20
February

The Malaysian government feels it will be disadvantaged if Indonesia stops sending domestic servants to the country because domestic helpers` torture rarely occurs in Malaysia. 

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi made the remarks after a visit to Datuk Bagan Plateau as quoted by the local media on Sunday.

He was responding to the discourse on the Indonesian plan to discontinue the sending of domestic workers to Malaysia.

In terms of statistics, he said, Malaysia is among the countries that record the lowest cases of torture against domestic servants from Indonesia compared to some other countries.

In this regard, Hamidi said he would meet with Minister of Manpower of Indonesia, Hanif Dakiri to hold talks on the safety of Indonesian workers and maids.

"Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on safety is already there but we will see again the agreement between employers and workers whether the regulation is still not tight," he said.

He expects the Office of Manpower and the Ministry of Human Resources to conduct further review of the agreement and related SOP.

Last week a housekeeper, Adelina Lisio (28), died at the Bukit Mertajam Hospital after being tortured by her employer at a house in Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Pinang.

According to reports, some of the neighbors said Adelina was forced to sleep with a Rottweiler dog on the pavilion for more than a month before she died on Saturday.

He said the Malaysian Government would also not protect any employer found guilty of persecution or tyranny to foreign workers.

"We have an agreement between the employer and the worker to be signed so that the rules and guidelines can be followed," he said. (ANTARA) 

20
February
Indonesia and the European Union have commenced the fourth round of talks on the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) in Surakarta, Central Java. Discussions will run until February 23. Indonesian Trade Ministrys international trade director general, Iman Bambagyo, who chairs the Indonesian delegation, says his side will focus on market access during the talks. Iman said in a statement on Monday 19/2 that the ministry sees the fourth round as important because it marks the beginning of the substantial stages, particularly for market access for goods and services. Other issues to be discussed include those that had been discussed in previous rounds of talks, including the trade of goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, business competition, sustainable development, small and medium enterprises, capacity cooperation and development. Iman said negotiations on the I-EU-CEPA were expected to be completed this year.  Both parties want to establish modern and comprehensive economic ties. The major issue for Indonesia is a trade barrier for Indonesian palm oil following the decision by the EU Parliament on Jan. 17 to phase out the use of biodiesel manufactured from palm. (JP)
19
February

More Japanese Tourists Visit Bali

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The number of Japanese tourists visiting Bali in 2017 rose 7.65 percent to 253,000 from around 235,000 in the previous year.  Head of the Bali branch of th Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) Adi Nugroho said in Denpasar on Sunday (18/2) that most of them flew in here directly from Japan with only 651 by tourist boats. apanese were the fourth largest foreign tourists in number after Chinese, Australians and Indians. Japanese tourists made up 4.44 percent of the total number of 5.69 million foreign tourists visiting Bali in 2017.  Earlier head of the Bali Tourism Office AA Yuniarta Putra said he hoped Japan Airlines (JAL) would serve regular flights between Bali and Japan. Yuniarta said Garuda Indonesia and Japan-based airline ANA (All Nippon Airlines) and Air Asia already served regular flight between Bali and Tokyo and Osaka. Indians accounted for 4.79 percent of the total number of foreign tourists visiting Bali in 2017. The eight countries of origin included China, India, Japan up 7.69 percent, Britain up 10.07 percent, The United States 12.11 percent, France 7.61 percent, Germany 15.11 percent and South Korea 15.45 percent. (ROL)
20
February
 
Indonesia and Singapore agreed to enhance cooperation in investment and vocational training especially in industrial sector. Indonesian Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto stated that this will strengthen partnership of the two countries in order to complete each others economic potential. Airlangga said on Sunday(18/2) in Jakarta that Singapore is one of neighboring countries that plays a strategic role for the interests of both Indonesia and the region. Airlangga explained that in investments, the ministry has supported Singapore to develop industrial areas in other areas in Indonesia with integrated concept similar to Kendal Industrial Area (KIK), Central Java. He further said the ministry offers areas development in NorthKalimantan (Tanah Kuning), North Sumatera (Kuala Tanjung) and North Sulawesi (Bitung). In addition, Indonesia-Singapore also build synergy in human resources competence development through vocational training. Commitment for this purpose is shown by MoU signed by Indonesia Industry Minister and Singapore Education Minister, Technical Arrangement (TA) between Industry Minister Secretary General and Singapore Institute of Technical Education (ITE) director and Collaborative Agreement between Indonesia Industry Ministrys training center and Singapore ITE Education Services (ITEES). (Tempo)