Bangladesh yesterday reached an understanding with Malaysia to tighten laws to ensure that Bangladeshi labourers are not sent to manufacturing and plantation sectors in Malaysia without the availability of jobs.
Malaysia’s Human Resource Minister Dr S Subramaniam said that Bangladesh has assured them of enforcing legislation in Bangladesh to monitor the activities of recruiting agencies in the country, Malaysia’s official news agency Bernama reported yesterday.
Dr Subramaniam told reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur that the discussions centred on the issue of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia and problems associated with the current global economic challenges.
The statement came after Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain held a meeting with Subramaniam following Malaysia’s cancellation of 55,000 work visas to Bangladeshis on March 10.
Mosharraf left for Malaysia on March 28. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who went to Malaysia on March 25, has already held meetings with high officials of the country to solve the labour related issues.
The human resources ministry suggested that Bangladesh contact the Manpower Department directly to resolve the workers’ issues more effectively, Dr S Subramaniam told reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said yesterday that his government was taking decisions on foreign workers in Malaysia in accordance with the country’s law.
“We still use foreign workers, including from Bangladesh. Both countries have cordial relations and we will ensure that our actions are in accordance with the law,” he said.
Around 450,000 Bangladeshis work in Malaysia, the third largest labour market for Bangladesh. Many have become jobless and are not able to renew their work permits due to cutbacks forcing many workers to return home almost empty-handed.
Meanwhile, another 62 workers returned home yesterday; 45 from Malaysia, 15 from the United Arab Emirates and two from Saudi Arabia.