‘Malaysian labour market reopens, cost less than Tk 1.60 lakh’

‘Malaysian labour market reopens, cost less than Tk 1.60 lakh’

Staff Correspondentdaily-bangladesh.com

Published: 18:41 2 June 2022   Updated: 20:08 2 June 2022

File Photo

File Photo

The Malaysian labour market is finally reopening after the manpower export agreement was closed for a long time. The cost of going to the country or the cost of immigration will be less than Tk 1.60 lakh, said Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad.

He told a news conference on Thursday that 200,000 workers a year would go to Malaysia. The salary will be 1500 Malaysian ringgit (Tk 30,436.28 in BD currency).

Before the press conference, a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) of the two countries was held at the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare. The meeting decides how the workers will be sent.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two countries in Dhaka in 2016 after the Malaysian government agreed to hire workers from Bangladesh in their five sectors at the public-private level (G2G Plus).

Under the five-year agreement, 10 manpower exporting agencies were allowed to send people. Later, it was closed for various reasons. Since then, Malaysia has not issued new visas to Bangladeshi workers since September 2018. However, those who got visas earlier, get the opportunity to go to Malaysia later.

Malaysia approved the decision to hire workers from Bangladesh last December in the wake of a labour crisis amid the political turmoil and coronavirus pandemic.

Then in December last year, the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare signed an MoU with the Malaysian government to send workers. According to the MoU, the Bangladesh government had been talking about sending workers to Malaysia through all the legitimate recruiting agencies in the country. In a letter, the Malaysian government said it wanted to hire 25 recruiting agents and 250 sub-agents.

If the number of recruiting agents is limited in this way, there is a danger of creating syndication opportunities like before in Bangladesh, said the concerned.

In response to a query on Thursday, Expatriate Welfare Minister Imran Ahmed said, “We have 1,520 recruiting agencies here. We will give them a list of these recruiting agents.”

Asked how many workers could go to Malaysia in total, he said the MoU would take 5 lakh workers in five years. 2 lakh workers are scheduled to be taken in this year. It seems to us that five lakhs will go this year.

According to the MoU, the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare had earlier said that all expenses and airfare for the Malaysian side would be borne by the employers even if the Bangladesh side pays the workers.

Asked how much money could be spent on the workers, Imran Ahmed said, “We had earlier fixed Tk 160,000 when sending workers. This time it will be less than that. However, I have not yet calculated how much it will come down. But it will definitely come down.”

The minimum wage for workers in Malaysia will be 1500 Malaysian ringgit (Tk 30,436.28 in BD currency), said Ahmed Munirush Salehin, the expatriate welfare secretary.