Government asked to revoke visas

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 10 Mar 2009

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) has called on the Government to revoke the visas of 70,000 Bangladeshi workers who are expected to start work in the country soon.

MTUC president Syed Shahrir Syed Mohamud said hiring the foreigners was bad timing amid an economic downturn.

“Workers are facing retrenchment and layoffs. Some are also being asked to work fewer days.”

He was commenting on Bangladeshi labour counsellor Talat Mahmud Khan’s announcement that 70,000 Bangladeshis were expected to arrive in Malaysia soon to work in plantations, construction sites and the services sector.

Syed Shahrir said that with 70,000 more workers in the marketplace, it would mean the Government was insensitive to what was happening.

When it was pointed out that there was a need for foreign workers especially since Malaysians shied away from working in plantations and construction sites, Syed Shahrir said employers in such sectors should improve workplace conditions.Meanwhile, Tenaganita director Dr Irene Fernandez called for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to intervene on the matter.

“Why did the Home Ministry approve the visas? I do not see the rationale when hundreds of thousands are facing retrenchment,” she said.

Related Stories: Building and food sectors rely on foreign workers Bangladeshis only for allowed sectors, says minister Manpower quota not met because foreigners unhappy with perks

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