Workers migrating to Malaysia are incurring extra costs due to a faulty system, said Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad.
"We have calculated that the cost of migrating to Malaysia should be within Tk80,000. Even, the Malaysian authorities talked about "zero migration cost", but now we hear that migrating workers have to pay Tk4-4.5 lakh. This is happening because there is mismanagement of the system," the minister told reporters after a programme, "Abhibason and Shonar Manush Sammilan 2023", organised by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (Rmmru) in the capital yesterday.
"The problems regarding the costs are all in Malaysia," said the minister.
Currently around 100 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies are sending workers to Malaysia.
The minister also said, "Everyone should have the same mindset that we will reduce the cost of immigration. If even one says I will walk in another line, then the whole process will fail."
In response to the question of what kind of systemic changes Bangladesh wants, the minister said, "We want to interlink Malaysia with the system we have. It is in the proposal stage, and not finalised yet. The last time we contacted the Malaysian authorities, they said they will link with our platform."
The expatriate welfare minister said once the link is established between the "Ami Probashi" app and the Malaysian system, it will be possible to identify what disturbance is taking place at which point.
At Thursday's programme, RMMRU recognised the contribution of migrants in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to migration and the objectives of the Global Compact by distributing the "Abhibason and Shonar Manush Sommanona" award.
This year's event recognised the best remittance-using migrant workers, female family members of the migrant workers living in the country and immigration service providers. Besides, the period from 2023-2033 was declared as "Migration Decade" based on Migration Vision 2030.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, State Minister for planning Shamsul Alam, Member of Parliament Asaduzzaman Noor, RMMRU Founder Chair Tasneem Siddiqui, and its Executive Director CR Abrar, among others, were present at the programme.