TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The government will set a minimum wage for Indonesian overseas workers (TKI) in Singapore to be Sin$350 or around Rp1.9 million per month. Earlier, TKI's wage in Singapore was only Sin$280 or around Rp1.6 million. This provision will become effective starting July 1, 2007," said the Head of National Agency for Indonesian Overseas Workers Placement and Protection, Jumhur Hidayat, when contacted by Tempo yesterday (10/5).
The wage was set based on the discussion with the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, the TKI Service Company and distribution agent in Singapore. The wage of Sin$350 was considered as the most appropriate for increasing TKI's welfare in Singapore. The amount is also considered as quite competitive with other countries which also procure workers. The Philippines, for example, asks for a minimum wage of US$400 .
According to Jumhur, Sin$280 wages has been effective for more than 10 years. Many TKIs complained about wages that are not sufficient. Now, all proposals of employees request must follow the new provisions. "We won't send workers if the provisions are not followed," he said.
The government will also set a new minimum wage for TKI in Saudi Arabia. The amount, previously 600 riyal, will become 800 riyal per month. "A six hundred riyal wage has been effective for more than 20 years," he said.
The Migrant Care's Policy Analyst, Wahyu Susilo, is of the opinion that the policy is too one-sided as it does not involve Singapore. He was concerned that Singapore will look for workers from other countries. "There are still other countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, with the wages less than ours," he said.