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Manpower exports to Malaysia Bangladesh yet to take adequate preparations

18 January 2022

Reza Mahmud :
The Malaysian government has started procedures of recruiting foreign workers in several sectors while Bangladesh is lagging behind in taking adequate preparations, sources said.
Malaysian Human Resources Ministry on Saturday announced that the employers of the country have to submit applications on January 28 for recruiting workers from abroad in plantation sector.
It also said that employers of other sectors have to apply from February 15 for recruiting foreign workers.
Kuala Lumpur inked memorandum of understanding with Dhaka to recruit Bangladeshi manpower for different sectors on December 19.
On December 21, after signing the MoU, Dr. Ahmed Munirus Salehin, Secretary of the Expatriates' Welfare and Employment Overseas Ministry said in a press conference that without registering name in database no one can be sent to Malaysia as a migrant worker.
But, the ministry is yet to initiate to formulate a database for gathering names of eligible workers for sending the country.
Stakeholders of the sector said almost all major labour markets are stopped due to the pandemic. In this situation, workers are eagerly waiting to go for Malaysia. They want the government to start procedures without delay.  When contacted, Md. Shahidul Alam, Director General of Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) told The New Nation on Saturday, "It may take to one week to prepare a database for sending workers to Malaysia."
He, however, said that preparation of formulating a database has not been started yet.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian employers have raised objection about bearing all costs of the Bangladeshi workers to recruit in their companies.
Malaysian recruiting companies association SME's Secretary General Chin Chee Seong said in a statement on January 8 that it would be extra burden for them to bear all costs of the Bangladeshi workers bringing their country.
He said that in covid pandemic and recent serious flood made them financially hampered.  
In this situation, they are not able to bear all costs for hiring Bangladeshi workers.
According to the MoU, Malaysian employers have to bear airfares, quarantine costs, health checkup costs, hotel and residence costs, returning costs, insurance costs and such others.
The Malaysian SME leader said that they have to cost about one lakh Bangladeshi Taka for bringing a worker from Dhaka to Kuala Lumpur.
Such a statement created huge anxiety among the Bangladeshi workers waiting to go the country and recruiting agencies.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA) President Well Kam Lian Hooi said, "Our business people have no option to obey the MoU, because, there is workers' crisis in our country now."
He said also that Bangladeshi workers are good for Malaysian heavy industries.
When contacted, Benjir Ahmed MP, former President of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), told The New Nation on Saturday, "We are eagerly waiting for opening the large labour market in Malaysia. Their business people may have some differs with the country's government. But it may not create anything obstacle for opening the market."
He also stressed for quick starting of database procedures.
Md. Shahidul Alam, the DG of the BMET said, the employers of Malaysia may bargain with their own government about bearing the labours' all costs. Their government must discuss them before signing the MoU.
He hoped also that such disputes might not be anything major matter for creating obstacles in the path of opening the market.
"Our workers must create better opportunities for their industries to gain more financial benefits," Md. Shahidul Alam said.

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