The government may resume sending workers to Malaysia in February after completing all the necessary procedures.
A top official of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment has confirmed the matter to the Daily Sun.
The official also said the ministry will arrange a press conference soon where Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad will brief the media in this regard.
According to the official, the first batch of workers will be sent to the plantation sector of the country. Initially, the Malaysian employers may send a demand letter of more workers along with the previously approved 32,000 workers in the sector. Later, workers will be sent to other sectors as well.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment has issued a new policy for health examination of workers who want to go abroad.
A notification in this regard has been issued by the ministry on January 18. It said medical centres would have to seek approval in line with the policy to examine the health of expatriate workers.
A reliable source of the ministry has said the government and Malaysian employers have set some preconditions to determine the eligibility of the workers. These preconditions will be shared by Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad within a week.
Aspirant workers can go only after 14 days of completing the full dose of any vaccines approved in Bangladesh and Malaysia and stay 7 days in institutional quarantine after reaching the country, the source confirmed.
The source also said that visas previously approved (under G-to-G Plus) by the Malaysian government are being renewed and the aspirant workers would be able to registrar their names once the BMET databank is ready.
Recruiting agency owners want to send workers to Malaysia at the government stipulated cost.
At least two of the top recruiting agencies have said they are more cautious in this regard. This time they will be aware as there was a lot of criticism about sending workers on G-to-G Plus calling visa.
Kazi Abdur Rahim, the owner of Nurjahan Recruiting Agency, said, “The Malaysian government will not allow all agencies in Bangladesh to send workers. This is the decision of the governments of the two countries. If we get the opportunity, we will be very careful about the cost as the ministry wants to reduce the migration cost.”
Different reports have confirmed that Malaysian employers will recruit workers from a list of 25 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies which will be supported by 250 sub-agents.
Many agency owners have feared syndication and expressed their dissatisfaction as the recruitment process is not open for all recruiting agencies of the country.
“There is no necessity of listing 25 recruiting agencies. We should be ensured that any recruiting agency can send workers contacting the Malaysian employers after taking approval from the Bangladesh government. If it is not possible then the government has to work out a proper system to break any syndication,” said Gias Uddin Babul, owner of Eastern Bay Bangladesh, a recruiting agency.
The Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment is yet to finalise the migration cost. The government may follow the previous chart of expenditure while determining migration cost to Malaysia, said the ministry sources.
According to the last chart, workers’ migration cost to Malaysia was Tk 140,000 in plantations and Tk 160,000 in manufacturing and other sectors.
Asked about the migration cost, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said, “We will try to keep the cost as low as possible. This is our main goal and we will be tough in this regard. Everything will be fixed protecting the interests of the country and workers.”
“The process of sending workers to Malaysia will start soon and all the procedures are being finalised,” the minister said, adding that the workers should not pay money to anyone before the announcement of the government.
The Malaysian cabinet decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh on December 10 last year to hire workers and on December 19, Bangladesh’s Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad and Malaysia’s Human Resource Minister M Saravanan signed a new five-year labour recruitment agreement that lifted a moratorium imposed since September 1, 2018.
Malaysia is home to around 0.8 million Bangladeshi workers, says unofficial data. The country is the third-largest source of remittance earnings for Bangladesh.