At least 5,75,292 Bangladeshis were in Malaysia with Temporary Employment Visit Passes as of October 31, Malaysian Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said in a statement.
Migration experts in Malaysia said that Temporary Employment Visit Passes were proper work permits but Bangladeshi migrant workers were prone to overstay in Malaysia.
Bangladeshi workers were likely to get cheated by Malaysia based agents or by their employers using the system, they said.
According to a report published by The New Straits Times, Khairul said responding to journalists, that the Bangladeshis were overstaying in Malaysia due to debts.
Since January 2017, he said, 29,251 Bangladeshis were arrested and charged for various immigration offences.
‘Foreigners who do not return after the expiry of their valid permits can be prosecuted under Section 15 (1) (c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63,’ he added.
Malaysian lawyer Sumitha Shaanthinni Kishna who is also director of the NGO ‘Our Journey’ said that Bangladeshi workers also overstay on their own because there is demand for undocumented workers.
She said that there were also employers and agents who cheated these workers from Bangladesh though they paid a lot of money to these people to get their work permits renewed.
She said that ‘the system is such that the workers are not able to renew the work permits so they are dependent on the agents and employers to do that. So it’s not entirely the workers fault that they overstay.’
Malaysian human rights organization ‘North South Initiative’ executive director Adrian Pereira told New Age in a message that Malaysia has a very poor recruitment system for which many expatriate workers get cheated by various actors.
‘Bangladesh and Malaysia must sign a transparent memorandum of understanding or a transparent bilateral agreement to keep the workers informed and aware about all the developments, he said.
Bangladesh officials said that a joint working group meeting between Bangladesh and Malaysia was scheduled to be held in Dhaka on November 24-25 when the two sides were expected to sign an MoU on manpower recruitment from Bangladesh.
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