Workers willing to migrate to Malaysia will be chosen from a database of information on labourers, so that middlemen cannot take advantage of them, said Imran Ahmed, minister for Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment.
"The Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment has taken an initiative to create a database of skilled and experienced workers who want to go abroad. The workers will be sent to Malaysia using this database, which in turn will help reduce the tyranny of middlemen," said Imran Ahmed on Friday at a press conference organised by the ministry on the occasion of International Migrants Day.
The Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) is setting up the database. BMET Director General Md Shahidul Alam told TBS that workers must register first at the database to migrate to Malaysia and other countries.
Organisations and recruiting agencies from any part of the world will be able to select workers from this comprehensive and informative database according to their needs, so the middlemen will not be able to exploit the workers during the process of selection.
Bangladesh will sign a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia on 19 December this year for reopening the Malaysian labour market, which has remained closed for almost three years for Bangladeshi workers, said the expatriates' welfare minister at yesterday's briefing.
Commenting on syndicates of recruiting agencies and fraudulent activities of middlemen, the minister said, "I am not in favor of any syndicate. We hear allegations that someone is embezzling and stealing money. My name also comes up in this rumour. This kind of rumour is used to make the whole process controversial."
He urged people not to pay heed to any rumour regarding the migration process.
Regarding the suffering of the migrant workers caused by high airfare and other issues, Imran Ahmed said, "Our ministry has not caused any suffering for them."
He told the newsmen to ask the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, Department of Immigration and Passports and Biman Bangladesh Airlines about mismanagement of the airport and high fares.
He said, "I am tired of raising my voice and sending letters regarding these issues."
Asked about the expatriate workers who could not renew their passports by applying through the Bangladesh embassies in Oman and other countries, the minister said they should lodge complaints regarding the matter.
He further said action would be taken if the ministry received complaints from the workers who alleged that they were charged several times more the actual cost fixed by the ministry for migrating to Saudi Arabia.