KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — The first batch of eight Indonesian workers recruited through a government-to-government deal between Putrajaya and Jakarta finally arrived in Malaysia last Monday, according to local daily The Star.

The newspaper said the workers under the Memorandum of Understanding on the Employment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers signed on April 1 were processed manually instead of online through the One Channel System.

“The pilot project through the One Channel System (OCS) will start in mid-August when the platform is ready.

“But we’ve already processed the requests manually using the embassy’s platform,” Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono was quoted saying in a report published today.

The diplomat who goes by a one-word name told the newspaper that the next batch of Indonesian workers under the April 1 agreement will be sent to Penang next Monday.

However, he said the numbers are not yet confirmed.

According to Hermono, roughly 23,000 Indonesians have been processed and are expected to arrive in Malaysia to be employed as domestic helpers from this month.

The Indonesian government had temporarily banned its citizens from coming to work in Malaysia on July 13 after accusing Putrajaya of not honouring the agreements in the April 1 deal.

The OCS replaces a previous digital system used to recruit Indonesian workers for Malaysia called the Sistem Maid Online, which had been linked to human trafficking, forced labour and other employment abuses.

Hermono said the recruitment applications are currently being manually processed by the Indonesian Embassy and hopes to speed up the process to deal with the large number of requests once the OCS kicks off.