A section of manpower recruiters, supporting the 25-agency syndicate, has urged the government to take initiatives to reopen the Malaysian labour market as soon as possible.
It is not an important issue whether a limited number of agencies or unlimited ones will be involved in the process, but the opening of the Malaysian labour market is, members of Baira Sammilito Ganotantrik Jote said at a views exchange programme at Hotel Sonargaon in the capital on Tuesday.
The chief guest of the programme Anisul Islam Mahmud, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on expatriate welfare and overseas employment ministry, however, appreciated the position of the expatriate welfare ministry against the syndication.
"We don't want the labour market to be closed further like 2018 if corruption takes place in sending workers due to syndication. We have to look after our interests as Malaysia will see their part."
He urged the recruiters not to be divided as the labour market may close again as a consequence of division.
Now sending workers by reopening the market should be our top priority, he added.
The Malaysian labour market remains inaccessible for Bangladeshi workers due to the complications arising from the syndication of 25 Bangladeshi agencies.
The standoff, allegedly prompted by recruiting syndicates, has been persisting for around five months since Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur inked a manpower deal.
Subsequently, Malaysia said it will only allow manpower import from Bangladesh by 25 Bangladeshi agents selected by the Malaysian authorities. But Dhaka opposed the step and instead wanted all recruiters to be allowed to send workers to Malaysia.
Malaysia's door to Bangladesh workers has been closed since 2018, following syndicated manpower export by 10 Bangladeshi agencies since 2015. The majority of the local recruiters claim that the same group is now actively lobbying both at home and abroad so that Dhaka eventually agrees with Kuala Lumpur's proposal.
A joint working group meeting will be held on 2 June to assess further progress on the issue.
Ruhul Amin Shapan, panel head, Baira Sammilito Ganotantrik Jote said that Bangladesh may lose the market if it remains indecisive.