Recruitment of foreign workers is stopped in Malaysia from tomorrow

Last Updated on May 31, 2024 9:05 am

There have been allegations of irregularities in labor migration in Malaysia. This allegation has been made against the Malaysian government itself. Allegations of irregularities have also been raised against the syndicate of recruiting agents in Bangladesh and the Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia.

Due to irregularity, workers are being charged more than the prescribed limit for immigration expenses. After international pressure on the issue, Malaysia has stopped hiring foreign workers since yesterday. Malaysia employs workers from 15 ‘source countries’ including Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the decision of the Malaysian government to stop workers was announced to Bangladesh a month ago, but the matter was kept secret at first.

When the matter was informed at the last minute, after getting the approval, about 20 thousand workers are struggling to get the flight within the scheduled time. An uncertain situation has been created regarding the matter. Four independent UN experts alleged that the recruitment process began with bribes to the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources and Home Affairs.

By paying bribes, bogus employers get approval of workers’ demand letters. They also alleged that bribes were paid to a syndicate of Bangladeshi recruiting agents and also to workers at the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. As a result, much more money is taken from the workers than the $720 stipulated in the memorandum of understanding executed between the governments of the two countries for air tickets, passports and visas.

They allege that the amount of this money is between 4500 and 6000 dollars. Four independent UN experts wrote to the governments of Malaysia and Bangladesh on March 28 informing about the matter. But as no country responded to the letter within 60 days, the UN High Commission on Human Rights published the letter on May 26. The letter also mentioned that the issue will be discussed in the UN Human Rights Council.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Farooq Khan said in a press conference on Thursday that the Malaysian government informed the recruiting agents and others involved in the process a month ago that all 20,000 workers approved by May 31 must go to Malaysia. But we were informed only three days ago. Biman has arranged 3/4 extra flights every day in these three days. Meanwhile, a company from Malaysia has chartered the aircraft. They asked us for permission on Thursday. I have given permission to them by Thursday evening. I don’t know if it will be efficient.

The minister also said that we are doing everything we can for our aviation and civil aviation. But I think, if we had been informed about this 10/15 days earlier, I think the ticket price would not have increased so much. Biman currently operates Hajj flights. In this we have accommodated it.

After Malaysia stopped recruiting workers from Bangladesh in 2008, a memorandum of understanding was signed to open the labor market in 2012. At that time, 30,000 workers were initially supposed to be hired at the government level. But Malaysia only hired 8,000 workers in the four years from 2012 to 2016. As a result, in 2016, the two countries signed the G2 Plus agreement. As a result, syndicates from Malaysia and Bangladesh joined the process. In 2017-2018, about 2 lakh 78 thousand workers went to Malaysia. That’s when allegations of irregularities arose.

The Malaysian government also suspended this program in 2019. The MoU was signed again on 19 December 2021. Again Malaysia allows a limited number of recruiting agencies to send people through syndicates. Realizing the irregularities in the sending of workers to Malaysia, the United States included in their report that human trafficking could also occur through manpower. Bangladesh was able to maintain the ranking of human trafficking if it passed a strict anti-trafficking law.

Malaysian High Commissioner Haznah. Hashim told reporters on Wednesday that the Malaysian government has stopped hiring foreign workers to eliminate irregularities. Internal regulations will be fixed at this time. In the future, Malaysia will hire people against demand.

He also said that labor market syndicates are beyond the control of the governments of the two countries. For any Bangladeshi worker to go to Malaysia and seek job assurance, the recruitment of foreign workers is being stopped for the time being.

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