Malaysia Deports More Than 100 Indonesian Migrant Workers


JANUARY 06, 2015

Jakarta. Malaysia has deported more than 100 Indonesian migrant workers, some of whom have spent months in jail after working in the country illegally.

The group — comprised of 108 men, 16 women and one boy — arrived at Tunontaka port in Nunukan, North Kalimantan, on Dec. 31, after being released form Tawau temporary jail in Malaysian Borneo.

All were detained for not having the correct legal documents to stay or work in Malaysia, a favorite destination for Indonesian migrant workers.

Deported worker Sappe, 23, from Bulukumba in South Sulawesi, was arrested for not having the correct permit to work in Malaysia.

"I served four months in jail in Tawau," he was quoted as saying by "I worked in a palm oil field."

"There was no one guaranteeing [my livelihood] there so I planned on going home."

Another illegal worker, Melly, a 35-year-old from Toraja, was jailed while pregnant.

"I was kept in jail for more 4 months, but when I was about to give birth to my son I was brought to the hospital," Melly said. "My husband worked in a field in Tawau."

Each year hundreds of thousands of Indonesian workers travel abroad to work.

Data from the National Agency for the Protection and Placement of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) suggested about four million workers left Indonesia to work between 2006 and 2012. The ILO estimated the number of undocumented workers to be two to four times higher.