Lebak, Banten (ANTARA News) - The Manpower Affairs Office of Lebak District, Banten Province, said it hopes the government will end the moratorium of sending workers to Saudi Arabia to ease the unemployment problem.

"We are greatly helped by workers sent to Saudi Arabia, head of the Lebak Labor Office, Maman Suparman said here on Friday.

The interest of the people to work in Saudi Arabia is quite high as many of them have succeeded in improving the welfare of their families, Maman said.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest countries of destination of Indonesian migrant workers mainly house maids, but the government has ruled the moratorium following cases of alleged abuses of the workers by their employers.

The economy of the people in various areas such as in sub-districts of Maja, Curugbitung, Sajira and Cipanas had flourished financed with remittance from migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, Maman said.

"Many of the children of migrant workers had even enjoyed the luxury of studying at university, but now after the moratorium those areas have been beset again by unemployment problem," he said.

Ending the moratorium, would help the government in its program to reduce or eliminate poverty and unemployment, he said.

The Saudi government has pledged to provide protection for the rights of Indonesian migrant workers in that country.

Maman, however, said it is necessary to be selective sending workers to Arab Saudi, adding the workers must have certain skills, able to speak in English and with educational background of at least senior high school.

"I think protection for the workers has to be better guaranteed to prevent them from victims to abuses by their employers, he said.

Maman said currently, there are 56 people from Lebak working abroad including in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Before the moratorium thousands of people from that district worked abroad, he said.

Oong Syahroni, a member of the district legislative assembly, said he agreed with the proposal to lift the moratorium of sending workers to Arab Saudi as it would contribute to the people`s economy in Lebak, one of poorest districts in the country.

"We call for an end to the moratorium to allow the people to seek jobs in Saudi Arab," Syahroni added.

Reporting by Mansyur
Editing by A Saragih, Bustanuddin

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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