TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Tuesday that the Presidential Regulation no. 20/2018 on foreign workers would only simplify the licensing process. It did not mean that foreign workers could work in Indonesia freely.
"The government has simplified the process to obtain working permit for foreigners. We only simplify the process," Kalla stated at the opening of the 10th National Meeting of Indonesian Employers Association (APINDO).
The ease of licensing process for foreign workers would be an answer for investors' complaint that the process to get working permit in Indonesia was too complicated.
"In the past, they (foreign workers) only get visa for six months, and every six months, they would have to go to Singapore to extend the visa. This has sparked criticism as the investors had got tired of this," he noted.
Under the new regulation, the permit for foreign workers would be adjusted with their working contract in Indonesia; thus, the issue would not hamper investment in the country.
"If you read the presidential regulation, it only changes the procedures. Now, (foreign workers) could get visa for two years if they have a working contract for two years," he added.
Kalla reiterated that the establishment of a special committee on the rights of inquiry on foreign workers would not be necessary. The presence of foreign workers would not take over the jobs from local workers, but it is aimed at developing the country's industry through transfer of technology.
"Technology would need capital and skill. There are things that Indonesian workers could not do for the job. But gradually it would create new jobs for Indonesians," Kalla revealed.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has signed presidential regulation (Perpres) No. 20/2018 on the recruitment of foreign workers. This presidential regulation was issued to support national economy and also for the expansion of employment opportunities through increased investment.
Meanwhile, the 6th Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono (SBY) has urged the government to tender a clarification on the alleged onslaught of foreign workers into the country in response to public unrest. SBY made the statement while holding a dialog with ulemas, leaders, and social figures as part of his Tour de Banten at The Royal Krakatau Hotel on Sunday night.
"Since it is the government of the people, it is the people, who hold sovereignty. The government should explain it transparently and honestly. Actually, what is the number of foreign workers (employed in Indonesia)? Does it run into tens, dozens, or hundreds of thousands? We do not know it," SBY noted in a press statement released on Monday.