KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Putrajaya’s 25-agency cap of the Bangladeshi companies allowed to recruit workers to Malaysia is to improve its international standing on migrant issues, including human trafficking, according to Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.
In an interview with The Sunday Star published today, he explained that migration is a global and complex issue that must be managed properly, and that Malaysia is currently placed in an unfavourable position, with regards to the Annual Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department and must be dealt with delicately.
“The report will always consistently highlight the excessive recruitment fees involved for the hiring of workers from Bangladesh to Malaysia.
“A classic example is that of a Malaysian government-linked company being requested to refund the Bangladeshi workers the fees they paid in the recruitment process,” he was quoted as saying.
He said limiting the number of recruitment agencies from Bangladesh would support this fight against unethical recruitment.
“Malaysia fully supports the fair and ethical recruitment practices and ethical requirements by the International Labour Organisation that there should be a minimum cost borne by the workers,” he said.
When asked why only Bangladesh has this recruitment cap, Saravanan said that the process actually is equal to all source countries.
“Our employers must make their application online for the requested quota, and once it is approved by the Human Resource Ministry, employers can make the levy payment to the Immigration Department and subsequently, make the necessary arrangements to bring in the workers.
“The recruitment process is carried out as per the obligations under the bilateral agreement between the source country and the receiving country, which has been extensively negotiated prior to its conclusion,” he told the weekend edition of The Star.
On the arrival of Indonesian maids, Saravanan said that the first batch is expected to arrive by the end of the month or early next month.
“One important thing to highlight is that the conclusion of the MoU has paved the way for the entry of Indonesian workers for the formal sector,” he was quoted saying.
Beside Indonesia, Saravanan said that the ministry is exploring bilateral arrangements with other source countries such as Cambodia.
“We are in the midst of finalising the MoU with Cambodia for both domestic and formal sectors.
“We are also looking into implementing a pilot project of hiring domestic workers from Nepal,” he was quoted saying.