Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) has condemned the statement of Malaysian Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M Saravana who on Thursday claimed that Bangladesh's prime minister and expatriates' welfare minister already approved the syndicate of 25 local recruiting agencies for sending workers to Malaysia.
"The Malaysian minister has now passed the blame to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed for the infamous recruitment syndicate which is nothing but a fabricated claim," Baira observed in a press conference held at a hotel in the capital on Saturday.
Tipu Sultan, one of the leaders of the association, alleged that one influential Bangladeshi minister and three-member of the parliaments are lobbying for the syndication of recruiting agencies due to personal interest.
"We urge the concerned authorities in Bangladesh and Malaysia to allow all registered recruiting agencies to send workers from Bangladesh and Malaysia," said Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, former secretary-general of Baira.
Earlier on 16 June, Malaysian Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said, "When I had met the Bangladeshi prime minister, she agreed on recruiting 25 agencies. The expatriate minister had also concurred."
Saravanan further noted that a management team had vetted over 1,500 agencies and selected the qualified 25 agencies based on a set of criteria agreed upon by both countries."
However, the Malaysian government has not disclosed under what criteria those 25 recruiting agencies were selected. Many of the proposed agencies do not have the experience to send workers to Malaysia, while those who are experienced did not get selected at all.
Among the 25 syndicated agencies, three recruiting agencies are owned by three lawmakers each and one is owned by the wife of an important minister of Bangladesh, according to media reports.
However, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed told the media that neither Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, nor he has approved any syndicate of 25 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies.
Bangladesh is going to resume sending workers to Malaysia this month, as issues relevant to the matter have finally been resolved in a meeting on 1 June, five months after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.