- Malaysia will open recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to all sectors.
- An MoU will be signed soon.
- After the agreement, 20,000-30,000 Bangladeshi workers are likely to go to Malaysia per month.
After a long-running negotiation, Malaysia has agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to resume the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers.
A meeting of the Malaysian cabinet on Friday decided to open recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to all sectors including plantation, agriculture, manufacturing, services, mining, construction and household service.
Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Seri Saravanan Murugan will sign an MoU with Bangladesh's Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed in this regard soon, said a media statement of the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resource.
"Admission of these Bangladeshi workers will be implemented immediately after the MoU is signed," reads the media release.
Malaysia is home to around eight lakh Bangladeshis, according to an unofficial estimate.
The Southeast Asian country suspended hiring Bangladeshi workers in September 2018 over allegations of malpractices in the recruitment process and high recruitment costs.
Since then, the Bangladeshi expatriate ministry has been negotiating continuously with the Malaysian authorities to reopen the market.
Minister Imran Ahmed told the media last week that an MoU may be signed this month to reopen the Malaysian labour market.
The manpower recruiters are expecting that the number of Bangladeshi workers going to Malaysia will increase compared to earlier times after the Southeast Asian country reopens its labour market.
"Before closing the market, around 10,000-15,000 workers went to Malaysia each month. Now, 20,000-30,000 workers will migrate to Malaysia in the coming months as their employers need a large number of foreign workers," said Abul Bashar, former president of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira).
"Earlier, workers were sent to Malaysia through only 10 agencies. There were many irregularities at that time, as a result of which that country stopped taking workers from Bangladesh," he added.
However, the manpower recruiters have been demanding that the authorities allow all the recruiting agencies to send workers to Malaysia.
In a statement on 4 December, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said the country needs over six lakh foreign workers by the next year for the industrial sector, especially the export-based companies, to overcome the current acute manpower shortage it is facing.
Malaysia has closed the labour market to foreign workers for nearly two years in the wake of the Covid-19 infection.
The association found a shortage of skilled general workers, technicians, mechanics and engineers in the general labour department.
Besides, the manufacturing sector and sub-sectors like food and beverages, chemical and chemical products, metal and rubber products have the highest demand for workers.
Meanwhile, Malaysia has also identified Bangladesh as a second source country for migrant security guards based on an earlier MoU signed between the countries.
"The Malaysian Security Industry Association (PIKM) has identified Bangladesh as a second source country for migrant security guards, following some 30,000 vacancies left by Nepali guards who are currently the only ones allowed to be employed in the profession," reported malaysiakini.com recently.
Malaysian Ministry of Human Resource will cooperate with its health ministry and National Security Council to refine standard operating procedures (SOP) for the admission of foreign workers' to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Malaysian cabinet also agreed to defer the implementation of a multi-tier levy from 1 January 2022 to 1 July 2022.