A senior Indonesian official said Indonesian migrant workers in Macau should be required to register their personal information and work contracts at their consulate in order to protect them from scams or abuse.

Tri Tharyat, the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia for Hong Kong and Macau, said that Indonesian workers in Macau currently do not need to come to the consulate to get their contracts approved. This makes it difficult for the consulate to maintain an accurate database of Indonesians working in the city, Macau News Agency reported.

“The protection issue has been very challenging. We don’t even know how to contact their families in Indonesia,” Tharyat said.

The Consul General said that in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the implementation of this measure has helped increase the Consulate’s capacity to protect Indonesian workers and in contacting a worker’s family back home in case of emergency.

“We have more than 5,000 Indonesians living in Macau, half of whom are domestic workers and we need to pay attention to how the two sides, Indonesia and Macau, can protect them better,” he said.

Tharyat said the common issues that Indonesians in Macau face are problems with their employers and fake job scams. Last year, there were 95 cases of Indonesian workers being duped by fake advertising for jobs in Macau.

“There was a crime syndicate working this type of racket and last year we helped nine victims of scams like this,” he said.