National Association of Private Employment Agencies Malaysia (Papsma) has urged the Malaysian government to not limit the number of recruitment agencies in Bangladesh for the entry of Bangladeshi workers there.
It has called for including all the members of Baira (Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agents) in the process of recruitment.
Besides, Papsma President Megat Fairouz Junaidi said in a statement his group would like to request the government not to delay the entry process of Bangladeshi workers anymore as they are now ready with their skills and work experiences along with adaptive skills, Malaysiakini reported on Monday.
"Papasma does not want Malaysia to return to the era from 2015 to 2017 when only 10 Bangladeshi employment agencies were selected," Megat Fairouz said.
It caused many issues and problems until the Malaysian government banned the entry of Bangladeshi workers into the country in 2017, he added.
"Papsma does not understand why only Bangladesh needs special agencies for its workers' employment compared to all other source countries even though Bangladesh was chosen to be in the category of source countries in Malaysia over the past few years," said the Papsma president.
On Friday, Human Resources Minister M Saravanan said the Malaysian cabinet would make a final decision on the number of Bangladeshi recruitment agencies permitted to send their citizens as workers there.
Saravanan said Malaysia was in dire need of workers while Bangladesh had an excess number of workers to send.
So it was beneficial to expedite the process after resolving all outstanding matters, he added.
Baira former secretary-general Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury confirmed that Baira's members had reiterated their call for an 'open market' as practised with 13 other countries sending migrant workers to Malaysia.
Both countries signed a memorandum of agreement last December to lift the embargo on labour supply from Bangladesh to Malaysia for all sectors but the recruitment process is still pending.
The ban was imposed by the Pakatan Harapan government in September 2018.
However, according to Megat Fairouz, some of the issues identified in the era from 2015 to 2017 were as follows:
1) Bangladeshi workers were charged up to RM20,000, which is a high cost, for entry into Malaysia even though the government and workers were initially told that the cost would be cheap and low.
The Bangladeshi agencies involved in sending them there reaped such high profits, and when the migrant workers arrived in Malaysia they absconded from their legitimate employers as they could not afford to pay the loans they took for coming to Malaysia.
As a result, many employers had to pay the levy costs and other obligatory expenses and finally suffer huge losses.
2) These selected agencies collected money from the migrant workers to meet the needs of certain dignitaries to lobby in the business of sending workers there.