Malaysian government has 15 source countries for foreign workers, says Sivakumar – Comments by Andy Hall
In response to a recent report, with comments made by migrant rights activist Andy Hall, the Malaysian government has released a media statement.
PETALING JAYA: The choice to hire foreign workers is made by employers, although the government prioritizes local workers in principle, says Human Resources Minister of Malaysia, V. Sivakumar
Commenting on a recent news portal report about foreign workers from Bangladesh, he said employers would decide the selection of workers and source country based on their suitability to the nature of a particular industry.
“The employment is subject to demand from employers… (and) based on criteria determined by the government.
“There will be no interference from the government on this process. To date, Malaysia has 14 other source countries besides Bangladesh for employers to choose from in employing foreign workers.
“As a trading nation, the government acknowledges the contribution of foreign workers in helping the growth and development of the nation’s economy,” he said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 21).
Sivakumar pointed out that there was a misunderstanding of the recruitment process and quota allocation for workers from that country.
As such, he said the ministry wanted to clear this up as it negatively impacted the employment procedures and process.
Andy Hall said that more than 300,000 Bangladeshis had entered Malaysia in less than two years
Sivakumar stressed that the authorities do not tolerate human suffering, with no compromise made regarding workers’ rights and welfare.
In the report, migrant rights activist Andy Hall said a worrying number of Bangladeshi workers were left high and dry upon arrival in Malaysia.
Hall said that more than 300,000 Bangladeshis had entered Malaysia in less than two years, with many trapped in “modern slavery” due to debt bondage brought about by excessive recruitment costs.
Hall said Bangladeshi workers paid more than US$6,000 (RM28,140) per person, with recruitment costs paid by other foreign nationals also rising sharply.
He claimed that the issue of Bangladeshi workers being brought in by syndicates and not getting work still needed to be resolved.
According to Bangladeshi news reports, the country recorded its highest monthly labour export in August, with more than 138,600 workers leaving the country, 46,105 of them to Malaysia.
Media Statement – Malaysian Government – Ministry of Human Resources Addresses Misconceptions About Migrant Workers From Bangladesh
In response to Andy Hall’s Comments:
FMT: Employers, not govt, decide on source countries of workers, says minister of Malaysian government
V Sivakumar says employers determine the selection of workers and their source countries based on their suitability.
PETALING JAYA: The government plays no part in deciding the source countries of foreign workers recruited to work in Malaysia, says human resources minister V Sivakumar.
Commenting on a news report on foreign workers from Bangladesh, Sivakumar said that “there seems to be a misunderstanding” regarding the recruitment process and the allocation of quotas for foreign workers from Bangladesh.
In a statement, he said that the employment of foreign workers in Malaysia is subject to demand from employers and is based on criteria determined by the government according to the needs of various sectors.
“The ministry would like to clarify the misconceptions surrounding the employment of foreign workers as it reflects negatively (on the) processes and procedures,” said Sivakumar.
“Employers determine the selection of workers and their source countries based on their suitability in adapting to the nature of work in their respective industries.
“There will be no interference from the government in this process. Malaysia has 14 other source countries, aside from Bangladesh, for employers to choose in employing foreign workers.”
Stressing that the government acknowledged the contribution of foreign workers in Malaysia’s economic development, Sivakumar said the human resources ministry firmly upholds the principle that “human suffering should not be tolerated or compromised”, particularly with regard to foreign workers’ rights and welfare.
In an FMT report yesterday, migrant rights activist Andy Hall expressed concern about the rapid pace at which Bangladeshi workers were coming into Malaysia, claiming that many were unable to find jobs after being brought to the country by syndicates.
He said Bangladeshi migrants were paying more than US$6,000 (RM28,140) per person in recruitment costs, adding that the high recruitment costs resulted in many of these workers ending up in “acute modern slavery situations” due to debt bondage.
A Bangladeshi newspaper, Bangladeshi Business Standard, reported that more than 300,000 Bangladeshi workers had come into Malaysia since the labour market re-opened in December 2021.
Quoting the country’s bureau of manpower, employment and training, the newspaper also said that another 120,000 workers from the country are in the process of travelling to Malaysia.