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Dhaka, Kuala Lumpur in talks over Bangladeshi workers’ return to Malaysia

  • Published at 11:06 pm November 2nd, 2020
Masud Bin Momen Foreign Secretary
Photo of Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen Collected

A group of workers who wish to return to Malaysia gathered in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Monday said Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur are in discussions over the return of Bangladeshi workers stuck in their home country due to the Covid-19 pandemic to their workplaces in Malaysia.

Currently, the entry of foreign workers to Malaysia remains restricted due to the coronavirus.

A significant number of Bangladeshi workers returned home on vacation before the pandemic and they could not go back to their workplaces due the coronavirus outbreak and their visas, in some cases, expired.

A group of workers who wish to return to Malaysia gathered in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday and described their suffering to the foreign secretary.

Momen informed the workers about the restrictions imposed on the entry of foreign workers in Malaysia right now.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the Malaysian government to consider their issues on a priority basis once the Covid-19 situation improves and new recruitment restarts.

Also Read -  Malaysia returnees protest in front of Foreign Ministry demanding return

In response, the Malaysian side assured Bangladesh of allowing Bangladeshi workers entry to Malaysia upon approval from employers, even if their visas have expired, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment are working together to ensure financial compensation for the workers.

Dhaka says it remains aware of the workers’ welfare needs and demands.

Meanwhile, the government urged the workers to be careful about the collective image of the workers who are working in various countries and encouraged them to avoid anything that can be damaging to them.

Representatives of the workers expressed satisfaction with the assurances that came from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and hoped that their problems would soon be resolved.

Malaysia is one of the most popular destinations for Bangladeshi workers. As many as 1,057,056 Bangladeshis have found work in Malaysia between 1976 and 2019, according to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). 

Last year, Bangladeshis in Malaysia remitted $1.28 billion.

Bangladesh is the second-largest trading partner for Malaysia in South Asia, after India. In 2018-19, export to Malaysia amounted to $277.23 million with an impressive growth of 19.3%, according to Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia.

Major export items to Malaysia include readymade garments, vegetables, potatoes, cereals, fruit juice, fish and crustaceans, footwear, pharmaceuticals, plastics, tea and spices.