Thursday, September 21, 2006

President orders elimination of scalpers victimizing migrant workers

August 29, 2006

Jakarta (ANTARA News)
- President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono instructed legal enforcement authorities to seriously combat scalpers and hoodlums who have been blackmailing many Indonesian prospective workers.

"I ask law enforcers to firmly deal with scalpers and whoever taking advantage of the workers to serve their own interest," the president said when inaugurating a waiting room for workers who are leaving abroad for employment or those who have returned at the Soekarno-Hatta airport in Tangerang on Tuesday.

The president also told the relevant government institutions and agencies in the provinces not to issue fake documents to the workers.

"I have told all the relevant government institutions to work properly and avoid the falsification ofthe workers` papers," Yudhoyono said in response to a report from the Manpower and Transmigration Minister Erman Soeparno that 21 tons of luggage of the workers were still being kept in warehouses since 2001.

"I hope that a case like this will never recur in the future," the president who was shocked by the report, said.

In the beginning of his speech, the head of state said the workers working abroad were actually heroes of foreign exchange reserves the government had to protect. Therefore, the government is obliged to protect them.

The president also said that prior to their departure abroad, the prospective workers should be provided with skills and mastery of a foreign language. (*)

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