BOESL holds reception for workers

Abu Sufian

Citizen Voice Desk

Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL) has organized reception for workers on Wednesday at Bijoy Ekattor Hall, Prabashi Kalyan Bhaban, Eskaton Garden, Romna in Dhaka.

On the occasion of national expatriate day and service week-2023, Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited organized this reception while Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, senior secretary, Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment, was present in the program as the chief guest.

Saleh Ahmed Mujaffor, Director (grade-2), Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training and Md. Hamidur Rahman, (additional secretary) director general, wage earner welfare board, were present in the program as the special guest.

Dr. Mallick Anwar Hossain, (additional secretary), managing director, Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited presided over the program.

The 103rd batch of Bangladeshi workers, recruited under the government management, left Dhaka for Malaysia on Wednesday from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

The workers, being sent under the management of the government organisation Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL), will work in the plantation sector.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen and BOESL Managing Director Dr. Mallick Anwar Hossain bid farewell to the workers at the airport.

While speaking about sending the batch of workers, Dr. Mallick Anwar Hossain said the total cost of migration will be borne by the hiring company.

“The workers will go to Malaysia at no cost. Even the expenses incurred in the Bangladesh part are also paid by the company,” he said.

“We are sending them. We got a demand of about 1000 workers. If we receive further demand, we will send more workers,” he added.

Sources at BOESL said that although there is a demand for 1000 workers, initially a small number of workers will go to Malaysia in three phases over three consecutive days.

According to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed it that about 10,000 workers will be sent from Bangladesh to different sectors of Malaysia through BOESL under the Special One-Off Recruitment Project.

Bangladesh has already received a demand of about 1000 workers from six companies. Some 700 aspirant workers have been prepared by collecting a list of workers through random selection from the Bureau of Manpower,

Employment, and Training (BMET) database and through job fairs in various districts. Under the Special One-Off Recruitment Project, the cost of sending workers through BOESL is around Tk 46,000.

BOESL has received a demand for 550 workers from United Plantation (UP), one of Malaysia’s largest plantation companies. All expenses related to travel to Malaysia are borne by the company. The selected workers are going to Malaysia through BOESL at no cost.

Earlier last September, Deputy Secretary-General (Operation) at Malaysia’s Ministry of Human Resources, Khair Razman Mohamed Annuar said in a statement that they will take workers under a government-to-government contract

as a one-time measure. This recruitment process has nothing to do with the already-appointed Bangladeshi recruiting agencies. The government agreed to the move, mainly to avoid the high immigration costs being encouraged by Malaysian employers.

Malaysia and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding on the recruitment of workers. Under that agreement, Bangladeshi workers started going to Malaysia on August 8 of this year.

Malaysia has started a new process to hire 10,000 Bangladeshi workers immediately through Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL) to meet the existing labor shortage in the country.

“The ministry of human resource Malaysia is implementing a one-off project for the recruitment of foreign workers from Bangladesh through government to government (G2G) cooperation,” said a letter from the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

“The fee payable at the source country is about RM2,100 per foreign worker, depending on the exchange rate at the time,” it added.

The country moved to the new one-off project as the existing recruitment process through the 25 private Bangladeshi agencies’ syndication has not been able to send sufficient numbers of workers, say stakeholders.

Banani Biswas, general manager (Overseas Employment), BOESL, told us, “Malaysian authorities have contacted us to recruit workers. As soon as we get the demand letter, we will start sending the workers.”

Previously, Malaysia allowed only 25 Bangladeshi agencies to hire workers from Bangladesh, which is widely known as syndication. Insiders say, another 25 agencies are in the process of securing permission to send workers.

The Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Saravanan said that overdependence on a small number of source countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia is the cause of delays in the entry of foreign labour into the country.

“The problem is that employers prefer to recruit only Indonesians and Bangladeshis because of the issues of language, religion, and so on,”

he said during the Human Resources Ministry’s Customer Meet Day press conference. However, industry insiders said that the syndication of only 25 recruiting agencies is the main reason for the slow hiring process of Bangladeshi workers.

They also blamed the Malaysian minister for his alleged involvement in the syndication that is now performing low.   “We signed the MoU with Malaysia last December.

Since then, only 1200 people have gone to Malaysia,” Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies’ (Baira) secretary general Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman said.

“The 25 agencies that are working are not performers. Most of them have never sent a large number of workers in the last 5-10 years, according to their business profiles.

According to the MoU signed in December 2021, five lakh people would migrate to Malaysia in five years. The deal opened the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers in all sectors including plantation, agriculture,

manufacturing, services, mining, construction and household services. Earlier, expat minister Imran Ahmed said that 2 lakh workers will go to Malaysia in a year.

Their minimum salary will be 1,500 Malaysian Ringgit per month and the migration cost will be around Tk79,000. However, in reality, the workers have to pay around Tk3.5 to 4 lakh as migration cost to private agencies.

Now, through the government arrangement, the migration cost would be Tk42,000, according to the MEF. Md Shahidul Alam, director general of Bureau of Manpower,

Employment and Training (BMET) told, “According to the MoU, there will be no conflict if people are sent outside the private agencies through BOESL.”

Malaysia halted hiring Bangladeshi workers for three years from 2018 for alleged high migration costs.  It was previously reported that over two million foreign workers returned home due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

which caused the ongoing labour shortage in Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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