Bangladesh government is preparing to sit with the newly elected Malaysian government led by Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad requesting him for quick solution to outstanding manpower recruitment issues that include lowering migration costs and addressing syndicate of recruiting agencies.
Bangladesh officials in Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur said that they were expecting a meeting with the Malaysian authorities soon as the new government led by Mahathir had just taken over.
‘We hope to raise manpower recruitment issues as migration cost for Bangladeshi workers get high mainly due to the syndicate of recruiting agencies in Bangladesh,’ a senior official said.
The manpower recruitment now taking place under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2015 would be thoroughly reviewed, the official said preferring anonymity.
When asked, Nomita Halder, secretary of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment ministry, said that she did not know how new Malaysian government was thinking about manpower recruitment issues.
She, however, said that Dhaka was eagerly waiting to have a Joint working Group Meeting from KL to place existing problems related to manpower recruitment issues between the two countries.
‘We hope that all problems will be solved in the JWG meeting’ she said.
The G2G Plus system was put in place two years ago by Malaysia and Bangladesh after the failure of the G2G mechanism for state to state worker recruitments. Job opportunities for Bangladeshi workers swelled in Malaysia since July last year.
But the cost of migration to Malaysia ‘is quite high, under G2G plus mechanism said officials and migrant rights campaigners.
Though cost of migration ceiling per worker under the G2G Plus system had been set by the Bangladesh two governments at Tk 1.60 lakh, the recruiters in Dhaka admitted to this correspondent that the cost of migration to Malaysia for each worker varied between Tk three lakh and 3.5 lakh.
A syndicate of 10 recruiting agencies in Bangladesh selected by previous Malaysian government was controlling the migration of workers to Malaysia. They have made it costlier under the much trumpeted government to government plus mechanism for recruitments.
According to a team of MPs of Bangladesh who have recently visited to Malaysia on fact finding mission discovered that there were huge disparities between the cost of migration for the workers of Bangladesh and their colleagues from Nepal and Indonesia.
Migrant rights activists expressed concern over the news and urged the Bangladesh government to take up the issue with the Malaysian authorities to settle it
According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, more than 1,65,000 Bangladeshi migrants have gone to work in Malaysia since January 2017 under ‘government to government plus system’ Malaysia is a popular destination for Asian workers as it is easy to get blue-collar jobs there.
Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia Md Shahidul Islam said that they would try to hold a meeting with the Malaysian authorities after their formation of full-fledged cabinet.
‘There is a good relations prevailing between the two countries. All related issues including the syndicate in recruitment and cost of migration will be discussed and solved,’ he said.
‘Until now there will be no any change in recruitment,’ he said, adding that the recruitment of manpower from Bangladesh under the G2G plus system would be going.
Officials at Bangladesh High Commission in KL said that the Malaysian government has declared Bangladesh as its source country and they would recruit necessary manpower from more Bangladesh in upcoming days.
According to BMET record, Malaysia has been recruiting Bangladeshi workers since 1978 and over 937,000 Bangladeshi workers have so far gone to work in the South East Asian country.