Hope for more jobs in Malaysia
Nearly two years ago, more than 14 lakh Bangladeshis registered with the government for jobs in Malaysia but they are still waiting for their turn.
Now, they may get some good news as the job recruitment process is expected to get a boost during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to the country, which starts today.
Even though several bilateral issues are likely to be discussed during the three-day visit, exporting manpower from Bangladesh will be high on the agenda.
“We know the jobseekers are waiting eagerly to hear some good news. We believe the prime minister's visit will accelerate the pace of manpower recruitment [by Malaysia],” expatriates' welfare secretary Khondaker Showkat Hossain told The Daily Star on Sunday.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) might be signed with the country for sending 12,000 Bangladeshi workers to the Sarawak province for working in the plantation sector, he added.
Malaysian Human Resources Minister Richard Riot Anak Jaem and Bangladeshi Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khondaker Mosharraf Hossain are scheduled to sign the deal, said Sayedul Islam, counsellor (labour wing) at Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
Prof CR Abrar, executive director of Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit, said he was hopeful that the prime minister's visit to Malaysia would be a breakthrough in speeding up the pace of recruiting Bangladeshis.
“Usually, the prime minister makes such visit after holding series of preparatory meetings as sending workers abroad is our topmost priority,” he said.
In January last year, the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training introduced an online database of jobseekers interested in working in Malaysia. Over 14 lakh Bangladeshi responded to the government move, said sources.
Manpower export to Malaysia remained banned for around four years from 2009, due to anomalies in the recruitment process by private recruiting agencies in Bangladesh.
The ban was withdrawn in 2012 before the two governments signed an MoU in connection with the matter.
Since April last year, some 8,000 migrant workers found jobs in the Malaysian plantation sector under government arrangements, according to the Bangladesh mission in Kuala Lumpur.
As a huge number of Bangladeshis are still frustrated for being jobless, many of them often take the “illegal route” to go to Malaysia risking their lives.
The practice of making the illegal and risky trips through the Bay could be checked if Malaysia opens all its sectors for Bangladeshis, said migration experts and government officials.
The Malaysian minister during his Dhaka visit in August said their cabinet had agreed to hire more Bangladeshis for the construction, manufacturing and service sectors.
Expatriates' welfare secretary Showkat Hossain, however, said the issue of opening up all the Malaysian job sectors for Bangladesh would be discussed later this month.
Currently, around five lakh Bangladeshis are working in several sectors of Malaysia, according to the ministry of expatriates' welfare.