‘We don’t want syndication’
Recruiting agencies of both Bangladesh and Malaysia yesterday said they don't want "syndication" in the process of sending Bangladeshi migrant workers to Southeast Asian countries.
During a press conference organised by "Members of Baira" at a city hotel, they urged Malaysia to ensure a process without syndication for Bangladesh, currently applicable for other source countries.
They voiced concern that syndication will again lead to irregularities, corruption and high migration cost, factors leading to market closure in the past.
Malaysia and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding on labour cooperation in December 2021. However, the labour-sending process is yet to be finalised amid concern over not keeping the market open for all Bangladeshi recruiting agencies.
Earlier, a syndicate of 10 recruiting agencies allegedly caused corruption and irregularities in recruitment, leading to a market suspension in September 2018.
Former secretary-general of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) Ali Haider Chowdhury said while sending workers to Malaysia, the issue of syndication only surfaced in the case of Bangladesh but no other source countries.
Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary-general of the previous Baira committee, said as per the new deal, Malaysian employers will choose Bangladeshi recruiting agency as per preference, while both authorities will crosscheck the authenticity of the said agency.
Sukumaran Nair, secretary-general of National Organisation of Private Service Agencies Malaysia, joined the event virtually from Malaysia. He said they don't want any syndication in the recruitment of foreign workers from Bangladesh.
Former Baira president Noor Ali, whose agency was one of 10 agencies that sent workers to Malaysia previously, said although back then it was agreed that workers will be sent at a low cost, the promise was not kept.
Abul Bashar, another former Baira president, said the Malaysia market should be kept open for all of about 1,500 valid Bangladeshi recruiting agencies.