Jakarta. Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said the rumor about the influx of 10 million illegal Chinese workers into Indonesia was a hoax spread by irresponsible groups to provoke public unrest.
"We know who disseminated the information. It is a hoax," Yasonna said on Thursday (29/12).
The minister reassured the public that only 31,000 Chinese workers entered Indonesia, with 21,000 of them employed on a temporary basis, according to data provided by the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration.
The remainder only entered the country for short periods, based on Justice Ministry data. There are 71,000 foreign workers in Indonesia in total.
"If anyone has valid information, hand it over to us. If anyone is trying to cause provocation, we call for immediate action," Yasonna said.
The minister added that the Directorate General of Immigration has deported 7,887 foreign nationals in 2016, with around 300 having been prosecuted.
Yasonna said this demonstrates that the government is maintaining tight supervision of foreign nationals in Indonesia.
He also urged the public to be objective regarding the issue of foreign workers, because there are more Indonesians working abroad than foreigners working in this country.
"What matters is supervision. We must also be fair when considering this issue. There are 2 million Indonesian workers in Malaysia, but [their citizens] do not complain. In Singapore, there are around 200,000 of our workers, not to mention Hong Kong," Yasonna said.