Bangladeshis in Malaysia
2.68 lakh workers set to be regular
Malaysian home minister says his country needs all those who get registered under amnesty scheme.
All the 2.68 lakh irregular Bangladeshi workers registered under Malaysia’s amnesty programme will be regularised from October 10 and given jobs, officials at the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur said yesterday.
Malaysia’s cabinet committee on foreign workers and illegal immigrants yesterday decided to start the regularisation programme on October 10, which might continue for around three months, Bangladesh High Commissioner AKM Atiqur Rahman told The Daily Star over the phone.
“I had talks with Malaysian authorities. They said they need all the irregular workers registered for various sectors. There is no question of deporting any of the irregular workers who got registered,” he told The Daily Star.
Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said on October 4 employers in five sectors are in need of 1.3 million workers in total. The five sectors where foreign workers are allowed to work are manufacturing, plantation, agriculture, construction and service, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported yesterday.
Around 2.32 million foreign workers have got registered, of whom 1.3 million are irregular, he said.
Kuala Lumpur declared the amnesty programme in June allowing irregular foreign workers to get registered and regularised, or return home without facing any penalty. Their registration continued from August 1 to 31. Separately, regular foreign workers were also registered.
But irregular foreign workers were in a state of confusion as to whether those having no jobs would be allowed to look for jobs after their registration.
Hishammuddin’s October 4 announcement has dispelled the confusion.
Atiqur Rahman said some 24,000 of the irregular and registered Bangladeshi workers do not have jobs. And a similar number got registered under outsourcing companies.
The Malaysian government had earlier said irregular foreign workers getting registered under outsourcing companies might not be regularised. But it later said they would be considered jobless, as the outsourcing companies are not employers, and given jobs, the envoy said
High Commissioner gets threats
Meanwhile, Atiqur Rahman last week got threats from Bangladeshi manpower brokers (middlemen) who wanted to make money by processing passport applications of the irregular Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia.
They threatened him with dire consequences as the Bangladesh mission introduced a broker-free system of issuing passports, he said.
“We have informed all our workers in Malaysia and their employers that they themselves will submit applications for passports. We are interviewing the applicants to verify their nationality,” Atiqur said.
This might have created resentment among the brokers who have already collected applications of around 60 percent of the irregular Bangaldeshi workers.
-With The Daily Star input