Malaysia’s new government of prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad reopened up the process of hiring workers from Bangladesh to all the recruiting agencies after suspending the cartel of 10 agencies in Bangladesh.
Mahathir announced his government’s decision at a news conference, Kuala Lumpur daily The Star reported on Tuesday.
Mahathir said that he took the action to break the monopoly of the 10 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies as the cartel had increased by manifolds the cost of migration for the poor workers of Bangladesh.
‘So, we want to open up to all the agents there to allow competition,’ said Mahathir.
The Star reported that the cartel of 10 Bangladeshi agencies charged as high as 20,000 Malaysian Ringgit from each Bangladeshi worker.
Malaysian Ringgit 20,000 is equivalent to Tk 4.50 lakh at the current rate of conversion.
Mahathir also announced that his government would establish a single system to hire foreign workers without differentiating source countries.
He also said that as Malaysia was currently facing problems with illegal foreign workers his government took the decision to set up a common system.
‘Bangladesh, Nepal and others will use the same system,’ he told the press conference after chairing a meeting on foreign workers in Parliament.
The KL daily described the 10 authorized agents as ‘merely fly-by-night companies created solely to rake in money by playing middleman between the workers and their prospective employers in Malaysia.’
Migrant rights campaigners in Bangladesh welcomed the decisions taken by the Mahathir government.
According to Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training, over seven lakh Bangladeshi workers were currently working in Malaysia.
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