Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail concludes a two-day visit to Bangladesh. The minister’s visit to Dhaka aimed to
Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail concludes a two-day visit to Bangladesh.
The minister’s visit to Dhaka aimed to strengthen economic ties and cooperation between the two nations surrounding migrant labor laws, which have put a strain on both Bangladeshi workers and the Malaysian economy in recent years.
Newly appointed Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has been vocal about allowing more international labor in the country in key areas where workforce is lacking, including plantations, agriculture, manufacturing, mining and construction. The employment of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia came to a sudden halt in 2018 over questionable working conditions and an unethical recruitment process which crippled and enslaved the workers to their superiors through enormous debts.
The number of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia is likely to rise in the short term, contributing to the recovery of the Malaysian economy. It is, however, doubtful whether their working conditions will improve in the medium term given their unfortunate regard as cheap labor and the stringent fields in which they work. A bi-lateral agreement is likely to call for a greater number of recruiting agencies to operate in Bangladesh, putting an end to the monopoly of the two “cartels” and their subsequent hiring malpractices.