Thursday, January 23, 2020 | ePaper

Hope turns to despair

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THOUSANDS of undocumented Bangladeshi workers are now facing multiple problems in Malaysia as the Amnesty for them ends on December 31. Many of them became undocumented being victims of trafficking and for irregular migration. A huge number of Bangladeshi undocumented workers have to stand in long queues to collect their travel permits and immigration clearances. But due to time constraint many of them would not be able to return home within the deadline. It's feared that they will have to face crackdown. The poor workers would not be able to purchase air tickets. Many employers are forcing them to stay there with a view to exploiting them though they might be arrested after the Amnesty period ends. Since August 1, nearly 40,000 undocumented Bangladeshi workers came back from Malaysia under its Back for Good Programme. In this situation, Bangladesh government should provide more flights to bring them home.
According to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, Malaysia is the fourth largest destination of Bangladeshi workers after Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman. A large number of Bangladeshi workers migrated to Malaysia through legal and illegal channels due to favourable weathers and working atmosphere. The number of returnees would be increasing day by day as the deadline of the Amnesty ends on December 31. Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry is providing a cash incentive of Tk 10,000 to each returnee to purchase his or her air ticket. Biman set the one-way economic fare from Kuala Lumpur to Dhaka at Malaysian Ringgit 1,298 without luggage and 1,744 Ringgit with luggage. The illegal immigrants only need to obtain identification documents from their respective High Commissions before handing them over to the Immigration Office for processing.
After their returning, the government should rehabilitate the expatriates in income-generating activities. Otherwise their family life and daily living would be in trouble.

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