Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
Malaysia has agreed to open more sectors for Bangladeshi migrants through a new manpower recruitment scheme called G2G Plus, said Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam yesterday.
He said Malaysia would recruit Bangladeshi workers in construction, service, manufacturing and agriculture sectors where it earlier hired only for the plantation sector.
Explaining the G2G Plus scheme, the minister said: “It is much like the G2G system but additionally offers the inclusion of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) in the hiring process which was absent in the G2G scheme.”
“Malaysia hopefully will begin hiring a huge number of workers from Bangladesh within a month through the government as well as private recruiting agencies. The migration cost will be low under the G2G Plus scheme,” Nurul told reporters after a meeting with a visiting Malaysian delegation.
The six-member Malaysian delegation led by the secretary general of the country’s ministry of human resources, Saripuddin bin Hj Kasim, is now in Bangladesh to attend the sixth joint working group meeting with the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.
“The delegation said the migration cost would be Tk36,000-37,000 if anyone is recruited via the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training. In case of migration through private recruiters, the amount will stand at Tk60,000,” Nurul said.
The minister said the delegation was reluctant to discuss recruting manpower from Bangladesh under the B2B scheme. “They were not interested to talk about any non-government recruitment system and hence made no proposal regarding that.”
A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed with Malaysia today to expedite manpower export to the Southeast Asian country.
Nurul said Malaysia would hire from a database containing the details of migrants who had registered themselves for migrating to the country.
The database currently has around 1.8 million names.
Baira President Abul Bashar said the expatriates’ welfare minister had taken a timely decision to increase labour migration from Bangladesh to Malaysia.
He also emphasised the role of private recruiters in expanding the overseas labour market, saying that such recruiters are the experts in marketing the manpower business.
“The G2G Plus scheme will allow private recruiters under the Baira to work with the government for expanding the overseas labour market and we welcome such a move,” said Bashar.
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