’25-agency union’ hinders labor export to Malaysia: recruiters

Representative image/STAR file


Representative image/STAR file

According to some recruitment agencies and former leaders of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruitment Agencies (Baira), alleged misconduct by “a syndicate of 25 agencies” is affecting Bangladesh’s prospects in the Malaysian migrant market.

They alleged that former Baira General Secretary Ruhul Amin Swapan, also owner of Catharsis International, is the main leader of the union, during a press conference today (27 April 2022).

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The press conference was held under the banner of the Baira Anti-Syndicate Grand Alliance (BASGA) at the Jatiya Press Club,

Leaders at the time demanded that the licenses of all recruitment agencies named in the union, including Swapan, be revoked.

Ali Haider Chowdhury, grand alliance organizer and former general secretary of Baira, read a written statement while former Baira chairman Abul Bashar and former general secretary Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman answered various questions from the media.

The press conference was organized to brief the media on the latest developments in the reopening of the market without any syndication and to demand that Bangladeshi migrants in Malaysia love the way 13 other labor exporting countries do.

They also demanded that the alleged leaders of the union be reprimanded.

Former BAIRA leaders demanded that Bangladesh be allowed to send workers to Malaysia in the same process as the other 13 countries of origin.

They called for the intervention of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Malaysian government and all concerned to resolve the impasse.

Abul Bashar said the cost of labor migration has increased several times due to 10 unions in the past. “If it is unionized again, the cost will increase further.”

“Additionally, those involved in the syndicate have laundered money in various countries, including Canada in the past,” he alleged.

“The Malaysian market is not opening because of their misdeeds,” he said, demanding that the government revoke the licenses of those whose names appear in this union.

The former president of Baira also said that because of the union, the cost of labor migration will increase significantly. “They will smuggle money overseas,” he said.

Ali Haider said some Malaysians were trying to turn Bangladesh into a “money making machine” with the help of a local clique. “Syndication will increase irregularities, corruption and immigration costs as before. Hundreds of labor brokers will be deprived. There will be anarchy in the labor market.”

Malaysia hires workers from 13 other source countries. In that case, it would be shameful for Bangladesh, as an independent country, to hire workers from Bangladesh only through the union, he also said.

Shamim Ahmed said the government does not want this syndication. “Traders also don’t want this now and didn’t want it earlier. All valid permit holders must be given the opportunity to send workers into the country.”

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