Lenders, middlemen threaten returnees from Malaysia | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 07, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 07, 2008

Lenders, middlemen threaten returnees from Malaysia

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Bangladeshi workers, who returned home following exploitations by agents and employers in Malaysia, are now again fleeing homes because of pressures by the lenders and threats from the middlemen, returnees alleged.
The cheated workers, who came back home at the end of last year and January this year, said they appealed to the government for inquiry of their abuses and compensations from the agencies.
Despite conducting investigations, the government is not taking effective steps to have the workers compensated, they said when over 100 of them went to the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) in the city yesterday.
This group of 137 workers are part of 800 workers who started working in a textile company in Malaysia. They chartered 27 buses to go to Kuala Lumpur in October last year from a distant place to protest various forms of abuses by their employers.
Later, under arrangement of Bangladesh high commission in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian authorities, some of them were provided with jobs, while others were sent back home.
Upon their return, the workers appealed to BMET seeking arrangement of compensation from the recruiting agencies that sent them to Malaysia.
“Following our appeal, BMET completed investigations. But it is over one and a half months, we are not informed of their decision. By this time, the middlemen of the agencies are threatening us of dire consequences, while money lenders from whom we borrowed money are creating pressures on us,” said Iqbal Hossain, one of the cheated workers.
The director general (DG) of BMET on March 23 assured them of solving all the problems, but until yesterday nothing came positive, he said.
“Many of us are now fleeing homes because of harassments. We are helpless. Won't we have justice? Is nobody there to help us,” he questioned.
“We will not go home until we are compensated,” said Iqbal, who along with over 100 others are now staying on the streets and parking spaces in the capital.
BMET DG Abdul Malek said they have sent all the papers to the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment seeking its recommendations and will take actions as soon as they get instructions from the ministry.

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