Jordan Kefas Jefferson Paat, Jakarta – The Indonesian Labor Party strongly condemned the news of hundreds of migrant workers who died in immigration detention centers in Sabah, Malaysia, over a period of 18 months between 2021 and 2022.
"We strongly condemn and regret this incident happened," said the party's president Said Iqbal in a statement received by Tempo, Thursday, June 30, 2022.
Previously reported, the Sovereign Migrant Workers Coalition (KBMB) revealed that 149 Indonesian citizens died in five immigration detention centers in Sabah. They allegedly lived in inappropriate conditions and had no access to healthcare facilities.
Iqbal said his party warned the Malaysian government to treat migrant workers more humanely. He also planned to file a lawsuit to the international court and the human rights court to fight for justice for the victims.
"If hundreds of Indonesian migrant workers who died in Sabah immigration prisons truly happened due to the lack of food and access to healthcare, we will take this case to the International Court of Justice and the UN Human Rights Council," he asserted.
As one of the executives of the UN's Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO) headquartered in Geneva, Iqbal also planned to take the case to the Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS), a panel team overseeing labor rights violations established by the ILO.
Iqbal also claimed he had contacted the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) to jointly reveal this case. "We will look for data and facts on the ground. KSPI (Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union) has contacted the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) to form a joint fact-finding team," he said.
No one should underestimate this case involving human life, Iqbal emphasized. The Labor Party further urged the Indonesian government to send an investigation team to Malaysia and protect the rights of Indonesian citizens.
"In the near future, we will take a large-scale protest to the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta related to the case of migrant workers. Malaysia must be responsible for the deaths of Indonesian citizens in immigration detention centers under its authority," said Iqbal who is also the president of KSPI.