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Malaysia denies ‘monopoly or syndicate’ in Bangladeshi workers recruitment

Staff Correspondent
26 Jan 2022 17:25:33 | Update: 26 Jan 2022 17:31:35
Malaysia denies ‘monopoly or syndicate’ in Bangladeshi workers recruitment
Recruiting agency owners demanded keeping the labour market open for all valid recruiting agents to ensure fair competition– Rajib Dhar

Malaysian Human Resources Ministry has denied allegations of the existence of a syndicate and monopoly in the appointment of Bangladesh recruitment agencies (BRAs) in connection with the five-year agreement recently inked between the two nations to facilitate hiring of one million workers.

The country’s Human Resources Ministry M Saravanan also assured that were no such monopoly or syndicate from the Malaysian side, online news portal Malaysiakini reported on Wednesday.

Saravanan’s comment comes after Bangladeshi manpower recruiting agencies protested a move to form a 25-member syndicate to send workers to Malaysia.

Earlier on January 14, Saravanan in a letter urged Bangladeshi counterpart Minister for Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad to initiate the process of sending workers to Malaysia through 25 Bangladesh Recruitment Agencies (BRA).

However, on Tuesday, manpower exporters at a press briefing protested the initiative and said the move was contrary to the spirit of negotiations reached between the two countries on manpower export to Malaysia, which will result in obvious syndication and image crisis for the nation.

Despite repeated cautions from the Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, the syndicate comprising of some officials and a few agencies is still active, said M Tipu Sultan, president of the Recruiting Agencies Oikya Parishad.

Parishad leaders said a vested corrupt group in the Malaysian government had been in favor of syndication in Bangladesh to get equally benefitted.

Saying that the formation of such syndicate was against the sovereignty and labour laws of Bangladesh, they also said there was also a high risk that a large amount of money to be laundered by exporting manpower this way.

Tipu said a memorandum of understanding was signed between Bangladesh and Malaysia on December 19 last year to re-open the Southeast Asian country’s labour market after a suspension of three years.

“After that, the Malaysian human resource minister urged the Bangladesh authorities to initiate sending workers to his country through the 25-member syndicate. This will be extremely immoral and degrading for Bangladesh,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sammilito Samannay Front (Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies) Secretary Mostafa Al Mahmud said Bangladeshi migrants would face torture and harassment in Malaysia if they went there via the syndicate.

“We are worried about the syndicate. The prime minister and the expatriates’ welfare minister want all recruitment agencies to be able to send workers to Malaysia. Now the government should take initiatives to negotiate with Malaysia to prevent the syndicate’s formation.”