Malaysian minister says zero-cost recruitment deal with Bangladesh soon

FE ONLINE DESK | Published: January 15, 2020 13:39:54 | Updated: January 15, 2020 17:48:13

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A Malaysian minister has said that Malaysia and Bangladesh are 'very close' to finalise a zero-cost recruitment deal that will facilitate the hiring of Bangladeshi workers into Malaysia soon.

"Almost all matters have been settled and we have come very close to finalise it," Malaysian Reserve, a business daily, reported quoting the Southeast Asian country's human resources (HR) minister M Kulasegaran on Wednesday.

The minister said that a Malaysia-Bangladesh Joint Working Group would soon go to Dhaka about this deal.

“I’m sending the Malaysia-Bangladesh Joint Working Group to Dhaka, Bangladesh, soon to iron out the remaining issues on the zero-cost recruitment agreement."

He added that Bangladesh government had already agreed not to send the workers without due compliance.

"... and there must be due compliance to the necessary provision, just like what we reached with Nepal."

Malaysia is looking to establish another zero-cost recruitment agreement for migrant workers to eliminate forced labour and avoid possible trade sanctions from importing countries.

The new terms agreed by Bangladesh and Malaysia would be similar to the recruitment agreement signed with Nepal last year.

Under the agreement, employers are responsible for the recruitment service charges, two-way airfare, visa fees, health check-up, security screening and levy charges.

Meanwhile, Kulasegaran urged local rubber glove makers to immediately submit the Social Compliance Audit Report (SCAR) as importing countries continue to seek Malaysia’s resolution on the issue of sustainability recruitment.

Last October, the US Customs and Border Protection blocked imported goods from five companies that were accused of practising forced labour, including Malaysia’s glove maker, WRP Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd.

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