Human Resources Minister slams Bangladesh High Commission over job portal launch

PETALING JAYA: The Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur did not consult the Human Resources Ministry over the setting up of a job portal, says Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

Saravanan said the Bangladesh High Commission acted irresponsibly by setting up the employment portal “Chakrir Khoj” which claims to also assist undocumented Bangladeshis already here.

He said such an action by a foreign diplomatic mission undermines Malaysia's efforts to manage the demand for foreign workers.

Saravanan also said such a portal will not only jeopardise more than 400 foreign worker agencies in the country, but may lead to an influx of illegal Bangladeshi workers here.

“It is reported that the employment portal Chakrir Khoj is to enable Malaysian employers to recruit Bangladeshi workers, as well as to assist undocumented Bangladeshi workers to participate in the government’s recalibration programme that was announced last year.

“I am shocked and appalled with the action of the Bangladesh High Commission that has launched its employment portal without prior consultation nor notification to the Human Resources Ministry, ” said Saravanan.

“It is unreasonable on the part of the High Commission to take such action which goes against the roles and responsibilities of a foreign diplomatic mission, ” he added.

He said his ministry manages a national employment portal, MyFutureJobs, which advertises domestic job vacancies that also handles recruitment of foreign workers as well as expatriates.

“I view this matter seriously as it can mislead and create confusion to the public particularly local employers.

“The recalibration programme, which is a collaboration between the ministries of Human Resources and Home Affairs which commenced on Nov 16 last year and to end on June 30 June this year, is being executed by government entities and employers without the involvement of vendors or third parties.

“The sectors offered are confined to manufacturing, construction, plantation and agriculture.

“Under the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981 (Act 246), the recruitment of foreign workers in Malaysia will be managed by private employment agencies, licensed by the Department of Labour.

“The said employment portal may cause the influx of Bangladeshi illegal workers to the country which could lead to exploitation due to the uncertainty of their immigration status that could mar Malaysia’s image, ” said Saravanan.

He also said the Cabinet had mandated him to prepare a comprehensive paper on the actual requirement of foreign workers in all sectors.

“As much as I acknowledge the industry’s dependence of foreign workers, especially in sectors that are deemed unattractive to local workers, the ministry has always remained steadfast in ensuring that local workers are given priority to fill in the job vacancies, ” said Saravanan.

He stressed that local workers have always been the priority for the Malaysian Government, and only after that, will foreign workers be considered.

“The ‘Chakrir Khoj’ portal will jeopardise the business of more than 400 private employment agencies currently licensed by the Department of Labour to bring in foreign workers to the country.

“These local companies have been out of business for over a year but are still paying the required licence fee.

“It is inappropriate for the Bangladesh High Commission to launch the said employment portal in Malaysia which is seen as undermining the government’s plans to manage the actual demand of foreign labour in the country, ” said Saravanan.

On April 8, the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur had launched a job portal “Chakrir Khoj” to facilitate employers in Malaysia to find the right workers and assist prospective employers and undocumented Bangladesh nationals to participate in the recalibration programme.

The Star has yet to receive the response of the Bangladesh High Commission.

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