Malaysian govt selected 25 companies: M Saravanan
Peoples Time Desk
Malaysian Human Resource Minister M Saravanan has cleared that his ministry has selected 25 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies for sending workers to his country and the Bangladesh government has no hand in the process except sending a list of 1,520 recruitment companies.
“Initially the Manpower Ministry of Bangladesh provided a list of 1,520 recruitment companies, of which the Malaysian Human Resource Ministry selected 25 companies,” the Malaysian minister said in a statement on Sunday.
This statement has been given as a clarification of his claim to a Malaysian newspaper a few days ago that Bangladesh’s prime minister and expatriates’ welfare minister already approved the syndicate of 25 local recruiting agencies for sending workers to Malaysia.
In the latest statement, Saravanan said that his statement of meeting with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister explaining the current affairs of the Bangladeshi foreign workers in Malaysia has been taken out context.
“I hereby would like to state that any allegations pertaining to the involvement of honorable prime minister of Bangladesh in the selection of the 25 recruitment companies are totally false and unfounded,” he said.
“My meeting with her excellency was to narrate the current situation of foreign workers and the initiatives taken by the ministry for better working conditions,” the minister added.
He said prior to this exercise, there were only 10 companies involved in the recruitment of workers from Bangladesh.
He also said the monopolistic nature of the 10 companies led to many workers who were lured by the promise of decent work and were subsequently left stranded by agencies from both countries.
Saravanan said to safeguard the welfare and livelihood of foreign workers, the agreed to increase from 10 to 25 companies to ensure a check and balance mechanism is implemented in the 25 designated companies.
The minister said his ministry will further accredit another 250 companies to avoid monopoly and abuse and create greater accessibility to potential workers.
The 250 companies will be selected from the list of 1,520 recruitment companies provided from Bangladesh, from which the 25 companies were previously chosen, he said.
But, Malaysia will still deal only with the initially chosen 25 companies.
“These 250 companies selected will work within the structure of the 25 companies. In simple terms, each of the 25 companies will be allocated 10 companies to incubate and to be part of the recruitment ecosystem, especially in meeting the standards and guidelines set by the Human Resources Ministry,” M Saravanan said.
“Hence, what is the difference between the 25 and 250 companies? First of all, the Human Resources Ministry only deals with the 25 designated companies. They are monitored by the Ministry closely, so as to ensure that International Labour Organisation guidelines relating to the welfare of the workers are adhered to, especially in terms of living and working conditions of foreign workers.”
“Malaysia is serious in tackling the issue of forced labour, which is tarnishing our international standing. And secondly, it is the sole responsibility of the 25 to ensure the other 250 meet the strict recruitment standards and international best practices set by the Human Resources Ministry,” he said.
The minister said he wants to clear the misconception that his ministry has preference on certain source countries. He said the Human Resource ministry is only involved in giving approvals to respective companies to recruit foreign workers to meet their production demand.
“There are 14 sources countries in which any companies can source their workers from, and not particularly only from Bangladesh. Moreover, when I came onboard, I made a decision that there will not be any direct or special approval, a rampant practice before which has created too many backlashes especially in terms of our nation’s international reputation,” he said.
Saravanan also said that henceforth, all foreign worker recruitment approvals must come from Malaysia’s Human Resources Ministry.
“Meanwhile, for everyone’s information, the one-stop centre for foreign workers’ approval which was previously under the Home Affairs Ministry has been transferred to the Human Resources Ministry, as practiced in many countries. And to date, the department has approved approximately 230,000 workers as of Wednesday,” the minister said.
He congratulated everyone of his ministry for their tireless efforts in helping Malaysia’s business and industry players to overcome their labour shortage predicament.
Saravan said it is now up to the relevant companies which have obtained their approvals to pay the levy and make the recruitment and submit the medical report to get a visa with reference with the Home Ministry, to expedite the rest of the process to ensure the survivability of our enterprises.