National

Malaysia job: Deal fails to resume worker flow

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Dec 9, 2018-

Even as pressure builds on the government to resume movement of Nepalis to work in Malaysia without further delay, officials say it will take more time as both the countries are working for implementation of a bilateral deal.

Nepal and Malaysia signed a much-awaited labour agreement on October 29. This was expected to resume departures of Nepali workers for Malaysia, which has been halted since mid-May. However, there has been no significant progress towards that end.

Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista told the Post that the government was working to complete the process so that Nepalis can work in Malaysia again.

“The labour deal with Malaysia was signed after years. We need to work for putting the agreement into practice. There is still some work to be done before we allow workers to migrate to Malaysia,” said Minister Bista.

According to him, joint working committees are thrashing out issues. The delay in resuming worker departures for Malaysia five weeks after signing the labour pact has irked recruiting agencies as well as political leaders from the opposition Nepali Congress.

Senior NC leader Shekhar Koirala wrote on Facebook recently that it was unfortunate that the government had intended to delay the sending of workers to Malaysia.

Recruiting agencies have said that any further delay in allowing Nepalis to take up jobs in Malaysia could result in the country losing its biggest labour destination.  

Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies--the umbrella organisation of recruiting agencies--has frequently criticised the government for not making the necessary preparations.

The recruiting agencies recently met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and urged the government to clear the hurdles on the way to Malaysia.

“Until there are enough employment opportunities in the country, Nepal should not lose its biggest labour market. Failure to resume departures for Malaysia more than a month after the labour deal will send a negative signal to other labour host countries in the Gulf as well,” NAFEA President Rohan Gurung said in a memorandum submitted to the PM.

The labour minister said the government needs to finalise the mechanism necessary for sending out Nepali workers which has resulted in the unwanted delay.

After the government scrapped various fees imposed on Nepali workers by different agencies in a syndicate, charges of fraud have been filed against the operators of those agencies.

“Cases are still pending at the court against these agencies. The Malaysian government has said it will review the existing mechanisms,” said minister Bista.

“We’ll allow no syndicate any more. Also, we cannot hurry and resume worker departures just because some groups of people want it. The government has to ensure the larger interest of workers.”

Published: 09-12-2018 07:16

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