Around 29 thousands Bangladeshi migrant workers have taken the facility of general mercy so far under the 'Back for Good' program initiated by the Malaysian government to send back illegal migrants from the country. A large number of workers who got the general mercy have already returned to Bangladesh and rest of them are waiting to fly to the country.
According to Bangladesh Mission in Kuala Lumpur, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Md. Shahidul Islam sat in a meeting with Malaysian Immigration Department Director-General Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud on last Thursday. In the meeting, Khairul Dzaimee informed Shahidul Islam about the matter.
In the meeting, two high officials discussed various bilateral issues including 'Back for Good' program. Khairul Dzaimee said all illegal migrant workers from across the world including Bangladesh will take the chance for safe and secured return introduced by the government of Mahathir bin Mohamad.
High Commissioner Shahidul Islam urged the Immigration Department DG for immediate release of Bangladeshi detainees who were arrested by the Malaysian authority earlier, ease the process of visa renew system for professional and workers and assist easy immigration process in Malaysian airports. In response Khairul Dzaimee assured the envoy that he will
take proper measures on the issues. Bangladesh Mission Labor Counselor Mohammad Zahirul Islam, First Secretary, Hedaietul Islam Mondol and First Secretary Ruhul Amin (political) were also present in the meeting.
On July 1, 'Back for Good' program has been introduced and it will expire on December 31 this year. Prior to the 'Back for Good' program illegal migrants had to face detention, fine and many others legal punishments by the Malaysian government which was totally unbearable and intolerable.
Wishing anonymity, a high official of the South East Asia wing of the foreign ministry told the Asian Age that government was slightly embarrassed due to mass detention of Bangladeshi illegal migrants in Malaysia.
But 'Back for Good' program brings the relief for the Bangladesh as none was arrested after this program. Bangladesh wants legal and safe migration in Malaysia, he added.
Currently, Malaysia is not recruiting Bangladeshi workers. Malaysia stopped allowing Bangladeshi migrant workers into the country in September 2018 amid mounting reports that only 10 recruitment agencies from among hundreds in Bangladesh were being allowed to send workers to Malaysia.
On November 6 this year, a meeting was held between the Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed and Malaysian Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran in Kuala Lumpur, where the Malaysian government agreed to reopen the country's labor market for Bangladeshis.
The two ministers discussed the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia at minimum migration costs, the extent of involvement of recruiting agencies in both countries, the requisite medical tests, social and economic security of the migrants and data sharing.
According to government data more than 500,000 Bangladeshi migrants work in Malaysia in different sectors, but experts believe the actual number is higher.
Since 2016, about 200,000 Bangladeshi workers went to Malaysia under the 'government-to-government plus' system compared to about 12,000 under the G2G between 2012 and 2016. In 2018, a total of 175,927 workers went to Malaysia.
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