Manpower recruiters have reiterated their demand for opening the Malaysian labour market for all legal agencies in line with the Competition Act and not allowing any syndicate to monopolise sending workers.
They protested against the decision to allow a 25-agency syndicate to send workers to Malaysia at a press conference on Tuesday in the capital.
The 'Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) Syndicate Birodhi Mohajote' claimed that the Malaysian labour market is yet to reopen for Bangladesh because of the mismanagement of the syndicate despite an MoU signed last year.
Former Baira president Abul Bashar said, "Malaysia hires migrant workers from 13 different countries without any syndicate. So, it will be quite disrespectful if the syndication clause only applies to Bangladesh."
If a limited number of recruiting agencies are allowed to work, labour migration will slow down and hundreds of agencies will be deprived of their fair share, he added.
Besides, irregularities, corruption and immigration costs will see a sharp rise, noted Bashar.
They demanded that labour migration should be done openly and transparently.
Malaysia's door to Bangladesh workers has been closed since 2018, following syndicated manpower export by 10 Bangladeshi agencies since 2015. Local recruiters claim the same group is now actively lobbying both at home and abroad so that Dhaka eventually agrees with Kuala Lumpur's proposal.
Under the agreement signed in 2015, Malaysia hired 2.75 lakh workers through only 10 recruiting agencies of Bangladesh under the 'G2G Plus' system in only one and half years, although Bangladesh was supposed to send 15 lakh workers in five years.
On Tuesday, the Mohajote announced arranging a roundtable discussion with stakeholders at Hotel Sheraton at Banani on 16 May and a rally on 26 May.
Besides, they submitted a memorandum to the home affairs minister, foreign affairs minister and expatriate welfare minister on Tuesday and will submit a memorandum to the prime minister on Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, the recruiters could not hold their pre-scheduled programmes in front of the National Press Club due to obstruction by the police and later they held a press conference inside the press club.
A debate over syndication in labour recruitment for Malaysia is currently ongoing, especially after Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur signed an MoU in this regard on 19 December last year.
At the heart of the debate is the syndicate of 25 Bangladeshi agents and 250 sub-agents (selected by 25 agencies) to send workers mentioned by Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Saravanan in a letter to Bangladesh Expatriates' Welfare Minister Imran Ahmad on 14 January.
Responding to the letter, Imran Ahmed sent a letter to the Malaysian government on 18 January, reiterating the ministry's position against any sort of syndication in manpower export to Malaysia, which was lauded by Bangladeshi recruiters.
Malaysia reopened its labour market through the MoU after three years of halt since 2018.