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Indonesia/Hong Kong: Withdrew Charges and release Yunny Rahayu now

Indonesia/Hong Kong: Withdrew Charges and release Yunny Rahayu now

by IDWFED published Oct 31, 2014 05:45 PM
We, migrant workers organisations unified in JBMI-Hong Kong and Macau demanding Semarang District Court to immediately withdrew “fraud and deception” indictment and 1.6 years imprisonment charge and free Yunny Rahayu from prison right now.



Statement by Indonesian Migrant Workers Network


We, migrant workers organisations unified in JBMI-Hong Kong and Macau demanding Semarang District Court to immediately withdrew “fraud and deception” indictment and 1.6 years imprisonment charge and free Yunny Rahayu from prison right now.

Moreover, we also demand Indonesian government under President Jokowi to investigate collusion allegation performed by PT. Maharani Tri Utama Mandiri (PT. MTUM), Semarang District Police and the Semarang District Court. These three parties have caught and arrested Yunny Rahayu, a migrant worker candidate who was failed to fly to Hong Kong because she has to take care of her sick father until he passed away. Yunny is not a criminal and not supposed to be treated as a criminal.

Case Background

In January 2014, Yunny apply to PT. MTUM to work as a domestic worker in Hong Kong. Yunny undertake departure procedures from medical checp up, placement agreement signing, and job training. PT. MTUM also gave her 4 million Rupiah cash as pocket money since she did not use sponsor service. Yunny suppose to get an extra 2.5 million Rupiah but she never received it since the agency told her that the money was used to apply for biometric passport. Later, Yunny was commanded to sign the 6.5 million Rupiah invoice.

Based on the Indonesian government policy, migrant worker candidate is obliged to undertake 60 days of training before departuring to destination country. However, on her 25th day Yunny was forced to ask for permission on temporary leave since she has to take care of her father who was severely sick. Unfortunately, her father’s house was relocated for a railway project, and he need to move to Yunny’s family house. Yunny’s father suffers spinal cord disease and unable to walk normally, that is why he needed to be accompanied every time. One day,  her father was trying to go to the toilet by his own and felt down. Then he was brought to the hospital. Because of this incident, Yunny was asked to extend her leave permission to Mrs Caswati, operational director of PT. MTUM. She needs to take care of his father.

In March 2014, Mr. Subekhi (Mrs. Caswati’s husband and the owner of PT. MTUM) come to visit and tell Yunny that her visa has approved and she will immediately receive a flight ticket to Hong Kong, even though she never sign any work contract. Since Yunny still have to take care of her father, she asked for departure delay. However, Mr. Subekhi answered that if Yunny did not want to depart then she need to pay for a “compensation” and give a letter of financial charges of 19.250.000 Rupiah with details as follow:

ChargeAmount (Rp) ChargeAmount (Rp) ChargeAmount (Rp)
Administration fee 200.000,- Visa fee 6.000.000,- Pocket
Medical fee 250.000,- Dorm fee 1.500.000,- Personal
Passport fee 300.000,- Training fee 1.200.000,-

Since that day, Mrs. Caswati has always demanded Yunny to pay the bills. Yunny was always answered that she will immediately pay after she have some money.  In 4 April 2014, Mr. M. Ridwan from Semarang District Police came to Yunny’s house to give two different financial bills. First bill said that Yunny have to pay for Rp 19.250.000 and the second bill said that Yunny have to pay for Rp 15.550.000. in 24 April 2014, Yunny’s father passed away.

In 8 June 2014, Yunny was arrested by the Head of Semarang District Police at her house with the charge of “fraud and deception” of departure fee to Hong Kong and imprisoned at the Bulu Correctional Institution until now.

Yunny’s Case is Inelegance

Yunny’s case is a civil case so it is supposed to be solved in a forum or ask for a local manpower department office’s assistant. These solutions were supported by the following rules:

Placement agreement between Yunny and PT MTUM dated 15 January 2014, article 12 (2): “in the event of a forum as mentioned in paragraph (1) do not meet any agreement, then one or both sides can ask for assistance for the dispute from a local authority at a local Manpower department office”.

Law of Migrant Worker Placement and Protection No. 39/2004 Chapter VII Article 85 stated: 1) in the event of dispute between migrant worker and the placement agency regarding placement agreement, both party try to solve it peacefully in a discussion forum, and (2) in the matter of unsuccessful solution process through discussion forum, then one or both party can ask for assistance for the dispute from a responsible authority in the field of Manpower at the district, province, or central office.

Migrant Worker and Family Protection Law No. 6/2012, article 20 paragraph 1 says: “not a single migrant worker/ family member can be imprisoned because of failure in completing an agreement”

However, in the case Yunny, the rules above were intentionally disregarded. Yunny has been treated as a criminal. From the detail of bills it is clear that deception of fees has actually performed by PT MTUM since it is not in line with the policy of the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration on placement fees for migrant domestic workers departing to Hong Kong in 2012 and also the labour laws made by the Hong Kong government. The manpower office and the PNP3TKI in Semarang that supposed to know about these rules are choose to keep silent and let Yunny treated unfair.  

In the court, initial charge of Rp 19.250.000 is suddenly decreased into Rp 6.500.000 because PT. MTUM do not have suitable proof beside pocket money invoice that have been signed by Yunny. This “present” pocket money turned into accusation of “fraud and deception” and produced as the basic reason to put Yunny in jail.

Yunny and other migrant worker candidate were never asked for pocket money and this is purely born from PT MTUM’s policy and other private agencies under the association of migrant worker placement (APJATI). Even though this policy seems to be positive, but actually this pocket money will go to the agency through the salary cut system. This pocket money is only a modus to trap migrant worker so that they are bounded to a certain agency. Unfortunately, Indonesian government seems to be silence with this practice.

Then because of PT MTUM’s report, the head of Semarang District Police suddenly arrested Yunny. Even the court revoke Yunny’s proposal to be permitted to wait outside the court since the judge worried that Yunny will escape. The manpower department/ the Minister of Manpower that has been asked for assistance have only call PT MTUM without any concrete action. BNP3TKI even put the blame on Yunny. The government is agile when the private agency report their loss but closing eyes and ears when the rights of Yunny have violated.

The loss of PT MTUM is actually insignificant compared to their profit taken from the migrant worker business. But why they still want to send Yunny to prison? Prosecution of Yunny aimed for two reasons. First, as a trial, if they win than the private agency will use criminal path in the future to prosecute other migrant workers with difficulties paying the salary cut. Second, to give warning to migrant worker so that they never dare to obstruct private agency rules again.

Free Yunny and all migrant workers from the grips of private agency

As other migrant worker, Yunny is only a victim of a poor and coercion condition. Working for two years in Malaysia and still cannot assure her family’s life. Working in private agency and still cannot fulfill her two child’s needs. This terrible condition forced Yunny and other migrant workers to migrate again. If the employment is suitable and services in education, health, transport, etc. are accessible, then Yunny will have a small chance to be trapped in today’s condition.

Yunny is one of many victims of the neglected migrant sending program. Ruyati received a death penalty in Arab, Erwiana was tortured in Hong Kong, hundreds of migrant workers were threatened death sentences and thousands were facing cases and millions others were pressured in a poor working condition, and these are concrete evidences of the cruelty of the program. The people is giving illusion that poverty can be overcome by sending migrants abroad. Is it true? While actually the real purpose of migrant labour sending are to decrease domestic unemployment and to add profits to the government.

In the matter of placement, the government do not want to work too hard and give a full authority to private agencies. This delegation of responsible is clearly visible in the Law of Migrant Worker Placement and Protection No. 39/2004. Is it possible for private agency that only chase for profits will protect migrant workers? It is more accurate to say that this Law is actually legalizing government’s abandonment of migrant labour.

It is time for the government to free migrant workers from the grips of private agencies. It is time for government to answer poverty problems by creating a proper employment, giving farmer’s right of their lands and appreciate crop products and giving feasible services. So that there is no other Yunny who imprisoned for a spoon of rice. No other Erwiana who tortured by her employer, no other Ruyati who died abroad. So there is no more migrant victims.

Based on our above explanation, we also demand Indonesian government to prosecute PT Maharani Tri Utama Mandiri on the case of signature falsification and other violations on Yunny, giving compensation on the loss that have been endured by Ynny and her family, revoking private agencies rights upon migrant workers life, erasing the rules of agency switch restriction in Hong Kong and apply the independent contract scheme. Stop migrant worker trade immediately and realise feasible employment in Indonesia.

Let us help the fight for Yunny’s freedom by disseminating this information and our statement on criminal conviction against Yunny. You can send twitter message #BebaskanYunny (#FreeYunny) to the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. Be active in social media and campaign for Yunny. Send organisation petition to the Semarang District Court and join the action in front of the Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong.

Source: Indonesian Migrant Workers Network

Story Type: Update

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