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Malaysia reopens door to Bangladeshi workers

Two countries sign MoU

  • Rajib Kanti Roy
  • 20 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Malaysia reopens door to Bangladeshi workers

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Malaysia has reopened its door to Bangladeshi migration aspirants after the government’s 40-month efforts for breaking the ice of manpower export to the South Asian country.

Bangladesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia on Sunday around 11:00 am (local time) in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, bringing some changes to reduce the migration cost.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad and Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister Seri M Saravanan signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.

The government has been targeting to send seven to eight lakh workers abroad in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

More than one million Bangladeshis found jobs in Malaysia between 1976 and 2019, according to data available with the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).

At present, Malaysia is home to around 0.8 million Bangladeshi workers, according to unofficial data.

Malaysia is the third-largest source of remittance for Bangladesh.

On December 10, Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister invited Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister to his country for signing the MoU.

Sources at the ministry have confirmed that the two countries have brought some changes in the latest deal which will reduce the migration costs for workers.

The deal has not disclosed details on the migration cost. According to the MoU, a worker will earn a minimum of 1200 Malaysian Ringgit (Tk 24,588).

Under the MoU, employers will bear all costs of Bangladeshi workers after they arrive in Malaysia. For instance, the recruitment agency will arrange recruitment, relocation to Malaysia, accommodation, employment and repatriation of workers.

Besides, employers can hire Malaysian recruiting agents at their own expense. Upon arrival in Malaysia, all expenses including immigration fee, visa fee, health examination cost, insurance cost, Covid-19 test cost, quarantine related cost of Bangladeshi workers will be borne by Malaysian employers.

Moreover, employers will ensure quality accommodation, insurance, medical care and welfare of the workers.

The deal has not included the provision of G to G Plus method and ensured that the employer will arrange repatriation of the workers.

According to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, the agreement has further protected the rights and dignity of the workers in accordance with the laws, rules, regulations, national policies and guidelines of both countries.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Malaysia Md Golam Sarwar, Director General of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) Md Shahidul Alam and Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Human Resources of Malaysia Muhammad Khair Ajman bin Mohammed Anwar and other high officials were also present at the signing ceremony.

Earlier, a four-member team led by expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister reached Kuala Lumpur at 5:00 am on the day. Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Golam Sarwar, Labour Councilor Zahirul Islam, Labour Councilor (Second) Hedayatul Islam Mandal and Malaysia Awami League and community leaders welcomed them.

Earlier, lifting its moratorium, the Malaysian cabinet decided to sign an MoU with Bangladesh on December 10 to hire workers from Bangladesh.

It is to be mentioned that Malaysia suspended hiring Bangladeshi workers in September 2018 over widespread allegations of malpractice in the recruitment process and charging higher costs from labourers by recruitment agencies through middlemen.

The government there also announced that it would launch a new policy restricting excessive charges and harassment of labourers.

Since then, two countries formed a Joint Working Group (JWG) and Bangladesh held a series of meetings with the Malaysian government demanding an early reopening of the labour market.