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Nepalis protest outside M'sian embassy over visa fee hike
Publication Date : 25-12-2013
The Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (Nafea) staged a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Nepal over the visa fee, which has been increased at least five-fold.
A Malaysian embassy spokesman confirmed that the peaceful protest took place from 9:30am-10:30am on Monday in Kathmandu.
About 100 protesters sat in front of the embassy gates to protest against the revised visa fee which had gone up from 23 ringgit (US$6.98) to 129.90 ringgit effective from November 1, he said.
According to the spokesman, the group which had been carrying banners did not hand in any memorandum to the embassy.
He confirmed the revised visa fee but clarified that it was due to “processing fees” and not the initial visa fee.
“The review of fees does not fall under Malaysia's foreign affairs headquarters, Wisma Putra, and it is decided by the home ministry,” he said.
A total of 25,912 Nepalese workers have permission to work in Malaysia since November 1, according to the Nepal‘s Department of Foreign Employment.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the number of Nepali workers going to Malaysia through formal and informal channels was about 400,000.
Malaysia received 98,367 of the total 384,665 Nepalis who left for overseas jobs during the 2011-12 period.
Nafea president Bal Bahadur Tamang was quoted in The Himalayan Times as saying that the group would continue to hold meetings with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to discuss the matter.
“The medical check-up cost had also been raised by approximately 49.92 ringgit to 137.28 ringgit through a firm.
“If the embassy does not roll back its decision, then in the near future a Nepali foreign job aspirant wanting to go to Malaysia will have to pay about 373.56 ringgit in total, including medical fees against the 217.15 ringgit that they are paying at present,” he said.
*US$1 = 3.29 ringgit