jakarta suspends recruitment for jobs in kingdom

The suspension, however, may be revoked if the Kingdom negotiates and signs a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the protection of Indonesian workers and also agrees to set up a joint task force to resolve cases where employees have been abused.
“The moratorium on the deployment of Indonesian workers in Saudi Arabia will be effective Aug. 1, 2011,” said Wishnu Krishnamurthi, spokesman for the Indonesian Embassy, in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Krishnamurthi also confirmed reports that the Indonesian government has allocated funds to pay about SR2 million in blood money to the family of an employer murdered by a housemaid from the country.
Darsem binti Dawud from Subang in West Java was convicted by a Riyadh court in May 2009.
The court sentenced her to death despite her plea that she killed her employer in self-defense because he had attempted to rape her.
“This huge payment to the victim’s family may be made early next week,” said the spokesman.
Referring to the announcement by the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration to impose the ban, Krishnamurthi said the proposed agreement between Riyadh and Jakarta to protect workers was a step in the right direction.
The ministry said the moratorium would remain in place until the two countries sign the MoU.
The move comes a day after the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) gave an ultimatum to the government to suspend sending workers to Saudi Arabia until better protection measures had been implemented.
The recommendation by Jakarta was spurred by the execution of a female worker after she was sentenced to death in Makkah after confessing to murdering her female employer.
Krishnamurthi said that there should be some process to safeguard the interests of workers, especially maids.
He referred to over a thousand workers currently languishing in different jails across the Kingdom.
Krishnamurthi, whose tenure has been extended by the Indonesian government to resolve the labor issues, said most of the jailed workers were arrested for petty crimes and violating gender-segregation rules in the Kingdom.

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