Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday said that his government had suspended the current system of 10 recruiting agents authorised for recruitment of workers from Bangladesh.
The Malaysian Prime Minister was looking at opening up his labour market to all agents of Bangladesh instead, according to report of The Star, Malaysian Newspaper.
The Star reported on Tuesday quoting Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as saying that previously, only 10 recruiting agents were allowed to process the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh to Malaysia. ‘However, this has resulted in a monopolistic situation with some charging as high as RM20,000. So, we want to open up to all agents there to allow competition.’
Mahathir Mohamad announced that his government would establish a single system to hire foreign workers without differentiating source countries.
He said Malaysia was currently facing problems with illegal foreign workers and his government has decided to set up a common system.
‘Bangladesh, Nepal and others, they will use the same system,’ he told a press conference after chairing a meeting on foreign workers in Parliament.
The Star described 10 authorised agents as merely fly-by-night companies created solely to rake in money by playing middleman between the workers and their prospective employers in Malaysia.
Bangladeshi migrant rights campaigners welcomed the decision of the Mahathir government and they demanded ensuring low cost migration and their jobs in Malaysia.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that Bangladesh and Malaysian government must ensure that the workers would be recruited for Malaysian jobs with less migration cost.
‘It is very essential to ensure that after arriving in Malaysia, all workers will get their jobs without facing problems,’ he said.
Referring to newspaper reports he said that there were Bangladeshi workers facing troubles in Malaysia even after paying agents big amount of money.
Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program chairman Shakirul Islam said that Bangladesh government should immediately sit with the Malaysian government to setup mechanism to ensure low cot migration of the workers.
‘The competitions of the recruiting agencies must be sound and healthy,’ he said, adding that Bangladesh government should properly regulate the recruiting agencies to protect the migrant workers’ rights.
About ongoing crackdown on migrants, Shakirul urged the Malaysian government to provide amnesty opportunities so that the undocumented migrant workers could get them further regularized there.
‘If the workers are deported, their problems will linger as the poor workers migrate abroad paying huge amount of money,’ he said.
According to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, over seven lakh Bangladeshi workers were currently working in Malaysia.