Tuesday, September 25, 2007


According to the Home Office Ministry, 29,442 foreign workers had arrived in Malaysia between September 1 and September 16 while the Immigration Department said that over the past one month almost 2,000 foreign workers arrived daily. Newspapers have in recent days have given extensive coverage of almost 2000 Bangladeshis arriving with legal documentations who are now camping at the KL International Airport car park because their agents and employees have failed to collect them. The non-governmental organization Tenaganita is said to be sheltering almost 3,000 Bangladeshi workers in similar predicament. Even, the Catholic Church in Rawang is providing refuge to abandoned Bangladeshi workers.

The sheer number of foreign workers particularly Bangladeshi workers arriving daily defies logic and there is every reason to believe that something is amiss. Could this be the work of unscrupulous outsourcing agents who have found an easy way to make fast buck? Could the outsourcing agents who brought these workers not be traced and taken to task? Should Wisma Putra not summon the Labour Attache at the Bangladeshi High Commission and demand an explanation.? Rightfully,Wisma Putra should investigate whether the privilege given to the Bangladeshi High Commission labour department to approve workers applications is being abused. How could the department approve workers application in such magnitude or are they in cohoots with some people with a secret agenda to transfer and populate Malaysia with Bangladeshis.

The Home Affairs Ministry and the Human Resources Ministry ought to investigate how foreign workers are being issued documents, Judging from the high incidence of workers being abandoned upon arrival can only means that there is a mismatch between the number of workers needed and the number of jobs available. The government should revert to the old policy of allowing employers to recruit foreign workers directly in tandem with their requirement instead of recruiting through agents.

Already Malaysia plays host to almost 2,000,000 legitimate migrant workers not counting the thousands of undocumented migrants particularly the Indonesians. Lest the government forget, Malaysians have enough problems with these undocumented migrants and particularly the Indonesians. We do not need Bangladeshis to compound the problem. Is the government only going to act after the problem has spiralled over?

Norman Fernandez