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Old 13th October 2012, 12:20 PM   #1
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Default Jakarta envoy set to arrive : Indonesia's first Ambassador for Kingdom of Bahrain

By Sandeep Singh Grewal , Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2012

VULNERABLE Indonesian migrant workers are set to receive more support as their first diplomatic envoy will arrive in Manama later this month following years of delay. Jakarta will dispatch its first ambassador, Chilman Arisman - former consul-general in Penang, Malaysia - to the country by October 16 to provide legal and diplomatic help to its more than 12,000 nationals.

"The new appointment will certainly help promote bilateral ties as now there will be full-time presence of a diplomat in Bahrain," said an Indonesia Embassy spokesman.

"There are about 12,000 Indonesians working in Bahrain with majority of them being domestic workers.

"We are really looking forward to the appointment of the first Indonesian resident ambassador in Bahrain as it will help our nationals address their issues."

The facility in Juffair has been operational since 2010 after Indonesian authorities upgraded its diplomatic status here from a consulate to an embassy following a presidential decree.

The GDN reported on July 4 that a presidentially-appointed task force in Jakarta set restrictions on domestic workers to Jordan and Saudi Arabia after many reported cases of violence and maltreatment of their nationals.

A spokesman of the task force, Humphrey Djemat, had said the number of Indonesians in Bahrain had risen from 9,000 last year to 12,395.

He said the increase was because of the moratorium on sending Indonesian workers to Saudi Arabia and further claimed that several migrant workers were "attempting" to enter Saudi Arabia through Bahrain.

However, the embassy spokesman said the new appointment would strengthen ties between the two countries and would work towards tackling serious issues faced by Indonesian nationals here and provide them with legal protection.

He said embassy charge d'affaires Agus Salim will be responsible until the new envoy's arrival in Manama

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