POST TIME: 7 November, 2019 12:57:24 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 November, 2019 01:16:51 PM
Malaysia reopens labour market for Bangladeshi workers soon
Countries reach consensus in ministerial meet in Putrajaya
Special Correspondent, Dhaka

Malaysia reopens labour market for Bangladeshi workers soon

Both Malaysia and Bangladesh yesterday reached an agreement to reopen the labour market in Malaysia for Bangladeshi workers. The two friendly countries reached the consensus at a ministerial meeting at Putrajaya in Malaysia yesterday, say sources in the expatriate welfare and overseas employment ministry. The Bangladesh delegation conveyed to its Malaysian counterpart that they were ready and interested in sending workers to Kuala Lumpur from December this year.

As part of the decision at the minister-level meeting, an already-formed joint working group will meet in Dhaka on November 24–25 to finalise the date of reopening of the labour market and settle other related issues. Both the sides expressed their optimism to resume sending Bangladesh workers to the Malaysian labour market at the minimum cost following the meeting.  

Earlier, the meeting between Bangladesh expatriate welfare and overseas employment minister Imran Ahmed and Malaysian human resources minister M Kulasegaran was held at the Malaysian parliament house yesterday.   The meeting discussed reopening of the Malaysian labour market for Bangladeshi workers by putting emphasis on reducing migration costs and ensuring the working environment, according to sources.

The Bangladesh delegation included expatriate welfare and overseas employment secretary Md Selim Reza, additional secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Salehin, joint secretary Fazlul Karim, Prime Minister’s Office director general Md Azizur Rahman, and BMET director Md Nurul Islam. Bangladesh high commissioner to Kuala Lumpur, Muhammed Shahidul Islam, and councillor Mohammed Zahirul Islam, among others, were present at the meeting.

It was decided at the meeting that the Malaysian human resources minister would hold a meeting with employers in Malaysia on November 11 over recruiting Bangladeshi workers.  

The Malaysian government stopped the online method of sending workers to Malaysia on September 1 last year. Later, a joint working group had two meetings in Dhaka and Malaysia to reopen the labour market for Bangladesh workers.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment in a press release yesterday termed fruitful the minister-level meeting. Ministers of both the countries expressed their solidarity to reopen the closed labour market within the shortest possible time.   

The meeting discussed the issues to send workers to Malaysia at minimum migration costs, involvement of recruiting agencies of two countries, medical tests of workers, social and financial safety of workers, and data sharing, said the release.

The two sides agreed on conducting medical tests of workers before their departure to avoid hassles centring medical tests, the release added. Earlier, leaders of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA), the apex body for migrant worker recruiting agencies in Bangladesh, urged the authorities concerned to keep the Malaysian labour market free from syndicates and to take measures to reduce the migration costs.