‘At least 2,000 Nepali workers sent home under amnesty plan’

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 2,000 undocumented Nepali migrant workers have returned home under the government’s latest amnesty programme launched last month.

Nepal Ambassador to Malaysia Udaya Raj Pandey said more Nepalis who had overstayed and violated Malaysian immigration rules were expected to take up the offer.

“Our calculation is (that) there are 11,000 to 14,000 undocumented Nepali workers in Malaysia.

“Some 2,000 already returned (to Nepal). We expect the remaining will also go back (under the programme), ” he said at the republic’s National Day (Constitution Day) event here on Friday.

The “Back for Good” programme, running from Aug 1 to Dec 31 this year, is another effort by the Malaysian government to allow undocumented foreigners to voluntarily leave the country.

Under the programme, the illegals are only required to pay a compound of RM700 besides obtaining the necessary documents, such as passports and special travel passes, from their respective embassies to return home.

“Our embassy in Kuala Lumpur is facilitating their return by providing the necessary documentations.

“All the costs incurred will be borne by the individuals themselves, ” added Pandey.

On another development, Pandey said the new agreement inked by Malaysia and Nepal for the recruitment of Nepali workers was a new chapter for both sides.

“I am optimistic it will ensure transparency in the recruitment process, as well as care for the welfare of the Nepali workers in Malaysia.

“We hope the many issues that cropped up before this can be solved for good, including the recruitment process, and welfare matters such as working conditions, medical examinations, salary and overtime, ” he said.

The new MoU signed early this month also marked the official lifting of the ban imposed by the Nepali government since 2018 on recruitment of its workers for Malaysia following allegations of corruption and exploitations of the workers under the old scheme.

Pandey estimated that there were some 357,000 Nepali currently working in Malaysia, primarily in the security, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. — Bernama

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