The hottest news in the expats world of Indonesia is that the government soon will revoke KITAS requirement for foreign workers.
In recent cabinet meeting, President Joko Widodo (pictured above) reportedly said that he will scrap everything that comes in the way of creating conducive climate for investors.
Along with KITAS requirement, the requirement for expats to be able to speak Bahasa becomes the target too.
The news is accepted with mixed reactions. Expats rejoice. KITAS has been a pain in the neck for them: the long and tedious process to get and renew it, the VISA run to Singapore (or any other country), and all the shenanigans that sometimes send them brimming in hopelessness. Who wouldn’t be glad that this is going to be over? No more news of deportations?
Some politicians and workers’ activists see this as a catastrophe, however. Calling this move unnecessary and unpatriotic. Mastering the mother tongue of the country in which you’re working is the rule of thumb in many nations. So, what gives?
Seems to me that Mr. Jokowi has a lot to explain regarding this. Otherwise, this new move will be seen as a desperate attempt to get investors by sacrificing local workers. The activists think that such revisions will affect Indonesian workers more. KITAS is a leverage to slow down the rate at which company hire foreign workers. It ensures Indonesian worker to stay competitive. This could hypothetically end that competitiveness.
Indeed, Mr. Jokowi has a lot to account for ahead of him. Including, but not limited to, what he really means. Scrapping the requirements completely or merely doing revision? Because at this point it’s still not clear.
Let’s wait and see.