Indonesia-Malaysia to discuss cross border traffic

Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) Indonesian and Malaysia have agreed to impose tighter control over illegal border crossing that would prevent more undocumented Indonesian job seekers to enter Malaysia especially from North Kalimantan.

A meeting in Batam on Wednesday between the immigration authorities of the two countries decided to discuss later in greater details the issue of cross border traffic for the security of each country.

The meeting on Wednesday was a follow up of the visit by President JokoWidodo to Kuching last year, head of the Batam immigration office Lucky AgungBinarto said here on Thursday.

The next meeting is to be held at a border city either in Sarawak of Malaysia or Pontianak of Indonesia, but the date is yet to be set, Lucky told reporters.

The two countries hope to reach an agreement on the opening of border gates at border posts, he said.

Directors General of Immigration of the two countries also agreed to provide joint training to improve the quality of human resources and to exchange information, improve capacity and solve problem jointly.

Many illegal Indonesian migrant workers have been nabbed by the Malaysian authorities and were sent back to Indonesia across the land border to North Kalimantan.

The influx of illegal Indonesian migrant workers into Malaysia continues to be a source of bilateral friction in Malaysia-Indonesia relations. Long-term solutions to the problem of illegal Indonesian workers remain illusive because of the lack of political will on the part of both governments to compromise.

Recently it was reported that around 70,000 illegal migrant workers from Indonesia are to be deported from Malaysia by the end of the year, according to a source within the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration.

The report quoting a ministry official who was not authorized to speak with the media, said the figure was significantly higher than the number announced by Indonesias deputy ambassador to Malaysia earlier.

Each year about 700,000 documented Indonesian workers travel abroad to work, according to the International Labor Organization. The UN agency estimates the number of undocumented migrants to be two to four times higher.

Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia, are the most common destinations for Indonesian migrant workers.

Source: Antara News

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