60,000 workers can now go to Malaysia
12:00 AM, October 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:57 AM, October 03, 2018

60,000 workers can now go to Malaysia

Visa processing starts

Some 60,000 Bangladeshis, whose travel to Malaysia became uncertain after the country suspended the online recruitment system on September 1, have been cleared for migration to the Southeast Asian country.

“Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka started issuing visas yesterday [October 1],” an official of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) told The Daily Star by phone yesterday.

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The jobseekers, who had their job applications approved by Malaysia before August this year, will have to reach the country by November 30, he said. 

The development comes following the meeting between Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam and Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran on September 25.

In the meeting, the Malaysian authorities decided to allow the Bangladeshi jobseekers to enter the country, said BMET Director General Selim Reza.

The new Malaysian government suspended the online foreign workers' recruitment system, known as SPPA, with effect from September 1, following allegations of monopoly by a syndicate of 10 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies, which were approved by the then Malaysian government in 2016.

Each of the workers going to Malaysia was charged up to Tk 4 lakh whereas the recruitment fees fixed by the two governments under the G-to-G Plus were only Tk 40,000.

The new government led by Mahathir Mohamad suspended SPPA. Subsequently, Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka had stopped issuing visas.

Malaysia is not accepting new applications now from the employers for recruiting workers from Bangladesh, said Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira).

The Malaysian authorities said they are reviewing their policies of foreign labour recruitment and have formed an independent committee to make recommendations, he added.

“We are now focusing on two aspects -- one for reducing migrant recruitment costs and the other for their welfare abroad,” Noman told this correspondent.

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