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Labour export to Malaysia may resume in Jan

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 22 December, 2021 12:00 AM
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Migration of Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia is expected to resume in January next year, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad has said on Tuesday.

He also said workers will be sent based on the database prepared by the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) and the cost of migration would be equivalent to two to three months’ salary of the worker.

The minister made the remarks at a press briefing at the meeting room of the ministry city’s Eskaton on Tuesday. The minister attended the press briefing after returning from Malaysia following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on workers’ recruitment in the South Asian country.

“We have signed an MoU with Malaysia. The labour market has not opened yet. In line with the next step agreed in the MoU, a proposal will come from Malaysia in a few days. We have been waiting for three years for this labour market to open. Hopefully, our workers will start migrating to Malaysia from January,” he said. The minister also advised the migrant aspirants not to make any financial transaction through brokers to go to Malaysia.

While speaking about the migration cost, Imran Ahmad said, “The migration expenditure fixed by the government earlier was Tk 160,000 to 165,000, but now it will be much lower. Earlier, workers used to pay the airfare, which was one of the reasons for the excessive cost. This time airfare will be paid by the employers.”

“The cost of the worker here is the travel expense to Dhaka from their village home, expenditure for preparing passport, BMET fee, membership fees for welfare board, medical fee and service charge of a recruiting agency,” he added.

“No service charge has been fixed. However, the idea is that it should not be more than two or three months’ salary of the worker,” the minister said, adding that they will not allow any kind of grouping or syndication on labour export to Malaysia.

According to the MoU signed by the two countries, a worker will earn a minimum of 1200 Malaysian Ringgit (Tk 24,588) per month.

In his written statement, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen said, “Employers will provide airfare and bear all costs of Bangladeshi workers after they reach Malaysia. They will assign recruitment agencies and pay for accommodation, insurance, medical care, the welfare of the workers and their relocation in Malaysia and repatriation in Bangladesh.”

“Upon Bangladeshi workers’ arrival in Malaysia, all of their expenses including immigration fee, visa fee, health examination cost, insurance cost, Covid-19 test cost, quarantine related cost will be borne by Malaysian employers,” he added.

The secretary also advised not to make any financial transaction with any one before the ministry announces a guideline.

“There are still some technical issues to be discussed. After everything is resolved, sending workers to Malaysia will begin. The announcement will be made by the ministry. Before that, I am requesting everyone not to make any kind of financial transaction through brokers,” he said.

Director-General of BMET Md Shahidul Alam NDC, Wage Earners Welfare Board Director General Hamidu Rahman and other senior officials of the ministry were present at the briefing.

It is to be mentioned that Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad and Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister Seri M Saravanan on Sunday signed an MoU on Bangladeshi workers’ recruitment in Malaysia on behalf of their respective sides.

Earlier, lifting its 40-month moratorium, the Malaysian cabinet decided to sign an MoU with Bangladesh on December 10 to hire Bangladeshi workers.

More than one million Bangladeshis found jobs in Malaysia between 1976 and 2019, according to data available with the 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.