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Friday, March 30, 2007

The Exodus Continues

An recent article in Petrominer, an Indonesian mining and oil industry magazine published in English language, reviewed current phenomenon about the exodus of several hundreds of Indonesia's oil workers to several countries particularly Malaysia. The same magazine also published a comment made by the head of BPMigas, on 2,444 workforce shortage in the industry during a stage where the government have planned to increase oil and gas production in Indonesia by 30%.

Funnily, oil companies operating in Indonesia are bound by the rules set up by the government/BPMigas themselves. The remuneration and benefit packages offered to Indonesian nationals are peanuts compared to that of the regional standard, not to mention international standard. For someone of a similar amount of experience and skill, an Indonesia who works abroad in a foreign country can earn nearly 2x or even 3x (with benefits) as much as what being offered to an Indonesian who works in Jakarta or somewhere else in Indonesia.

Living in Jakarta is expensive, even for someone with the earning power of an oil company worker. House rental is high, there are some cheaper options but the living environment is not that great, namely not safe or we have to be prepared for annual flood. Food is relatively cheap, however transportation cost is high because the public transport system is a chaos. If we want to be comfortable when using public transport, then we have to hire a taxi.

This is not to mention the quality of living in Jakarta, which is famous for its busy hour traffic jam and high Carbon content in the air. It is understandable if people who have opportunities to work abroad will jump to a different company straightaway. If I were given this opportunity, I will grab it with both hands, too. Very easy to choose...

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