Indonesian Migrants’ Decision-Making in the Indonesia-Malaysia Corridor

As both the countries of Indonesia and Malaysia show much in common in terms ofhistory, culture, religion and more, it is unquestionably the reason why Indonesian migrants often migrate to Malaysia rather than other countries. Being only a few hours away from their home country, it makes it easy for migrants to return as oftenas they would want. This close proximity makes it an attractive destination to look forjob opportunities, apart from the common history of human mobility between the countries.

Whilst the culture and history shows much in common between the two countries, most Indonesian migrants rely their decision on Malaysia’s economic development when compared to Indonesia. Populating over 270 million people, employees in the country often find it difficult to look for a job due to the vast amount of competition available.

When compared to Malaysia and its better economic development, it presents itself to be a suitable country to migrate to. Moreover, competition in the country is slightly lowered due to the labour shortage, with migrants amounting to about 20%-30% of the labour force. Most people would often be influenced by their social networks, family or friends when making decisions, especially one as big as deciding a country to migrate to. With Malaysia being the most popular destination, hosting over millions of Indonesian migrants, it is not difficult for their social networks to reach their home country and attract more migrants.

Indonesian migrants can often be found working in specific sectors including agriculture & forestry, construction, electronic industry and various services industries that are available in the country. Although the introduction of the pandemic has slowed the economy, it is important to note that recovery is on its way and job opportunities are slowly rising.

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