JOHOR BARU: Indonesians working and living here have started going home from the Stulang Laut Ferry Terminal and the Puteri Harbour International Ferry Terminal to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri with their loved ones.
Thirty-five-year-old Mohsofyan, who is married to a Malaysian for 10 years, said he comes back to Malaysia twice a year to visit his wife.
“I met my wife while working as a contractor here but I had to move back to Indonesia after my working permit expired, and now I come just to visit her twice a year.
“My five-year-old son, wife and I have only celebrated Raya together once in the past five years and I hope this year we will be able to reunite,” said Mohsofyan at the Stulang Laut terminal yesterday.
Another Indonesian worker, Musniasti, 35, who has been working as a cleaner in Kuala Lumpur for nine years, said it would take her at least one day to reach her village in Brebes, Central Java.
“I prefer to go home through Batam as I get to meet my other family members there first before I take a flight to Jakarta, where I will then take a bus to my village,” she said.
At the Puteri Harbour terminal, contractor Ismadi Suhaimi, 27, said that it has been three years since he went back to his hometown in Tanjung Balai on the Karimun island of Indonesia.
“I am excited to meet my wife and children again, especially my youngest son who was only a few months old when I last saw him,” he said.
A check at the ticketing counter at the Stulang Laut terminal shows that there are a total of 15 trips every day to Batam Central and Bintan Island.
The tickets, priced between RM90 and RM165 for adults and RM67 and RM107 for children, are available here daily.
At the Puteri Harbour terminal, tickets to Batam Central and Tanjung Balai are available from RM80 to RM 115 for adults and RM70 to RM80 for children.
A ticketing counter clerk who only wanted to be known as Nuraini said there would be an influx of Indonesians going back home for Raya about two days before the festival.
Checks with the Johor Baru Consulate-General of Indonesia indicate that there were more than 80,000 Indonesians living in Johor.