PETALING JAYA: Indonesia has stopped receiving new job orders for migrant workers in all sectors for the time being, says its envoy.
“We have temporarily stopped the intake of new job orders (for Indonesian workers).
“However, job orders that have been approved can proceed,” Ambassador Hermono (pic) said when contacted on Wednesday (July 13).
According to an industry source, one probable reason was the use of Sistem Maid Online (SMO) that was not supposed to be applicable to Indonesian domestic workers following the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in April.
On April 1, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan and Indonesia’s Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah signed the MOU in Jakarta on the Employment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers.
Under the MOU, the republic requires its recruitment to be only done through what it calls a One Channel System (OCS).
The OCS was agreed upon in the memorandum to screen employers and ensure that only those eligible could hire Indonesian domestic workers at a minimum monthly salary of RM1,500.
Among other points outlined in the MOU are annual leave entitlement, the right to communicate, and a ban on withholding a maid's passport.
The Star had reported that there was a flurry of activity on social media involving the recruitment of Indonesian domestic workers by freelance agencies.
Freelance recruitment agents have been advertising Indonesian domestic workers and publicising the Immigration Department’s SMO, which enables the conversion of tourist visas of nationals from several countries, including Indonesia, into work permits.
On July 1, Saravanan advised employers not to recruit foreign domestic helpers through dubious means.
The Star has reached out to both the ministry and Immigration Department for comments on Wednesday's development.