The manpower recruiting syndicate that has allegedly ripped off the government's move to ease movement of Malaysia-bound workers is still lurking in the dark. Malaysia has suspended recruitment of manpower from Bangladesh on allegations of the misdeeds of the syndicate -- reportedly a well orchestrated scheme of some local manpower recruiting agents in league with a Malaysia-based manpower recruiting gang. Lately, the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has reportedly urged upon the government to take steps to free the manpower export sector from the clutches of the illegal syndicate and bring the culprits to book.
Manpower recruitment for Malaysia has been fraught with many evils ever since it assumed a sizeable proportion more than a decade back. The government, aware that things were going out of control, had time and again intervened to discipline the private recruiters. In an attempt to curb pervasive malpractices, there were moves on the part of the government to handle manpower export to Malaysia under G-to-G system, as a temporary recourse. Despite strong and at times irrational opposition from the private manpower recruiters' association BAIRA, the government looked determined to strike a sense of orderliness in the recruitment process as well as in the job contract of workers seeking employment in Malaysia. The government made it clear that it wanted to set an example of hassle-free movement of workers, by means of reasonably low expenses for expatriation cost and an overseeing mechanism that would take care of the contractual aspects of the workers' employment - their salary package, healthcare, insurance and so on.
Apparently, things looked fine; but when it came to business, it appeared that the G-to-G mechanism was not at all doing well -- stuck by time-consuming bureaucracy for the most part. It was a dismal failure to put in place some orderliness and streamline the recruitment process. Eventually, it was the private recruiters who emerged on the scene, as though to salvage the G-to-G mechanism in the name and style of 'G-to-G plus' system. No doubt, the mechanism provided ample freedom for the private recruitment agencies to make their presence felt more conspicuously and strongly than ever before. As things stand now, it is the fallout of the regained freedom that may be attributed to have caused the perilous state in workers' migration to Malaysia.
The illegal syndicate, according to reports, have pocketed more than Tk 50 billion by way of charging astounding amounts as migration cost from the jobseekers in total disregard for what the government had set as charges for migration. The authorities concerned are now blaming the unscrupulous recruiting agencies, but it is highly unlikely that that they were unaware, if not in league with them, of the criminality. The government must put in its best to prevail on the money making game of these devious elements for the sake of the poor jobseekers. And if the government moves in the right direction as it should, things may change for the better. One hopes manpower recruitment to Malaysia is resumed soon with proactive steps taken by the government.
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