Expats

Oct 3rd, 2006, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

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520 Comments on “Expats”

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  1. avatar Oigal says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Eerm, I believe Kang Jingga meant “we” in the sense of a cultural habit to overpay expats.

    Eeerm… You don’t.. It’s market force driven. You are under the assumption that Indonesia is the only bidder for the labour and expertise. It’s not by a long chalk. Most professional expats can walk out of a job in Indonesia and walk into another in any number of a dozen countries all with comparable rates of pay.

    Like in all things you pay for what you get.

    We are talking in general here (so save the rampant nationalism for raving at Malaysia this week) ask the majority of Indonesians who would they rather work for in terms of conditons, training, promotion on merit etc.. A multi-national or national company.

  2. avatar Lairedion says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    You are under the assumption that Indonesia is the only bidder for the labour and expertise.

    What I tried to say here is, and I believe Kang Jingga also, is that Indonesians tend to overpay expats just because they are expats.

    It’s like me visiting Indonesia and my relatives requesting to bring some items while these same items are available in Indonesia, often at a lower price.

    It is not market driven, it is the perception that all products from the West are superior.

    But I also believe this behaviour is not limited to Indonesia but common place in virtually all non-bule nations, except for some East Asian powerhouses.

  3. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Lordy, Lairdie,

    Question for you:

    Why do most Indonesian surgeons get operations they do to people overseas ?

    Would you prefer to get a root canal in, say, Blok M, or Amsterdam. How ’bout a comparison of the price of a competent root canal (they’re probably available here, I haven’t had one), in Jakarta to Amsterdam ?

    Would your wife (if you have one), prefer to give birth in, say, Semarang or Sydney ?

    Why do you think such things might be ?

  4. avatar Oigal says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    We would come to a serious parting of the ways the “L”. There will always be the little sillyness examples..buying a shirt made in Bandung from Australia but add jeans west label and bring it back to Indonesia..

    but your basic premise flys in the face the facts, companies are concerned witht he bottom line, thats all, thats it! Environment, qaulity, CSR are just means to an end and expat salaries are part of that, if they could get cheaper with the same results they would. There is no blood ties in a multi-national company.

    Yup, you will find the odd person who slips through the cracks but they are the exception rather than the rule. I am in no doubt, if the company thought they could replace me for someone cheaper they would do it in a flash but thats life and the moment someone offers me more and/or better lifestyle I’m outta here.. its called market forces.

    Now, there is a case that Indonesians are often not given a fair go at the first opportunity to prove themselves. But whose fault is that? Credentials that cannot be trusted, false degrees, high school diplomas. Lets talk Uni reputations we would start the discussion with “Blue Energy” of course just for a giggle

    As an employer, I can tell you a degree from the majority of educational facilities in Indonesia is not worth the paper it is written on and is not even considered. CV’s can rarely be verified. You still need to conduct your own tests, trails and training and to be honest its often cheaper to employ the known qauntity and pay the extra than travel through 10 or 15 also rans who just don’t make the grade.

    To be very clear Indonesia DOES NOT set the salary, international market forces do. For instance, lets say we suddenly decide to cut all expat salaries by 50%, by this time next month the vast majority of expats would be working in China, Peru, India, Thailand, Cambodia. Its a viable, extermely fluid market and you don’t pay you don’t get.

  5. avatar Oigal says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Would you prefer to get a root canal in, say, Blok M,

    In fact you can get good care, but….

    1….. You need to be able to find it as there are no outside agencies ensuring any minimum standards.
    2. …You will find you pay for it (very simliar to prices in the west excluding USA).

    The reason being qaulity costs money and you can bet the Indonesian doing the work is on expat (ish) money because if they weren’t if they had the qaulifications and skill they would and could go else where and get it (matter of interest, last time for me it was an Indonesian and Malay-Indian Expat doing the dental work and damn fine job as well.

  6. avatar Odinius says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Oigal:

    To be very clear Indonesia DOES NOT set the salary, international market forces do. For instance, lets say we suddenly decide to cut all expat salaries by 50%, by this time next month the vast majority of expats would be working in China, Peru, India, Thailand, Cambodia. Its a viable, extermely fluid market and you don’t pay you don’t get.

    Bang on. If you don’t make the salary and benefits competitive, you won’t lure the personnel.

  7. avatar Cukurungan says:
    June 19th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    To be very clear Indonesia DOES NOT set the salary, international market forces do. For instance, lets say we suddenly decide to cut all expat salaries by 50%, by this time next month the vast majority of expats would be working in China, Peru, India, Thailand, Cambodia. Its a viable, extermely fluid market and you don’t pay you don’t get.

    Ha ha ha oh pak oigal … please do not drink too much our local made beer because the effect is very clear…. for our local people could be death as we can see on TV …but for the expat my be not sudden death but it could be only brain damaged as we can read in some expat posting here…Pak Oigal tell me what will you do in China …ha ha ha ..ricksaw driver…and what you can do in India….hahaha mau mijat sapi…take mirror see your self….tell me why aussi student so hate with India Student

  8. avatar ET says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 12:14 am

    @ Achmad

    Would you prefer to get a root canal in, say, Blok M, or Amsterdam. How ’bout a comparison of the price of a competent root canal (they’re probably available here, I haven’t had one), in Jakarta to Amsterdam ?

    I don’t know about Blok M but six years ago I had a major overhaul – crowns and bridges – done in Denpasar and the only thing I can say is that the dentist, a local guy, did a marvelous job at a quarter of the price I had been quoted in Europe. What’s more, when I saw his equipment I was flabbergasted. Nothing but the finest and latest technology, no more X-ray films to be developped but directly digitalized and the entire history with enhanced zoom function available on a monitor attached to the chair. Pity that I didn’t ask him where he got his education, but what’s important is that I now have the smile of a movie star. :-)
    This is not only the case in Indonesia. In Thailand there is an entire medical tourism industry aimed at Westerners who can’t or don’t want to pay the exorbitant prices charged in their home countries or who are put on waiting lists for years before they can get an operation.
    The same for Mexico. In Nogales near the Arizona border there are streets lined with Mexican dentists who all cater for the American pensioners who come to hibernate in the warm dry climate of the Southeast.

  9. avatar diego says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 12:51 am

    The same for Mexico. In Nogales near the Arizona border there are streets lined with Mexican dentists who all cater for the American pensioners who come to hibernate in the warm dry climate of the Southeast.

    hibernate?

  10. avatar Lairedion says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Achmad, I have had a root canal treatment once in Bandung and no complaints and my daughter was born in Bandung without any problems or complications. We could have opted for Holland but it never crossed my mind.

    Oigal,

    We would come to a serious parting of the ways the “L”.

    Cannot understand your Engrish here but I do understand you want to explain how market forces work. Thanks for the free lesson.

  11. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Gents,

    @ Lairedion,

    @ ET,

    Congrats on the dental work — you’re right there’s a big medical tourism industry going to Thailand. I hear some to Bali as well — so there are probably better examples.

    Where was the place, ET ?

    Point is there’s a huge skills gap between Indonesia and developed countries. Most surgeons go abroad. Might be interesting to compare the remuneration of Indonesianex pats abroad. On the kids thing, well, no one’s saying the Indonesians can’t produce children. Just as the case of Prita shows, medical care is often bad – and scary.

  12. avatar Oigal says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Oh Cuk…been on the red cordial again :-)

  13. avatar Oigal says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I too, have local dentist but its a a matter of luck to find and you still pay comparative prices for quality service, a lot of the cost differential between professional qaulity service can be put down to insurance (malpractice Insurance in Indonesia ..ho di ho) and external labour issues. The point being, you can bet the true Indonesian Medical Professional who has the qaulifications, has the skills can demand a simliar package to any expat. Problem is there are not that many of them.

    Mind you, got soem very good advice from someone who should know, looking for doctor in Indonesia, look for the young ones. Things are changing and the new generation are fairly well qualified and know what they are doing. Avoid like the plaque the older professors and multi qaulified old farts who cheated and bought their way throught the system

    L, no need to get snarly because someone doesn’t agree with you. Childbirth and teeth unless there is some other complications fairly routine procedures, I would venture (and have taken) the risk on having it done in Indonesia (well not the childbirth, I had was an observer shall we say), but if something went wrong, whats the chances of recoveru or recourse??. However are you seriously saying you would wish a complicated procedure done in Indonesia?

    Indonesian Expats (professionals) do very well O/S on par with all others.

    Oh Cuk..sorry forgot to mention.. already India and couple of other places..did very well thanks..thanks to people like yourself ensuring us expats always have job :-).

  14. avatar Oigal says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    BTW..Perhaps a thread could be started on where to find good doctors (names would be nice) and health care in Indonesia..I think most would agree they are around but word of mouth is better recommendation the shiny signs and machines that go bing

  15. avatar Rob says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    This seems to be a circular and never-ending debate. Parvita made passed commentary on her view of expats, which I might add she is entitled to hold, others disagreed with her and it has all become too personal in some of the to and fro.

    Expats play a role in any country, there are also plenty of Indonesians working overseas as expats (and not just as poorly paid and oft abused migrant labourers), are some of them overpaid or over-compensated for their skills or lack thereof, probably. Are there Indonesians living locally that could fill some of these positions, yes. However, they are generally already employed and employed on good salary packages and hence lacking in the desire to move from where they are currently employed.

    The health care debate is probably a thread somewhere else on this ever-expanding site known as IM. Not all expats seek overseas treatment for medical conditions. However, if your employer provides it, then why should one not avail themselves of those facilities. There are world class hospitals and medical facilities in Indonesia, they are in the minority rather than the majority, but they exist (OMNI is probably not one of them). There are also a lot of highly qualified, highly skilled, and excellent physicians in Indonesia. These physicians are both locally and foreign trained so the standard is not second rate by any stretch of the imagination. This is particularly the case in Indonesia’s larger cities. When one gets further away from the city the standard of medical care starts to decline. However, this is true of most countries including the US, Australia, and the UK. Let’s face it some of the treatment doled out in some of Australia’s major hospitals leave a lot to be desired.

    On a personal level, if I had to have a procedure done and expense was not an issue, then the decision would be based on the quality of the doctor and the facilities available and not “I am not having that done in Indonesia because anywhere else must be better than Indonesia.”

  16. avatar ET says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I said

    …American pensioners who come to hibernate in the warm dry climate of the Southeast.

    Should be Southwest, of course. Force of habit.

    @ Achmad

    Where was the place, ET ?

    Bali Dental Klinik 911 (no pun), in the big galeria at the roundabout with the Bhima statue in Kuta.

  17. avatar ET says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    diego

    hibernate?

    Yes, many oldtimers, especially those suffering from gout, come to spend the winter months in Arizona because of the hot and dry climate.

  18. avatar ET says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Oigal said

    The point being, you can bet the true Indonesian Medical Professional who has the qaulifications, has the skills can demand a simliar package to any expat. Problem is there are not that many of them.

    Well, I once got involved in a road accident and was taken to a small kampung hospital (not a puskesmas) with a nasty ankle wound. It wasn’t major surgery but the attending physician did a fine job and certainly didn’t ask more than I expected, 500,000 Rp everything included. The only odd thing was that the operating table was surrounded by kids, all very curious watching the proceedings.

  19. avatar Odinius says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    ET said:

    Yes, many oldtimers, especially those suffering from gout, come to spend the winter months in Arizona because of the hot and dry climate.

    ‘Tis true.

    ET, do you live in the Southwest?

  20. avatar Andy says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 6:16 am

    cukurungan-tell me why aussi student so hate with India Student

    mate…..get your facts right. Majority of Indian students bashed in oz are bashed by Lebanese immigrants who are mostly muslim. Look at the footage closely and you can see. Aussies born and bred have a long history of migration and tolerance. Unlike muslim countries. It is you who needs to look at himself in the mirror. 1998? 1991 Dili? The endless sweeping of foreigners whenever you have a bee in your bonnet about the smallest of issues.

  21. avatar Berlian Biru says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 11:01 am

    As regards Indonesian medical treatment, never had a problem, superb treatment every time. All three of my kids were delivered in the Medistra Hospital in Jakarta, first class, excellent care, no complaints whatsoever. Cheap too (by western or Singapore standards).

  22. avatar ET says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    @ Odinius

    ET, do you live in the Southwest?

    I did for a couple of years in the nineties.

  23. avatar Astrajingga says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Eerm, I believe Kang Jingga meant “we” in the sense of a cultural habit to overpay expats.

    Sorry, not to make clear about ‘my experience’.

    My experience is with BPPN/IBRA and its bule accountant/auditors. We just didn’t understand, at that time, why should we hire them, they’re expensive, because there were a lot of bules to be paid as consultant, or whatever. Do they work more professionally? Do they have more skill? Do they work harder? Will they produce a more honest and true finance auditing?

    I won’t name the company, but we then learnt that this accountant company was also the one who also assisted Enron.

    I mean, if we need fraudsters, why should we hire bule fraudster, we have a lot of ‘local’ fraudsters, they’re good enough, and they’re cheaper. That’s what I mean that ‘we pay them more expensive.’

    I never blame the bules. It’s all Indonesian fault. As always.

  24. avatar Odinius says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 5:24 am

    ET said:

    I did for a couple of years in the nineties.

    Gotcha. I haven’t been there for over a decade, but remember it fondly. Very beautiful place. A bit too panas for me, though.

  25. avatar Oigal says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 8:22 am

    My experience is with BPPN/IBRA and its bule accountant/auditors.

    Hey if you are going to refer to “BULE” then keep the terms of reference the same and refer to locals and nationals as your “chocolates”

  26. avatar Astrajingga says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Hey if you are going to refer to “BULE” then keep the terms of reference the same and refer to locals and nationals as your “chocolates”

    Only if they work worse, and only if they were paid more expensive than bules I’ll refer them as ‘chocolates’, ‘brown’, ‘nation of coolies’, or whatever ugly names I can imagine.

  27. avatar Hoogiez says:
    July 17th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Anjriiittt!!
    (Means OMG)

    It’s almost been 3 years and you’re still discussing about this topic?
    Move on….

    How about a new topic: Jakarta bombing.

  28. avatar syara says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Now for all of you in indonesia we have many etnics and ras we always bear mutual respect to each other no matter if you’re foreigner, white, yellow, brown i always do that to all my friend in indonesia, and I have a question to you for foreigner:

    1. which do you like indonesian brown skin girl or yellow skin?
    2. if you find indonesian yellow skin girl fall in love with you, would you like her? Or you want her change her skin to brown skin?

    I have this question b’cos i had some experince:
    One day I went with my friend to mall then in that place has many ‘white people’. My friend, she has brown skin and all of the ‘bule’ saw her they won’t looked at me just her.
    Then many time I have seen many ‘white’ go with indonesian girl brown skin. So, would you accept a indonesian yellow skin girl?

  29. avatar indo4life says:
    November 19th, 2009 at 4:03 am

    everybody is for the money!!

  30. avatar gUnitLA says:
    February 13th, 2010 at 4:58 am

    my eyes hurt after reading 500+ comments…single spaced.

    (sigh)…what a way to fill my friday at the office :)

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