Nepal | July 19, 2019

Work permit for Malaysia unlikely prior to bilateral labour agreement

Sujan Dhungana

Kathmandu, June 24

The government is unlikely to resume issuance of work permits to Malaysia-bound Nepali migrant workers — which has been halted for more than one month — before a labour agreement is signed with the Southeast Asian nation.

Following the Malaysian government’s decision to close Immigration Security Clearance and One Stop Centre for Nepali migrant workers on May 21 as its operators face government action for levying additional charges, Nepali migrant labourers have been barred from obtaining work permit to Malaysia, a popular labour destination for Nepalis.

This obstruction of Malaysia-bound Nepali workers is unlikely to be resolved any time soon as the government seems to be in no mood to send Nepali workers to Malaysia until a bilateral labour pact is signed with the Malaysian government.

Nepal has till date signed labour agreements with South Korea, Bahrain, Qatar, Japan and Jordan.

Similarly, the government will be signing such agreements with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates soon.

“Sooner or later, we should sign a labour agreement with Malaysia as it is crucial to ensure the rights and safety of Nepali workers. Both countries should work together to make this happen as soon as possible,” said Bhuwan Prasad Acharya, director general of the Department of Foreign Employment.

As Malaysia is a popular destination for Nepali workers, the two governments have been discussing signing a bilateral labour pact since long. Although the two governments have already shared the draft of the labour agreement, no concrete decision has been taken so far.

Despite the fact that Malaysia happens to be a very popular destination for Nepali migrants, issues related to low payment and security and safety of workers there have been matters of concern over the years. The government aims to ensure good pay and work security for Nepali workers with a labour agreement.

Nepali workers have time and again claimed they are not paid as per the agreement with Malaysian employers.

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A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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