The government hopes to start sending workers to Malaysia by January.
“My expectation is that it [worker-sending] will start in three days, but I know it’s not possible… Hopefully, we should be able to work by January,” Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad said yesterday .
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The minister said this while briefing the media on his recent visit to Malaysia at the Prabashi Kalyan Bhaban in the capital.
During the visit, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on labour cooperation in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
While employers, as per the MoU, will bear costs incurred at the Malaysian end to recruit Bangladeshi workers, the minister said, adding that the workers would have to pay costs for a few things such as passport fees in Bangladesh.
Besides, they would have to pay Wage Earners’ Welfare Board membership, Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) registration fees, and service charges for Bangladeshi recruiting agencies, he said.
He, however, said he was hopeful that the migration cost this time would be significantly less.
Earlier, most part of the migration cost, set at maximum Tk 1.60 lakh, was supposed to be borne by the employer, he said.
Unfortunately, those were paid by the workers, he added.
As per the deal, the expatriates’ welfare ministry will send a list of all licensed Bangladeshi recruiting agencies to the Malaysian government, said Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary of the ministry.
The MoU signed by Imran Ahmad and his Malaysian counterpart will be in effect until December 2026.
It will end a freeze of more than three years on Bangladeshi workers’ recruitment in Malaysia.
Under the new MoU, the costs that employers would cover include the service charge for the Malaysian recruiting agencies, travel to and from Malaysia, and accommodation, according to the expatriates’ welfare ministry.
Moreover, employers will cover the immigration, visa, medical test, insurance, Covid-19 test, and quarantine fees in Malaysia, it said.
The Malaysian recruiting agencies would be a new inclusion in the labour-sending process as previous recruitments were done by Bangladeshi agencies.
Briefing media, Imran Ahmad said all sectors in Malaysia would be open for hiring Bangladeshi workers, adding that they have learnt that Malaysia was in need of six to seven lakh workers at present.