Malaysia has accredited 25 Bangladeshi companies to avoid monopolistic practices in the recruitment of workers as well as to safeguard their welfare.
The 25 companies were selected from a list of 1,520 recruitment companies provided by the Bangladesh government.
The statement has been issued as a clarification of his claim to a Malaysian newspaper a few days ago that Bangladesh’s prime minister and expatriates’ welfare minister already approved 25 local recruiting agencies for sending workers to Malaysia.
In the latest statement, Saravanan said that his statement of meeting with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister explaining the current affairs of the Bangladeshi foreign workers in Malaysia has been taken out context.
“I hereby would like to state that any allegations pertaining to the involvement of honorable prime minister of Bangladesh in the selection of the 25 recruitment companies are totally false and unfounded,” he said.
“My meeting with her excellency was to narrate the current situation of foreign workers and the initiatives taken by the ministry for better working conditions,” the minister added.
He said prior to this exercise, there were only 10 companies involved in the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh.
Saravanan said to safeguard the welfare and livelihood of foreign workers, they agreed to increase the number of accredited irms from 10 to 25 to ensure a check and balance mechanism.
The minister said his ministry will further accredit another 250 companies to avoid monopoly and abuse and create greater accessibility to potential workers.
The 250 companies will be selected from the list of 1,520 recruitment companies provided from Bangladesh, from which the 25 companies were previously chosen, he said.
But Malaysia will still deal only with the initially chosen 25 companies.
“These 250 companies selected will work within the structure of the 25 companies. In simple terms, each of the 25 companies will be allocated 10 companies to incubate and to be part of the recruitment ecosystem, especially in meeting the standards and guidelines set by the Human Resources Ministry,” M Saravanan said.
“Hence, what is the difference between the 25 and 250 companies? First of all, the Human Resources Ministry only deals with the 25 designated companies. They are monitored by the Ministry closely, so as to ensure that International Labour Organization guidelines relating to the welfare of the workers are adhered to, especially in terms of living and working conditions of foreign workers.”
“Malaysia is serious in tackling the issue of forced labour, which is tarnishing our international standing. And secondly, it is the sole responsibility of the 25 to ensure the other 250 meet the strict recruitment standards and international best practices set by the Human Resources Ministry,” he said.
The minister said he wants to clear the misconception that his ministry has preference on certain source countries. He said the Human Resource ministry is only involved in giving approvals to respective companies to recruit foreign workers to meet their production demand.
“There are 14 sources countries in which any companies can source their workers from, and not particularly only from Bangladesh. Moreover, when I came onboard, I made a decision that there will not be any direct or special approval, a rampant practice before which has created too many backlashes especially in terms of our nation’s international reputation,” he said.
Saravanan also said that henceforth, all foreign worker recruitment approvals must come from Malaysia’s Human Resources Ministry.
“Meanwhile, for everyone’s information, the one-stop centre for foreign workers’ approval which was previously under the Home Affairs Ministry has been transferred to the Human Resources Ministry, as practiced in many countries. And to date, the department has approved approximately 230,000 workers as of Wednesday,” the minister said.
He congratulated everyone of his ministry for their tireless efforts in helping Malaysia’s business and industry players to overcome their labour shortage predicament.
Saravan said it is now up to the relevant companies which have obtained their approvals to pay the levy and make the recruitment and submit the medical report to get a visa with reference with the Home Ministry, to expedite the rest of the process to ensure the survivability of our enterprises.