Labour pact with Malaysia by September-end

Kathmandu, August 28

If things go as planned, the government will ink a labour pact with Malaysia within September.

As per Mahesh Prasad Dahal, secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS), the Malaysian minister of labour has been invited for the agreement signing ceremony next month.

However, both Nepali and Malaysian governments must finalise the draft of the labour agreement within the next few weeks to assure that the bilateral agreement on labour issues is signed between the two nations by September-end.

The Nepali government has returned the draft of the labour agreement sent by the Malaysian government after incorporating its inputs and suggestions. “In case the Malaysian government validates our inputs in the draft, we will come closer to signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia,” informed Dahal.

According to him, the two governments will ink an MoU to supply Nepali labour force to Malaysia through the business-to-business model, under which the private sector of the two countries will engage in hiring and supplying Nepali workers to Malaysia by fulfilling the mandates of the MoU signed between the two nations.

The supply of Nepali workers to Malaysia has been halted since May after the Nepal government cracked down on Immigration Security Clearance and One Stop Centre that had been levying additional charges on Nepali migrant workers. Since then, the government has not been issuing work permits to Nepali migrant workers aspiring to go to Malaysia.

Following the long halt in supply of Nepali workers to Malaysia, the two governments had geared up to sign an MoU on labour issues. Though Nepal had initially sought government-to-government level agreement on supply of labour from Nepal, the plan was found to be ‘infeasible' as a huge number of Nepali workers travel to Malaysia every year.

Though the government is reluctant to disclose the provisions of the draft MoU, based on which the two governments are expected to ink an agreement soon, officials of MoLESS said that the new agreement will be friendly to Nepali workers in Malaysia. The agreement will ensure that Nepali workers are paid better in Malaysia, treated fairly by employers, receive insurance and compensation from the employing firms in case of accidents during work, among others.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian employer will also have to ensure free visa and free ticket to Nepali workers, as mentioned in the draft.