Malaysian labour market: Take action against the fraud syndicate

EditorialProthom Alo illustration

Although the Malaysian labour market opened after two years, aspirant Bangladeshi migrants have not benefited. It is a syndicate in Bangladesh and Malaysia that has been benefited. It is a matter of deep concern that being trapped by this syndicate, a section of aspirant migrants have gone to Malaysia, spending huge amounts of money, but are now leading inhuman lives as they didn't get any jobs. As per the law, a migrant needs Tk 80,000 to go to Malaysia but the migrant has to give Tk 400,000-450,000.

Sources at the expatriates' welfare and overseas employment ministry have said the Malaysian government is not approving any new application for the recruitment of foreign workers, Those who have already got approval have to submit applications for visa by 31 March. And those who have received a visa or will have to enter Malaysia by 31 May.

In the beginning 25 recruiting agencies were allowed to send workers and later the number was increased to 100. These agencies in collusion with some Malaysian private agencies resorted to fraudulence.

According to Bangladesh Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) around 12,50,000 migrants have gone to Malaysia till January since 1992. Over 350,000 migrants went to Malaysia last year. In 2022, 50,000 workers went to Malaysia.

An aspiring migrant has to give Tk 150,000 to this syndicate in the name of 100 agencies. The business is also going on in the name of medical checkup under this syndicate. A migrant has gone to Malaysia by spending Tk 400,000-500,000. Many of them have not got jobs. As a result, the international human rights organisations have created pressure on the Malaysian government. Now the country wants to fix the recruitment process of foreign workers. So the Malaysian government has decided to stop recruitment of new workers.

The Malaysian labour market was closed in September 2018 on allegations that a syndicate of 10 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies indulged in corruption. After negotiation for long, the labour market was opened in August 2022. A movement was launched to open for all recruiting agencies for the recruitment, but to no avail.

Expatriates welfare and overseas employment state minister Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury said there will be no problem to send workers to Malaysia as there are good relations with Malaysia. What is the basis of his such expectations?  

After meeting foreign minister Hasan Mahmud, Malaysian high commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md Hashim said syndicates active both in Bangladesh and Malaysia are behind the problem.
It is true that Bangladesh will not be able to take action against the syndicate in Malaysia. But what is the problem with taking action against the syndicate here in Bangladesh? It is mysterious that no action have been taken against those who are responsible for the closure of the Malaysian labour market in 2018. Does the government want the Malaysia-bound migrants to lead inhuman lives after they arrive there?