Nepal, Malaysia ink labour supply MoU

Kathmandu, October 29

The government today signed a memorandum of understanding on recruitment, employment and repatriation of workers with the Malaysian government.

Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista and Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran signed the MoU in the capital today.

“This is a historical moment and a positive development for Nepali migrant workers. We will sign pacts with other labour destinations soon,” said Minister Bista.

As per the agreement, employer companies will bear recruitment service charges, two-way airfare, visa fee, health check-up, security screening and levy charges, among others. According to the MoU, from now on, Malaysian firms will pay the salaries of workers through banking channel and will have to deposit wages on the seventh day of the month. The employer firms will also have to bear all expenses related to accommodation, health check-up and security, among others, during the contract period. The contract period, which used to be three years has now been reduced to two years, as per the MoU.

If an immediate family member of a worker dies in Nepal, the company will have to allow the worker to return home on leave not exceeding 15 days.

As per the agreement, the Malaysian government will provide equal treatment to Nepali migrant workers with regard to health insurance, accident insurance, security and other accidents. Likewise, if a company goes bankrupt or puts undue pressure on workers then workers have the right to change jobs, as per the pact.

Speaking at the press conference, Kulasegaran said the Malaysian government would follow the norms and guideline of the International Labour Organisation for all foreign workers. “Our government is committed to providing all the basic facilities and following the norms enshrined in the ILO convention,” he added.

He further said that from now on, Malaysia would only recruit foreign workers through Malaysian Recruitment Agency.

The supply of Nepali workers to Malaysia has been halted since May after Nepal government cracked down on illegal companies that had been levying additional charges on Nepali migrant workers. However, Nepali workers will now be able to go to Malaysia at zero cost.

After signing the MoU, both governments formed a joint working group led by joint secretaries of their respective ministries. The team will fix the date for restarting labour supply to Malaysia, which might take a couple of weeks.

Final chance for illegal workers

Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran has said the Malaysian government is giving illegal workers in Malaysia a final chance to either leave the country or come through the legal channel. “We have already provided three chances earlier and this is the last chance for foreign workers to either leave or become legal workers,” he added. “If foreign workers fail to do so, we will initiate action against them.”