Bangladesh and Malaysia have agreed to jointly review the memorandum of understanding (MoU) – signed back in December, 2021 for sending workers to that country, in a bid to reduce migration costs and speed up manpower exports.
The decision came up while Malaysian Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail met Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed at his office at the Probashi Kallyan Bhaban on Sunday, the last day of his two-day visit.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Saifuddin said, “The Malaysian position is to have a system to make things easier for Bangladeshi workers, so that we can achieve the final objective where we can fulfill our labour demand, reduce the associated costs and honor the dignity of the foreign workers including Bangladeshis.
“If the current system does not contribute to that, we are prepared to take a second look into the matter.”
Reporters asked the minister whether Malaysia has any plans to dismantle the auto-rotation system, which is not in use in any of the 13 other sourcing countries including Nepal, and open up the doors to more medical centres in Bangladesh.
In response, Saifuddin said, “We have agreed that there is an urgent need for the senior officials of two nations to sit down and look into the content of the MoU, which needs to be revised, reviewed or revoked.”
Imran Ahmed said, “We are optimistic that the joint working group meeting can be held in the current month. The key topic of my discussion with Saifuddin was on ensuring that Bangladeshis can work in Malaysia through a cheaper and easier process.
“I can tell you, good things are on the way, and it will not take a long time.”
When asked about the possible changes in the MoU, Imran said, “You will learn about it when the changes are made.”
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After the meeting, Saifuddin told reporters about the implementation of two of the Malaysian government’s recent plans. One is a relaxation plan under which the approval process has been reduced to three days, from 20-30 days. And the second one is a recalibration plan.
Saifuddin said, “We have started on the recalibration plan on January 27. For the first week after we put this plan into motion, data showed that Bangladeshis were the 55 per cent of workers who got approved.
“I look at this as a big success story. I request minister Imran to assist us in fulfilling this plan.”
The Malaysian home minister then told reporters that Malaysia has 1.5 million foreign workers now. Among them, 4.45 lakhs are Bangladeshis, which is the highest among 15 sourcing countries. They are contributing to the Malaysian economy.
“We are catering to the demand of workers in at least five sectors – manufacturing, plantation, agriculture, services and construction,” said Saifuddin, adding that a big number of Bangladeshi workers are working in manufacturing, construction and service sectors.