A syndicate of 25 recruiting agencies is responsible for the delay in sending Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia, according to some recruiters of both countries.
In a press conference organised by "Baira Anti-Syndicate Grand Alliance" at a Dhaka hotel on Saturday, they demanded immediate dispatch of workers through all legitimate recruiters.
Recruiters also criticised the Malaysian Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan for his remarks on the syndication of recruiters.
"What the minister claimed is not true," the recruiters said at the press event.
Malaysian human resources minister on Thursday claimed that Bangladesh's prime minister and expatriates' welfare and overseas employment minister have already approved a syndicate of 25 local recruiting agencies for sending workers to Malaysia.
However, speaking to the journalist on the same day, Bangladesh Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad rejected Saravanan's claim.
"The statement made by the Malaysian minister of human resources that workers are sent from Bangladesh through syndicates from Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong is not correct. Any legal agency can send workers to these countries following the regulations of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare," said, Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, former secretary-general of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira).
"If there is a syndicate of 25 agencies, the Malaysian companies that hire free workers will be unable to hire workers from Bangladesh because of the extra immigration costs," he added.
Bangladesh is going to resume sending workers to Malaysia this month, as issues relevant to the matter have finally been resolved in a joint working group (JWG) meeting on 2 June, five months after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.
Bangladesh has left it up to Malaysia to decide how many agencies will send people from Bangladesh to Malaysia.
As a result, according to Malaysia's proposal, a syndicate of 25 recruiting agencies will send people to that country, said the recruiters who have been protesting against the syndicate.
Joining the event virtually, Sukumaran Nair, secretary-general of the National Association of Private Employment Agencies in Malaysia, said, "To meet Malaysia's high job demand, we need more than 25 recruitment agencies who were selected without much-secured information on their capabilities and recruitment experience."
"We suggest to the Bangladesh government to expedite the process of exporting workers to Malaysia without the syndicated recruitment agencies, taking into consideration the welfare of the poor migrant workers," he added.
Baira's former president Nur Ali, said, "In the MoU signed with Malaysia last December, Malaysia has been given the responsibility of choosing the recruiting agencies. This is a flawed deal, which Bangladesh need to amend in the future."
Tipu Sultan, a leader of the Baira Anti-Syndicate Grand Alliance, said "An influential Bangladeshi minister, three MPs and secretary of the expatriates' welfare ministry is in favour of syndicate as their agencies or their relatives' agencies are involved here."