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Bangladesh roots for state arrangement for recruitment in M'sia

Publication Date : 11-09-2012


Bangladesh will propose state arrangements for recruitment of workers by Malaysia as a high-level delegation from the country arrives in Dhaka tomorrow to finalise a deal.

A draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) now getting final touches will also seek all financial transactions of the jobseekers through banks and online registration of them, officials said.

The draft will be discussed with the 10-member delegation led by Malaysian Human Resources Minister Dr S. Subramaniam during its three-day visit.

The Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), Dhaka's regulatory authority for overseas labour affairs, will manage the entire recruitment process aimed at checking malpractices rampant in private recruitment process.

“Our goal is eliminating involvement of all sorts of middlemen. Bangladesh government will directly deal with the Malaysian government or employers regarding labour recruitment,” Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan told The Daily Star.

Subramaniam is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and expatriates' welfare minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain tomorrow, the first day of his visit.

Dhaka wants signing of the MoU before fresh recruitment of workers starts.

Malaysia, which now has over 400,000 Bangladeshi workers, froze recruitment from Bangladesh in early 2009 following numerous reports of labour exploitation due to massive malpractices in the recruitment process in 2007 and 2008.

Investigations revealed workers were charged over 200,000 taka (US$2,445) each for a job in Malaysia although the government-fixed rate was 84,000 taka. Illegal brokers in connivance with private recruitment agencies of both the countries and even a section of Malaysian government officials were involved in the process.

As recruiting more workers meant more money, manpower syndicates even facilitated recruitment of excessive workers, leaving them in troubles, Bangladesh expatriate welfare minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain told the media on various occasions.

“In no way I will allow private agencies this time to exploit the labour market in Malaysia," he said recently.

After nearly four years, Malaysia now plans to hire workers from Bangladesh, and both want state arrangements for labour recruitment. But private recruiting agencies in both the countries oppose state arrangements, officials mentioned.

And BMET is creating a separate unit to manage the process of recruitment of Bangladeshi workers.

Zafar Ahmed said Bangladesh wanted to introduce a process like Employment Permit System (EPS) introduced in South Korea for foreign labour recruitment.

Under the system, Korean Human Resources Development Services arrange language and skill tests for the jobseekers, prepares a database of the successful candidates including their bio-data, and makes those available online to potential Korean employers, he said.

The employers then select the candidates as per their needs and arrange visas.

Bangladesh Overseas Employment Services Limited (BOESL), the state-owned recruiting agency, helps process the documents required for a job in Korea. A jobseeker's cost in this arrangement is only $800.

"EPS has been lauded as the best arrangement for labour recruitment" said Zafar.

Dhaka proposed such an arrangement when a Malaysian delegation visited Bangaldesh in May this year. It also lauded the system, but has not given any feedback yet, he added.


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