Don’t repeat syndication
Both Bangladesh and Malaysia governments should avert repeating past occurrences, including "syndication", that led to the closure of the Malaysian market for Bangladeshi workers, said Bangladesh Civil Society for Migrants (BCSM), an alliance of 20 organisations working on migration, in a statement yesterday.
"Instead, migrant workers should be sent through an open and transparent process so that they don't fall victim to exploitation," read the statement, voicing concern over a reported fresh attempt to create syndication.
There is no alternative to creating opportunity for all recruiting agencies instead of a syndicate to ensure transparent, regular, and safe migration
BCSM also said the Malaysian government must hire workers from Bangladesh through a similar open-sourcing process that it follows for other countries.
Besides, Bangladesh must have its own online recruitment system and medical test process so that irregularities or syndication cannot take place.
The organisation voiced concern over the lack of visible progress in workers' recruitment although Bangladesh issued a letter to Malaysia in January over fixing the recruitment process in a joint working group meeting.
Earlier, Bangladesh and Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in December last year over labour cooperation, more than three years after Malaysia suspended its market for Bangladesh in September 2018 on allegation of market monopoly by 10 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies.
"There is no alternative to creating opportunity for all recruiting agencies instead of a syndicate to ensure transparent, regular, and safe migration," BCSM said in the statement.
Meanwhile, a section of member organisations of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) yesterday said if a fresh syndicate is created to send workers to Malaysia, then the sector will see a rise in irregularities and corruption, while migration costs will increase.
Arranging a press conference at the capital's Jatiya Press Club under the banner of "Baira anti-syndicate grand alliance", the recruiting agencies said Malaysia recruits workers from 13 other source countries in regular means, without any syndication.
Baira leaders Ali Haider Chowdhury, Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman and Abul Bashar, among others, spoke at the press conference.