Kathmandu, January 8
The Malaysian government has said that it will finalise all the preparations to hire Nepali migrant workers within two months.
According to Malaysian Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Mahfuz Omar, they are waiting for the final report of the Independent Foreign Workers Committee, which was formed to suggest the government the method that needs to be adopted to bring foreign workers.
The Sun Daily, a reputed national daily in Malaysia, has reported that a full report on hiring foreign workers, especially the issue of Nepali workers, will be ready in two months. The report is still at the discussion stage and any decision depends on the committee’s report.
“Any suggestion or policy regarding foreign workers will be based on recommendations made by the committee,” Omar said. Omar further said that these issues will be resolved once the report is ready, but the government is committed to solving any issue related to foreign workers that crops up in the meantime.
In May last year, government had temporarily halted sending labourers to Malaysia as workers were being charged excessive fees for related services by private companies, namely Immigration Security Clearance and One Stop Centre.
Following the development, the government launched a crackdown on various institutions collecting extra fees from migrant workers as it was against the government policy.
Meanwhile, Mahesh Prasad Dahal, secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS), said that the two governments are working together to open the Malaysian labour market for Nepali migrants.
According to Dahal, the government has planned to publish a notice for interested firms to operate a medical centre and visa centre for Malaysia-bound migrant workers. “The Malaysian government has said they will soon finalise their standards for hiring migrant workers and the process to send Nepali migrant workers to Malaysia will soon resume after necessary standards are prepared and the medical centre and visa centre have been established.
The process to send Nepali workers to Malaysia was put on hold as several companies from Nepal and Malaysia are under investigation as the workers could not process their visas via the companies.
“The decision to open the Malaysian market for Nepali migrants has been delayed because there are some existing companies dealing with visa process and health check-up lobbying with the concerned authorities to be reinstated,” a source at MoLESS said on condition of anonymity.
On October 29 last year, Nepal and Malaysia had signed a bilateral labour pact. The memorandum of understanding states that the employer firms in Malaysia will have to bear recruitment service charges, two-way airfare, visa fee, health check-up fee, security screening and levy charges, among others. Nepal-Malaysia technical committee is expected to clear groundwork, including other legal documents on these provisions soon.
A version of this article appears in print on January 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.