Amir in Mongolia on private visit, The Amir being received at the Chinggis Khaan airport.
MoU on domestics still awaited as number of Indonesian expats plunges ‘Negotiations still being held’

KUWAIT CITY,  Aug 21: The number of Indonesian nationals in Kuwait has decreased tremendously from almost 80,000 to 17,200 now after the moratorium on domestic helpers was implemented by Indonesia that called for the discontinuance of export of migrant workers to the Middle Eastern countries, disclosed Ambassador of Indonesia to Kuwait Ferry Adamhar on Sunday during the celebration of the first day of Eid Al-Fitr at his residence in Yarmouk that was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, Indonesian nationals, members of the press and other distinguished personalities. Adamhar along with his spouse welcomed all guests to the traditional Indonesian Eid celebration and greeted everyone during the event.

“Indonesia and Kuwait are still to come to an agreeable compromise and find a common denominator and we are hoping that such resolution will lead to a memorandum of understanding agreeable to both countries. We are still negotiating on this,” pointed out Adamhar as he explained that the pending MoU on cooperation in placement and protection of Indonesian migrant workers between the two countries still needs to be tackled by the two countries to ensure the protection and welfare of the Indonesian migrant workers.

The MoU contains provisions and clauses on migrant workers’ minimum wages, payment of wages via banks, permission to the workers to own mobile phones and weekly day-offs.

It may be recalled that the ban on the deployment of Indonesian maids to Kuwait, Jordan and Malaysia was implemented in September 2010 after cases of abuses on domestic helpers were reported while a moratorium on sending migrant workers to Saudi Arabia was placed last year by the Indonesian

government after an Indonesian maid was beheaded after being convicted of killing her Saudi employer.
In February this year, Kuwait reportedly asked Indonesia to lift its moratorium on migrant workers export to the Middle Eastern country and is prepared to sign an agreement to ensure the workers welfare and safety, however, to date the MoU between the two countries is still pending. “Hopefully both countries can come up to an amenable solution,” stressed Adamhar.

Meanwhile, Adamhar said that aside from Indonesia’s massive tourism campaign that it has embarked on recently to make it as the next popular tourist destination, the Indonesian Embassy in Kuwait is also exploring possible business opportunities in boosting the trade relations between Indonesia and Kuwait especially in oil and oil products. “Hopefully we can boost our trade ties with Kuwait in this area,” he cited.

By: Michelle Fe Santiago Special to the Arab Times

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