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New Manpower Law Requiring Indonesian Language Proficiency Test of Foreign Workers

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  • dafluff
    replied
    So far all I have seen is a bunch pointless speculation mixed with a good measure of angst. Does anyone actually have facts? Like what level of Bahasa Indonesia they are testing for? How they are testing for it? When in the IMTA process will they do the test?

    I also very much doubt they're going to get it done by February.

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  • Kroshka2007
    replied
    .. well I have to say that I think that is will take much more than 5 weeks to become good in Bahasa... I am often presented to written Bahasa, that none of our university degree and "experienced" people actually understand what exactly means.. and even Google translate cannot understand most written bahasa... But if the purpose is to be able to ask.. how much? where is the toilet? good morning (which many indonesians do not do when they meet), or ask for one ice tea.. well then I think it is fine, but then the law is kind of useless.. If you should be able to discuss technical things about a products, or legal matters in a contracts.. well.. sorry to say, it is hard.. even for local lawyers. Even simple text.. if you ask 5 different people to discuss wording of a simple consumer text.. waow - to me that has been chaos, and I am left without a clear impression about what is right or what is less right.. For that reason I think it would be better for many companies to stick to English.. Again depending on what you do.

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  • lantern
    replied
    Originally posted by Happyman View Post
    I would expect that if you trained your foreign expert in Bahasa Indonesia for 5 weeks, intensively, you'd still just have him on a par with the English most local college grads are capable of. Doesn't seem to presumptuous to say your "foreign expert's" "associate" are likely to be college grads.

    Sure, we come here, onus is on us to learn the language, but is it practical for a short-term arrangement? I could definitely see it being cheaper to hire a local "translator" for six months than to pay your "foreign expert" architect for five weeks while he learns BI. (The quotes on "translator" are because I actually mean a normal office worker who speaks English well, not someone who bills themselves as a translator)
    There would seem little value in getting the foreigner, who is on a short term contract, up to the standard of being able to exchange pleasantries with coworkers and resorting to English when the subject gets complicated. How long would it take someone to be able to explain the theory of relativity in Bahasa Indonesia?

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  • rabbit_39
    replied
    Personally, I prefer that the Indonesian colleagues are fairly fluent in English. but that's because of the industry I'm in. If they can't read documentation or research papers/white papers in English and they can't use Google with English keywords, then they wouldn't be able to perform their duties properly.

    I'd imagine many other industries would benefit more from the Indonesian employees being more fluent in English than the expat experts be fluent in Indonesian. Now, to require Indonesian proficiency for permanent residence, that I think is fair.

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  • Happyman
    replied
    Originally posted by Kroshka2007 View Post
    @Happyman... this is kind of what I mean... I agree on that the longer time you stay the more demands... I think if the rules are too strict, it will be one more burden for foreign investors, if they need to have their staff working hard of language instead of "company related" things, from the very beginning. Personally, I focused on setting me "company foot print" even before i learned the word "makan" - and yes, I am sure a lot of things would be easier if I could have communicated in Bahasa... but then again, to discuss things in details, require more than a 5 weeks intensive language course..
    I would expect that if you trained your foreign expert in Bahasa Indonesia for 5 weeks, intensively, you'd still just have him on a par with the English most local college grads are capable of. Doesn't seem to presumptuous to say your "foreign expert's" "associate" are likely to be college grads.

    Sure, we come here, onus is on us to learn the language, but is it practical for a short-term arrangement? I could definitely see it being cheaper to hire a local "translator" for six months than to pay your "foreign expert" architect for five weeks while he learns BI. (The quotes on "translator" are because I actually mean a normal office worker who speaks English well, not someone who bills themselves as a translator)

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  • Kroshka2007
    replied
    @Happyman... this is kind of what I mean... I agree on that the longer time you stay the more demands... I think if the rules are too strict, it will be one more burden for foreign investors, if they need to have their staff working hard of language instead of "company related" things, from the very beginning. Personally, I focused on setting my "company foot print" even before I learned the word "makan" - and yes, I am sure a lot of things would be easier if I could have communicated in Bahasa... but then again, to discuss things in details, require more than a 5 weeks intensive language course..
    Last edited by Kroshka2007; 06-01-15, 18:48.

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  • Happyman
    replied
    If the intention is to require integration, seems to make more sense for the second KITAS and/or KITAP.

    As far as the "transmitting knowledge" bit goes, I wonder if that happens, even when you have your "expert" and "associates" speaking the same language. Any foreign experts willing to chime in on whether or not they feel they regularly "transmit knowledge" to their co-workers? (The knowledge that got you an IMTA, not your guess about what color of lingerie the secretary is wearing.)

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  • Kroshka2007
    replied
    For me it is a bit hard to relate to when we dont really know more about it..

    Like for instance if a company sends out a guy for 10 months only. What does this person actually really need to be able to do in bahasa... the country does not really do much to attract foreigners to begin with.. there is as such no benefits, and the company/the person pays in more situations quite a lot more for whatever, than the locals.. even employing additional staff to help this expats in his daily life..

    In Denmark we also have these demands, but Denmark actually from day one gives the expat the same conditions as a Dane.. meaning a lot of services paid by tax money... schools, hospitals, support for families with kids, as mentioned above free language/integration packages through several years, unemployment support etc. Yes Denmark even supports free of charge expats with interpreters when they need to go to the doctor or likewise. So I guess that also "motivates" Denmark to demand of and help the expats to try to put themselves into a situation where they can integrate faster and more easily..
    Last edited by Kroshka2007; 06-01-15, 18:42.

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  • lantern
    replied
    Originally posted by travellingchez View Post
    I say bring it on. It means more job opportunities for those of us that have bothered learning. I have similar feelings to scoot on this one.
    If you hire an 'expert' for a specific project then I don't see the point. Many expat workers are on a fairly short tours of duty and have no plans to integrate and many companies and organizations have English as the working language.

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  • travellingchez
    replied
    I say bring it on. It means more job opportunities for those of us that have bothered learning. I have similar feelings to scoot on this one.

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  • Kroshka2007
    replied
    In Denmark (and I presume all Europe) we have the same demand.. We want to see people trying to integrate. You also will not be able to get a simple, official job as cleaning person, if you cannot read which chemicals you are using (also safety). Denmark offers language classes for free. And the test you need to do, is not only about language, but does also contain questions about Denmark as such.. like common knowledge.. so language skills are not enough, you need to know about the country as well.

    As Happyman - I am also interesting in seeing the test. When the Danish test was launched - it was full of mistakes - and on top of that many Danes, who tried the test, failed ... (so not so easy for the expats to pass)

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  • atlantis
    replied
    Originally posted by Jason Cilano View Post
    the only news source talking about this is coconuts. I'm not really sure how reliable they are.
    The only source???
    http://finance.detik.com/read/2015/0...hasa-indonesia

    There are countless source in bahasa indonesia to be found, but more importantly it is in accordance with the 2003 Manpower Act. A foreign worker should have fair command of bahasa Indonesia in order for the company willing to employ him/her to be issued an IMTA.

    I can't blame ScooterIndo for what he feels. I believe that enrolling in a course to learn the language of the guest country is the minimum which should be requested for temporary resident. A test with a certain level for permanent resident coming with the purpose of working should be a prerequisite, imho. If one doesn't do it for the country at least s/he should do it for himself, imho.

    The Indonesian Law goes further and requests a foreign worker to have fair command of Bahasa Indonesia PRIOR TO be issued an IMTA (meaning before arrival in fact if we interpret literally the regulation). It strikes as being an utopia for new comers, considering that bahasa indonesia is not among the most popular foreign languages taught in foreign universities (beside perhaps in Australia), but it is the law. Time will say how successful the policy will be.

    I haven't lived much in my native country but I have always been under the impression that we were asking to immigrants to blend with the culture of our country or at least to be aware of it.

    Also, by law any TKA/foreign worker is supposed to be associated to at least two indonesian workers who he/she is supposed to transmit his knowledge/expertise to. Asking to foreign workers to be able to conduct a basic conversation in bahasa Indonesia is a way to give to these Indonesian a better chance to profit from this association.

    I constantly hear expatriates moaning about the lack of law enforcement but whenever enforcement occurs and affects some of them, there are even more complaints.
    Last edited by atlantis; 06-01-15, 16:53.

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  • ScooterIndo
    replied
    Its a good idea - why not ?? Personally I cringe when I meet expats that have been here for years and years and yet still struggle to say the most basic of phrases.

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  • Jason Cilano
    replied
    Originally posted by Puspawarna View Post
    I have a bad case of vacation brain so can't be bothered to look up any citations ... but don't we have one of these "the sky is falling, language proficiency requirements are coming!" posts every now and then, to which the answer is always "there is nothing new here, it's actually been the law for a long time, look around you at everyone working in Indonesia now if you want to see how the implementation affects people"?
    I have been living and working here for 5 years and have never had to take any language test. the only news source talking about this is coconuts. I'm not really sure how reliable they are.

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  • Happyman
    replied
    I want to take the test! Anyone seen a sample yet?

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