HR Minister: Employers warned not to abuse foreign worker recruitment programme

KUALA LUMPUR: Employers have been warned not to abuse the Foreign Worker Recruitment Relaxation Plan after some 117 Bangladeshi workers were found stranded at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport recently.

Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar said that he just received reports that some employers were allegedly misusing the initiative after meeting with representatives from private employment agencies.

"Our ministry also received a report from the Bangladeshi diplomatic rep regarding the incident where their workers were left stranded when they arrived in the country despite their employers being given the quota to hire foreign workers," he said during a press conference at the parliament's media centre.

He said the incident occurred about two weeks ago and the ministry was investigating the issue.

"We are concerned about such abuses and we do not want this to happen again.

"That is why we will ensure that all applications will be genuine and based on the current needs," he said.

"Please don't simply apply and when they are here, simply abandon them.

"This will destroy the image of the country," added the minister.

Stern action could be taken against such employers including under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Amendment) Act 2022 (Act A1644) and the Employment Act 1955, he said.

He said based on initial investigations, the employers had given various excuses including that they were not ready to hire them although they were the ones who had applied for it earlier.

Asked regarding the status of the Bangladeshi workers, he said that the victims were all safe and the ministry would try to place them with new employers.

He added that the ministry would continue with its enforcement efforts to ensure that there would be no further breaches of the law.

"Perhaps, within a period of at least six months, we will check their welfare including their accommodations," he said.

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