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‘Keep Malaysian labour market open for all agencies’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 25 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Ordinary recruiting agency owners have protested against the syndication attempt of 25 agencies to occupy the Malaysian labour market and the unreasonable increase in the price of air tickets to the Middle East.  

They also demanded that the Malaysian labour market be opened for all agencies.

They, under the banner of Ordinary Recruiting Agency Owners, raised the demands at a press conference held at the Sagar-Runi 1Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Monday.

The agency owners said that the Malaysian Minister of Human Resources sent a letter to the Bangladeshi Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister on January 14 on behalf of 25 syndicates, which is very unfortunate.

All the recruiting agencies of Malaysia will be involved there and in the case of Bangladesh, the proposal of 25 agency syndicates and 250 sub-agents is completely unethical and insulting.

They said all the legitimate recruiting agencies in the country are legally equal. Under any circumstances, a recruiting agency cannot be a sub-agent of another equivalent recruiting agency.      What is the eligibility criterion for determining 25 agencies and 250 subagents, they asked. According to them, recruiting agencies from all over the world, including more than 1,600 agencies in Nepal, can send workers to Malaysia without any syndication. Then why shouldn’t all the legitimate recruiting agencies of Bangladesh enjoy the same opportunity?

Recruiting agency owners said, “We welcome the letter issued by the Expatriates’ Welfare Minister to the Malaysian Minister of Human Resources on January 18 stating that all legitimate recruiting agencies have the right to send workers to the Malaysian labour market.”

The ordinary recruiting agency owners also protested the excessive airfare of the Middle East bound flights.

They said Bangladesh Biman Air ticket price has been increased two to three times more and Biman is charging extra fare from the Middle East remittance fighters.

It takes 20 to 22 hours to go to London by Bangladesh Biman and a passenger needs to spend Tk55,000 to Tk60,000 as ticket price while it takes four to five hours to reach the Middle East, but the airfare is Tk75,000 to Tk95,000, they said.

Yet tickets are not available as per the demand. As a result, foreign airlines have increased fares two to three times more and the helpless remittance fighters going abroad are being exploited financially, they alleged.

They said since Bangladesh Biman carries only 10 to 12 percent passengers, the foreign airlines are getting the opportunity to take two to three times more foreign remittance through selling tickets from Bangladesh.

Due to the unreasonable profit of Bangladesh Biman, the hard earned foreign currency of the country is being taken away by the foreign airlines through selling tickets, said the agency owners.

According to them, the Middle East bound remittance fighters are being forced to buy air tickets at Tk75,000 to Tk95,000 when tickets for the same destination are available from our neighbouring countries -- India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka -- for Tk 20,000 to Tk 30,000.

Ordinary recruiting agency owners have placed several recommendations. They called for increasing the number of Biman and other aviation agencies’ flights to Middle East and ensuring surveillance and punishment of the people involved in ticket syndication.

Ordinary recruiting agency owners, including M Tipu Sultan, Arifur Rahman, Lima Begum, Shahadat Hossain, Dr Md Faruk, Reazul Islam, Mostafa Mahmud, Fakhrul Islam and Mosharraf Hossain, among others, were present at the press conference.