KUALA LUMPUR: The Indonesian embassy is seeking assistance from the Malaysian government to allow the setting up of learning centres for children of Indonesian workers in the peninsula, says its ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana.
Called Community Learning Centres, Rusdi said more than 200 of them are already in existence in Tawau, Sabah, and Sibu, Bintulu and Miri in Sarawak.
“These centres are to provide education for children of Indonesians working in the plantation sector in Sabah and Sarawak.
“But there are none in the major cities in the peninsula such as Johor Baru, Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
“We hope to get permission to set up the centres in the peninsula as well.
“The initiative is very beneficial as it is an incentive to Indonesians with family to work in Malaysia,” he said after hosting a gathering with Malaysian media at the embassy here yesterday.
According to Rusdi, there are probably tens of thousands of children of Indonesian workers who are undocumented or do not have full documentation, which prevents them from getting an education.
He said many of their parents are poor and do not have enough money to send their children to school.
“It will be good if they can receive education at these centres,” he said.
Rusdi said the Indonesian government would provide books, study materials and equipment.
“We only need permission and land for the setting up of these centres in the peninsula,” he added.
Rusdi said a positive outcome would be these students could become skilled workers for Malaysian employers.
“The programme, especially in terms of vocational education, is tailored for students who can seek employment in the hotel or culinary sectors,” he said, adding that many graduates of the programme have been employed in Sabah and Sarawak.
On another matter, Rusdi said Indonesian President Joko Widodo is expected to visit Malaysia on Aug 8.
Jokowi is expected to discuss a host of bilateral issues with the Prime Minister.
He last made an official visit in November 2017.