KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has hit out at the Bangladesh High Commission for launching a job portal to bring in workers, saying the move was irresponsible and against the role of a foreign mission.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the High Commission had not consulted his ministry and its actions undermined Malaysia’s efforts to manage demand for foreign workers.
He said the “Chakrir Khoj” portal also claimed to be assisting undocumented Bangladeshis already here.
“I am shocked and appalled with the action of the Bangladesh High Commission which launched its employment portal without prior consultation with the ministry.
“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.
“I view this matter seriously as it can mislead and create confusion among the public, particularly local employers, ” he said in a statement yesterday.
Saravanan said the High Commission launched the job portal on April 8 claiming that it wanted to enable employers in Malaysia to recruit Bangladeshi workers, as well as assist its undocumented workers to participate in the government’s Recalibration Programme here.
He said besides jeopardising the over 400 foreign worker agencies in the country, the move could lead to an influx of Bangladeshi illegals here.
Saravanan explained that his ministry managed the MyFutureJobs national employment portal which advertised domestic job vacancies, and also handled the recruitment of foreign workers and expatriates.
He said the programme, a collaboration between the Human Resources and Home ministries which commenced on Nov 16 last year and scheduled to end on June 30, was 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 is to be managed by private employment agencies, licensed by the Labour Department, ” he pointed out, saying that local workers were always the priority for the government.Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Md Golam Sarwar, when contacted, said the portal was to assist the legalisation of undocumented Bangladeshi workers currently in Malaysia.
“This initiative is to help the Recalibration Programme declared by the Malaysian government without prejudice to our ongoing negotiations for the recruitment of new workers from Bangladesh.
“The job portal was launched by the High Commission only to facilitate the ongoing legalisation process, as we were requested by the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry and Immigration Department, during various meetings, to help with the recalibration programme in whatever way possible, ” said Md Golam.
He also said “several Malaysian employers” had requested him to find “suitable undocumented Bangladeshi workers” for employment under the programme.
Md Golam said the virtual launch of the portal was also attended by the Labour deputy director-general as well as top government representatives from Bangladesh.