(Bloomberg) -- Indonesia will temporarily stop sending more workers to Malaysia, demanding that its neighbor commit to agreements between the two nations to resolve labor issues.
“We have agreed to use the One Channel System for placement of Indonesian workers, but Malaysia still has multiple hiring channels,” Rendra Setiawan, director for the placement and protection of Indonesian migrant workers, said by phone on Wednesday. That makes it hard for the government to monitor and protect migrant workers, he said.
Malaysia, which relies on migrant labor from countries including Indonesia, continues to struggle with shortages of workers in key sectors including palm oil, manufacturing and semiconductors. Both nations have two agreements in place aimed at ensuring protection for Indonesian migrant workers, said Setiawan.
“There are also issues such as labor wages, which have not been paid for years,” Setiawan said. Such problems prompted the Indonesian ambassador for Malaysia to recommend suspending orders for new workers and the ministry will follow up with a formal letter soon, he said.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Human Resources will hold a discussion with the Ministry of Home Affairs following the decision by the Indonesian government, according to a statement from the Ministry of Human Resources late Wednesday. The talks will address issues related to the intake of Indonesian workers into the country, the ministry said.
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