PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia and Bangladesh have finally signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to receive 1.5 million workers in stages over the next three years.
According to Bangladesh's Daily Star newspaper, Bangladesh Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot signed the MoU at Dhaka's Expatriates' Welfare office on Thursday (Feb 18) morning.
Bangladesh's cabinet on Feb 8 approved the draft MoU despite a series of controversies after Malaysia last year announced that it would hire Bangladeshi workers through the private sector.
Under the deal, levy for Bangladeshi workers is to be fixed at RM1,946 (S$654).
The deal has courted some controversies including the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) signing a letter protesting the possible monopoly by a "syndicate led by a Malaysian company" in hiring Bangladeshi workers there.
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) on Thursday (Feb 18) also submitted a memorandum objecting to the government's move to bring in the workers from Bangladesh. The memorandum, among others, urged the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Migrant Workers and cancel the intake in the interest of the people of Malaysia.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he would discuss the government's decision to recruit 1.5 million Bangladeshis with his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Najib, who has been for the past week on a working trip to California, United States, said that the government would ensure any move taken was to fulfil the needs of the economy.