Dhaka (The Daily Star/ANN) - The Bangladesh government has moved one step forward in sending workers to Malaysia under state arrangements that will cost job seekers a maximum of 40,000 taka (US$492.13) each to get a job in the country.
Every six months, 50,000 workers will go to Malaysia under the arrangements, Bangladesh Cabinet Secretary M. Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said after the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday.
The meeting approved a proposal for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Employment of Workers' with Malaysia.
The MoU is likely to be signed on November 9 in Kuala Lumpur after endorsement from the cabinet of Malaysia that resumes recruitment in a few months under the arrangements, ending a nearly four-year ban.
Earlier in 2006, the Bangladesh government fixed the cost at 84,000 taka each for jobs in Malaysia.
But the jobseekers had to spend around 200,000 taka each due to the corrupt practices of private recruiting agencies and brokers. And this led to labour exploitation and the ban on recruitment in 2009.
The cabinet secretary said a total of 500,000 workers would be sent to Malaysia in the next five years. Later, their job contracts can be extended if the two sides agree.
The minimum salary of a worker will not be less than 900 ringgit ($295) which stands at 25,000 taka. Under the MoU, Musharraf said, the workers will work eight hours a day and enjoy a one-day holiday a week.
The owner of the Malaysian company will bear the air fare of a worker, he said, adding that all financial transactions would be made through banks so that no scope of cheating arose.
Primarily, the job contract will be for a period of two years. Later, it will be renewed for another two years and finally for one year. Each renewal will be made three months prior to the expiry of the contract so that the workers are not harassed.
Besides, the workers will be insured against accidents or illness, the cabinet secretary said.
Musharraf said Malaysian government officials will be present at the Malaysian airports to receive Bangladeshi workers, and to ensure that they are not harassed.
He said the Bangladesh government will prepare a database of potential workers so that it could train them and provide them with orientation on Malaysian laws, culture and language.
There will be a joint working committee that will implement the MoU. If any problem arises, the committee will give its suggestions, and the two governments will implement them through mutual understanding, he added.
Necessary assistance of information technology will be taken in recruiting workers, and district and women quota will be maintained in this regard, he said, adding that the intended workers could even register for their jobs from home or by using union level e-service centre.
Before being sent to Malaysia, the workers will be given 10 days' training by Bangladesh's Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET). BMET will do visa processing and ticket collection while IOM will conduct medical check-up of the workers, the cabinet secretary said.
Primarily, the workers will be sent mostly for agricultural, construction and plantation works, he added.
Earlier on September 13, the government discussed elaborately the signing of the MoU with Malaysian Human Resources Minister Dr S. Subramaniam in the capital.
*US$1= 81.28 taka