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Freeze on Indonesian labour extended after 700 Covid deaths in August

Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono says his country extended the temporary freeze on its workers entering Malaysia following soaring death rates in July and August.

The freeze will only be lifted once Covid-19 cases drop and the workers' rights are improved.

The temporary freeze on the movement of its labour force into Malaysia was initially announced by Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower when the country closed its borders last year due to the global pandemic.

Hermono, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, told Malaysiakini that even as Covid cases and deaths in Malaysia rose dramatically in the third quarter of this year, the death toll among Indonesians peaked at a devastating number.

“There were 408 deaths in July and 700 deaths in August and most of them died in their dwellings because they were too afraid to go to government hospitals,” he said, in an exclusive interview.

He added that Indonesians in Malaysia feared...

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