Malaysia renews migrant worker recruitment from Bangladesh for 3 years

DhakaTribune || Shining BD

Published: 6/2/2024 6:03:01 AM

Malaysia has announced the renewal of its Foreign Worker Management System (FWCMS) for another three years, continuing the recruitment of migrant workers from Bangladesh and 13 other countries. 

The decision, effective from June 1, comes with revised terms that grant the Malaysian government greater control over the recruitment process and reduce the fees paid to Bestinet, the agency involved in migrant recruitment.

According to Malaysiakini, a Malaysian news portal, the Malaysian cabinet agreed to extend the FWCMS after reviewing a proposal from the home ministry. 

However, the specifics of the agreement with Bestinet remain unclear.

The Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) welcomed the extension but urged the government to gather accurate data on the number of migrant workers currently stranded and to implement transparent measures to assist and send them to Malaysia.

Two weeks ago, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment requested an extension from Malaysia’s Human Resources Ministry, according to ministry sources. 

This request followed Malaysia's March announcement that workers from Bangladesh and 13 other countries would be barred from entering the country after May 31.

Meanwhile, several hundred Malaysia-bound migrant workers faced uncertainty at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday. 

Many arrived without plane tickets, having been assured by local recruitment agents that tickets would be provided on time. 

Some workers reported that agents were unresponsive to their calls.

Last year, Malaysia was the second-largest overseas job market for Bangladeshi workers, with over 400,000 migrating since the reopening of the labour market in 2022. 

The market had previously closed in 2008, reopened in 2016, and shut again in 2018 due to corruption allegations. 

It finally reopened through a new agreement signed on December 18, 2021, allowing Bangladeshi workers to resume migration in August 2022.

Earlier in the day, BAIRA Secretary General Ali Haider Chowdhury estimated that around 3,000-4,000 workers might have missed their flights due to the inability to secure air tickets by the deadline to reach Kuala Lumpur. 

Shining BD