BD, Malaysia JWG meeting deferred to Oct 2019

Bangladesh-Malaysia Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting scheduled to be held in Dhaka on Tuesday was deferred following a request from the members of Malaysian team.

However, the new schedule has not yet been fixed. It will be finalized later with the consent of Malaysian members. The meeting is likely to be held in next October this year.
Although the JWG’s Dhaka meeting was deferred, another bilateral meeting between Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister of Bangladesh Imran Ahmed and Human Resources Minister of Malaysia M Kulasegaran will be held at Putrajaya in Malaysia at the scheduled time of JWG meeting.
To hold the meeting with Malaysian Minister, a five-member Bangladesh delegation led by the Expatriate Welfare Minister will visit Kuala Lumpur from September 25 to 28 this year.
According to the officials, the delegation will finalize a draft of memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the procedures and terms of references (ToR) for recruiting Bangladeshi workers to the country.
The MoU will be signed later for sending Bangladeshi migrants there.
When contacted, Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed told this correspondent on Monday at his office that the meeting was deferred following Malaysian delegation’s request.
The last meeting of the JWG was held in Putrajaya this year. According to the provision, the next meeting of the JWG will be held in Bangladesh. But, they haven’t yet given a new schedule. It would be held in a convenient time later, he added.
Regarding Putrajaya visit of Bangladesh delegation, he said Bangladesh is ready for the visit. The delegation will start for Malaysia soon.
The bilateral meeting will finalize the draft of the MoU, which would be signed later. Following the ToR of the agreement, Bangladeshi migrants will be sent to the country for overseas employment.
“Once the agreement is signed and necessary mechanisms are finalized, Bangladesh will start sending migrants there following their requirements. We will send workers – skilled, semi-skilled and professional – following their demands,” he added.
According to the ministry sources, Director General of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training Selim Reza, ministry’s Additional Secretary Ahmed Munirus Salehin, Joint Secretary Fazlul Karim and Deputy Secretary Mohammad Abul Hossain will accompany the minister at the meeting as members of the delegation.
In last August, a Malaysian delegation held a series of meetings with the Bangladeshi officials concerned to finalize the draft of policies and guidelines on recruiting Bangladeshi workers.
The Malaysian government had suspended its previous recruitment system and announced a plan to stop hiring Bangladeshi workers under a new scheme last year.
According to the ministry officials, Malaysian government is not interested to hire foreign workers through any syndicate.
It wants a fair competition in hiring workers from Bangladesh through all approved recruiting agencies. The minister may give signal for ‘no syndication’ during his visit.
Malaysia offered Bangladesh to send more than 500,000 Bangladeshi nationals for different sectors in 2016.
The two countries had signed a memorandum of understanding in which Malaysia agreed to recruit workers from Bangladesh for five different sectors under the ‘government-to-government plus’ system.
Although the agreement was signed to send more than five lakh workers to the country in a year, Bangladesh could not send two lakh workers in two years due to a syndicate of 10 Bangladeshi recruiting agencies and its Malaysian agent.
But the Malaysian government said the whole process was ‘a total mess’ and it resulted in the migrant workers paying excessive amounts of money to middlemen in both countries.

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