HR minister Saravanan set to face protest from Bangladeshi recruiters in Dhaka visit tomorrow

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 - Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan will reportedly be met with a protest by labour recruiters in Bangladesh during his visit tomorrow, due to Putrajaya's decision to limit the number of recruiters allowed to send Bangladeshi labourers to Malaysia.

Malaysiakini reported ministry sources confirming that the minister will leave for Dhaka tonight for a joint working group meeting with Bangladeshi officials tomorrow.

The online portal reported that despite the protest, it is expected that Saravanan will 'push through” the agreement to allow only 25 recruitment agencies and 250 sub-agents to send labourers from Bangladesh to Malaysia.

Bangladeshi newspaper The Business Post reported that some 2,000 recruiters have threatened to hold a demonstration in the capital to demand an open market to supply labour to Malaysia.

Citing industry sources, the paper said recruitment costs would go up from 120,000 Bangladeshi Taka (RM5,900) per person to 450,000 Bangladeshi Taka (RM22,200) if a cartel is allowed to control the market.

Meanwhile Free Malaysia Today quoted former secretary-general of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies, Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, saying the group which calls itself an anti-syndicate movement is unanimous in its stand.

'The Malaysian human resources minister M Saravanan and our expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Imran Ahmed are meeting in Dhaka tomorrow to resolve the problem that has caused a five-month delay in sending Bangladeshi workers.

'Our stand is that a syndicate-free market would allow everyone to send workers overseas at a cost of RM5,900. But if the market goes under the syndicate’s grip, workers will have to spend about RM18,000 for the same service,” he said as quoted saying.

Shameem said this was the reason the Malaysian government, under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, decided in 2018 to suspend recruitment, adding that the group wanted the meeting tomorrow to allow all agencies to handle the recruitment of workers.

In December last year, Malaysia and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers, effective for five years until December 2026.

Saravanan said in a statement that the MoU outlined the responsibilities of both countries, including those related to the employers from Malaysia and workers from Bangladesh as well as the duties of private employment agencies in both countries.

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