Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed said that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Bangladesh and Malaysia will be reviewed to make the process of sending migrant workers easier and faster.
"Changes in the MoU for the benefit of workers in Malaysia, and reduction of immigration costs among other things came up in the meeting. A working group meeting will be held between Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur this month to decide on these issues," Imran Ahmed said talking to reporters after a meeting with Malaysian Home Minister Saifuddin Nasusan Ismail at Probashi Kallyan Bhaban on Sunday.
"Everything that is related to our interests has been discussed. There is the matter of cost here, there is the matter of going there. Everything has been discussed. One thing must be remembered, this government is a new government. Whatever we talked about with the previous government, now there will be a big change. He (Malaysian minister) has assured this," he added.
Imran Ahmad further said, "There is talk of changing the MoU. More changes will be made if necessary. But he (Malaysian minister) does not want to give the final decision yet. I believe, with the responsibility he (Malaysian minister) talked about, we will get something good."
Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed did not respond to questions on increasing the number of recruiting agencies to send workers to Malaysia.
"I will take this opportunity to update the Bangladesh government on two things. One is the worker relaxation plan - we will speed up the process (hiring) and the Malaysian govt commits to reduce the migration cost," said Malaysian Home Minister Saifuddin Nasusan Ismail while talking to reporters after the meeting.
"Another issue is the recalibration programme," he said adding that "There are many illegal workers in Malaysia. They are being legalised through a process. This programme has started from 27 January. I would like to inform that 55% of the legalisation we have approved in a week were Bangladeshi workers."
"We have reduced the approval time. Previously it used to take 20-30 days. Now approval is given in 2-3 days. This is a major policy change," he further added.
Bangladesh and Malaysia on 19 December, 2021 signed a MoU on the employment of Bangladeshi workers in the southeast Asian country.
However, the MoU was widely criticised by the recruiting agencies and other stakeholders for allowing a limited number of agencies to send workers.
The Bangladesh government fixed the migration cost around Tk79,000. However, workers are forced to pay Tk3-4 lakh to the agencies, according to the various allegations from the stakeholders.
Currently, only 100 Bangladeshi agencies are allowed to send workers where the registered number is more than 1500.
Around 70,000 Bangladeshi workers have migrated to Malaysia till last January after the signing MoU in December 2021.