Jakarta. Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan urged the public and local media not to spread rumor of a "Chinese invasion" that has already become a trending topic on social media in the country. The rumor went viral reportedly since the discovery that some major projects in Indonesia are employing Chinese migrant workers.
Luhut said workers from China are allowed to work on projects in Indonesia, including the Konawe Industrial Estate in Southeast Sulawesi, in which Chinese companies have made investment.
"Chinese workers are allowed to come into the country because Chinese companies have put money here," Luhut said in Jakarta on Wednesday (18/10).
The minister said local media should refrain from publishing misleading news of a "Chinese invasion."
"Just don't do it. China intends to invest up to $3 billion in Indonesia. Their projects need to be done on time and we don't have enough workers to meet the deadlines," Luhut explained.
He pointed out there were 1,500 Chinese workers out of a total of 15,000 who completed a 200-megawatt power plant project at the Morowali Industrial Estate in Central Sulawesi.
"The project was completed according to schedule in 24 months by involving Chinese workers. We weren't going to meet the deadline if we only involved local workers," Luhut said.
The Chinese investors are required to build a polytechnic in the area to transfer knowledge and technology to locals, he added.
"After 3 to 5 years, we can cut down on the number of migrant workers," Luhut said.
According to the minister, Chinese investors employing Chinese workers in their projects could be likened to US-owned Freeport Indonesia employing US workers in Papua.