Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday told parliament that they were looking for a new mechanism to manage recruitment of foreign workers without involving middlemen.
Replying to a lawmaker's query, he also confirmed that Real Time Networking Sdn Bhd, a company owned by his brother Abdul Hakim, did not get a government contract to manage the recruitment of 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers, reported Malaysian newspaper Malaysiakini.
Meanwhile, a five-member Malaysian government delegation arrived in Dhaka to finalise recruitment modalities for Bangladeshi workers.
The delegation is scheduled to attend a special meeting of the Joint Working Committee on the government to government (G2G) recruitment system today in the capital's Probashi Kalyan Bhaban.
Malaysian human resources ministry's Secretary General Saripuddin Bin Hj Kasim and Bangladesh's expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry's Secretary Khandker Md Iftekhar Haider will lead the respective sides.
The Malaysian government reportedly wanted to regulate the recruitment of Bangladeshis through a Malaysian outsourcing company.
Allegedly in its consideration were Real Time, Bestinet and Synerflux Sdn Bhd, some of the names coming up in the media in Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur in the last three months.
Recently, it was reported that the Malaysian home ministry was in talks with Synerflux. But Zahid yesterday clarified that only Synerflux had been shortlisted.
Last month, leaders of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) opposed the appointment of Synerflux, accusing it of trying to monopolise the labour market by creating a syndicate.
Yesterday Baira President Muhammad Abul Bashar told The Daily Star that they were against the appointment of foreign companies in handling recruitments from Bangladesh.
Baira will not tolerate it if anybody attempts to create a syndicate in Bangladesh, he said, adding, “We have told our government clearly that our businessmen must be given a chance to do business.” However, a senior expatriates' ministry official told The Daily Star that the government would prioritise migrants' interests and reducing their costs.
A memorandum of understanding on the finalised recruitment modalities will be signed later, he added.