KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) has today urged Putrajaya to investigate the 25 agencies shortlisted by the Ministry of Human Resources to handle the entry of Bangladeshi workers, claiming it is a matter of national sovereignty and security.
Its chief executive Datuk Ahmad Yazid Othman expressed his doubt over the links between Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB), Bestinet Sdn Bhd, and the 25 companies over a visa scheme for foreign labour.
"MTEM urges the government, including agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, to investigate the awarding of these contracts, including if there is a connection with these two companies.
"This is a matter of national sovereignty and security, not an issue of who gets the foreign recruitment project," he said in the statement.
He also questioned the selection process and criteria involved in picking the 25 companies.
"What are the selection criteria of the 25 companies selected for the responsibility of managing the influx of foreign labour from Bangladesh? Has the ministry received feedback from Interpol and related bodies if the shareholders of these 25 companies are involved in the issue of trafficking?
"Is the Ministry of Human Resources more concerned with the entry of Bangladeshis than managing human resources in the country when the country is experiencing the various cost of living problems and limited employment opportunities?" he asked.
The Human Resources Ministry previously said its accreditation of 25 companies to recruit workers from Bangladesh was done to avoid monopolistic practices as well to safeguard the welfare and livelihood of the workers.
Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said in an effort to create better accessibility for potential workers and to ensure better governance of the recruitment process, his ministry selected the 25 companies from a list of 1,520 provided by the Manpower Ministry of Bangladesh.
He explained that there were only 10 companies involved in the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh prior to this decision which unfortunately led to many workers being lured by the promise of decent work and were subsequently left stranded by agencies from both countries.