The labour market for Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia will resume only after the Covid-19 situation turns normal in the Southeast Asian country, Expatriates' Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad said today.
"Market opening means workers making trips. This will not happen. We will have to wait until everything turns normal," the minister said.
He was briefing media at the ministry this afternoon after a virtual meeting between the two countries on labour issues.
Malaysia suspended hiring Bangladeshi workers in September, 2018 over allegations of malpractices in the recruitment process and high recruitment costs.
Officials of the two countries held the Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on Tuesday and today. The next JWG meeting is expected to take place when a date is confirmed by Malaysian authorities.
Briefing the media, the expatriates' welfare minister said they have agreed on some issues while some others remained unresolved, which needed to be discussed "in-house" at both ends.
Malaysia has agreed to extend the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries for five years, said the minister.
He added that they have requested Malaysia to take back about 20,000 to 22,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers who have been stranded in Bangladesh since coming home on vacation before the coronavirus pandemic.
In response, his Malaysian counterpart agreed in principle on the issue, he said.
The expatriates' welfare minister also said they have requested Malaysia to reduce fees for Bangladeshi migrant workers who want to take the opportunity under Malaysia government's ongoing "recalibration" programme.