New hope of labour market

Concerted efforts needed to prevent formation of syndicates

Published : 25 Jan 2022 09:51 PM

Coronavirus pandemic has grappled the world with its vicious arms and is affecting every sphere of life. From people’s lives to their livelihood, it has wreaked havoc everywhere. 

A new hope has ushered with the announcement of reopening Malaysia’s labour market for Bangladesh followed by the signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries. Malaysia is reopening its labour market that had remained suspended for three years for Bangladesh over allegations of malpractices in the recruitment process and high recruitment costs.

However, it is feared that a syndicate of agents is being formed yet again for labour recruitment to Malaysia which would create scope for labour exploitation and obstruct the revival of labour market in Malaysia. It is the responsibility of the Malaysian government to ensure that no syndicate is formed as they will be choosing the recruiting agencies. The recruiting procedure of Bangladeshi workers of Malaysia has always been flawed since the beginning, including the G2G Plus agreement in 2016.

This pandemic somehow has provided an 

opportunity to address gaps and loopholes 

within the migration  governance

Orientation and counselling for the reintegration of migrant workers are needed with one-time cash payments, certification of skills through RPLs for their employment at home and abroad, and financial, technical, and other facilities would be ensured. More initiatives should be taken for the expatriates, including training and counselling. Not just the government but non-governmental organisations should also come forward and work together prioritizing the overall welfare of the expatriates.

Once the pandemic will over, the trends for migration, overseas employments and remittance may change its pattern and nature due to overwhelming the economic crisis. 

This pandemic somehow has provided an opportunity to government to address gaps and loopholes within the migration governance and management and act accordingly to mitigate the impacts of COVID 19. Though government has taken a number of initiatives to extend its support for migrants’ workers at destination country as well as in Bangladesh. However, to overcome the possible impact on employment, remittance inflow and cash circulations, the above-mentioned recommendations and points could give a clear pathway for government as well as private sectors, NGOs to take and consider short, medium and long-term measures to address the challenges.