Flow of Malaysia returnees on rise

- Post Report, KUALA LUMPUR

Jun 18, 2016-

The number of Nepali migrant workers returning from Malaysia has swelled, pointing to a possible erosion of its attraction as an employment destination, analysts said. According to the Nepal Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, 50-80 Nepali workers have been receiving travel documents daily to return home. 

Ambassador Niranjanman Singh Basnyat said embassy staff were under pressure to process travel documents due to a surge in applications from workers wishing to return to Nepal. “Besides, only a negligible number of those who return home for the holidays come back to resume work.”

Airlines linking Nepal and Malaysia have also reported a jump in the number of returning migrant workers. Fewer companies are seeking certification for ‘demand letters’ from the embassy in recent days, Basnyat said. Hiring companies need to get their demand letter certified by the embassy before they can employ Nepali workers. 

Meanwhile, the Malaysian economy is reported to have been hit by a labour shortage after the government banned the employment of foreign workers. Malaysian businesses have suffered financial losses totalling 24 billion ringgit (Rs630 billion) since the Malaysian government adopted the policy in mid-February, The Star reported on its online edition.

“Banning the hiring of foreign workers since mid-February has resulted in financial losses of 24 billion ringgit not only to the business sectors but also made the government lose its revenue,” it said.

Similarly, the local media, quoting Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, have expressed similar views. As per reports, a shortage of manpower has affected Muarka, the main hub for the furniture business. As a result, 24 furniture factories there have already been shut down. Malaysia is well known for its furniture production.

The Malaysian government has been conducting a workers rehabilitation programme from the last four months by banning foreign workers on the pretext of managing illegal workers.

Under the programme, the government has legitimised 124,279 employees working there, among whom the number of Nepali workers is negligible. 

Following the government’s decision, the Malaysian manufacturing sector has been shorthanded. However, the government partially lifted the ban in four sectors, namely construction, planting, furniture and production, after they were hamstrung by a labour shortage.

Published: 18-06-2016 09:31

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