Belated step for workers to get access to Malaysian job market
THOUGH it's late, we congratulate the government for taking diplomatic effort to regain access for Bangladeshi workers to the job market of Malaysia, which has kept suspended recruitment of Bangladeshi workers since September last year. A team led by State Minister for Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment is on a five-day visit to Malaysia for bilateral talks. Dhaka is trying heart and soul to restore access of Bangladeshi workers to the Malaysian labour market first and then to explore the possible job opportunities in its Sarawak province, which is emerging as an important job destination for migrant workers.
Job opportunities for Bangladeshi workers were shrinking in the Middle Eastern and North African countries day by day due to unrest and economic rescission in those countries. Hundreds of Bangladeshi workers are coming back home empty handed for not getting jobs in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq and Libya. Malaysia has, therefore, become the best alternative destination for unemployed Bangladeshi workers. Malaysia froze recruitment of workers from Bangladesh in September last as the country was going to introduce a uniform system for recruiting foreign workers. According to Malaysian media, a large number of undocumented Bangladeshi workers were arrested by the Malaysian immigration authorities in crackdowns on undocumented workers from all the foreign countries from July last year. Currently, over eight lakh Bangladeshis work in Malaysia.
Specifically, in Malaysia the workers don't have any fault. Ninety-eight percent of workers have been cheated by the sub-agents. Though they had submitted papers and paid money, the sub-agents (brokers) did not fulfil their duties.
We laud the government's efforts again to restore the job opportunities for unskilled and semiskilled workers in the rising economy of Malaysia. If the undocumented workers are compelled to come back to the country, there will be immense loss for them. As there is limited job facility, they will have to go abroad for work again, selling their assets to the benefit of the recruiting agencies.
Our foreign policy and international relations should be shaped upon our national interest where manpower export should be a top priority as the domestic development failed to create enough employment opportunities at home.