About 50,000 Bangladeshi workers would have to return home from Malaysia by this month under 'Back 4 Good (B4G) scheme announced by Kula Lumpur, according to Bangladesh High Commission there.
The Malaysian immigration authorities on August 01 this year launched B4G programme for the irregular foreign workers to send them back to their home countries. The programme will be ended on December 31.
Talking to the FE, Jahirul Islam, labour counsellor at the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, said about 50,000 workers would return home by the deadline of B4G.
In the meantime, a large number of the undocumented workers already received various services under the B4G programme for returning home, he said.
The High Commission has already communicated with the airlines and authorities concerned to provide smooth services to the Bangladeshi workers.
As the workers are returning back home, they might have not much money with them. So, the airlines have been requested to charge airfare at a rational level, Mr. Islam said.
The High Commission also advised the workers to visit different immigration offices so that they can complete the procedure quickly, he added.
When asked, he said the overstayed and undocumented workers have been brought under the scheme.
However, Bangladeshis staying in the Southeast Asian country said that currently the immigration centres are overcrowded with foreign workers, including Bangladeshis, and it takes 2-3 days to complete the whole process of receiving special pass from immigration to return home.
Besides, they alleged that taking advantage of the huge rush of passengers, the airlines have already increased the airfare.
A Bangladeshi national staying in Malaysia said that presently the airlines are charging the airfare each at a range between Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) 1,200 and 1,500. But the regular price averages at MYR 600.
So, a worker is spending at least MYR 2,000 to return to Bangladesh. It is very tough to arrange the money by a poor worker, he said.
The service charge of immigration department in providing a special pass is MYR 700 for each worker, he added
Under the B4G programme, some 400,000 undocumented foreign workers would return their home, Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud, director-general of immigration department of Malaysia told local media earlier.
Most of the Bangladeshi irregular workers spent a high migration cost and they collected the money through borrowing or selling lands. So now they are frustrated as many of them are returning home almost empty-handed, sources said.
Most of the undocumented Bangladeshi workers had applied for regularisation under a rehiring programme that ended on June 30 last. But 50 per cent of them could not be regularised because of various reasons such as fraudulent practices by the middlemen and outsourcing companies, they added.
More than 1.0 million workers went to Malaysia with jobs since 1978, the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training data showed.