With an aim to increase manpower export to Malaysia under the government to government arrangements, Bangladeshi and Malaysian officials will hold a meeting today in Dhaka, in which they will assess the achievements and failures of the G-to-G system, said officials.
Malaysian Human Resources Minister Richard Riot Anak Jaem is due to arrive today for the discussion, said Mantu Kumar Biswas, counsellor (labour) at Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.
“The expansion of the Malaysian job market for Bangladeshis will be given importance in the visit of the Malaysian minister,” he told The Daily Star by phone on Wednesday.
Khondaker Showkat Hossain, secretary to the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry, said, “Malaysian employers are now hiring Bangladeshi workers only for the plantation sector. We will request the Malaysian government to open the construction, manufacturing and service sectors for our people.”
Bangladesh started sending workers to Malaysia under the state arrangements in November 2012. At that time, the ministry had set a target of sending a minimum of 10,000 workers a year, but it could send only 5,000 workers between April last year and July this year.
After today's discussion, a bigger target will be set, said the secretary. The meeting will focus on sending domestic helps because the demand for them is increasing in that country, he said.
Few Bangladeshi workers are being sent to Malaysia nowadays. Only 6,520 female workers have migrated in the last seven years since 2007, according to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training.
Prof Tasneem Siddiqui, founder chairperson of RMMRU, which is working for migrants' rights, said, “I think the government should find an alternative mechanism to send workers, as the G-to-G process has proved unsuccessful. The recruiting agencies can be directly involved in the process after giving strict conditions to them.”
Manpower export to Malaysia had been banned for around four years from 2009, due to anomalies in the recruitment process by private recruiting agencies. The ban was withdrawn in 2012 before the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Around five lakh Bangladeshis are currently working in Malaysia.