By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Labour Affairs Bureau’s (DSAL) director Shuen Ka Hung urged Indonesian people to be aware of overseas job scams and only come to work in Macau through the legal procedures authorised by the Indonesian government.
The DSAL in collaboration with the Public Security Police (PSP) and the Social Security Fund organised an Imported Labour Law explanatory session for around 150 Indonesian workers in Macau and the Peduli Indonesian Migrant Workers Concern Group yesterday.
The Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong helped arrange an Indonesian interpreter for the event.
According to the representative of the Indonesian Consulate, they have received a lot of reports concerning job placement scams in Macau.
The scammers, who are also Indonesian, will tell the people in Indonesia that there are many jobs available in Macau. They promised these people jobs in the territory after being paid a certain amount of money. However, those promised jobs turn out to be non-existent and the duped Indonesian workers cannot contact the person-in-charge in Macau either, the representative told Shuen Ka Hung.
He also said that eventually the duped Indonesian workers would become vagrants and overstay in Macau.
The Indonesian Consulate is investigating suspected recruitment agencies in Indonesia and at the same time organising the reports and will write to Macau’s police department later, the representative added.
Shuen Ka Hung thus stressed that Indonesian people should never come to work or find jobs in Macau on a tourist visa, which is outlawed.
He said the only legal means to come to work in Macau is to get the authorization from the labour department in Indonesia and then to find jobs through licensed recruitment agencies.
PSP Superintendent Iau Wai Lam said visitors have to pay attention to their period of permitted stay in Macau when they enter the territory on a tourist visa.
Since the alleged job deception cases occurred in Indonesia in the first place, the Superintendent said victims should report to police in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Consulate hopes to arrange a meeting with the DSAL regarding the job scams. Shuen Ka Hung said the bureau always welcomes meetings with different countries’ consulates and would like to reinforce cooperation with them.
On the other hand, one of the Indonesian workers who attended the explanatory session asked whether it was lawful for an employer not to pay his domestic helper salary for three months, after having found this domestic helper used his home address without his knowledge to apply for a mobile phone number for her friend.
The friend of her already left Macau and the telecom operator has been calling this employer due to the unpaid phone bills.
Shuen Ka Hung responded that the domestic helper should be the one to blame as she made use of her employer’s home address without his consent. However, even though it was the worker’s mistake, he said the employer could not deduct her salary in a way that doesn’t adhere to the law.
In this case the employer could in fact go to the police and accuse the domestic helper of fraud, the DSAL director said.
In addition, in response to another Indonesian worker’s inquiry, Shuen Ka Hung said there is no regulation concerning which language employment contracts must have to be made in.
He urged that a worker should never sign a contract if she cannot understand the content, “or otherwise you will put yourself in an unfavourable situation when labour conflict occurs and no one there can help you.”
The Indonesian workers also got informed in yesterday’s event that they could be blacklisted by the government and prohibited from working in Macau for two years if found to have worked illegally in Macau.
And if non-resident workers committed criminal offences, the PSP will normally suggest not issuing them permissions to stay in Macau in the future.