Malaysia imposes training for job seekers

- Roshan Sedhai, Kathmandu
Malaysia imposes training for job seekers

Feb 16, 2015-

Malaysia has imposed a mandatory pre-departure training on Nepali security guards going to work in the Islamic kingdom.

Six Nepali firms, which have acquired exclusive training rights from Teleport sdn bhd, a Malaysian firm chosen to carry out the duty, started imparting the training last week despite the Nepal government’s “objection”.

The training will incur an extra financial burden of RM600 (Rs18,000) on aspiring workers.

Malaysia, the largest foreign job destination for Nepalis, hires around 5,000 security guards from Nepal every month. Nepalis are the only foreign nationals qualified to work in Malaysia as security guards.

In a letter sent earlier this month, Malaysia informed Nepal about the new requirement and enlisted the firms assigned to carry out the job in Nepal. Responding to the letter this week, the Nepali side objected to some of the issues and stressed that the employers themselves should bear the cost of such training.

“Malaysia is free to set selection criteria for security guards. But it’s up to us to determine who can provide training here and who cannot,” said Buddhi Bahadur Khadka, spokesman for the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Stakeholders in Nepal said there has been an organised attempt from the Malaysian side to impose a syndicate in the recruitment process of Nepali migrant workers.

Last month, Malaysia unsuccessfully tried to start biometric visa system from Nepal and Bangladesh. The system was suspended following widespread criticisms from within and outside the country. In November 2013, Malaysia increased visa processing fee from Rs700 to Rs3,900, outsourcing the job to a private firm named Malaysia VLN, Nepal.

Teleport sdn bhd, Malaysia’s prime contractor, has reportedly outsourced the service to Bir Gurkha Securities, Metro Security, Shikhar International Training Institute, Kathmandu Security Service, Valor International Nepal and Allied Security Service. Recruiting agencies have warned of halting security guard supply to Malaysia if the Southeast Asian country continues to “impose a syndicate in the recruitment of workers”.

Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies has said it opposes Malaysia’s direct presence here on any pretext. Kumud Khanal, NAFEA second chairman, said they would accept the system only if Malaysia complies with their three conditions.

“The employer should bear the cost, all training centres should be allowed to provide service and candidates from military and police backgrounds should be exempted from training,” said Khanal. He added that Malaysia had suspended the process but it could not be verified independently.

Khanal claimed that Malaysia was introducing yet another requirement--mandatory pre-departure orientation to workers. It is expected to cost an additional RM300.

Malaysia has not issued visas for security guards since January 7. The Malaysian Home Ministry expects that training provides employers access to highly qualified candidates. It is also expected to end the recruitment of persons from civilian background in the sector.

NAFEA officials say they are sending civilians in the security sector as very few former security personnel want to go to Malaysia due to low wages and high work pressure. Security guards earn RM1,450 working 11 hours a day, 28 days a month.

“Former Army and police personnel are going even to war torn countries such as Afghanistan as the pay is higher there,” said an official. Former Indian and British soldiers get better offers in Europe and India in private security sector.

Malaysia is home to an estimated 700,000 Nepali migrant workers.

 

Published: 17-02-2015 07:21

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