Sunday, 14 August, 2022

Sending Workers to Malaysia: KL completes all preparations, process lingers in Dhaka

Govt only fixes cost on Bangladesh part

Sending Workers to Malaysia: KL completes all preparations, process lingers in Dhaka

The dillydallying attitude of the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment in Dhaka continues to prolong the procedure for sending Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia.

Bangladesh is yet to complete the attestation of the Malaysian companies, selection of medical centres and fixing the total cost of migration though Malaysia has done everything in time, sources have confirmed.

“The Malaysian government has completed all their tasks and their employers have been pushing us to inspect their companies and approve their demand letters. Our labour welfare wing has begun visiting companies and attesting their applications. We need a bit more time to complete the process for ensuring safe migration,” said an official at the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, seeking anonymity.

According to sources at the ministry, a team of IT experts from Kuala Lumpur has already installed necessary equipment at the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) to connect its database with Malaysia’s Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS) and inducted officials about its use.

The ministry on Wednesday declared that an aspirant worker has to pay Tk 78,990 as his/her cost occurred in Bangladesh.

But it couldn’t give a clear idea about the total cost of migration.

It said if any recruiting agency or any concerned person charges any money above the amount fixed by the government, the ministry will take stern action against them. It will soon issue a regulation in this regard.

Some 75-76 medical centres submitted their applications to be selected for conducting medical tests for migrant workers but the ministry initially inspected only 10 of them. Therefore, the ministry requires time for shortlisting and finalising them, sources added.

After the meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on June 2, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said workers will start migrating to Malaysia by the end of June though he could not keep his words.

Talking about his self-declared deadline, Imran Ahmad said, “I expected to start the process last month but it didn’t happen. Rules need to be set. There are issues of ethical, safe and low-cost migration. We almost have settled everything. The result is about to come.”

Asked when the medical test will start, he said they have inspected several medical centres and some more are yet to be inspected. A meeting is scheduled to be held at the ministry on July 14 where they would take a final decision about the start date for the medical test.

Recruiting agency owners and aspirant migrant workers have expressed frustration over the lengthy procedure of migration.

 “Over six and a half months have elapsed since Bangladesh and Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a month has gone since the meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) held but we haven’t seen any significant development. Nepal has started sending workers to Malaysia. If we take more time, more countries will involve and employers will lose interest in Bangladeshi workers,” said Raihan Sharif Ahmmed, owner of RM Enterprise.

Being frustrated, aspirant Bangladeshi workers are also looking for alternative destinations. Due to the delay in the opening of legal ways of migrating to Malaysia, they are even exploring illegal ways to migrate to other countries.

At least 37 Bangladeshis were arrested when they were trying to enter Malaysia illegally by boat last Friday. Bangladeshis are also often making headlines after being detained while crossing the central Mediterranean route connecting Libya and Italy.

Besides, the number of Bangladeshis going to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on ‘visit visa’ or ‘free visa’ has increased alarmingly. Most of these aspirant workers need to pass terrible times in these countries for lack of employment opportunities.