Bangladeshi workers likely to head for Malaysia in Feb

The first batch of Bangladeshi workers, under the Government-to-Government (G2G) Plus initiative, is likely to be sent to Malaysia either later this month or early next month, according to sources.
Officials of authorised recruiting agencies said they would start sending recruitment files to Malaysian employers from next week and hope to get calling visas from them against their demand letters.
They hoped that they would be able to send the first batch of workers to Malaysia later this month, or early next month, after completion of the whole process including bio-medical tests.
The additional secretary (admin) of the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment, Jabed Ahmed, told The Independent that the process to send the first batch of workers is on. “We expect the minister to formally set in motion the opening of the labour market to Malaysia under the G2G Plus agreement later this month after his arrival from Australia,” he added.
He also said the minister is expected to return home after the third week of this month.
Replying to a question, Jabed Ahmed said Bangladesh has so far received about 8,000 demand letters from Malaysian employers to recruit workers in construction, plantation, and manufacturing and service sectors.
Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) president Benjir Ahmed said no exact date has been fixed to send the first batch of workers. After having recruitment approval from the government, the workers are now going through bio-medical tests.
The process to send them to Kuala Lumpur will start after getting calling visas from employers, he added.
Sheikh Abdullah, owner of Shanjari Travels and Tours, said he has got about 500 demand letters and is now completing bio-medical tests of the workers. “I think we will be able to send recruitment files to Malaysian employers from next week,” he added.
He also said the flight schedule of workers will be drawn up after calling visas from the employers are received.
Sources said the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment has received about 8,000 demand letters and has given approval for recruitment of about 5,500 workers.
A total of 10 recruiting agencies approved by the Malaysian government are carrying out the process to send workers under the G2G Plus scheme on a pilot basis. The Malaysian labour market had been closed for Bangladeshi workers for about eight years.
The Malaysian authorities selected the 10 agencies from a list of 957 the government sent to Kuala Lumpur in two phases, said the sources.
The approved recruiting agencies are: Amin Tours and Travels, Unique Eastern Private Ltd, Career Overseas Resources, ISMT Human Resources, Shanjari Travels and Tours, Rabbi International, Catharsis International Recruiting Agency, Passage Associates, Al Islam Overseas and Prantik Tourism.
In the middle of January, Malaysian employers started issuing demand letters to the Bangladesh high commission in Kuala Lumpur to hire Bangladeshi workers under the G2G Plus agreement.
The Malaysian government had stopped hiring Bangladeshi workers in 2009 after experiencing the entry of a large number of illegal workers between 2007 and 2008.
On February 18 last year, the two countries signed the G2G Plus deal, involving the recruiting agencies for selecting and sending workers to Malaysia in five sectors to avoid malpractices.