IBRAHIM ISA'S – FOCUS
INDONESIAN WOMENS' MIGRANT WORKERS
GOVT STEPS UP HEAT ON S. ARABIA OVER WORKERS ABUSE
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | , 21 NOV 2010
In reality, it will be worse: Activists from the Indonesian Workers Association and Migrant Care stage a theatrical performance with a theme of torturing Indonesian maids in Saudi Arabia in front of the Royal Saudi Arabia Embassy in Jakarta Friday. Sumiati bini Salan Mustapa, an Indonesian maid, was inhumanly tortured by her Saudi employer recently. JP/Nurhayati Indonesia’s fury over the abuse and murder of migrant workers has found no relief. A regional government has imposed a complete moratorium while the President considered reviewing the practice of sending workers to Saudi Arabia.
Indonesia would review sending migrant workers to “uncooperative, non-transparent” countries, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters at the State Palace after a Cabinet meeting on Friday.
The President said “all out diplomacy” would be deployed against non-transparent countries to protect the interests of Indonesian workers.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said that “uncooperative, non-transparent” countries were generally in the Middle East, and included Saudi Arabia.
Marty summoned Saudi Arabian Ambassador Abdurrahman Mohammad Amen Al-Khayyat on Friday for the third time this week on yet another incident involving a migrant worker. He previously summoned the ambassador twice and sent a letter to the Kingdom’s foreign minister following the case of 23-year-old Sumiati, a West Nusa Tenggara resident who was allegedly abused by her Saudi Arabian employer.
East Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Governor Zainul Majdi imposed a moratorium Friday on sending female domestic workers from the province to Saudi Arabia following the news on Sumiati. Sumiati was reportedly tortured and sustained cuts around her mouth that suggested she was attacked with scissors. She also reportedly has burns that may have been caused by a hot iron.
“Today [Friday], we’ll also call the Saudi Arabian ambassador, again. It is not because of the case of Ibu Sumiati, but another case that was just revealed last night [Thursday],” Marty said, referring to Kikim Komalasari, another Indonesian migrant worker who was found dead in garbage bin.
Kikim’s neck was reportedly slashed, and she also had cuts to the rest of her body.
Marty said it had taken longer than usual for the Kingdom’s police to inform the Indonesian Embassy about Kikim’s death because she was previously misidentified as a Bangladeshi.
“Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern countries in general don’t recognize [bilateral] MoUs in the informal sector. They only want to sign ones on the formal sector,” Marty said.
Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar cited Saudi Arabia and Jordan as two countries Indonesia had not yet managed to sign good agreements on migrant workers with.
The result of the review might lead to a decision to halt the sending of workers to these countries, he added.
President Yudhoyono also said the government was mulling the prospect of equipping Indonesian migrant workers with cell phones to help them reach officers more easily when they face problems.
“Based on our experiences, we often receive reports on what has happened with our migrant workers [after it] is too late,” the President said.
Muhaimin explained afterward only migrant workers sent to Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan had been equipped with cell phones.
“Cell phones should be a means of an open communication system included in the MoUs. Agents abroad must provide the phones, and the employers should not be allowed to take them [away],” the minister said.
Yudhoyono said currently about 4,300 Indonesian workers overseas are facing various hardships, ranging from being denied their salaries, overwork, and physical and even sexual abuse. Approximately 3.27 million Indonesians are now registered as migrant workers.
SBY criticizes abuse of maid in Saudi Arabia
The Associated Press, Jakarta | Wed, 11/17/2010
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants justice for a domestic worker who was allegedly tortured by her employers in Saudi Arabia.
The 23-year-old maid, Sumiati bini Salan Mustapa, has been hospitalized in Medina since Nov. 8, with burns all over her body, a fractured middle finger and cuts around her lips, reportedly made by scissors.
Yudhoyono said during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday in Jakarta that the "extraordinary torture" needs to be investigated.
"I want the law to be upheld and to see an all-out diplomatic effort."
More than 80,000 Indonesian domestic workers flock to Saudi Arabia every year. Rights groups say they, and other migrant workers, at times face slav
Saudi diplomat is “not correct”: migrant worker NGO
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 11/19/2010
A local NGO says that a Saudi Arabian diplomat was not correct when he claimed that abuse of Indonesian workers in the Middle Eastern country was rare.
Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayah slammed Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Indonesia, Abdulrahman Al-Khayyat, who told a press conference on Thursday that the alleged torture of Sumiati was "a very rare case."
Anis said the ambassador's statement was "deceitful" in light of the report Migrant Care received on Thursday night alleging the mistreatment of another migrant worker.
The dead body of Kikim Komalasari binti Uko Marta was recently discovered in a dumpster. Kikim was allegedly sexually and physically abused before her death, Anis said.
Anis said Migrant Care recorded 5,563 cases of the alleged abuse of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia this year to date, including 1,090 allegations of physical abuse, 3,568 complaints of poor working conditions and 898 allegations of sexual abuse and nonpayment of salary.
The plight of Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia came into the spotlight last week, when allegations that Indonesian migrant worker Sumiati had been tortured by her employer.(afl)
SBY must talk to Saudi king on Sumiati: Regional representative
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 11/22/2010 |
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should talk to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz about Sumiati, the Indonesian worker allegedly abused by her employers in the Middle Eastern country, a senior representative says.
"The President must get involved. He must talk to the King of Saudi Arabia and ask that strict justice be levied on [the Saudis] who committed the abuse," Regional Representatives Council Deputy Speaker La Ode Ida said on Monday.
La Ode Ida said Indonesia should stop sending workers to Saudi Arabia until the Saudi government signs a migrant workers agreement – and withdraw its workers if the Saudis do not sign an agreement.
The government should not expect the private agents who supply migrant workers to solve the problem, he said.
Indonesia needed a “total correction” of its policies to protect the workers, La Ode Ida added.
"The government's weakness lies in its reluctance to get involved." (gzl)
Migrant moratorium a good move: House deputy speaker
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 11/22/2010
The government should implement a moratorium on the sending of workers to Saudi Arabia, House Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso said.
“[Sending migrant workers to Saudi Arabia] must be temporarily halted because [the alleged abuse] affects our dignity as a nation,” Priyo said.
The moratorium idea surfaced after the recent revelations of abuse against an Indonesian domestic worker in Saudi Arabia named Sumiati.
Priyo said he had urged the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Indonesia to take the case seriously, even though the countries have a good relationship as fellow Muslim-majority nations.
“Saudi Arabia will get a bad image if these [abuse cases] continue,” he said, adding that there was a growing belief that Saudis were “barbaric”.
Providing legal protection to migrant workers was more effective at protecting their rights than equipping them with mobile phones, Priyo said.
In the future, the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry and the Foreign Ministry must use the Indonesian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to safeguard the rights of migrants, he said.
“Don’t think the government goes into a frenzy every time something like this happens,” he added. (gzl)
READERS' – Comments
Balik-Islam, Jeddah,KSA | Mon, 22/11/2010 -
Bab,Dhaka Justification by Taqeeya is very very obvious...Com'on men,don't try to hide the truth about the Saudis...why don't accept,if that is the reality on Saudi Society..Blaiming the expats cannot justify the arrogants of these people,let us accept the criticism for this is the truth...why you're so defensive?...Arabism is the prevailing social behavior generally on the society,and even the King Abdullah,had advised all his people that instead of adhering Arabism culture,telling them to follow the Islamic culture!!!The king alone justify of what is the general view of the public about their society...
Ben, Jakarta | Mon, 22/11/2010 - 15:11pm
This is not about religion, this is not about nationalities, this is about cowards who abuse, rape, torture and even kill innocent women who work in a foreign country and have nowhere to go!! Let me make one thing perfectly clear for everyone reading the article and reading the comments, there is no excuse for rape, abuse, torture of any woman, whether she is black, yellow, purple, Muslim, Christian, Jew, in any country.
Balik-Islam, Jeddah,KSA | Mon, 22/11/2010 - 13:11pm
You are hypocrite and Liar,..and you are using the Taqeeya system...bab,dhaka, you are a spoilers of the evil people...People who are hypocrites like you..Ohh..I forgot,Lie is a major major sin in Islam...and why should I believe on you?You never see any of those bad people doing bad things,but only you read it from newspapers and hear it from so many nationalities maybe...Yet you are telling that they are good people...are you sure? Are you not in trouble if I will say you are a liar?Don't convince people on what brought them to Saudi because of materialism,you are funny,do you think Saudi's are not Materialistics?In the first place who offer first the opportunity,is it the South-east asian or is it the Saudi?Nobody can work in Saudi Arabia if Saudi are the one who offer first the job,right or wrong?Even the Southeast asian are willing to work in Saudi,but the Saudi don't like nobody can force them,right or wrong???...
Your argument is only showing your sympathy to these evils,to the extent that you are telling a lie to justify that they are good people...even you know that their remnance of being animalistic society,by burying their female child alive in the ground and the wine are their water like drink from their ancestral history...still you are depending them by lies...Bab,dhaka that is the reason why people especially those muslims hate them too much,because of that attitudes like yours as a liar...My friend, whether you like it or not,Salafa is no more,the contemporary arab muslim are no less than like the kuffar,they are now considered as a munafic who are pretentious to be a pious and angels like saint,because of the attitude like yours that can handle to tell lies ,in spite of the truth about these people...Shame on you!!!Ass hole Bab,dhaka..Be true to your self..Anjing Wahabbi!!!
Salau, Yogya | Mon, 22/11/2010
The govt knows very well in order to reduce the cases happen to TKI is to a total reform of the process sending migrant workers. What is happening now is just treating the symptoms. Like what the Phillipino govt has done. Of course there a lot of bastards out there who does not respect workers right, so the more the government has to clean up the house first in Indonesia with regards to the recruitment, placement, training, and more important make sure the laws are enforced. But I see no light to this as the corruptions is so rampant and the regards Indonesians have for others who become TKI is generally low. Clean up the house here first and others will respect your workers. Clean up the sponsors who cheated, the agencies who manipulate the workers and their documents, make sure the KBRI do their part and not just enjoying good perks working. All these are not possible without serious ENFORCEMENT. STOP TALKING.
bab, dhaka | Mon, 22/11/2010 - 11:11am
Truly, our lives are governed by only two types of needs: spiritual and material. Any imbalance between the two creates problems, tilted on either of the balance, it produces problem manifested by corruptions in all forms. Ben, I have no problem at all with either east or west, as these are relative orientations meant only for one purpose: as reference point.
As for the Saudis, noticed their imbalances? In the 70's, before the influx of foreign workers, we are told that Saudi merchants just leave their merchandises of gold, etc. uncovered, unguarded and unattended rushing for prayers, yet no one stole or dared to rob those items. Today, these are gone. Why? Environment changed with influx of foreign workers of all shades and colors along with their cultural backgrounds and standing. Who got corrupted? The Saudis, of course, and gone were their purity as Muslims.
Transpose that to our hapless fellowmen, who become "victims" of Saudi employers. What brought them to Saudi Arabia in the first place? It was sheer MATERIALISM, as if they cannot live or exist without leaving their beautiful homelands. This phenomenon sparked a tremendous force of local change with its catastrophic "demoralizing" effects, producing today's corrupted Saudis, discarding their high moral standard and rich cultural traditions. But this process is not unique to them as all others are facing this challenge.
When these two forces are not balanced, everything else collapsed: moral decay prevalent in the west, and hunger prevalent in the east, subject only to exception due to the current rapid material growth in former cradles of civilization: China and India. But still overall poverty incidence is still higher in the east than in the west. That explains the fact that many still seek work in the oil-rich Arab countries.
Yes, religion has no exact role here, but it is a strong moralizing force on either sides of the pole. Taken to the extreme along with narrow nationalistic frameworks such as the Judeo-Christian orientations of the Neo-cons in the US, one produces the likes of the Zionists who are depopulating the Palestinian Arabs. With all its money and power, the Zionists are still by far the most dangerous and fatal specie, not the sex hungry Saudis you so dislike. * * *