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Malaysia to lift moratorium on Bangladeshi workers soon

FE Online Desk | Published: July 16, 2019 11:35:58 | Updated: July 16, 2019 20:25:47


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Malaysia is expected to lift the moratorium on Bangladeshi workers next month, according to the Southeast Asian country's Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran.

"I hope we can conclude within one or two months of the review on the moratorium that is now in the final stage, so that labour supply from Bangladesh can resume,” he was quoted by Malaysia state news agency Bernama as telling a press conference after officiating the opening of the 9th International Planters Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (July 15).

The suspension of workers from Bangladesh had affected several major industries in the country, especially the plantation and construction sectors, and the lifting of the moratorium is expected to ease labour woes in these sectors.

On September 1, 2018, Putrajaya suspended the Foreign Worker Application System (SPPA) for Bangladeshi workers, which only allowed the recruitment process to be carried out by 10 selected agencies approved by the previous government.

Last week, Bangladesh’s Minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Imran Ahmad, who was in Kuala Lumpur, said Bangladesh expects to reach an agreement with Malaysia on a new recruitment mechanism next month.

Imran also assured that the new mechanism and process for the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers for employment in Malaysia would be a transparent one.

"It is a matter of time to make this system right. The old system is not working, so for the new system, we will get everybody involved and work on it. I think in August, there could be a solution,”  he was quoted by Bernama as saying.

More than 500,000 Bangladeshis are estimated to be now working in Malaysia, according to Bangladesh government data, but experts working with migrants disagree with this and believe that the actual number is much higher.

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