Do we really need 1.5m Bangladeshi workers?

NGOs: Do we really need 1.5m Bangladeshi workers?

Non-governmental organisations (NGO) that protect migrants have once again questioned the need to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers into Malaysia.

Commenting on the Bangladesh cabinet’s approval of a draft deal between Bangladesh and Malaysia that will allow 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers into Malaysia, Tenaganita programme director Aegile Fernandez believes that taking these workers was nothing more than corruption taking place.

Instead of taking these workers, Fernandez is of the opinion that the Malaysian government should instead document existing undocumented workers in the country.

“There’s already a large number of undocumented workers. They already have skills, (so) document them,” Fernandez (photo) told Malaysiakini.

These workers, she said, had become undocumented due to the 6P and 3P programmes for migrant workers.

“Many undocumented migrants had given money to middlemen,” she added.

The government should therefore rectify these mistakes first before agreeing to bring in more Bangladeshi workers into the country.

“Document them first and then do an analysis on whether there is a need to have more workers,” she said.

The country, said Fernandez, has approximately 5.2 million migrants but only around 2.4 million are documented while the rest continue to remain undocumented.

Bangladeshi cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam was yesterday quoted by news portal bdnews24.com as saying that the memorandum of understanding on the agreement between the countries will be signed within a month.

The workers will enter Malaysia under the G2G (government-to-government) Plus scheme which allows them employment in construction, service, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

Currently, Bangladeshi workers are only hired in the plantation sector.

Lead to negative implications

Meanwhile, Migrant Care Malaysia country director Alex Ong pointed out that having too many workers might not be as productive to the country’s economy.

This, he said, is apart from creating undesired social ills that will lead to negative implications.

NGOs: Do we really need 1.5m Bangladeshi workers?
10 Feb 2016 – Malaysiakini


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