Forums and Chat for Indonesia's English-speaking community
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#31741 - 13 Feb 06 20:52 JP/Dual citizenship not enough
biznews Moderator Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 24 Apr 08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Jakarta
Dual citizenship not enough
Sally Wellesley, Jakarta

The limited dual citizenship being hailed as a breakthrough by Slamet Effendy Yusuf, chairman of the House special committee on citizenship (Bill may lead the way for dual citizenship, The Jakarta Post, on Feb. 8) is indeed a big step forward for Indonesian women, but does not go nearly far enough toward solving the problems of people in transnational marriages.

Slamet says that it is "good for Indonesian children to pursue better education, health and other opportunities in foreign countries". The problem is, if an age limit is imposed on dual citizenship, these children will find it difficult to bring the benefits of such opportunities back to Indonesia.

Let's look at the implications if an age limit of 18 is imposed. We'll take the example of Putra, the son of an Indonesian mother and an Australian father. He finishes high school and has managed to earn a place to study at an Australian university.

Although he has spent all his life in Indonesia, and thinks of Indonesia as home, he opts for Australian citizenship so that he can take advantage of the lower fees and other benefits while he is there -- his parents, who are not wealthy, could not afford to pay the international fees applied on him as an Indonesian citizen.

Putra works hard and gets a part-time job to help support himself. But what happens when he makes his yearly visit home to see his family? He is now a "foreigner", forced to pay US$25 for a visa to enter his own country and told he can only stay one month.

He finishes his degree and wants to return home to apply his new skills in Indonesia. He has set his heart on an entry level job with a local NGO working on community development projects. But, because he is no longer an Indonesian citizen, he does not have this option. First, as a new graduate and therefore not an "expert", he doesn't qualify for a work permit.

Second, few, if any, companies -- and certainly not the small NGO he wants to work for -- would be willing or able to pay out the huge costs of a work permit and related fees for a new, inexperienced graduate. Shunned by his own country, Putra sadly returns to Australia to find a job, his parents have to resign themselves to the fact that their son -- and later, their grandchildren -- will always be living a continent away, and Indonesia loses a potentially valuable human resource.

Indonesia's legislators could look to India for a more pragmatic approach to this issue. Recognizing that many Indians who have naturalized overseas still retain important familial, cultural and economic ties to their native country, the government passed a law in 2003 allowing them to maintain their Indian citizenship as well.

Now they can travel to their own country without visas and invest without any restrictions. Some developed countries are even witnessing a reverse migration of highly qualified and experienced Indians who want to contribute their expertise to the development of their homeland.

At a recent seminar on the Citizenship Bill, a panel of experts that included Azyumardi Azra, Ikrar Nusa Bakti and Paulus Wirutomo agreed that dual citizenship was long overdue for Indonesia. In fact, taking all the advantages and disadvantages into consideration, most of them concluded that there was no longer any good reason not to allow unrestricted dual citizenship for all citizens of Indonesia.

The usual objections that are raised -- relating to taxation, national security, child abduction and so on -- are covered by a multitude of other laws, conventions and treaties. Indonesia's insistence on a restricted version of dual citizenship will only keep the door closed to potential national assets and ensure continued difficulties for families with "feet in two cultures".

The writer is Co-Secretary of Aliansi Pelangi Antar Bangsa, a voluntary organization that advocates for nondiscriminative laws and government policies and legal protection for Indonesian and foreign nationals and their families. She can be reached at
_________________________ Indonesian Business and Investment News Aggregator

#31742 - 14 Feb 06 05:10 Re: JP/Dual citizenship not enough
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
So my taxes (I pay 47% tax in Australia) are subsidising Putri, who thinks of Indonesia as HOME - but finds it better if I pay for his education!!!!


Purti mate, either love Australia or fuck off home. and get your hand out of my pocket....

I have a REAL problem with people who use Australian citizenship as a "passport of convenience". After tianamin Square we gave 25,000 Chinese Australain passports cos they "would be killed if the went bck to China".

20,000 of those passport holders now live and work in China..... They have somewhere nice to retire to, somewhere to run to if China turns nasty.

In the meantime they pay low taxes and make a lot of money in China. They pay no tax to Australia. Yet use all the facilities.

We must be stupid......... frown

#31743 - 14 Feb 06 05:17 Re: JP/Dual citizenship not enough
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
Sally, your article about Purti REALLY makes me angry.

Purti is choosing a low cost option to get his education at my expense. As an Australian taxpayer I pay one of the highest rates in the world.

Post education Purti will return to Indonesia and pay lower taxes, making no contribution whatsoever to the Australian economy.

My retirement pension will not benefit from the efforts of Purti. My standard of living will not benefit from his tax contributions.

Sooner of later this cross border flow of “option seekers” will come to an end.



#31744 - 14 Feb 06 08:36 Re: JP/Dual citizenship not enough
lucille_ball Offline

Registered: 02 Feb 06
Posts: 38
Loc: Jakarta
you're right PB, but if we sought this matter as "putra" it seems not fair, cause "putra" can not find a job and can not be together wit his family. it would be hard for him too to earn money.
But, if we look this matter in your perspective you had a point, while the immigrants come to your country and paying low taxes and then your taxes benefit will be given to those "immigrants".
Damn, such a boomerang situation

#31745 - 14 Feb 06 08:53 Re: JP/Dual citizenship not enough
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
I am happy to see anyone migrate to Australia. we need young people. i will, and do, help people. If anyon wants to come here I will try very hard to help.

But not come here just cos its cheap and easy, then go home to JKT and make a fortune working for family business.......


Moderator:  biznews, NetCop