Malaysia requests Nepal to resume worker departures

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu
We know there is some problem in hiring of Nepali workers. As media have reported that the third party is making more money. Thousands of ringgit was spent on other processes like medical and other topics in which private companies were involved which had happened during the former government and we are looking into it M Kulasegaran, Malaysian Human Resources Minister

Jul 29, 2018-Malaysia has requested the Nepal government to relax its decision of stopping Nepalis from going to work in the country.

Calling the halt to departures of Nepali workers to Malaysia as “unfortunate”, Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran has urged Nepal to ease the ban on workers from travelling to Malaysia. Addressing a programme at the Department of Occupational Safety and Health of Malaysia, he said: “It is unfortunate that Nepal has suspended sending its workers to Malaysia.”

Worker departures for Malaysia, the most popular labour destination for Nepalis, have been hit since May 17 when Nepal shut down various agencies providing visa processing services for hefty fees. The Labour Ministry had declared their services illegal, saying that it resulted from the unilateral policy of the Malaysian government.

Minister Kulasegaran admitted that the Malaysian government was well aware of the ongoing crisis which resulted from the existence of illegal agencies, which had charged hefty amounts from Nepali workers.

“I am urging the Nepal government to go easy on this matter as we know Malaysian industries are dependent upon foreign labour force,” The Star, a local newspaper, quoted Kulasegaran as saying. “We know there is some problem in hiring of Nepali workers. As media have reported that the third party is making more money. Thousands of ringgit was spent on other processes like medical and other topics in which private companies were involved which had happened during the former government and we are looking into it.”

He also acknowledged that Malaysian industries were largely dependent on labour from countries like Nepal and their stoppage will affect the Malaysian economy. ‘’Nepali workers are well-known for their bravery and honesty, and many Malaysian employers prefer to hire them,” the minister was quoted as praising Nepali workers.

According to him, the new government is in the process of formulating policies on handling intake of foreign workers from the source countries.

‘’We will try to find other mechanisms for their workers to come here. Otherwise there will be a severe

shortage of workers in our country, leading to setbacks in progress,” Minister Kulasegaran said.

As the diplomatic process between the two countries is going on for resolving the crisis, the Nepali and Malaysian sides have regularly discussed the matter. Last Tuesday, during a discussion between Nepal embassy officials and representatives of the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources, the Malaysian side expressed its concern about the deadlock. Earlier, Minister Kulasegaran visited the Nepali Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to discuss a way out.

‘’In fact, the Cabinet had discussed this matter earlier and I will prepare a paper in the coming week to call for immediate action,’’ he said, adding that the government would restore the system of hiring foreign workers back to the G2G (government-to-government) approach without the presence of any middlemen.

Kulasegaran also said that the Malaysian government was planning to host Labour Minister Gokarna Bista to discuss the issue.

Published: 29-07-2018 07:27

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