Job Regularisation in Malaysia
400 workers cheated by manpower agent
Around 400 Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia were allegedly defrauded by an employment agent in the job regularisation process.
The victims said as per an agreement, they paid Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 3,000 (Tk 90,000) each to an agent earlier this year and were supposed to pay RM 500 more after securing work permits, reported Malaysian newspaper The Star on Sunday.
However, the agent recently demanded additional RM 1,200 and refused to hand over their passports if its demand is not met, said Sirajul Haque Kazi, a victim at Alor Setar in Malaysia’s northwestern state of Kedah.
Sirajul said they could not afford to pay more to the agent and would have to find jobs with low wages as their illegal status would be exploited by employers.
“I urge the authorities concerned to intervene and help us solve this problem,” he added, adding that they lodged a police report against the agent and construction company at Alor Setar police station on July 25.
Earlier in May, The Daily Star reported a fraud case filed by a Malaysian NGO Tenaganita on behalf of Bangladeshi workers complaining that an estimated 5,000 workers were cheated by an agent owned by a Bangladeshi businessman.
The agent did not secure work permits though it charged high amounts of fees.
People observing the Malaysian amnesty programme think there could be many more cases of cheating by the legal or illegal brokers in Malaysia since the country started the regularisation process in August last year.
Under the programme, around 2.7 lakh Bangladeshi workers had got registered with the Malaysian immigration department either to return home without facing any penalty or to regularise their job status.
A several thousand workers returned home and the rest were securing work permits, but until now the exact number of workers who secured work permits could not be known though the deadline for application for regularisation ended in April.
There are over four lakh Bangladeshis working in Malaysia, which had frozen recruitment from Bangladesh early in 2009. However, it decided to recruit workers from Bangladesh, but the mode of recruitment has not been finalised yet.
Bangladesh government wanted a state-level arrangement for recruitment of workers in Malaysia, but private recruiters have been lobbying so that they are engaged in the recruitment process.
-With The Daily Star input