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Taiwan the ideal destination for Indonesian workers: study

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- According to a Malaysian study published yesterday, in terms of compensation Taiwan has become the ideal destination for Indonesian workers seeking employment abroad.

According to the latest findings published by the Malaysian National Association of Employment Agencies, averaging at around 2,200 ringgits, monthly salaries offered by Taiwanese employers for female Indonesian domestic workers have far outstripped other nations, including Hong Kong's 1,700 ringgits, Singapore and Saudi Arabia's 1,200 ringgits, and Malaysia's 808 ringgits. 1 ringgit is approximately 0.10 New Taiwan Dollar.

The Malaysian governing body also found that Indonesian domestic workers are paying employment agencies around 4,800 ringgits for Malaysian employers, 6,500 ringgits for Singaporean employers, and 6500 to 7000 ringgits for employment in Taiwan and Hong Kong, while fees range from 6,500 to 8,000 ringgits in the Middle East.

According to Riwanto Tirtosudarmo, a scholar at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesian migrant workers are classified into three categories, those who work under unfavorable, favorable or intermediate conditions. Based on Tirtosudarmo's findings, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are deemed unfavorable employment destinations by Indonesian migrant workers, while Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are considered favorable. Japan and South Korea are considered the most favorable of employment destinations, according to Tirtosudarmo.

Following a labor conference between Taiwanese and Indonesian labor representatives, an agreement was formed to increase the scope of positions available to Indonesian migrant workers, while Indonesian authorities consented to reduce hurdles imposed on those who wish to seek employment in Taiwan. Following the accord, Indonesian workers are no longer required to take a mandatory loan.

Foreign domestic workers in Taiwan number 208,551, of which 78 percent, or 163,624 are represented by Indonesians, according to the Council of Labor Affairs.

Most notably, Indonesian authorities may elect to cease exportation of domestic workers beginning in 2017. The situation is exacerbated by rising demand among Indonesian workers to raise the minimum wage. Whether differences between Taiwanese employers and Indonesian authorities and workers may be resolved before 2017 remains unclear.

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