Jakarta Demands Answers Over Workers Killed Abroad

By webadmin on 08:25 pm Jun 22, 2012
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Ismira Lutfia

The government has demanded a formal explanation from the Malaysian Embassy regarding the shooting deaths of three Indonesians by Malaysian police, the second such case this year.

Tatang Razak, the Foreign Ministry’s director for citizen protection overseas, said on Wednesday that three men were killed by police at the Templer Saujana Rawang housing estate in the city of Rawang, Selangor state, at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday during a suspected burglary.

He said Malaysian authorities believed the three were trying to break into a house when they were stopped by police. The men tried to escape in a stolen car, leading to a high-speed chase along the freeway.

Malaysia authorities said the men opened fire at the pursuing police vehicles, forcing officers to fire back, hitting the men and killing them, Tatang said.

“After receiving the information, officials from the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur immediately met with police investigators handling the shooting case and viewed the bodies at a Kuala Lumpur hospital,” he said.

He added that the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta had summoned Malaysian Ambassador Dato Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin Bin Syed Hassan to seek an explanation about the incident.

The Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, meanwhile, is looking for an explanation from the Malaysian Foreign Ministry and the Malaysian police.

There has not yet been an official announcement of the victims’ identities.

The incident mirrors another case on March 30 when police shot dead three Indonesian migrant workers, also on suspicion of criminal conduct.

The case sparked widespread outrage in Indonesia after the families claimed that the men’s organs had been illegally harvested before their bodies were sent back to their hometown in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

An autopsy by the National Police refuted this claim, but the families are continuing to press their case, including requesting a copy of the report from the initial autopsy carried out in Malaysia.

The incident prompted calls for Indonesia to reinstate a moratorium on sending domestic workers to Malaysia. The moratorium was only lifted earlier this month after being imposed in June 2009 following several cases of worker abuse.

More recently, Indonesians have been up in arms over a move by the Malaysian government to legally recognize a traditional dance and a song originating from North Sumatra, although the Malaysian government and Indonesian Embassy officials have stressed that Kuala Lumpur is not laying claim to the traditions.