Malaysia hiring cost set at Tk 40,000

Arafat Ara | Published: November 09, 2018 09:47:43 | Updated: November 09, 2018 12:36:16


Picture used for representational purpose — Collected

The cost of migration for Malaysia-bound Bangladeshi workers has been set at about Tk 40,000 each, four times less than earlier.

The decision came at a meeting of the joint working group held in Dhaka recently.

Under the online system of 'Sistem Pengambilan Pekerja Asing (SPPA) of the G-to-G plus deal, the government fixed the migration cost for a worker at Tk 160,000.

In the proposed migration system, the employers will bear Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 5,525 (Tk 110,000) to hire each worker, the officials who were present at the meeting said.

However, experts and migrant rights activists said if visa trading continues, workers will not benefit from such official migration cost.

So, it is necessary to ensure accountability and strengthen an inclusive monitoring system by the government and private recruiting agencies, they said.

"It is hardly possible to implement the officially-fixed migration cost, if the fair recruitment system does not develop," said migration analyst and managing director of Centre for Development Communication Hassan Imam.

Earlier, the government also set a migration cost, but manpower recruiters did not follow it, he added.

However, the workers had to spend from Tk 350,000 to Tk 400,000 each to go to the South East Asian country.

When contacted, Ahmed Munirus Salehin, additional secretary at the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment (EWOE), said they will take necessary measures so that manpower recruiters cannot charge extra cost.

"We are working to make a database of the workers to help ensure transparency in the recruitment system," he mentioned.

The second joint working group meeting was held in Dhaka on October 31. High officials from Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur were present at the meeting.

The meeting also decided to allow all eligible manpower recruiting agencies to send workers to the job destination country.

As Malaysia needs workers, the country will open its door for hiring workers within a short time, officials at the expatriates' welfare ministry said.

The Malaysian government stopped issuing demand letter for Bangladeshi workers since September 01 due to alleged syndication through the online system of SPPA under the G-to-G plus memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The first joint working group meeting was held on September 25 at Putrajaya in Malaysia.

About 0.2 million Bangladeshi workers went to Malaysia through SPPA since the signing of G-to-G plus deal in 2016.

Approximately 0.9 million Bangladeshi workers are now staying in Malaysia, sources said.

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