Sunday, 14 August, 2022
E-paper

Migration to Malaysia

Is the syndicate that powerful?

In recent times, news has spread that a group of unscrupulous individuals and organisations are running fraudulent campaigns and trying to extort money from aspirant migrant workers, especially from those who want to go to Malaysia after the announcement of the opening of the third-largest market for Bangladeshi workers. The frauds are actually capitalising on the unusual delay in starting the migration process expected to begin in January last, after more than three years. However, the process is yet to begin, thanks to the bureaucratic complications and the servile approach of the authorities concerned who has now taken a hilarious step to halt the fraudulence of recruiting agencies.

Recently, the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) has issued a notice reminding the migrant workers that airfare and all the costs payable in Malaysia will be covered by the employers and are advising them not to pay money or hand over important documents like a passport to anyone. Apparently, such a notice to aware people can be applauded. However, a dig deep into the matter will say something different—it is a defensive approach of the authorities to stop the fraudsters. The most desired action was to bring the culprits to book, but authorities are now trying to duck their responsibilities by issuing a circular only.

Another initiative taken a few days ago also suggests the inability of the authorities to root out the syndicate that earlier caused immense suffering and financial loss to migrant workers and contributed to the closure of the labour market for almost three years. After failing to take a full authority of selecting reliable recruiting agencies, the Bangladeshi authorities handed over that responsibility to their Malaysian counterpart. However, though 25 recruiting agencies have been fixed, the migration process has not begun yet just for the monopoly of the syndicate.

The latest developments in the migration process imply that the syndicate may have become more powerful; this is why the migration has not begun yet despite the whole-hearted efforts of both governments. However, if the country wants to keep the pace of development, the migration process must be made smooth and hassle-free since remittance is one of the main driving forces of the national economy. Now the question is who, how and when will root out the syndicate and ensure safe immigration of the poor migrant workers.