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Democrat Party politician debunks Prabowo's 'flood of Chinese workers' lie

Viva - July 8, 2018

Bayu Adi Wicaksono – Democrat Party politician Dede Yusuf has exposed the lie behind claims that a wave of Chinese workers is being employed by PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (PT IMIP) in Morowali, South Sulawesi.

According to Yusuf, the Chinese worker lie was exposed after he and members of the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission 9, along with the Foreign Worker (TKA) Monitoring Task Force (Satgas Pengawasan TKA) visited PT IMIP.

"The Commission 9 working visit entourage and the Satgas Pengawasan TKA visited PT IMIP in Morowali. The biggest nickel and iron smelter industrial complex in Indonesia said Yusuf as quoted by Viva from his personal Facebook page on Sunday July 8.

Yusuf said that the team inspected the entire factory from production areas, the canteen to the Chinese workers' dormitories.

"In order to determine if it is true that TKA from China have overrun or taken over the factory, we checked everything, from the workers' canteen, the Chinese workers' mess, even the operations room", he wrote.

Yusuf said that after carrying out the inspection, the issue of a wave of Chinese foreign workers which has been beaten up in the media turned out to be a lie. This was evident from the fact that less than 10 percent of the total workforce employed by the company originated from China. And all of them had valid work permits.

"There were a total of 2,500 TKA. Meanwhile there were as many as 28,000 local workers! Meaning the TKA were less than 10 percent and all had valid work permits. This was proven by a report from an immigration official with the Kemenkumham [Ministry of Law and Human Rights], said Yusuf.

Yusuf explained that it was possible that there were more Chinese workers in the past than now because they worked under short-term employment contracts and they were brought in when the smelter was being constructed. Because at the time, there was no local workers who had any experience in constructing a smelter.

"Perhaps before during the smelter's construction in early 2014 and 2016 here were many TKA coming and going under two or three month contracts. (Because at the time we did not yet have experience in constructing a smelter). After the smelter was established, only 10 percent of the TKA were left to continue the transfer of technology to local employees", said Yusuf.

Workers wages

According to Yusuf, employees at PT IMIP receive on average a wage of around 4 million rupiah a month for senior high-school (SMA) graduates who had worked for six months or less. For those who had worked for two years or more, they received a wage of 10 million rupiah.

"Want to know how much local workers receive there? SMA graduates who have been employed for 6 months [or less] receive on average around 4 million rupiah. Currently they still need an additional 10,000 employees, all local workers and applications are open to the public. Perhaps you know someone who's interested?, he said.

"So once again, we did not find an invasion of TKA, what we found were tens of thousands of local workers from around Sulawesi. We have also asked the Satgas Pengawasan TKA to open a coordination post there so that there will be ongoing monitoring", added Yusuf.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Dede Yusuf Bongkar Kebohongan Isu Pekerja China Serbu Morowali.]


Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) chairperson and presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto, along with right-wing Islamic groups and the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) led by Said Iqbal, have been attempting to whip up anti-Chinese sentiment by claiming that a flood of Chinese workers is taking jobs away from local workers – PT IMIP being cited as one example. This is also being used to attack the administration of President Joko Widodo which recently issued a presidential decree making it easier for foreign workers to obtain work permits.

Source: https://www.viva.co.id/berita/nasional/1051970-dede-yusuf-bongkar-kebohongan-isu-pekerja-china-serbu-morowali.

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