Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia will be provided with special identity cards from early next year to prevent them from switching jobs frequently, reports a Malaysian daily.
According to the report published in The Star on Thursday, Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the ID cards would have Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and biometric technology, and would function as a debit card and stored-value card.
“The cards would be colour coordinated to indicate different employment sectors to prevent the workers from switching jobs,” he told Malaysian press after a courtesy call with Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister of Bangladesh
Around 1.4 million Bangladeshi workers, scheduled to be recruited in stages to Malaysia from early next year, will be provided the ID cards, the newspaper mentioned.
Ahmad Zahid said the workers would be screened to ensure that they had no prior criminal records before being recruited and those found moving sectors would be fined up to Malaysian Ringgit 2,000.
“One of the issues discussed was temporary housing for the workers, so they will be taken care of and to prevent assimilation problems with locals,” he said.
He said the Bangladesh workers’ entry had been agreed during Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein’s term as Home Minister, to cater to the shortage of workers in the plantation and services sectors.
“They will be brought in under a government-to-government agreement to prevent exploitation by middlemen. “We’re also discussing the same approach with other countries such as Indonesia and Myanmar,” The Malaysian minister mentioned.
Mosharraf, who is now visiting Malaysia with a delegation, told the media that the government-to-government deal would reduce cost from US$4,000 to US$400 per worker.
“Before this, they had to work four to five years to repay the cost due to exploitation by middlemen, but now they can settle the amount in two months,” he said.
Contacted, Mantu Kumar Biswas, a counsellor at the Bangladesh high commission at Kuala Lumpur, told The Daily Star that the minister also met the Malaysian human resources minister and some other government bodies to discuss the recruitment of Bangladeshis in that country.