A discussion forum held at the Bali Tourism Board on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in Denpasar examined the large number of illegal foreign workers on the Island. Attended by representatives from Bali's tourism industry, the event included presentations by the Immigration office and the Department of Manpower.
At the forum, illegal foreign workers were depicted as stealing employment positions that should be filled by local workers.
As reported by tempo.co, Ketut Rasna from the Association of Water Sports Operators (Gahawisri) complained, "We have found diving operators where all the workers are foreigners - from manager down to the diving guides."
Local companies said they often encountered competition from foreign workers who quality is far below that of their local counterparts. The recent death of 7 Japanese divers near Nusa Lembongan was blamed on the use of Japanese dive guides and a failure to include a local guide who was more experienced with local conditions and water currents.
A representative of the Council of Traditional Villages (MUDP), Gde Nurjaya told the gathering that many foreigners take up residence in local villages, marry local women and set up companies in their wife's name.
In response, the head of the Information and Communications sections of the Denpasar Immigration office, Saroha Manullang, said that immigration officer constantly undertakes control and enforcement visits, but said the large number of foreign workers overwhelms the limited number of officers available to perform field inspections. "Because of this, we ask the assistance of the public to report suspicious activities," said Saroha.
Addressing complaints from the gathering regarding foreigners who marry locals, Saroha explained that rules are in place from the Immigration and Manpower Departments that grant some freedom for foreign spouses to work in small enterprises to contribute to their household income. He said when these foreigners create medium-sized or larger companies, they must follow all rules regarding the legal establishment of their companies and the strict rules on the employment of foreign nationals.
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