President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) asked the Director General of Immigration to be replaced if he is unable to improve immigration services.
The president made the statement during a speech at a limited meeting discussing visas on arrival (VoA) and limited stay permits (KITAS) at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta on Friday 9th September 2022. The comments feature in a video on the Presidential Secretariat’s YouTube channel, published on Saturday 10th September.
The meeting was attended by, among others, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
During the meeting, the president twice talked about the replacement of the Director General of Immigration.
“This morning we will specifically talk about visas, visas on arrival, and also matters related to KITAS,” said Jokowi when opening the meeting.
The president noted that he had received many complaints regarding the processing of the two immigration documents. Complaints had come in from investors, tourists, and foreigners who want to get a temporary residence permit.
Jokowi said that after the meeting on Friday, he wanted there to be a total change in immigration services in the country.
“I frankly get voices like that and feel embarrassed,” he expressed.
“What’s the end? It’s difficult. This has to be changed completely. The motive should be to make it easier and serve. It must change completely. If you need to change the director general, replace everything below so that we understand that we are changing. If we want investment to come, tourists to come, all must be changed.”
The head of state continued with examples of immigration services in several developed countries. Without mentioning the country, Jokowi said that granting visas in a number of countries considers the long-term impact.
Among other things, he said that consideration must be given to the impact on investment and opening up employment opportunities to further economic contributions.
“The person is given a visa, a KITAS. As an investor, how much is the investment? The country will definitely see. How many thousands of people does he want to create jobs for? Or how much does he contribute to our economy? The orientation must be there. Or how much do you increase exports?” he continued.
Jokowi also emphasised that he had directly checked the impact of Indonesia’s immigration services, which had not been maximised.
“Why am I checking this? We are becoming unattractive (for investment). One of them, not one of them, the biggest contribution is our immigration affairs which are still old-fashioned,” he said.
According to him, investment is very beneficial for the welfare of society. He said, “We have to start really changing this. Change it and if you don’t have the ability to reform, replace everything.”