Govt to restrict Malaysia trips
The government is going to tighten visits of Bangladeshis to Malaysia following allegations about some jobseekers leaving for Kuala Lumpur as students and tourists to take advantage of an amnesty to the undocumented expatriate workers.
"We have decided to deploy three teams at Shahjalal International Airport to screen the tourists and students going to Malaysia," Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, expatriates' welfare and overseas employment minister, told a press conference yesterday after an inter-ministerial meeting at his ministry.
The teams, comprised of officials of home, civil aviation and overseas employment ministries and Special Branch (SB) of police, will check all the flights to Malaysia and bar any Bangladeshi tourist or student from boarding if found travelling in disguise, he mentioned.
The ministry will also request the Malaysian high commission in Dhaka to verify the documents of visa seekers critically, noted the minister.
Under the amnesty declared last month, Malaysia will start registering the irregular migrants on July 18, which was earlier scheduled for July 11.
The authorities will issue work visas to them in three months. Of a total 5 lakh Bangladeshi workers, around 3 lakh would be regularised.
According to Mosharraf, some unscrupulous brokers and travel agencies are sending jobseekers as tourists and students. They would be in serious troubles as Malaysia is preserving biometric records of all the passengers on arrival.
The records would enable them to cross-check data and detect any fraudulence during the registration of the workers. This could ultimately invite danger for Bangladesh's labour market there, observed the minister.
He maintained the SB has prevented around 500 Malaysia-bound tourists from boarding planes in the last six months.
The meeting decided to warn the 23 listed travel agencies, involved in visa processing, about passengers going to Malaysia as tourists and students, said an official of the civil aviation and tourism ministry.
The ministry will also ask the airlines operating Dhaka-Malaysia flights to be cautious in issuing boarding cards to students and tourists, he added.
Officials from foreign and home ministries, SB of police and Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training attended the meeting, chaired by Khandker Mosharraf Hossain.