The Chinese Migrant Worker in Indonesia: The Local and Migrant Workers Context

  • Ali Maksum Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Ahmad Sahide Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Based on empirical findings, this article concludes that the influx of Chinese migrant workers is a serious threat against Indonesian local and migrant workers in the overseas, amidst the high number of unemployment. The local and migrant workers have struggled to seek for a better job under uncertain situation in Indonesia. The Indonesian government attempts to create more job vacancies, yet the government has welcomed more migrant workers especially from China. Furthermore, Indonesian migrant workers are also recognized as the highest contributor for Indonesian remittance for many years. The influx of Chinese migrant workers blatantly hit both Indonesian local and migrant workers. In addition, this was a humiliation against Indonesian workers, which have struggled to migrate overseas through illegal and very risky ways. Conversely, a large number of Chinese migrant workers have been deployed in various projects, which basically can be handled by local workers. The arrival of Chinese migrant workers, of course, became a controversial issue especially among Indonesian local and migrant workers, who have faced difficult situation such as exploitation, humiliation, and contract abuses. This is a qualitative research enriched with semi-structured interviews with some key respondents specifically those who have experiences and expertise on migrant workers issues.


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Interview A. Interview with anonymous, a lecturer from Universitas Pasundan, Bandung, 24 April 2018.
Interview B. Interview with anonymous, staff from the Inspectorate Division, Ministry of Villages, Under Developed Regions, and Transmigration of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, 18 March 2018.
Interview C. Interview with Mr. Khozaeni, an Indonesian migrant worker based in Penang, Malaysia, 4 April 2018.
Interview C. interview with Mr. Muhammad, an Indonesian migrant worker based in Kedah, Malaysia, 4 April 2018.
How to Cite
MAKSUM, Ali; SAHIDE, Ahmad. The Chinese Migrant Worker in Indonesia: The Local and Migrant Workers Context. Jurnal Ilmiah Peuradeun, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 3, p. 511-532, sep. 2019. ISSN 2443-2067. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 jan. 2021. doi:

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