"(The dispatch of migrant workers to) Jordan is under a threat of permanent closure because of low salaries and inadequate social guarantees. So we`d better not to send (migrant workers) there," he said on the sidelines of a dialog with Indramayu residents at Al Quraniyah Islamic boarding school here on Sunday.
Besides Jordan, the government is also imposing a moratorium on the dispatch of migrant workers to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria.
The government also has suspended the dispatch of migrant workers to Yemen because of political unrest in the country.
Given the moratorium, the minister asked Indonesian migrant workers to seek employment in other countries.
"Given the moratorium, we ask PJTKI (migrant worker placement firms) to try to switch the dispatch of migrant workers, for instance, from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia to which a moratorium on the dispatch of Indonesian migrant workers has just been lifted," he said.
At the dialog, the minister asked local residents not to force themselves to seek overseas employment unless they had adequate skills.
Language skill was a prerequisite to work overseas because if they could not communicate with their employers their skill would be fruitless, he said.
"What we have to prepare is language skill. This is important. As a matter of fact, language skill is a must. I want those wishing to be employed in the Middle East to be able to speak in two foreign languages, Arabic and English," he said.
He said the government did not have the right to ban its citizens from working abroad but it had the right to supervise Indonesian migrant workers in other countries.
"So would-be migrant workers must be selected. Don`t force yourself to seek overseas employment merely because of strong desire or economic pressure. This may cause shame," he said. (*)