IN the wake of crackdown on illegal Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, the country is faced with the unsavoury prospect of receiving a large number of them on possible deportation to their home country. Though their exact number is not available, according to expatriate welfare ministry, over 25, 000 migrant workers have been staying illegally in Malaysia alone. So, it's going to be a big challenge how the government handles the emerging situation in those host countries by helping them to legalise their status as far as practicable.
However, the expatriate welfare and overseas employment minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain has said that as they were staying there 'illegitimately', they would have to face punitive actions taken by the Malaysian government. But it begs the question how they could they stay there illegally for such a long time. Reportedly, many of them could not meet the deadlines for regularisation in those countries. Had the ministry concerned and our diplomatic missions abroad been able to keep timely tabs on the issue, they could have averted the misfortune.
A closer scrutiny will show that criminal rackets active at home and abroad working in collusion with dishonest officials are largely to blame for what these migrant workers are facing at the moment. Their gullibility is also partly to blame.
The government must plug the loopholes at home and in the overseas missions so that our workers in the host countries are not left in the lurch.