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Fighting Syndicate: Recruiters urged to stop sending workers to M’sia

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Nepali migrants going to Malaysia for jobs are forced to pay up to Rs 35,000 in pre-departure service, including health check-up

Sep 23, 2016-The Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (Nafea) has urged the recruiting agencies to stop sending migrant workers to Malaysia to protest the labour receiving country’s syndicate over the over the paid services that Nepali migrants are supposed to get before leaving for the work destinations.

Nepali migrants going to work in Malaysia are now paying up to Rs 35,000 in pre-

departure service including visa processing and health check-ups depending on the nature of jobs, while they used to pay just around Rs 3300 earlier. A large chunk of that money goes to the Malaysia based outsourcing agents operating against

the laws.

“The situation is such that workers are compelled to pay more than Rs 10,000 just to submit the passport. There are three outsourcing agents to process the visas,” said former Nafea Chairman Bal Bahadur Tamang.

Besides this, the workers have to pay additional charges for work permit, insurance coverage and service charges to the recruiting agencies, training centre.

Five Malaysia companies have absolute control over the control over the pre-departure services from the local companies who were providing service with little charge. Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd was the first Malaysian agent to enter Nepal with a visa processing duty at the Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu. Visa processing fee for Malaysia rocketed from Rs700 to Rs3, 900 after its arrival in November 2013. It is working in partnership with the Hong Kong-based Ultratech (HK) Limited and Malaysia VLN Nepal, a company based in Nepal.

Last year, Malaysia introduced two more agents in Nepal under the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS) and biometric health check-ups. Though the Bestinet Sdn Bhd had assured that it would conduct health check-up at usual fees, it started charging Rs7, 700 from each migrant through two different agents. Earlier, migrants used to pay Rs2, 625 for the purpose.

Nafea representatives told the Post that the association has urged the concerned agencies to stop applying new visa application. However, some agencies are reportedly

applying for new visa ignoring the Nafea’s call.

The government has been turning blind eyes to what the agencies call “economic exploitation” of the Malaysian government.  The recruiting agencies claim some influential leaders and top bureaucrats are defending these agents due to their own business interests. Many sub-agents appointed by the Malaysian firms are owned by relatives of politicians including former ministers.

Last week, Govinda Mani Bhurtel, spokesperson of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, said that the government has been making efforts to urge Malaysian government to scrap the system. He said that the government was talking with Malaysian government through diplomatic channels.

Nafea’s move is likely to cause further decline in number of migrants going to Malaysia. Fewer Nepali migrants are now taking jobs in Malaysia due to the increasing associated migration cost. Only 60,979 Nepalis took jobs in Malaysia in 2015-16, a sharp come down from 202,828 a

year earlier.

Published: 23-09-2016 09:13

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