Indonesian official encourages workers to save for their future

Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK) Deputy Commissioner of Education and Consumer Protection Sarjito (right), and Indonesian Economic and Tra...

Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK) Deputy Commissioner of Education and Consumer Protection Sarjito (right), and Indonesian Economic and Tra... (CNA photo)

An official from the Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK), which regulates and supervises the country's financial services in banking, capital markets and the non-bank financial industry sectors, encouraged Indonesian migrant workers in Taiwan to save for their futures.

Sarjito, OJK deputy commissioner of education and consumer protection, told CNA that he said to an audience of approximately 300 Indonesian migrant workers at a financial education program in Taipei Sunday "not to buy expensive products when you only have a limited amount of money and to please save money for your future."

Citing Taiwanese as hard workers, he expressed hope that the Indonesian workers in Taiwan can learn from Taiwanese to be thrifty and not to be self-indulgent consumers.

The importance of migrant workers planning for their future is because eventually they will go back to Indonesia after they finish working in Taiwan, Sarjito said, adding that if they plan well, they may even able to set up businesses when they return home.

Sarjito also warned the migrant workers to not get tangled up in illegal or questionable investments.

"We (the OJK) have the obligation to educate them (Indonesian migrant workers) on their finances and also remind them to be careful of illegal investment schemes," he said.

The focus is to be thrifty and careful about managing their money, Sarjito said, adding that if they want to invest, they have to invest in legal investments and to be careful of investments with promises of much higher returns, which may be illegal or scams.

"There's quite a lot of them (scams), it doesn't just hit people with lower incomes, it also targets people with higher incomes," he said.

As part of the educational program, representatives from one of Indonesia's largest banks, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), described how the migrant workers can put their money in the bank, remit their money, and other services or products that are available to them,Sarjito said.

Such educational programs are important because the Indonesian government treats its migrant workers as heroes, as they work hard to remit money back to Indonesia, Sarjito said.

"They contribute to the development of Indonesia, they are really our heroes. That's why we don't want them to spend their money in a bad way, Sarjito said, adding that "that is why we need to educate them."

Susiyanti, a caregiver based in Taoyuan, said she felt she information was helpful.

"I want to open a business related to food when I return to Indonesia, so I came here to listen to the information," she said.

Zaky Faishal, a representative for BNI in Taiwan, said similar events have been held in the past with around 200 people in attendance in 2018 and approximately 100 in 2017.