Malaysia stops recruiting from BD

Tasneem Khalil

Tasneem Khalil

[Dhaka Correspondent] Malaysia Wednesday decided to suspend recruitment of Bangladeshis in the wake of recent problems taking place over sending the workers to Kuala Lumpur. Bangladesh high commission officials in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that the decision was made at a Malaysian cabinet meeting on recruiting foreign workers.

The meeting decided that Malaysian employers will not issue recruitment orders for Bangladeshis until the problems related to their employment are solved. Bangladesh high commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, Khairuzzaman, however, said Malaysia was yet to “officially communicate” the decision to him till Wednesday night, “I have heard the news from the Malaysian state news agency and
watched it on television.”

Malaysia currently hosts about 200,000 Bangladeshi workers and 100,000 more are expected to reach Kuala Lumpur as their recruitment had been approved earlier.

Problems with Bangladeshi workers heightened in recent months as hundreds of Bangladeshis often got stranded at the Kuala Lumpur international airport and they faced deprivation of various sorts after they had joined work in Malaysia. A large number of Bangladeshis in recent times were also detained by the law enforcement agencies as they protested against exploitation by the Bangladeshi recruiting agents and Malaysian employers.

Problems drew international media attention as 80 such Bangladeshis went on a hunger strike in front of the Bangladesh High Commission in September protesting against not being on jobs after
they had reached the place in March. They also demanded that the Bangladesh government intervene in the affairs.

The government in September sent an inter-ministerial committee, headed by the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment secretary, Abdul Matin Chowdhury, to Kuala Lumpur to settle the issues with the Malaysian authorities. Agitating workers alleged that the team had returned to Bangladesh without making any headway.

Malaysia resumed recruiting Bangladeshis in September after it had suspended the process in 1999.