Dhaka, Kuala Lumpur in talks over Bangladeshi workers’ return to Malaysia

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Monday said Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur are in discussion over the return of Bangladeshi workers, who got stuck here due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to their workplaces in Malaysia.

Currently, the entry of foreign workers to Malaysia remains restricted due to coronavirus.

A good number of Bangladeshi workers returned home on vacation before the pandemic. But they could not go back to their workplaces amid the coronavirus outbreak and their visas, in some cases, expired.

A group of workers, willing to return to Malaysia, gathered in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday and described their sufferings to the Foreign Secretary.

Momen informed them about restrictions imposed on the entry of foreign workers in Malaysia right now.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the Malaysian government to consider their issues on a priority basis once the COVID-19 situation improves and new recruitment restarts.

In response, the Malaysian side assured Bangladesh of allowing Bangladeshi workers’ entry into Malaysia upon approval from employers even if their visas have expired, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment are jointly working to ensure financial compensation for the workers.

Dhaka says it remains aware of the workers’ welfare and demands as a worker-friendly government.

Meanwhile, the government urged the workers to remain careful about the collective image of the workers who are working in various countries and encouraged them to avoid anything that can be damaging to them.

The representatives of the workers expressed satisfaction over the assurance that came from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hoped that their problems would soon be resolved.

Malaysia is one of the most popular destinations for Bangladeshi workers. As many as 1,057,056 Bangladeshis have found work in Malaysia between 1976 and 2019, according to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET).

Last year, Bangladeshis in Malaysia remitted US$1.28 billion.

Bangladesh is the second-largest trading partner for Malaysia in South Asia, after India. In 2018-19, export to Malaysia amounted to $277.23 million with an impressive growth of 19.3 percent, according to Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia.

The major export items are readymade garments, vegetables, potato, cereals, fruit juice, fish and crustaceans, footwear, pharmaceuticals, plastics, tea and spices.

Source: United News of Bangladesh