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Rubel Rana

Published:
2018-07-10 05:33:44 BdST

Talks with Malaysia over manpower export this month: Minister


FT ONLINE

The much-awaited joint bilateral working technical committee meeting between the governments of Bangladesh and Malaysian will be held this month to discuss manpower issue, said Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc.

“We’ve sent a letter to the newly-formed government of Malaysia in this regard. Once they give their approval, we can expect the technical committee to have their first meeting by this month,”.

Regarding the rise in the number of arrest of Bangladeshi workers over there, Nurul Islam said those who had illegally entered Malaysia were given a deadline to get their paperwork done. But as the deadline passed, those who did not complete the procedure were arrested and even those are in low numbers, he added.

About the illegal workers, he said they will have to return to Bangladesh. “But, that is not only for Bangladeshis, but also for those who came illegally from India and other countries.”

The drive against illegal workers has been going on in Malaysia since July 1 and the issue of legalising illegal nationals will be raised during the joint committee meeting.

According to sources at the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, the deadline for Bangladeshis was over last month. Currently, there are 10 lakh workers in Malaysia and 60 percent of them legal while 40 percent illegal.

According to a report by Malaysian daily The Star, Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran has said their government had suspended the system currently in place for the recruitment of migrant workers from Bangladesh.

When asked about this, the minister said it will not hamper the process of sending workers over there.

He said the Malaysian government has not officially informed them about it till now, but according to their workers’ demand, there is no alternative to taking Bangladeshi workers.

He added that there is no chance of the process to be suspended, nor has there been any request to re-evaluate the recruitment deal.

About the Malaysian government’s allegations of a syndicate, he said it is their internal matter. The process was approved after a bilateral agreement between the two governments.

With the amount of investment they are putting in new industries, it is imperative that they will need more manpower, the minister said.

After sending workers to Malaysia from Bangladesh was suspended for a long time, it was reopened late 2016 through a syndicate of 10 designated recruitment agencies, who have so far sent 1.6 lakh workers in a government-to-government plus (G2G) process.

Joint secretary general at Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman demanded that the timeframe for legalising paperwork of illegal Bangladeshi workers be extended.

“The current agreement has been ratified by Parliaments of both of the countries,” he said, “We can assume that the number of workers sent will be lower now, but it won’t be cancelled altogether.”

Noman added that the new government may take new initiatives, but that will be subject to approval by the joint working technical committee.

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