS).

"Direct hiring recruits the workers directly without informing PPTKIS or the agency," Mr Hanif said according to the news report.

The report said Mr Lim promised to provide feedback on the matter after consulting with his government.

The administration of Indonesia President Joko Widodo has signalled its intention to better protect its nationals working overseas.

On Monday, Mr Hanif told reporters that his ministry had signed a decree to stop sending new domestic workers to the Middle East as part of a roadmap to end the supply of domestic workers by 2020.