The Future of Malaysia’s Dependency on Indonesian Foreign Labors: Findings from Key Informants’ Interview


  • Farah Nuraishah Ab Malek Zaki School of Government, Universiti Utara Malaysia, MALAYSIA
  • Mohd Na’eim Ajis School of Government, Universiti Utara Malaysia, MALAYSIA
  • Mohd Fitri Abdul Rahman School of Government, Universiti Utara Malaysia, MALAYSIA



Indonesian foreign labors, migration, policy


International migration has become major contemporary change in this era, especially in both developed and developing countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia. Malaysia’s transformation in preparing the country to become industrial based economy has shaped the country as one of the favorite countries in Southeast Asia region for foreign labors migration. The highest migration for job seeking came from neighboring country especially Indonesia. The migration of Indonesians not only drive by the job opportunities but supported by the history of community mobility, geographical proximity, existence of social networks and the similarities of languages, religions and cultures. The arrival of Indonesian labors to Malaysia is a constant necessity for both countries. This paper aims to predict Malaysia’s dependency on Indonesia’s foreign labors in the future. This paper employs qualitative approach in gathering data using five key informants from various authorities involve in the recruitment and management process of foreign labors in Malaysia. It is found that geographical location and job offers are among the pulling factors for the Indonesian foreign labors to choose Malaysia as working destination. Employers in Malaysia too prefer Indonesian foreign labors to reduce their operational cost. The weakness of Malaysian policies and law also does not help in reducing the number of Indonesian foreign labors. Thus, it can be concluded that it is a tough effort to make Malaysia reduce its dependency on Indonesian foreign labors in near future.


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How to Cite

Ab Malek Zaki, F. N., Ajis, M. N., & Abdul Rahman, M. F. (2022). The Future of Malaysia’s Dependency on Indonesian Foreign Labors: Findings from Key Informants’ Interview. EDUCATUM Journal of Social Sciences, 8(1), 104–113.